Tag Archives: real estate

Housing Sold Prices are Now Available in Toronto

Supreme Court of Canada has sided with Competition Bureau and gave a big victory to Toronto house buyers and sellers. Supreme court said that starting now housing sold pricing could be available online.

Before you could get that data (sold housing prices) only from licensed real estate broker. Real estate websites were banned from publishing that data online. That meant that you had to deal with one of roughly 50,000 real estate brokers to get that info via fax, email or in person.

Canada’s Competiton Bureau has been fighting Toronto Real Estate Board for over 5 years before coming up with this big win.

myrfa / Pixabay

Board chief executive, John DiMichele , at Toronto Real Estate Board said that it

“will be studying the required next steps to ensure such information will be protected in compliance with the tribunal order once that comes into effect.”

Competition Bureau said that everyone should have the right to that info while Toronto Real Estate Board said that would violate their clients privacy.

Now the sold data will show up on most websites, with one prominent one being https://mongohouse.com .

Go ahead. Now you have a way to snoop around on your neighbors to see if they’ve overpaid for their house. Happy snooping.

Vancouver To Target AirBnb, $1k Fine if Unlicensed

To combat shortage of rentals in the city, Vancouver passed a by law limiting short term rentals.

This ban does not affect individuals renting out their own place / principal residence, but affects businesses or individuals who own or rent our more than one property.

jarmoluk / Pixabay

Vancouver’s real estate prices have been through the roof, and is now known as most un-affordable place to live in the world when it comes to purchasing real estate. On top of that, long term rental have extremely low vacancy as most of them are listed as short term.

Vancouver City Officials hope this by-law will free up some long term rental vacancy but they had no studies done / no hard evidence that this will fix the problem.

AirBnb says that this is unaffair and that it might be taking the city to court.

“We really think it’s going too far,”

– Ms. Dagg, the public policy manager for Airbnb in Canada, said from Toronto

Vancouver by law will require $49 annual registration fee and the owner to be principal resident to be able to rent out his or her own place. The fine for non compliance? A steep $1,000 penalty.

Vancouver said that they will police AirBnb website to find and fine illegal listings.

Viateur / Pixabay

Vancouver house prices soared in the last 10 or so years and average house price is now over $1 million dollars.

Ms. Dagg is pushing Airbnb in British Columbia to collect lodging tax like they do right now in Quebec, where 3.5% from each rental is collected and can be used by the government as they please. Maybe building more subsidized / public housing with that money instead of banning it outright?

Guelph Ontario Startup Fivewalls Matches Top Real Estate Agents To Buyers / Sellers

fivewalls is a free service that matches home buyers and sellers with top REALTORS® from leading local brokerages. We provide home buyers and sellers access to agents’ verified reviews, past transaction data, recently sold homes and personality videos. The fivewalls team is here to ensure you are happy and confident in the real estate agent you work with and will work with you until you are satisfied.

For example here is one of the videos featuring GTA Real Estate agent Naz Sala:



Who started the company? Do you / team members have a tech background?
fivewalls Realty, Brokerage was founded by Paul Hayman in 2014 and has just launched in Toronto. During the 2008 to 2012 housing crisis in the USA, Paul served as the USA Chairman of the Think Tank for Single Family Residential Rentals. He also founded Tenant Access which, within one year of founding the company became one of the largest single-family residential property management companies in America. In addition to his professional life at TFC, Paul served as the Entrepreneur in Residence at Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario.

We also have a tech team of two developers who innovate and create features that make it faster for users to search for the right agent. From time to time, we bring in consultants for select projects to enhance user experience.

How are you being financed?
Currently we are financed by private investors.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?
Our biggest obstacle to overcome is that many home buyers and sellers don’t do enough research when finding a real estate agent. Many will pick their neighbor or someone easily accessible which may not always result in the best fit for them. We will have to educate consumers about the value of researching and working with an agent who has the expertise they need according to property type, location and budget.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?
Since we are a start-up we can offer many unique perks such as flexible hours and remote work locations for our employees. Our current developers love what we are trying to achieve and the culture we have within the company. Everyone gets to voice their opinion and is included in every major decision the company makes.

