VANCOUVER - December 5, 2017. Vancouverites are obsessed with the city’s housing market, but they’re in the dark ages when it comes to real estate technology.
“There’s a frenzy in Vancouver real estate and people are flying blind when making major decisions about property,” says Allen Moon, Real Estate Technologist and VP of REW, Real Estate Wire. “Currently consumers have to rely on agents to give them sales information, which isn’t always ideal. Consumers need access to this information so that they can feel comfortable making their own informed decisions.”
Formerly known as the print publication Real Estate Weekly, REW is empowering consumers with property searches that are faster, smarter and easier to use on mobile. They began their digital transformation in 2011 with only 4 developers in the basement and 10,000 monthly views to their site. Today REW is a thriving technology company with 31 full time staff and an explosive 2.5 million visits per month.
“People are no longer looking for how many bedrooms and baths. They want answers such as where can I afford to buy? How have prices in this neighbourhood changed? Where are the best investment properties? Technology needs to better reflect the conversations people are having over dinner,” says Moon, a 15 year veteran of real estate technology, having built his career in California with companies such as Realtor.com.
Known as “real tech”, Canada is lagging far behind because MLS transaction data is both limited to and guarded by the real estate boards. In the U.S., consumers have full access to sales data, which has allowed for greater tech innovations. Take Zillow’s Zestimate, where home owners can identify sales trends helping them decide the right time to sell, how much for, as well as estimate the price of their next home.
“Canada’s at least 7 years behind in real estate tech. The rate of change will grow exponentially to the point where it will be a U.S. company that ends up dominating the Canadian market.”
REW’s in-house data team has one goal - to empower Canadians with more information and transparency - the same transparency enjoyed in other markets.
Their sophisticated search engine allows buyers to search by school, condo building or agent. 2018 promises insights such as detailed neighbourhood market trends, and market valuations of what your home is worth.
In 2017, consumers were hammered with the foreign buyers tax, and new mortgage qualification rules to take place in January. 2018 marks the year when Canadian consumers can win with real estate technology says Moon.
Allen Moon, Lead Technologist & Vice President
Allen Moon has been involved with real estate tech for more than 15 years, and leads REW’s growth strategy. His experience allows him to identify emerging real estate and technology trends while applying new technologies to improve home buyer and seller experiences.
Prior to working with REW, Allen spent several years launching new products for Top Producer and Realtor.com, and has worked with some of the top brokerages and real estate associations in the United States and Canada. He was also a leader at a real estate start up (ihouseweb.com) in Berkeley, CA where he helped grow the company to 80+ employees and more than $12 million in sales. Allen has worked as a consultant for media and tech companies, and has been a contributor to the online magazine, Entrepreneur.
About REW, Real Estate Wire
REW is a technology company that provides Canada’s premier real estate portal for property listings and new home developments in British Columbia and Ontario. Comprehensive listings, access to market insights, mortgage rates, and local expert connections make looking for property a rich, rewarding experience. The combination of search behaviours and property details makes REW a highly unique source for industry trend information.