Determined to take on the major players in commercial property marketing, Brisbane entrepreneur Grey Rogers has launched multimedia website Space Hero.
Since kicking off in July this year, Space Hero has expanded its portfolio from one listing to almost 800, with high-profile properties helping to boost hits to more than 11,000 per month.
Rogers talks to StartupSmart about cutting his teeth in commercial property marketing.
What inspired the idea for Space Hero?
The idea of the business was to become a leader in the commercial property website space – hence “hero”.
“Space” refers to all forms of commercial property space for lease or sale.
How did you decide on the name?
In a space cluttered with varying spinoffs of property – real estate and commercial – it was important to come up with a name that stood apart from the rest.
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We think of ourselves as unique and progressive in a typically conservative market.
How long did you work on the site before you launched it?
We worked on the site for 18 months before the launch.
What were the major challenges?
There were various challenges including teaming up with the right developer. This was in fact very difficult.
Other major challenges included putting together a site that was different but also retained some of the ingrained processes and functions that agents and users were accustomed to.
How did you fund the business?
Space Hero was self-funded. The start-up costs were approximately $80,000 to $100,000.
What are your revenue projections for 2011/12?
I envisage that we will triple Space Hero’s revenue after its first year of operations.
How did you promote the business?
I promoted Space Hero with lots of face-to-face meetings with clients, as well as an aggressive SEO strategy.
How many staff do you have?
Space Hero has two people on staff.
How is your site different to other property sites?
Space Hero is unique in that it delivers professionally produced video listings for properties, both for sale or lease.
These video listings serve as online commercials for the property, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in the property and its surrounds.
My 18 months of research prior to launching the business highlighted the need for a commercial property website that delivered users a better search experience.
Space Hero provides an efficient marketing tool that cuts down on time wasted at property inspections. This is a benefit to both agents and potential tenants, and something that I noticed was glaringly absent in the market.
We have also ensured all the content on the website is handheld device-friendly, allowing agents and tenants to browse on the go, be it from their office chair or from the other side of the world.
What’s the biggest risk you face?
At this early stage, the biggest risk for Space Hero is the current state of the economy. I am sure most small businesses are anxiously keeping a close eye on how their market is tracking.
What has been the biggest learning curve?
The steepest learning curve – and I think this applies to all businesses – is gaining the most intimate knowledge of your customer.
Despite lots of research, nothing compares to actually learning on the job. The site has evolved and changed as a result of lots of learning and it will continue to evolve and change into the future.