A new tool to help renters find their next home has hit the market with promises to modernize and simplify the rental industry.
Real Estate Wire (REW) is expanding its well-established listings portal to include rentals. The website, which has been trusted by real estate buyers and sellers for the better part of a decade, will offer a number of tools and resources to help renters find their next home.
“Renting is an important part of the real estate market for many families, especially in cities like Vancouver and Toronto, where affordability is a major issue,” says Simon Bray, REW president. “Over the years, we have seen an increasing need for a rental platform that is safe, secure and provides renters with the same great service as buyers. That’s why we’ve expanded our real estate marketplace to include rentals.”
The Lower Mainland is one of the world’s most expensive real estate markets for buyers, driving many families to look for affordable rentals as an alternative. The COVID-19 pandemic has further impacted the buying power of many families.
A recent REW survey found that 45 per cent of respondents had either lost their job or some income due to the pandemic. About 38 per cent of survey respondents said that COVID-19 had negatively affected their financial ability to buy a home.
“The shift to include rental properties on our platform has been in the works for some time, but the pandemic has really accelerated the demand for this service,” added Bray.
“Our goal is to help Canadians find their next home. Whether it’s buying a new development, browsing a listing down the street, or finding a great rental apartment, REW delivers a comprehensive real estate experience for everyone.”
In addition to listings, renters will have access to videos, virtual tours, market insights and detailed descriptions of the rental properties, including their location, nearby schools and amenities.
With the uncertainty surrounding the future of COVID-19 and its impact on the real estate market, these resources will become increasingly important to families that want to shop for a home online. About 80 per cent of survey respondents believe websites like REW are now a critical resource, with 90 per cent reporting having used a website like rew.ca in the last 30 days.
REW is working exclusively with property management companies to ensure rental properties are vetted and meet REW’s quality management standards.
“Our position in the real estate market has enabled us to establish strong relationships with the top property management companies in Canada. When using our platform, renters can rest assured they are receiving quality listings that have been reviewed by industry professionals,” says Bray.
There are currently over 10,000 rental listings available on REW in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. Expansion plans to bring rental listings across Canada are in the works.