As an investor, if you have ever thought to yourself that it would be nice to have another option, rather than paying the 7 to 10 per cent monthly rental income fee to a real estate agency to manage your investment property, then if your investment property is in Sydney – you might be in luck with the launch of :Different in Sydney this month.
:Different is a full-service property management tech start-up business that charges a flat fee of $100 per month per property to manage your property. Founded by former Uber and Google executives and backed by Air Tree Ventures (a large venture capital fund) :Different, like the name suggests, is setting itself to disrupt the Australian property management industry.
Whether :Different’s model of using technology to solve the day to day processes in property management, with the ability to forward more complex issues directly to their team of real estate agents, can find the right balance to keep everyone happy – remains to be seen. What is clear is that the company has big plans after the launch of their app in Sydney, to expand nationally and eventually internationally.
The two founders: Mina Radhakrishnan, a former global head of product for Uber and her Australian husband Ruwin Perera, a former global business strategy principal for Google have raised $1 million in seed funding for their new venture.
It’s still early days for the company, but if they can get the fundamentals right and deliver on their promise of simplifying your life as a property investor by managing your property for you for a flat fee, it is easy to imagine that this offer would spike the interests of Australian property investors; while sending a shiver down the spine of real estate agencies across the country, who value their businesses predominantly on the value of their rent roll property management business.
At the end of the day, if this kind of industry disruption leads to more satisfied and happier tenants and landlords who can sleep even easier at night, then a little bit of industry disruption now and again is a small price to pay.
:Different adds to a growing list of real estate disruptors like buyMyplace, Purplebricks and forsalebyowner, all attempting to gain and grow their market share in the multi-billion-dollar Australian property industry.