Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s 2017 Federal Budget was startling not for its dollar distribution, but a blatant call to the private sector to step up.
It was a stark acknowledgement that if we want things to change, we have to look not to our politicians, but ourselves for change.
For example in property, where we are seeing so much entrenched disadvantage and worsening affordability, there is ample room to shake up the status quo.
RealEstateTube.com is an example of a business acting as a social enterprise and service, via founder and CEO Steve Makris, who wants us all to find our tribe.
In 2013, Steve was considering how to ensure customers had a ‘fair go’ in the real estate industry, where he had spent decades as a commercial sales agent.
“When I started out, a real estate agent had a lot to offer, we would study the market and there were no online tools, there was no RP data to see comparable sales. These days the vendors can do it all themselves.”
And so, RealEstateTube.com was born.
The online platform allows buyers and sellers, landlords and tenants to ‘meet’ via video, and crucially, make transactions without any property managers or salespeople.
In addition to saving households on average, $20,000 to $30,000 per sale, the platform is designed to offer overseas buyers a comprehensive, authentic look at a property from afar.
The rental side of the app is where Steve sees opportunities for social solutions.
“You can’t hide your true self in a video, so what happens when people see tenants and housemates on video is it takes out the guess work and fear of the unknown.”
In this way, Steve is hoping to drive a house sharing revolution, linking those who need company with those who need shelter.
“Consider a single mum fleeing domestic violence. She can’t afford to rent a place herself, and there is a waiting list for social housing.
“What if she could use her social security payments to contribute to an elderly person’s pension, and rent out a room or two in their otherwise empty house? These people could live together and benefit from the company and security of living in a real home setting.”
“In the same way, we want to see the Government start to consider housing newly-arrived refugees in share houses in inner-city suburbs, to facilitate true integration and relieve infrastructure pressure on areas with an influx of social housing tenants.”
The applications, as Steve and his team see them, are endless; the site already has a space for adoptee animals, with the hope that eventually, RealEstateTube becomes a problem-solving community.
“We say our motto is find your tribe, and that’s we want to see people do – because we all have a tribe, we may just not have met them yet.”