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Agency director Sophie Lyon wins $60,000 to reinvent the rental experience

realestate.com.au has announced Jellis Craig Hawthorn Director, Sophie Lyon, is the winner of the inaugural Real Ideas Prize.

The nationwide competition saw real estate industry professionals reimagine the rental experience in Australia and had a total prize pool of $100,000 up for grabs.

Ms Lyon pitched ShowMeNow – an Uber style concept designed to make it easier for tenants looking to inspect properties when it suits them, while also saving Property Managers time spent opening up vacant rental properties for inspection. The app utilises roaming agents who can be booked on demand to show tenants through vacant properties.

“It’s hard for prospective renters to take time out from work, so to be able to create a way for them to see a property when they wanted to, with someone who knows the area – it’s a win-win,” Ms Lyon explained.

“The Real Ideas Prize was an opportunity for me to branch out and try a unique new challenge. It’s exciting that someone with very little tech savviness can have an idea that resonates with a wide group of people.”

The Real Ideas Prize is a national competition that challenges both real estate agents and property managers to submit ideas on how they would improve the rental experience for tenants, owners and property managers alike.

“With one in three Australians currently renting, we wanted to create a platform to support and celebrate our industry partners in managing all stages of the rental journey. We’re excited that Sophie now has the opportunity to drive value within her local community and across Australia with ShowMeNow,” realestate.com.au Executive Manager of Rent, Kul Singh said.

“The quality of ideas we saw this year were exceptional, which is a testament to the passion and insight of the real estate professionals in Australia. We’re excited to see ShowMeNow come to life and look forward to continuing the success of The Real Ideas Prize next year.”

The initial ideas were narrowed down to a final five by the team at realestate.com.au. The five finalists were then invited to an IdeasLab in Melbourne to pitch their ideas to a panel of five expert judges including Samantha McLean of Elite Agent and Nigel Dalton, REA Group Chief Inventor. The judges cast their votes based on five key criteria including creativity, ease of implementation, scalability, longevity and investment. The pitches were also shared with the industry for online voting to crown the final winner.

The top three finalists of The Real Ideas Prize share in a prize pool of $100,000, with Sophie taking $50,000 back to Jellis Craig Hawthorn to help bring her idea to life, as well as receiving $10,000 for herself.

Anna Molinaro from Stockdale and Leggo Blackburn took home $30,000 for coming second, which she’ll use to further her idea around managing maintenance requests.

Coming in third was Stefan Deffert from Mypm, who received $10,000 to move his idea forward, that will benefit both tenants and landlords.

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