Who is your biggest competition?
Our biggest competition is personal agent referrals. Many home buyers and sellers will ask friends and family for referrals of real estate agents. The problem with using an agent who has been referred to you by a friend is that they may not be a good fit for your exact needs. Not every agent serves the same areas and has access to the same marketing tools that you need to sell a condo or detached home, for example.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in
revenues? In what markets?
fivewalls currently operates in the Greater Toronto area, Kitchener, Guelph and London. Our intention is to first master the Toronto markets to ensure our processes are successful before we expand into the other large markets in Canada.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.
The biggest lesson that we have learned (so far) is that millennials pick a real estate agent based on data rather than simply the agents’ personality. When we first created this model we focused more on the personality of the agent rather than providing details about their skills and experience. We have evolved over the past few years to include more data from the real estate agent.

Montreal Local Logic does AI for Real Estate

Local Logic is a big data company which uses a combination of geospatial and user generated usage data to quantify the qualities of any given location within a city. The technology developed by Local Logic is used to guide the decisions of e-commerce consumers when looking for real estate or travel accommodations and built predictive models to inform decision makers investing in urban environment.

We sat down with Naoufel Testaouni to get to know more about the company:


Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

Alexandre Pagé, Colin Stewart, Gabriel Damant-Sirois and Vincent-Charles Hodder are the co-founders of Local Logic. Alex and Colin have a programming background while Gab has a background in statistics.


How are you being financed?

We have revenue from our existing clients and closed 2 rounds of financing from VC.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?

The biggest obstacle will be to scale our technology in geographies where the data we use in our algorithms are harder to collect.


How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

We have the chance to build a product that can impact how cities are used and developed and most people find that project quite appealing. This helps us attract great candidates. Also, we’re trying to be involved in strategic community initiative and gain a good reputation and exposure through these.

Who is your biggest competition?

Walkscore is our main competitor. They offer Walkscore, Bikescore and Transitscore. They are based in Seattle and have been acquired in 2014 by Redfin an online real estate company. Spatial.ai is another competitor that offers layers of information to add on maps in travel and real estate. Their algorithms use AI fed by social media feed such as Twitter and Foursquare. Based in Cincinnati, they offer their services to automotive industries to power autonomous vehicles.


How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in
revenues? In what markets?

Our product is already available throughout North America and has good traction with major players in the Real Estate market. We also have big potential in the travel market, and in building predictive models for organizations investing in urban environment.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this

Putting in place a process that guides the tech and product team to build small iteration providing values to clients or other stakeholders, rather than converting new ideas into huge projects, allows you to build what is really needed and not waste months on the wrong thing.


Learn more: https://www.locallogic.co

Toronto startup InnerSpace delivers GPS for the indoors

InnerSpace has created the first scalable technology that delivers “GPS for the indoors.” The company’s technology instantly delivers 3D maps, positioning data, and the critical insights needed to maximize every square foot. The networked sensors and wayfinding technology digitize physical spaces to deliver never-before-seen experiences for commercial real estate, retail, healthcare, and warehousing industries.

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?
InnerSpace was founded by James Wu, Jason Gamblen, and Matt MacGillivray who worked together at eReading giant Kobo and played instrumental role in the company’s $315-million sale to Rakuten. Together, the team has been a part of 5 successful start-ups and now bring their product, UX, design, dev and digital expertise to solve a problem that represents a $250-billion opportunity.

How are you being financed?
The company has been bootstrapped for the last two years with the support of family friends. Now, we are closing in on our Seed Round which will help us produce the InnerSpace sensors and increase our customer pipeline. We recently announced an investment from venture fund 500 Startups and joining their accelerator which has helped us to catapult our sales.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?
Delivering indoor maps and positioning is a massive problem, but with massive market potential. There are hundreds of companies trying to deliver indoor experiences – like wayfinding apps in shopping malls, or equipment tracking in warehouses – but all of them struggle to get the mapping data they need to deliver great/cost-effective/timely experiences for their customers.

