As governments, society, companies and individuals face change and challenges in their daily lives and endevours they seem to adapt by using or developing new inventions and technologies. Recently, Canada's Competition Bureau completed a two-year long inquiry into how real estate is bought and sold here in Canada. More specifically, they wanted to ensure that the Canadian Real Estate Association was not promoting a non-competitive industry.
Although negotiations remain ongoing, it is expected that CREA's tightly held grasp over it's popular Multiple Listing Service is about to be loosened. Many experts suggest that this will allow individuals and discount brokerages to use the highly visited MLS.ca website.
However this shakes out I believe that companies such as Homezilla and Zoocasa are poised to take advantage of decisions like this that seek to open up the real estate marketplace. How companies like these tackle this opportunity remains to be seen. However, there is one company that has seeked out its own niche in the ever popular real estate space.
Enter BuzzBuzzHome.com. Instead of trying to wade through the murky waters of the resale market which dominates the MLS site they made a conscious decision to focus on new residential construction projects across Canada. Previously, purchasers had to rely on scattered and unreliable sources. Matthew Slutsky, President of BuzzBuzzHome explained, "The launch of BuzzBuzzHome.com marks a transition from the old method of scouring the web or driving around neighbourhoods scouting A-frames and presentation galleries to the new method of checking one centralized online source that has all the data."
Presently, BuzzBuzzHome is Canada's only service offering complete project data for all new residential developments within Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. “Buyers can now rely on one source – BuzzBuzzHome – to give them the data they need to make an informed buying decision” says Clifford Peskin, Co-Founder of BuzzBuzzHome.
Recently, the company launched an innovative social media component to its website called "The Hive". This new hub enables visitors to participate in media enhanced discussion of specific new residential developments. The Hive enables an individual who is interested in purchasing a new construction home to compare notes, upload images, and chat with others who are considering purchasing from the specific site.
When I asked about their adoption of technology and social media, Mr. Slutsky offered, "We are continually trying to stay one foot ahead with respect to technology. A prime example of this is the seamless integration of Google’s Street View within a week of it being launched in Canada. But, even further, within the next few weeks BuzzBuzzHome will be almost entirely Wiki-based. Through the Wikification of the site, BuzzBuzzHome aims to create an online community of information, where anyone looking to purchase a new home will have all of the required resources at one stop."
In today's hyper-connected world, BuzzBuzzHome is perfectly situated to take advantage as the early adopter in the real estate industry. Why? Just ask yourself: In the cold and frigid Toronto (where I live) winter, with snow banks reaching as high as your car's rooftop, would you want to venture outside in the search of a new residential condo? My guess is that you'd rather choose to sit by the fireplace with your notebook and search, communicate, and engage with a developer. All in the comfort of your own home. Now isn't that what technology is supposed to do?