Real estate agents and mortgage brokers have a new tool at their disposal to streamline the arduous homeownership process for their clients—winning accolades in the process—and in Canada’s scorching real estate market, that could distinguish them from their competition.
RELNKS, a platform that falls under The Nationwide Group of companies (TNGOC), might be better thought of as a central database for a real estate transaction’s multifarious facets—a place where home buyers can apply for a mortgage, hire a lawyer, find home inspectors, insurance products and a rich resource of many other vendors required to close the deal, all the while letting the real estate agents and mortgage brokers track the status of the process, from beginning to end. Need to transfer documents? RELNKS manages this. Need to know next steps in the process? RELNKS manages this too!
According to Tom McCormick, TNGOC and RELNKS president and CEO, RELNKS was designed to infuse the homebuying process, which is especially onerous for first-time buyers, with transparency and, by extension, peace of mind, as they set out to make one of the most expensive purchases of their lives.
“It’s a platform developed with the intention of providing transparency throughout the whole buying process from A-Z,” McCormick told REP. “With over 20 years of creating innovative and industry-changing software, we thought it was time someone rolled all the products and services in one platform to ease the minds and process for everyone involved in the homebuying process. Everything you can think of pertaining to the homebuying process—every milestone, if you will—we give you direction on how to navigate through that, but we also give follow-ups to say, ‘Hey, you’re closing in 30 days, have you arranged for movers or a locksmith? Where are you in the process?’ We manage that process for you.
The platform, while intended to simplify the myriad steps of purchasing and moving into a home for end-users, is also a boon for sales agents. RELNKS also white-labels the entire process for its mortgage broker and real estate sales representative clients under their respective banners, all the while working diligently behind the scenes to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch.
“We use RELNKS as a white-label to brand it our own,” said Mike Hall, president of Oriana Financial in Ontario. “My brokers have been able to use RELNKS to help guide their clients in buying a home. They can connect to them in one place and share the experience as they go along. The service offerings RELNKS has included everything our clients need to buy a home.”
Indeed, RELNKS’s checklist omits no salient detail: its neighbourhood profiler educates potential buyers about which schools are within their catchment areas, and which parks are nearby. For single young professionals with different priorities like, say, local nightlife amenities within their immediate vicinity that —restaurants, music venues and art galleries—RELNKS also helps them determine whether or not the neighbourhood is right for them.
RELNKS offers everything from studying neighbourhood demographics—the number of residents living there, or how many children there are per household, to the preponderant model of housing—to features offered by its partner, TransUnion, namely the latter’s mortgage and credit score calculators. Additionally, home inspectors, property managers and property services, like lawn care, contractors or junk removal specialists, can be found on RELNKS.
RELNKS is available in Ontario, BC and Alberta and has more Canadian launches slated for the middle of 2021.
McCormick says these labour-saving efficiencies can help real estate professionals, whether real estate agents, mortgage brokers or lenders, close deals faster. Such a seamless process, he added, is likely to turn them into repeat clients.
“Not only do we manage your client under your white label, which means you won’t have to invest in tech yourself, we provide you with a referral to other homebuyers,” McCormick said. “Whether you’re a realtor, mortgage broker or financial institution, you separate yourself from your competitors, and with the way the world is going today, in terms of technological efficiencies, you’re not going to get left behind.”