American firm could alleviate turbulence in Canadian real estate market

by Neil Sharma11 Jun 2018

Zillow, the American real estate database giant, is finally coming to Canada.

Long rumoured but with sparse details, Zillow’s entry into the Canadian market will come by way of Century 21, which will have its listings featured prominently to Americans.

Marcel Greaux, managing partner at Garrison Hill Developments, Zillow’s inclusion of Canadian real estate is good news for a city like Toronto, where the real estate market has experienced much turbulence this year.

I think that’s a good thing,” he said, “because it’s opening up more available property data and information for investors, especially internationally. The more eyeballs, the more robust the market stays for us. I think it’s a good safety net for us with people coming in with different currencies when our buying power slows. If we’re going into a correction, it will give us a softer land. More information, more data, which is where the internet is taking us, is a good thing. It helps people make decisions and keeps the market open.”

Zillow attracts about 175 million viewers to its sites and apps every month.

In a statement, Zillow’s Vancouver-based Chief Industry Development Officer Errol Samuelson extoled the platform’s expansion to include Canadian content.

“We know U.S. buyers are interested in purchasing Canadian real estate, so we’re excited to offer the millions of buyers already coming to Zillow for their home search an easy way to see homes for sale in Canada and connect with an agent to help navigate the sale,” Samuelson said in a release.

Although primarily known as a real estate database, the Toronto Star’s Tess Kalinowski describes Zillow primarily as a media company that cleverly sells advertising next to featured real estate listings. However, it is also experimenting with different revenue generators.

“But Zillow has been testing a program called Instant Offers in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Orlando where Zillow connects home sellers with potential investor buyers or an agent to help sell their home,” Kalinowski wrote in the Star. “The idea is to provide consumers with convenience and help them confirm their selling price and timing in the market.”

 

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