Last year we profiled ParkBench, a Toronto startup that provided local businesses with the opportunity to market their services directly to their communities while giving Torontonians a fresh way to explore the shops, restaurants, and services in their area. Now the Canadian company is giving real estate hunting urbanites a new way to find their ideal home in their ideal neighbourhood.
On ParkBench's new website, users can find more listings in each Toronto neighbourhood than on Realtor.ca or MLS, according to cofounders Grant Findlay-Shirras and Amanda Newman. And every neighbourhood page features a neighbourhood real estate expert who has been recommended and approved by at least three realtors.
“As a former realtor, I have encountered many real estate agents. The realtors who specialize in specific neighbourhoods possess the knowledge that give house hunters piece of mind before making the big decisions—they know every nook and cranny in the area and because they are so engrained in their neighbourhoods, they have a reputation to uphold," says Newman. "In a real estate market as hot as Toronto, you need one of these realtors in your corner."
Parkbench.com’s new neighbourhood pages act as a one-stop-shop for people looking to find out about services, stores, and real estate opportunities in specific areas of the city, says the startup. "This means if you’re interested in building a new life in Liberty Village, you can find out everything you want to know about the neighbourhood, and search for available properties," the company says. "And once you’re ready to move in, the website’s extensive neighbourhood pages will help you navigate your new surroundings."
Meanwhile, online deals help you learn about and try out new shops, restaurants, bars, and services in the area, and the local message boards let you connect with your neighbours over similar interests.
“We make it easier for you to connect with neighbours, get promotions from local businesses, and maximize your daily life, before, during, and after your move,” notes Findlay-Shirras.