Birth of a new way of selling
PropertyNow was born when our principal, Andrew Blachut became frustrated with the state of the real estate industry after working in it for many years. With the advent of the internet, Andrew had grown increasingly uncomfortable with the huge commissions agents were charging the public, and so he developed a new way of doing real estate called "Agent Assisted Sales." This new way of selling empowered the public and saved them thousands, whilst also providing the advice and marketing support of a licensed real estate agent.
When PropertyNow first began, it was very much operating on a shoe-string budget. For many years we had zero marketing budget, and simply grew through referrals from our clients. As a small, family-based business, our accounting, website design, client support, and everything in between were all handled "in house" with everything being done manually. It wasn't easy, but we believed in what we were doing.
The battle for change
As our agent assisted model began to become more and more popular, we faced opposition from agent's still operating traditionally, as well as the real estate giant, realestate.com.au. There were attempts to block this way of selling, or at least make it more difficult. A few of the trial's we've been through include:
Realestate.com.au threatening to close our accounts (we lodged a case about this with the ACCC and prevailed)
Domain.com.au attempting to charge us greatly inflated rates due to our business model (we refused the changes on principal)
Nasty real estate agents harassing our clients to try and take our listings.
An unknown person attacking our Google ranking by using negative SEO against us (leading to a temporary penalty from Google that we're still recovering from)
Resentful real estate agents reporting us and our listings to realestate.com.au (we maintain strict standards so that they never have a leg to stand on)
Competitors using our business name in their search engine marketing to target our clients
The way of the future
Despite the trials we've had to overcome, PropertyNow continues to grow and improve thanks to the support of our amazing clients. Over the last few years we've committed to further revolutionising the process (such as through our 24/7 automated phone enquiry system) and will continue to do so. In 2014, Andrew decided to pen his first novel which demystifies the entire selling process for the public, and sheds light on the private sales and agent assisted sales industry in Australia. In 2015, we completely overhauled our website and enquiry systems to deliver ease and functionality to our customers that is unmatched anywhere else in the industry. We look forward to seeing what 2016 will bring. Watch this space!