Our biggest opportunity and challenge will be to serve both the companies who want to deploy InnerSpace internally as well as the emerging tech companies who are developing apps based on the data. We are taking a huge bite out of this problem, and are ready to meet the challenge – scaling effectively will be where we’re focused for the next phase of our growth.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?
Toronto has always had access to great talent – especially with such strong ties to the Waterloo community. A few years ago, we were losing a lot of this talent to the Valley, but now we’re seeing the reverse – talent is staying here and US developers are seeking out Toronto start-ups. We have an excellent roster of VCs, founders, and incubators here to support the community and foster the development of talent here.

Who is your biggest competition?
We believe our biggest competitors are going to become our best partners. These are the companies that are creating maps by hand, who are taking months to create maps and insights, and whose data is out of date if any changes are made to the physical space. Typically, these companies really want to deliver cool apps and digital experiences, but they can’t scale because of the manual approach to creating maps. That’s where we come in – we help them scale. We let them focus on what they really want to be doing. We help them grow their business quickly. This is the true potential of InnerSpace.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?
InnerSpace is a location-as-a-service platform, which means customers subscribe to our platform for pennies on the square foot. When you consider that our technology can help companies discover new revenue streams, save operational costs, and increase sales, our business model makes it easy to understand the ROI. We will serve commercial real estate, retail, healthcare, and warehousing. As an exaple, one of our big box retail clients plans to increase sales by $2-million per store simply by helping customers find items on their shopping lists. Our fee will be approximately $10,000/store (just 0.5%!) and there are more than 400 stores in North America.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.
The most transformative realization so far is that we didn’t just want to create a better technology for the industry. Plenty of technologies have been created in the past – but customers found them difficult to use, they took too long to implement, they didn’t scale. Simply, customers found them cumbersome.

While we are incredibly proud of our technology, it is our approach to solving our customers’ problems that is where the true value of InnerSpace lies. Our customers want an instant, turn-key solution that solves the hard technical problems of mapping and location. They need a clear path to create new revenue streams and the data to better their business today. We view each customer interaction a success when they stop thinking about the techology and start envisioning how our platform solves their business problems.

Montreal startup Flystro makes it easier to film using drones

Flystro is an online marketplace connecting companies with drone pilots everywhere for aerial filming services. using Flystro, companies from different industries like real estate, construction or events, can easily find a drone pilot and be sure they are receiving the best price and product.

Real estate drone video:



Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

Flystro was launched by two co-founders: Bassam Rhou (CEO) who is an aerospace engineer and a MBA graduate with 8 years of experience in aerospace industry, and Marwan Benyoussef (CTO) who is a software engineer with ten years of experience in major software projects. Both co-founders shared the same passion for drones and decided to work together to build a platform to disrupt the aerial filming industry.

How are you being financed?

Flystro was initially bootstrapped by the co-founders. Later, Flystro received funding from various sources like Futurpreneur Canada. Start-Up Chile and Fondation Montreal Inc.
Flystro was graduated from the Founder Institute Montreal (2015), Start-Up Chile (2016) and National Bank of Canada – HEC Accelerator (2016).

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?

A big obstacle to overcome will be the drone regulations. Currently there are many restrictions in operating drones for commercial purposes. However, the government authorities in various countries are working on new regulations that will remove several restrictions without impacting the public safety.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

We found that the best way to find good developers or designers is networking. Several startups recruiting events are organized from time to time where entrepreneurs can find highly skilled individuals who are looking to work with a startup.
Another good way to find motivated skilled IT guys is to use websites like Angelist or f6s which offer a big database of highly skilled potential candidates.

Who is your biggest competition?

We were the first in Canada to launch a marketplace for drone filming services. Currently, most of our competitors are few early stage startups that are mainly in US. We are differentiating ourselves by offering added value features and by helping drone pilots to have their certifications. For example, we are offering free templates to apply to Transport Canada for aspiring drone pilots in Canada.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?

Currently we are operating mainly in North America for industries like real estate and events. We are planning to expand geographically to other promising markets like Europe and South America and to be more present in some industries like inspection and infrastructures.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.

The biggest lesson I have learned is the importance of keeping the focus. Entrepreneurs are always tempted by opportunities that can move them in too many directions at the same time. As entrepreneur, you have always to ask yourself if any action you plan to do is in line with your vision and strategy. If the response is no don’t do it!

Website: http://www.flystro.com