Sydney startup followit has announced a $2 million capital raise to launch its real estate platform nation-wide. The social media platform is now valued at $20 million and is on track to change the way people search and find real estate listings in Australia.
followit is Australia’s first social media platform dedicated to supplying live property information via an “instagram-like” feed to any smartphone, device or laptop. From June 15 the platform will be rolled out to every real estate office in Australia. The rollout follows the completion of a successful testing phase in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Perth and Fremantle.
The startup was developed as a response to people’s dependence on social media for not only their every day lives, but also their businesses. Through technology followit aims to eliminate the common communication issues that real estate is riddled with, and in doing so, improve agents relationships with their customers.
Cofounder and head of concept Peter Grant said the idea was to create a live platform that brought about a sense of transparency and honesty to real estate, with the founders deciding that the only way to do this was through the delivery of live information.
“If the industry does have a bad reputation, it is not about the industry itself, it’s more about people not really knowing what’s going on. When you have a live platform with live information, that makes everything transparent and also documented. We feel that followit will create better relationships out in the market,” Grant said.
“The real estate market is designed from a series of actions: a property comes onto the market, it’s listed and you generally get price movement, and there might be auction updates, or it might go under contract, or it might be withdrawn from sale. These are all really important pieces of information the public require so they can make better decisions. followit has been designed to deliver all that property information in a live stream to the public.”
Since followit’s initial launch in February this year, the company has received much interest and high demand from agents and property managers around Australia. This demand has compelled followit to launch its platform sooner than expected. More than 1,000 real estate professionals are expected to register for a webinar in June 15, where followit will explain in detail the benefits of using the platform.
“The buzz around Australia from real estate agents has been immense for followit,” said managing director, Tony Moussa. “They wanted a more effective way to communicate with consumers and I feel we’ve delivered.”
The platform’s ease of use and simple instagram-like design enables consumers to cut through the clutter and find the property of their dreams within seconds. By combining the platform with a real estate portal, followit can offer its consumers real-time communication with agents.
Followit is now being used by real estate agencies all over Australia, including LJ Hooker, Rain & Horne, Century 21, Belle Property, Professionals, First National, Real Mark, Abel McGrath, Acton, Remax, Peard and Cunninghams. To date 2,285 agents have registered to use the platform and on the Northern Beaches alone 75 percent of offices use followit on a day-to-day basis.
“We are also excited to be working closely with Macquarie Business Banking, which is making the technology available to its database of clients nationally to support their businesses,” said Moussa.
Image: The Followit team; Peter Grant, Charles Baynie, Tony Moussa, Joe Arthur, Chris Azzi, Alan Hashem. Source: Provided.