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WA Home Search Firm Maps Out Net Future

By Mark Pownall
A WA company has launched a real estate search service on the Internet using mapping technology adapted from the mining industry. Pty Ltd, which was set up with seed capital of $170,000, claims it will take a local approach to searching for homes to buy or rent compared with national operators running sites for that purpose.

The main competition is and but the new WA operator believes the mapping technology used in the site will offer more comprehensive services which can be taken to other markets in Australia and overseas.

The company has agreed to put the Council on the Ageing (WA) Inc's 2000-entry listing of services for seniors on the site, providing information on retirement homes, nursing homes and meals-on-wheels.

Established by Nick Streuli and Charlie Gunningham earlier this year the company made its public debut yesterday, offering about 70 homes in Perth's western suburbs.

The pair are both expatriates who met during their MBA studies at the University of WA and set out to find an application for the Internet.

Mr Streuli said during their search for adequate mapping technology they found Perth was a world leader in geographical information systems through the mining industry's extensive use of these systems. He said GeoSys GIS Consultants created the maps required in three months.
Street wise: Charlie Gunningham, left, and Nick Streuli have set up a search company which uses mining technology. PICTURE: Trevor Collens.
Mr Streuli said the mining technology offered a level of interactivity which was not being used anywhere else in the world, putting Australia ahead in technology if not in use of the Net.

"In the US real estate agents are finding that people who are using the Net to look at homes will go to two to four homes rather than 20," he said. "That is a huge saving in time."

The businessmen want to offer a basic service which allows users to look a home's position on the street and show the closest amenities such as schools and shops.
In time, they want to expand the service to include provisions for people to book restaurants or the theatre through their site.

Council on the Ageing executive director Nigel Barker said the site would offer more up-to-date information than the once a year publication the organization had published for the past nine years.
Courtesy of The West Australian, 6th December 1999. page 20.

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