A Toronto area web-based realty service, offering a new way for people to buy homes by having salaried agents and offering extras such as floor plans from pre-build condominium projects, is set to expand to the rest of Canada.
TheRedPin.com was started in 2010 by four Toronto-area men. It has since become the largest database of residential homes in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and is now offering services in other Ontario cities such as Kitchener, Oshawa, Barrie and King City.
Its founders say they will be taking their service nation-wide within a year.
TheRedPin.com has about 100 staff employees who are paid a salary and have a benefits plan. In addition, agents are paid a commission based on customer satisfaction.
Two of the company's founders, Rockham Fard and Tarik Gidamy, spoke with CBC News about their service and their plans to keep expanding.
The RedPin.com is part of a growing sector offering an alternative to the traditional house buying experience.
The company's varied services include:
- Data on schools in the neighbourhood as well as grocery stores, services and restaurants, offered free of charge.
- Interactive maps allowing clients to filter their search.
- Full transparency on every home such as: how long the property has been on the market, what the taxes were the year before and what the occupancy date is.
- Agents who are focused 100 per cent on service compared to the 40 per cent real estate agents typically spend on their customers.
- An offer to customers of a 25 per cent rebate on broker's fees.
Several other web-based realty services have popped up in recent years, including realosophy.com and searchrealty.ca. As with RedPin.com, they offer a range of services and extra information for house hunters.
Other new services, such as realtysellersrealestate.com, are aimed at customers who wish to do most of the legwork. Customers can pick from an array of services according to what they need and not be faced with a vast amount of information they may not require.