With increased innovations, the government’s focus in driving commercial real estate growth as well as the development of the startup ecosystem, the real estate tech in Canada is sure to grow.
The North American country of Canada, is the largest in size in this region, and the second largest in the world! Due to this size, sparse population compared to size (that includes a lot of immigrants) and its climate, Canada is home to a diverse landscape. It’s major land territories are covered by forest, tundra and the Rocky Mountains but houses a population of over 35.15 million. This being said, Canada is highly urbanized with more than 82% of its population residing in large and medium cities of here (mostly along the southern border) like the capital Ottawa, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
The developed country of Canada is one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations of the world and boasts of a large immigrant population. Due to the abundant availability of natural resources, and its large trade networks, Canada has an advanced economy, with a nominal GDP of more than US$1.52 trillion. Canada’s largely rural economy from the 20th century was transformed into a highly urban one due to the rapid growth of manufacturing, mining and service sectors, and is also one of the world’s leading trading nations.
This quick introduction to Canada and its economy helps us set the scope to understand the technology, innovation of here as well as the opportunities for real estate tech in Canada. It is widely known that Canada is home to a number of headquarters of global technology firms, as it provides a scale of a global city and amenities of a tech hub. With this reputation, Canada is one of the leading countries that are innovating for technology in real estate, or as it is popularly known -PropTech. Let’s first understand the role of Canada as a technology hub to then understand the PropTech here.
Canada as a technology hub
At the end of 2016, just Toronto itself was home to more than 2500 startups, a number that is steadily increasing. And not just start-ups, Canada also attracts attention and interest from leading tech companies of the world. For instance, Uber has recently shared its plans for building a state of the art research facility for driverless cars, in the heart of Toronto. Even Google intends to build a smart high-tech neighborhood here. As for local innovation, Canada’s three unicorn tech startups- Slack, Hootsuite, and Avigilon- are headquartered from Vancouver. Both Vancouver and Toronto are evolving to become the next tech hub, and Montreal is not far behind enticing people with its tax incentives. It is also interesting to note here that Canada has one of the highest levels of internet access in the world. This sets the floor for increased innovations in real estate tech in Canada, propelling its PropTech market.
Real Estate in Canada and its impact on Real Estate tech in Canada
The increased employment in the technology sector (as an effort of top firms to attract the best talent), as well as the development of the startup ecosystem in Canada, has propelled it real estate growth, especially in leasing. The commercial real estate market is thriving here in the metros, and the increased attracting of talent has also propelled the residential market. The high quality of life and preference for city life by working Millennials is driving major crowds and corporates to the city. The home prices have skyrocketed, and the market is only set to grow more. Combine this with innovations in technology, and you have the ideal setting for the growth of real estate tech in Canada. Let’s understand the PropTech sector of Canada now.
Real Estate tech in Canada
Disruption in real estate tech in Canada has been a topic of discussion for sometime now but 2015-2017 is when the most changes have been witness. A number of technology startups have sprouted to change the role of the realtor in the real estate market of here, and make the process of home buying easy. Using Big Data analytics, and other such technologies, companies are changing the way people buy homes in Canada. One of the popular ones in this segment is Zoocasa, an online neighbourhood search based online brokerage platform. The other important one is online listing database The Red Pin.
Another interesting player in the PropTech space of Canada is Casalova, Canada’s first end-to-end real estate rental platform. The platform allows for users to search for listings, book viewings and pay rent- all online. They have recently ventured into the buying and selling market too.
The innovations in real estate tech in Canada are also pushing brokers and agents to be more accountable. A platform like FeeDuck asks home sellers for details about their homes and agents then bid for the listing over 24 hours. FeeDuck then makes an e-introduction between a seller and lowest bidding agent, completely changing how the real estate selling worked earlier. Another startup doing similar work like FeeDuck is TrueBidz, based out of Toronto.
The other interesting startups in real estate tech in Canada, changing PropTech of here, include Deal Tap 2.0, a solution that enables real estate professions to simplify transactions and offers enhanced analytics. There is Homies that automates property management for busy property owners, Unlyst which is a private marketplace for residential homes and analytic software MapYourProperty.
There is also some research and innovation happening in the PropTech market of her with startups like ReInvent Realty, that merges Big Data with Local real estate listings. There is also the data intelligence tools for real estate agents- Opus44
This being said, we are yet to see companies utilizing tools like 3D printing, artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) in a big way to solve problems of real estate tech in Canada. Robotics and Drones are still far away.
Way Ahead for Real Estate Tech in Canada
With increased innovations, the government’s focus in driving commercial real estate growth as well as the development of the startup ecosystem, the real estate tech in Canada is sure to grow. It is not a nascent market but one that is future looking and is continuously advancing to stay ahead of times. For real estate tech in Canada, it is a good time as Canada’s policy propel growth in this sector and promote innovation. We can expect some unicorns in the PropTech space from Canada in times to come.
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Do you want to know what makes a winning PropTech startup, check out these Top 50 Real Estate Tech startups to watch out for in 2018.
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