US real estate brokerage disruptor to launch in Canada

A tech-fueled real estate brokerage that has seen rapid expansion in the US has announced that it’s coming to Canada.

Redfin, which styles itself as the ‘next generation real estate brokerage’ plans to launch in Toronto and Vancouver by March this year with further expansion planned later.

The firm’s model aims to cut costs for home-sellers using technology to speed up processes and replace paperwork with digital alternatives.

Redfin is not entirely tech-based though, using real estate agents to provide a full-service brokerage.

"Our goal is to make buying and selling Canadian homes more affordable, with Redfin agents who always put customers first," said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. "We believe Canadians will love our local full-service agents, low fees and on-demand home showings. Our website and mobile apps will show all the homes for sale via the local Multiple Listing Services used by brokerages. And Redfin will show sale prices for Toronto and Vancouver homes that for years had been unavailable to consumers."

Homes listed through Redfin will be included as premium listings on Realtor.ca as well as Redfin’s own site and other leading Canadian listing sites.

Torontonian to lead Canadian operation
Redfin in Canada will be led by Toronto native Blair Anderson, who has more than a decade of experience in the industry and says he expects consumers will be impressed.

"I was attracted to Redfin's mission to redefine real estate in the consumer's favor and have experienced firsthand that it isn't just a nice sound bite, it's truly a mindset that is woven into the fabric of who we are as a company," said Anderson. "I'm proud to introduce Redfin to Canada. Canadian consumers are discerning and tech-savvy and I believe they will be blown away by Redfin's unmatched combination of agent service, technology and value.”

The firm says that the average Toronto home seller will save more than $11K on a $750,000 home sale due to the 1% listing fee (not including buyer’s agent commission).

In the US, Redfin has moved into the mortgage space too and offers a homebuying service; although neither of these have been confirmed for the Canadian market.

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