When Simon Baker took over the CEO chair at online real estate classifieds company RealEstate.com.au in 2001, he reckons it was weeks from collapse. He then spent the next seven years digging the business out of a hole and building a global company.
His first step was to cut costs by 55% and simplify the offering to the market.
In 2005 he began his global expansion. Realestate.com.au continues to grow fast and since 2005 has expanded into 12 countries.
Revenue for the REA Group, Realestate.com.au’s ASX-listed parent company, for the half year to 1 January 2008 was $71.3 million, up from $47.4 million. EBITDA was $14.2 million, compared to $8.4 million.
Baker’s philosophy? Australia was simply the stepping stone that has given the company the right to grow.
Amanda Gome from Smart Company did a full interview with Simon Baker which can be found at the website. Simon took notice of this business before it could just die out and did to it what many people hope to do with their small businesses – succeed. This is a good example of what someone can do, even if it feels like it’s almost the end for their business.