Entrepreneur Liam Austin is the mastermind behind a new online platform that alleviates much of the fear home owners feel when taking a leap into the unknown and putting their property up for sale with little information on market demand. Launched today, Next For Sale allows home owners to assess market interest and receive feedback from prospective buyers before committing to selling their property.
Prospective buyers can also enjoy the benefit of seeing what property is ‘next for sale’ before it’s been officially listed. They can register their interest to be notified when a property will officially come on the market for sale, and be updated on any changes to that property’s profile. If they make relevant contact, they get an advantage over other buyers in the market.
“This significantly reduces the risk for the buyer. They can make a more informed decision about buying or not buying – rather than buying a property that’s not quite right for them because they think there may not be any better options in the future, or put off from buying a property because they think surely something better will come up,” says Austin, Founder of Next For Sale.
“There really isn’t much information out there that allows for home owners and prospective buyers to really understand the market before making that big decision.”
Real estate agents can also gain from seeing what properties are coming on the market that aren’t being represented by any real estate agency. They can contact the owner, offer their services in selling the property and earn the client’s business.
The benefits of this site will be felt my many groups.
The experience that inspired the idea
About three years ago, Austin started searching for a house to purchase that matched his set criteria. For nine months, he came across many 8/10 and 9/10 properties, but never the 10/10. Fed up with the process – particularly the time and money it was costing to find the ‘perfect’ home – Austin decided to choose the best of those that were available in the market even if it didn’t quite meet his requirements.
To his dismay, only two weeks after he settled on the less-than-perfect property, the perfect one popped up on the market. He was left with the thought ‘if only I’d known…’ He went on to do some research and found that it can take home owners up to six months from when they decide to sell to actually listing the property for sale. This meant that six out of the nine months Austin spent searching for property, the owner of the ‘perfect’ one had already made the decision to sell, but hadn’t quite reached the point of listing the property for sale.
Austin thought: if only there had been a platform that provided buyers with indications on what may be coming on the market?
From this experience, he was determined to develop a solution – not only for himself, should he choose to sell or purchase property in the future, but also for other home owners and prospect buyers who are often plagued with uncertainty.
Barrier of entry
Throughout the development phase, Austin had to confirm what the main barrier of entry was for home owners when it came to officially listing their properties for sale on sites like RealEstate.com.au and Domain.com.au. He says that going from the position of deciding to sell to actually putting the property up for sale feels like a huge jump for home owners – because there are so many decisions that need to be made along the way.
“What Next For Sale does is split that big jump into little steps – and throughout those steps [home owners] are able to figure out how they should price their property and how to market it, because first impressions really do count,” says Austin.
“The site is all about minimising risk and eliminating fear in buying and selling property.”
Next For Sale will rely heavily on advertising revenue. After building a strong audience of home owners and prospective buyers, the site will offer targeted advertising and lead generation to real estate agents, finance operators, home loan providers, building inspectors, renovators, interior photographers, property insurance providers, and other relevant companies that can gain new customers through Next For Sale.
The site will also offer value-adds. For example, home owners will have the option to upgrade their account so their properties are positioned higher up in the listings.
When Austin initially pitched the project, there were a lot of “doubters” who’ve been in the real estate industry for over 20 years and have an intimate understanding of how it works.
Austin believes much of the scepticism came from the idea that the real estate industry is too ripe for disruption; that it’s not possible to change an industry that, in many ways, have been resistant to technological change. For instance, information about market demand would mostly be in the hands of real estate agents.
But those same sceptics jumped on board with the concept as the site progressed through its development phase, and they realised the benefits it offers.
What’s next for Next For Sale?
Austin convinced commercial property giant Colliers International and property developer Iwan Sunito’s Crown International to partner with Next for Sale, and they will be paying a discounted rate to list their new property projects on the site.
Next For Sale launched today in New South Wales, and its services will be replicated across all states in Australia once it’s established in the state.
And this, of course, will be followed by global expansion. Austin’s vision doesn’t lie short of ambitious.
For more information, visit www.nextforsale.com.au