Adelaide sibling duo takes on real estate giants with new website

New Adelaide-based real estate offering UNIFI aims to make buying properties off-the-plan easier.

Jun 24, 2024, updated Jun 24, 2024
UNIFI co-founders Michael and Loretta Cavallaro are taking on the real estate sector's biggest players. Photo: Supplied.

UNIFI co-founders Michael and Loretta Cavallaro are taking on the real estate sector's biggest players. Photo: Supplied.

By streamlining the process for buying real estate off-the-plan, the founders of Adelaide-based UNIFI Loretta and Michael Cavallaro hope to tap into growing demand for the asset type.

The sister-brother duo is offering an alternative to industry heavyweights and Domain with their new platform that has launched as a website and soon will be available as a smartphone app.

UNIFI lets prospective buyers search for off-the-plan properties on a website that only showcases brand-new builds and has features like real-time pricing.

Co-founder Loretta, a real estate agent by trade, said the platform initially started as a tool that professional agents could use.

The agents enjoyed using UNIFI so much that the pair decided to open it up to the general public.

“The reason we built UNIFI is because to sell off-the-plan properly you need to have a lot more information than residential homes,” Loretta said.

“It takes a lot longer to sell off-the-plan without the right tools, so that’s what we’ve built. We’ve built the infrastructure that’s required to sell off-the-plan properly.”

She said users can hop onto the site, have a budget in mind and find something suitable within minutes.

UNIFI shows buyers the property’s floor plan, the site plan, the spec list, strata fees and more, Loretta said.

“Everything is so transparent,” she said.

“You could be at home having a wine and if you’re a savvy investor you’ve got what you need on the website so you don’t actually need to ask an agent anything because it’s all online.

“There’s a fixed price – nothing’s hidden – it’s all transparent.”

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Loretta said the site caters to a growing segment of the market and that UNIFI’s prominence will grow as more new projects come online to address the ongoing housing crisis.

“There are tens of thousands of new homes currently being built to help address the nationwide housing crisis,” she said.

“Last year in Australia, 24 per cent of the market purchased off-the-plan or never-lived-in homes but currently those buyers are forced to trawl through hundreds of irrelevant listings to find what they’re looking for, and that’s why we created UNIFI Property.”

Co-founder Michael Cavallaro said UNIFI also included a feature that lets buyers reserve the property while they continue researching.

“This means that if a potential buyer finds a property they like, they can do all their own research including analysis site and floor plans, specifications for rental appraisals, estimated fees and more,” he said.

“The best part is they then have the option to reserve the property on the spot with just the click of a button.

“When you buy off-the-plan you’re buying a vision and that’s why it’s vital to have all the necessary information before making a big financial commitment.”

UNIFI is initially focused on the Adelaide and South Australian off-the-plan market, but the pair have plans to take the platform nationally.

“We know there are big players in this space already but we’re focusing on a niche part of the real estate market that has not been catered for,” Michael said.

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