Pollenizer hunts funding for property start-up Unrenovated
Friday, October 21, 2011/
Tech seed fund Pollenizer is looking for partners to accelerate its latest venture, niche property website Unrenovated, which has already attracted investments totalling around $250,000.
Unrenovated, which only features unrenovated properties in Sydney’s inner west, was co-founded by Pollenizer, real estate expert Dan Strachotta, and serial entrepreneur Julio Labraga.
Strachotta, former head of residential sales at realestate.com.au, is chief executive of the business while Labraga will hold the title of chief operating officer.
On the site, homes with renovation potential are hand-picked from thousands of residential properties, so buyers spend less time searching online and more time actually renovating.
Property condition reports help buyers determine whether a property is derelict or simply requires cosmetic renovations, while special deals help buyers when they’re purchasing property.
For real estate agents, Unrenovated provides a simple listing facility that integrates directly with industry-standard systems, which agents are familiar with.
Pollenizer co-founder Mick Liubinskas says the idea came about after speaking to Labraga about his struggle to find suitable properties to renovate.
“The partnership with Julio made perfect sense [while] Dan was looking to get into something early stage he could make an impact on,” Liubinskas says.
“We’re looking for partners to join the team… We’ve launched, we’ve got a good team and good traction. There’s been about $250,000 invested so far.”
“The site’s been up and running for about a week… Agents are very active and using internet advertising, so that’s really positive.”
“In terms of feeing property to us, there are about eight agents supplying content. We’ve already got feeds from LJ Hooker, Ray White, Raine & Horne, and Laing Simmons.”
Liubinskas says Unrenovated represents a strong niche in the real estate industry, and he is hopeful it can forge future partnerships.
According to Liubinskas, about 10% of residential properties in any area are in need of a renovation, but Sydney’s inner west has a slightly higher representation.
While the site is currently limited to a handful of suburbs, there are plans to expand into the greater Sydney region over the coming months.
Strachotta says with the rise of reality shows such as The Renovators, coupled with high prices across Sydney’s property market, the idea of renovating has never been more popular.
“It’s a good way for first-time or experienced buyers to benefit from the current market conditions,” Strachotta says.
“Unrenovated is all about making it easier for buyers to find the right property so there’s no more scouring through thousands of properties to discover that untouched gem.”