PhD student launches new online business

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PhD student launches new online business


USC PhD student Ben Manning

11 July 2013

A University of the Sunshine Coast PhD student and Business tutor has launched an online marketing business designed as an alternative way of helping home owners sell their properties.

Ben Manning has been working with USC students and has partnered with industry experts to hone his concept for Agent in a Box, an online marketing and support system for residential property sellers who want to expose their homes to the buying market without paying traditional agent commissions.

“It is designed as a low-cost, ethical and effective service to empower sellers to take control of the process through to a successful sale – commission free,” he said.

Mr Manning, 36, of Maroochydore, said the idea had been developing since 2008 when he was studying a USC Bachelor of Business (International Business) and working in real estate and online marketing businesses.

The new business was launched in late-May in partnership with local real estate professional Craig Heppell and IT company Datanova.

Mr Manning said he would continue to involve University students in the venture.

“USC student Wayne Airey is already doing an internship with us and a former international USC student Caroline Bakker is working on our social media and web content management,” he said.

“University has taught me a lot of the skills I’m now applying, especially on the analysis and research side of things,” said Mr Manning, whose PhD is focused on small business networks and leadership.

— Julie Schomberg

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