Entry by Lester Langdon

Traditional realtors face challenge by online players

Everything about TheRedPin.com’s Bloor St. office feels more like a tech startup than a real estate brokerage, which is fitting because this relatively new company is a hybrid of both.


Its mission is simple and shouts in chalk from a wall that’s been converted to a giant blackboard: Making House Hunting Easy.


TheRedPin.com is among the first of a new breed of realtors in Toronto — tech-savvy data crunchers who are determined to give homebuyers the tools they need to find their dream home from the comfort of their own computer.


This so-called Virtual Office Website (VOW) is far from alone, and a far cry from the Realtor.ca site that has provided consumers with just the most basic of MLS information for years.


Over the next few weeks a host of other VOWs — from information-rich realtysellersrealestate.com and realosophy.com to the far more basic searchrealty.ca — will be rolled out across the GTA. Some, like TheRedPin.com, will offer significant discounts in realty fees to house hunters who do most of the legwork themselves.


“Ninety-five percent of Canadian homebuyers start their search online, but this isn’t like the travel industry where you can ahead and just buy your own ticket.


“We’re not a discount broker — we’re still a full-service brokerage offering analysis, property valuation, negotiations and a network of professionals who provide mortgages,” says Rokham Fard, one of four co-founders of TheRedPin.com which claims to be an even bigger database of listings than MLS.



This page contains a single entry by Lester Langdon published on February 24, 2012 8:49 PM.

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