Innovate Property Group isn’t Mark Spinelli’s first tilt at starting a business, but lessons from the past about homing in on your talents while outsourcing the rest are making this new journey even sweeter.
In 2013, after eight years working for others, Mark started his own name-brand agency servicing the Shellharbour and Kiama regions south of Wollongong.
It was a roaring success, building his reputation as one of the area’s most dynamic salespeople.
And, like most founders, he became a ‘jack of all trades’. Administration, marketing, listing, sales, trust account management… Mark had to do it all.
But after two years of flying solo, it took its toll.
“At one stage I had 11 deals under contract and was staying up until 11 o’clock for nights in a row. It had to change, so I put on a PA and it freed up my time.”
Eventually Mark would have three fulltime staff running operations while he got on with the business of listing and selling property.
Then in 2019, it was time to evolve. With a growing passion for marketing development sites, off-the-plan sales and prestige homes, Mark began his first steps toward launching his specialist agency – Innovate Property Group.
He wanted to capitalise on his niche to become the number-one agent in this field.
But it was during its planning phase in 2020 that a curveball threatened to take him back down the admin rabbit hole.
“My PA went on maternity leave, and while I tried to fill the spot with temps, I was needing to do more and more of the administration myself.
“Each day I was starting at work earlier and would then have to jump back on the computer after everyone had gone to bed in my house.
“Also, I had to re-learn admin all over again after having someone else do it for years. It weighs you down and slows your progress.”
Worst of all, it was costing him serious cash.
“If your skills make your business $250 per hour, but you’re doing work someone else can do for $25 per hour, you’re not making the best use of your time.”
Mark looked for a solution and discovered UrbanX and its founder, Dan Argent.
It was a revelation. Mark realised rather than using UrbanX to manage his old agency, the platform could help launch ‘Innovate Property Group’ immediately.
“When I talked to Dan, I realised I could do it straight away, no need to wait. UrbanX would take care of all the backend stuff and I could get into it without having to hire new staff.”
He said the decision has been one of his best. The support he gets from the UrbanX team is second to none, allowing him to sell $7 million worth of properties in his first month.
“With these guys it’s like you get five employees for the price of one because someone looks after marketing, someone looks after listings, someone looks after invoices, someone looks after the contracts and then you get an assistant you can talk to any time and she’ll make sure things get done.
“Everything is run perfectly behind scenes, and they’re super-fast, too. I’ve sent through questions and they’ve responded within a few seconds, which is amazing. They ask you to rate their service as you go along, and you always click ’11 out of 10′ every time because the service is that amazing.”
Mark said with UrbanX’s help and by concentrating on his niche of luxury homes and project marketing and sales, Innovate Property Group is on track to be the stand out local-area agency in their specialty field, after already clocking up $4.5 million in sales during their first week of trading.
“It’s only early days but I can already see how much easier and smoother life’s going to be. With UrbanX, we could easily do double the business we were doing before… and that’s after me working for seven years in my own business.
“You can’t do everything. By partnering with UrbanX, I can just focus on looking after clients, finding projects and helping people who are selling beautiful homes.”