Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) Ruling by the Federal Court – Home Sales Data to be Published
On December 1st, 2017, the Federal Court ruled that the Toronto Real Estate Board must make home sales data available to the public, supporting the Competition Bureau’s position that withholding this information suppresses competition and innovation. This is also a victory for online brokerages and real estate technology start-ups.
5 Things that will Happen
1. Innovative companies will introduce online sites and apps that serve useful information to the public
Various companies, including savvy real estate brokerages and digital start-ups and will organize & distribute home and neighbourhood sales information through user-friendly search and analytical tools for public use.
“I think the biggest benefactors of this truly are users, so people that are in the research stage of buying and selling property who are looking to make informed planning decisions,” said Lauren Haw, CEO of Zoocasa, a real estate firm
2. Digital companies will dominate this new market
Real estate innovators and online brokerages have been waiting for this news to become a reality; they are ready with systems in place, waiting for the green light to launch. You will begin to see them everywhere. They may be tech companies, digital marketing companies gathering and selling the leads, or full online brokerages. A few prominent ones will stand out and appear to be taking over and disrupting the real estate industry.
3. Home Buyers and Sellers will choose from the agents they meet & interact with online
The online info providers (#2) will be the first place people turn to when considering buying or selling a home. While researching home sales prices, they will take notice of agents they encounter through social media, online ads, or Google search, and those ones will be top-of-mind when they are ready to contact an agent for the next steps.
4. Current Market Assessments (CMAs)/ Home Evaluations will lose their value and become a thing of the past. The public will expect much more from an agent, and will search for and select the ones who demonstrate quality service, supported by good ratings & reviews.
“Savvy consumers could use information on previous home sales to estimate the present-day value of a home they intended to buy, without needing to ask a realtor directly for help” Stephen Spencer Davis, Toronto, Life.
Real estate agents and brokers will need to rethink their business model, and clearly outline their unique value proposition and service offerings to get in the door.
“We have to raise the bar in the real estate industry, because in the past the big value-add that realtors had was they had access to MLS and you didn’t. But when all that stuff is a commodity and it’s available to people, agents will have to change significantly.” John Pasalis, President and Broker, Realosophy Realty
5. Real Estate Agents and Brokers with the right marketing strategy will thrive in this new digital world. These agents are easy to find, have a reputable online profile, engaged with the viewers, and provide the information that Sellers/Buyers are searching for.
It’s an exciting time for the real estate industry, with endless opportunities for those willing to make the digital space their new office. After the initial learning curve, agents will realize digital marketing is much more effective, and will save them significant amounts of time and money over the traditional, old school ways.
By: CHRISTINE NG B.Sc., M.Ed.
- Real Estate Broker (20 years full-time) Royal LePage Signature Realty
- Digital Marketing Manager, Open House Digital – Digital Marketing for Real Estate
Photo by Tornto Life,, c-ing photography