Thehomepage.com.au was founded three years ago by Morry Schwartz, who recognised an opportunity to revamp how real estate agents do business.
Thehomepage.com.au enables real estate agents to reach more buyers, in what Schwartz says is a quicker, cheaper and more attractive way.
Schwartz, who is the chairman of property development firm Pan Urban, is also the publisher of politics and current affairs publications Quarterly Essay and The Monthly.
The website belongs to start-up company Dog No. 7, which, according to Schwartz, is designed to reflect the fact that it is always one step ahead of the game.
Schwartz, who has since been joined in the business by friends Mark Copley and Vicki Williams, talks to StartupSmart about how Thehomepage.com.au is attempting to get in front of the competition.
What prompted you to launch Thehomepage.com.au? What niche did you identify?
I launched Thehomepage.com.au and its sister site Millionplus.com.au because, in my real estate development business, I was amazed at how expensive it was to advertise on the existing real estate listings portals.
Using the existing real estate portals as a consumer, I also found them to be slow to load, cluttered with advertising and ugly to look at.
I wanted to create something that was different from what was already available in all of those ways: it would be free to advertise basic listings and less expensive for premium listings.
It would be fast to load. And it would be clean and attractive to look at.
Both Thehomepage.com.au and Millionplus.com.au belong to our start-up company, Dog No. 7. We picked that name because the CEO of our biggest competitor had said that Dog No. 7 is the one he worries about.
He compared the business to a dog race and said that Dog No. 2 always follows what Dog No. 1 does, and Dog No. 3 follows in the footsteps of Dog No. 2.
But Dog No. 7 is so far behind that he realises he can’t beat the top dogs by following in their footsteps.
Instead, he decides to win by cutting across the middle of the arena. The moral of the story is to always watch out for Dog No. 7.
How did you fund the business and what were your start-up costs?
I lent money to the business to fund its start-up. I’ve invested about $1.5 million so far.
How many staff do you have?
We have seven excellent people on our team. That includes myself, our CEO and an editor, a social media and advertising manager, a salesperson and two web developers.
Every one of them is on top of their game. I’m proud to have them working with me.