Geraldton-based mortgage broker Brian Taylor has managed to double his income in two years by diversifying into a private real estate sales business that cuts out estate agents.
Called GoPrivate, the business advertises for sale properties for private vendors online and at a centrally-located shopfront, as well as supplying the necessary do-it-yourself 'for sale' materials.
Taylor said he saw an opportunity to diversify into private sales and boost his business income because of its close alignment with his existing mortgage and finance business.
"What concerned me was the way banks were cutting commissions, and it was becoming harder to maintain a living. A lot of guys like me were suffering," Taylor said.
"So I was looking around for alternative income sources, and insurances weren't providing us with anything worthwhile, so I asked myself - what else can I do?"
GoPrivate charges vendors $800 upfront for an open-ended listing and materials, as well as $1000 when the property sale is achieved. Taylor said he is making $6000 a week in GoPrivate income, which goes toward paying other business expenses, including rent and reception.
Taylor said he also assists interested buyers with finance, and in doing so, acts as a vetting service for vendors, as well as their "close ally and friend" during the purchase process.
Taylor said overall, the response from vendors has been positive. "We have people satisfied with what they have achieved. Of course there are a few disgruntled people, with property not selling at the moment. But no one is doing any business, so they may as well reduce the price and sell it themselves rather than pay a real estate agent," he said.
Taylor said that "location is everything" for the business, which operates out of a "cabin-like" office right outside Geraldton's post office front door, where the passing trade is "enormous".
The business is also aligned to five other websites online, which means people looking for property on the web can find themselves on the website, where they can search by location.
GoPrivate was so successful for Taylor, that he purchased the business in May this year, and is now in the processs of launching franchise opportunities for other mortgage brokers.
"I'm drawing up franchise agreements for other franchisee brokers to reap the benefits of their efforts. It worked well for me, so I don't see why it wouldn't work for them," he said.
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