Greg Hywood, the CEO of Fairfax Media, and Antony Catalano, the founder of Metro Media, reportedly laughed hysterically when their sons called to tell them they were creating an online property sales business to compete with their fathers.
“They were in absolute hysterics,” 22-year-old Tom Hywood told Business Insider. His father was at a function and sitting next to Antony Catalano, the father of his friend Jordon, when Tom called.
Tom, who used to worked at Fairfax’s Domain property business, suspects the fathers don’t think he and Jordon Catalano are much of a threat but he hopes that changes in the near future.
“They’re impressed with the site, that’s for sure,” he says.
They are trying to grab a slice of the online classified market for property.
Jordon says he had to keep it secret from his dad for quite a long time because he still lives at home.
“When I did finally tell him what I wanted to do and what I had been working on for months, he was supportive,” he says.
“Obviously, he’s not going to give away too many secrets to me.”
Billed as the ultimate resource for those looking to buy new apartments off the plan, Apartment Developments is the creation of 23-year-old Jordan who then asked his friend Tom to join him.
“There is such a big market for new apartments so I was really surprised to find there were no dedicated sites for new apartment purchasers,” Jordan says.
Jordan’s father was the founder of Metro Media Publishing, with 28 magazines and local newspapers, and websites including reviewproperty.com.au which has nearly half a million national listings. Antony Catalano is now the head of Fairfax Media’s real estate division.
Jordan and Tom say there’s strong interest from Melbourne’s key developers and industry figures, and also support from several of leading property media agencies.
“We have a unique product that caters to a rapidly expanding niche market,” says Jordan.
“We have spared no expense in developing a platform that is sleek and developed in a way that is user friendly, and focused on helping our audience as well as driving leads to our developer and retail clients.
“Our aim is to have captured at least half of the Victorian and NSW market by the start of Q4 2015.”
Jordan and Tom have currently raised almost $300,000 of seed capital and are in the process of raising another $300,000 by approaching key industry figures, and prominent investors.