Meet Tom Coe, the founder of new Aussie App Abodely.
“I do nothing by halves,” muses Tom Coe on the day he’s launching an App that marries what Australians love most – property and social media. “I keep reminding myself that persistence beats resistance.”
The 35-year-old from Sydney’s east is the brains, energy and money behind new App Abodely, a concept which he’s been developing since the start of the year. Almost fully self-funded from Tom and wife Hannah’s savings, Abodely is an App that tickles our national fancy to talk, share and obsess about everything property.
“It’s like Instagram for the house-proud and property crazies and for those who love their ‘house porn’, says Tom cheekily. “Abodely is about bringing property into the 21st century, utilising the best of social media.”
After working in Hong Kong and London, and a stint at Deloitte in Sydney, Tom spent two and a half years as a senior manager in Strategy at real estate portal Domain. This industry experience, along with his own personal experience buying and selling homes, led to him noticing gaps in the user experience and his entrepreneurial instincts started percolating.
“There’s a really poor user experience when it comes to selling, building and renovating homes. It takes too long and it’s expensive. If you’re thinking about selling your place, it will cost you around 3% by the time you pay the agent and all the other people taking a clip of the ticket. This doesn’t happen anymore with other assets for example when buying shares or currency. It’s ludicrous. You’ll always need some experts, like Real Estate agents as they add real value, but with the power of social media we have a huge opportunity to shake things up for all parties. We can improve the experience, build transparency, make it easier and reduce costs. Win, win!”
Tom used learnings from another App he’d built in London 10 years ago and tapped into the disrupter thinking honed while working at Deloitte.
“I was playing around with different concepts and then the answer came to me, standing out like a sore thumb. We get transparency, reduced costs and easy connection and communication from social media along with social validation from our network. If I can apply the best of social media to our homes, then my guess is we’re on a winner.”
But to win, you need not only the courage to act, but sometimes to fail. Tom Coe says he’s ready and unafraid thanks to the support of family and friends who have given him confidence and abundant support.
“It’s a one man show,” says Tom. “I have begged, borrowed and stolen. I’m not a tech geek. My background is in strategy and finance. So, when it comes to technology I am always learning. When I can’t do something myself, I’ll happily outsource it. I’ll speak to people I trust to get things done. Tech is hard in the sense that everything is binary. It’s either a yes or a no. There are no grey areas.”
“For me it’s just about being naturally interested in something. If I could build something without tech, I would probably do that because it would be much simpler, “admits Tom.
“But if you take property for instance, the low hanging fruit is gone. The advances to transform the way we look at homes whether it’s renovating, or building lies in technology. The future is tech.”
Tom jokes that Abodely was partly born from conversations he’d have with wife Hannah after they bought their first home. Hannah would try and explain what her ideas were for the house and garden and Tom would stare at her blankly unless she used visuals.
The App only focus’ on homes and enables you to connect with other users showing off your homes and renos and share advice on building materials, colours, furnishings and gardens.
“My wife had a vision for our house, and she’d tell me about it but I’m a visual thinker. I need to see examples. So, there’s the ability on the Abodely App for her to create a mood board and then share that with me. Simultaneously, we can then take that to a builder or a gardener and say this is what we want to do in a specific space.”
Tom is launching Abodely in Sydney with 100 homes ready to open their doors. After the inevitable fine-tuning he’s hoping to take it to Australia’s other capital cities and then to the UK and North America.
But his enthusiasm is matched with savvy awareness and humility.
“I obviously want Abodely to make a huge impact but it’s not going to happen overnight. The wheel is starting to turn on transforming this industry. I just want people to spread the word and give me feedback. The next peak to climb will be the product market fit. I am realistic enough to know that I haven’t nailed everything. I want everyone to tell me directly what they love and what they don’t. That’s what will keep people coming back. That’s what will make Abodely a winner.”
You can sign up to Abodely here: https://www.abodely.app/
Google Play users download here.
Apple users download here.