A new venture that will provide Realtors with MLS access and public record data in a single consolidated view has been launched by FCT, a Canadian service provider in real estate technology and title insurance, and Remine Inc., a real estate platform provider in the United States.
PropertyFlow will allow Realtors to see on- and off-market properties in one place, while connecting in real time with potential buyers or sellers, the companies say in a news release. It will also enable consumers to view property listings and transaction details through a digital hub.
“At FCT, we’re invested in driving the Canadian real estate market with improved access to data and greater transparency, both as a result of this venture and through all of our products and services,” says Michael LeBlanc, CEO of FCT. “Putting technology at the forefront of what we do allows us to consistently build value for our customers, while continuing to advance the digital transformation of the industry.”
He says PropertyFlow will be a one-stop shop for comprehensive real estate information for Realtors, including MLS listings. In an interview, LeBlanc said the venture has been approaching real estate boards across the country for several months.
“The boards, if they are in agreement, will give us a feed of the MLS data, which we then co-mingle with the data Remine and the application already contains and we customize the application for the various boards across the country,” he says.
He says the platform doesn’t have signed agreements with any of the boards yet, but “we anticipate being able to make announcements in the coming few months.”
FCT was founded in 1991. The Oakville, Ont.-based company has offices across Canada from Vancouver to Dartmouth, N.S. Initially the company was focused on the sale of title insurance.
It currently title insures more than one million transactions a year. It also started to expand its service offerings, including building a data business in Canada.
“One of the things in the Canadian marketplace that’s lacking is any consolidation of data generally,” says LeBlanc. “With the platform that we built we have started aggregating data in Canada to make it available to the real estate industry. As that evolved we came to meet the folks that run a company called Remine in the U.S. that has built a real estate platform that services the real estate industry in several ways.”
In addition to providing MLS data, “it also connects public record and other data sources including FCT’s unique data dictionary library, to allow for analytics of all of that data,” he says. This includes basic information around square footage of homes and their features, tax information, potential value based on neighbourhood scoring, average selling price of home in a neighbourhood, and the demographics and salary levels of a neighbourhood.
“It provides tools to the Realtor to identify potential opportunities for listings, selling price and also allows them the opportunity to invite one of their clients into the platform so that they can review active listings and other properties in the database,” says LeBlanc.
“In today’s marketplace, consumers are much more active than they previously have been in searching for properties before engaging a Realtor, but that experience continues once they have that engagement with the real estate agent.”
The platform also offers a proprietary digital transaction management tool that includes cloud-based document creation and e-signature components.
“What we’ve done is built some technology that allows Realtors to experience a digital experience with the forms that are required. . . It creates a more collaborative environment for Realtors, for buyers and sellers to work together to finalize the documentation for the Agreement of Purchase and Sale,” says LeBlanc. “It creates a digital document once executed that can be utilized by the lender, by the lawyers and others involved in the transaction.”
In a news release, Mark Schacknies, CEO and co-founder, Remine Inc. says: “Like FCT, we believe in an interconnected digital real estate journey. The Canadian real estate business is changing dramatically, and our proven success in delivering advanced technology to many organizations across the United States positions us well to navigate this shift. We look forward to working with FCT to improve the homebuying experience in Canada and remain at the forefront of the industry’s transformation.”
LeBlanc says, “In the current world, it will bring a lot of efficiency to the work that a Realtor does. It will also allow them to create digitalization for their customers to data that they wouldn’t necessarily have access to today.
“It will also significantly enhance the process of preparation and execution of the documents associated with the transaction. Think about tomorrow. And probably the reason why – significantly the reason why – FCT is engaged in this exercise is that as a company we view the opportunity to consolidate the real estate experience today… PropertyFlow will be the vehicle that will build that technology that will allow for that unification of the process, (which) is really disjointed today.”