VENTURE CAPITALIST TO TRANSFORM REAL ESTATE SERVICES

Written on the 26 July 2016 by James Perkins

VENTURE CAPITALIST TO TRANSFORM REAL ESTATE SERVICES SERIAL entrepreneur Chris Rolls (pictured) has a new project. In his first move since selling Rental Express to billionaire Paul Little in December 2015, Rolls has launched real estate venture capital fund, Brisbane-based PieLab Venture Partners.

Its first fund will raise $20 million to invest in service providers to the real estate industry. This is an area dominated by small and sole traders, a fact Rolls knows well, having worked in the industry since 2001, when he bought the Harcourts franchise at Paddington Brisbane.

"Typically, the small cottage players operate in local market. For example, at Rental express, we used multiple electrical maintenance firms as we couldn't find one to service all. At some of those businesses we were their only clients. They are often small, hard to deal with and inefficient," Rolls tells Business News Australia.

His first-hand experience is backed up by the IBIS World report, Real Estate Services in Australia, that showed the country's real estate industry, which turns over $14 billion and has enjoyed annual growth of 3.4% between 2011-16, employs 92,344 people in 36,429 businesses.

PieLab will invest in a small handful of the most promising service providers and help them to grow. Rolls is working with investors from the real estate industry, to ensure that the businesses that receive the investments will have a ready-made market to serve. "The big thing we can provide, that most investors can't, is a customer base,' explains Rolls.

Rolls has also made a smart move by applying to register as an Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership, which if granted will allow profits to investors to be income and capital gains tax exempt.

If track record is anything to go by, PieLab, and the businesses in which it chooses to invest, will be worth watching. At age 19, when Rolls was pursuing a dream to be a professional triathlete, he co-founded SCODY Performance Wear, which has gone on to become a market leader in sportswear. He then sold his share of the business to found First Class Accounts, which he grew to 120 franchised outlets in three years.

In 2001 he purchased Harcourts in Paddington, Brisbane, for $6000, and built it up to become one of the largest Harcourts real estate sales businesses in Australia. In 2005, he was ranked Queensland's number one real estate auctioneer. In 2006, he founded Real Estate Express and by the time he sold it last year, it was Queensland's largest residential property management business.

"The common thing I have found with running a successful business, irrespective of what it sells, is that as a business owner if you are good at hiring good quality people, giving them the tools to do their job effectively, and making sure they are happy, then they will perform at a high level."

Author: James Perkins Connect via: Twitter LinkedIn

Latest News

1700 BRISBANE APARTMENTS NOW MANAGED BY FORTUNE 500 COMPANY JLL

MULTINATIONAL and Fortune 500 company JLL (NYSE: JLL) has expanded its Australian dominance in the property managemen...

HARVEY NORMAN HITS OUT AT 'FALSE NEWS' OF ASIC INVESTIGATION

RETAIL giant Harvey Norman (ASX: HVN) has vehemently rejected reports its accounts are under investigation by ASIC, s...

RARE GOOD NEWS FOR SLATER AND GORDON AS ASIC CLOSES INVESTIGATION

ASIC has cleared Slater and Gordon of deliberately falsifying its accounts after a three-month investigation.

It s...

Q & A WITH FACEBOOK GURU ANDY MCKEON AS HE JOINS AUSTRALIAN SOFTWARE COMPANY LIVETILES

HE was creative director at Apple under the legendary Steve Jobs, and is now a senior Facebook executive. In his n...

Related News

RAY OF HOPE FOR SLATER AND GORDON AS LENDERS STEP IN

EMBATTLED law firm Slater and Gordon (ASX: SGH) has announced to the ASX that it has launched confidential discussion...

SPROUTX PROVIDES THE SEED FOR AGTECH STARTUPS

AGTECH innovation fund SproutX has opened applications for its first accelerator round, backed by $10 million from...

GAS PRICES MAY FORCE BRICKWORKS TO TAKE MANUFACTURING OVERSEAS

BRICKWORKS Limited (ASX:BKW) chairman Robert Millner says soaring energy prices may force the company to turn to offs...

CHINA CONTINUES TO COLLECT AUSSIE PROPERTY ASSETS

CHINESE coin continues to dominate Australia's offshore real estate investment market, accounting for almost h...

EVENTS COMING UP

 

Contact us

Email News Update Sign Up Contact Details
Subscriptions

PO Box 2087
Brisbane QLD 4001

LoginTell a FriendSign Up to Newsletter