Pero confirms real-estate idea, but no launch date

GREG NINNESS WITH REBECCA STEVENSON
Last updated 05:00 05/02/2011

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The real estate industry is abuzz with rumours that entrepreneur Mike Pero is about to launch a low-cost real-estate agency business.

Pero formed a company called Mike Pero Real Estate last August and such a business might be a good fit with the mortgage-broking business he founded in 1991.

However, the possibility of adding a real-estate arm to the mortgage and insurance broking business was not something Mike Pero Mortgages chief executive Shaun Riley was keen to discuss.

"All I can say is that it's something we have discussed and nothing's been finalised," he said. He would not comment on rumours of a launch as early as next week.

Pero said the concept had been around for about three years. "At this stage we have got nothing that I would put in print. There's nothing that I can confirm. We will continue to look at it."

Talk of an announcement next week was from an off-hand remark. "Somebody asked and I said that to shut them up. I don't know what may happen next week at all."

Setting up the company last year was done "mainly to stir up the industry".

"There are a lot of rumours going around. The [internet] domain name is also taken, you may have noticed."

Industry sources said their understanding was Pero would launch a low-cost model, with agency commissions capped at 2.5 per cent of the selling price, which could substantially undercut most major agencies that currently dominate the market.

Individual agents would pay a franchise fee of $10,000 to be part of the network and most would operate from home and do most marketing over the internet.

While low-cost operators such as The Joneses had come and gone, the advantage Pero had was that his name was already a well-known brand with a lot of credibility, the sources said.

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