A new tool to help renters find their next home has hit the market–and it’s aiming to put renting on equal footing with home buying and selling.
Real Estate Wire (REW), B.C.’s leading digital real estate platforms, is expanding their well-established listings portal to include rentals. The website, which has been used by real estate buyers and sellers for the better part of a decade, has already added 10,000 rental listings in British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta, with more to come later this year.
“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,” said Simon Bray, REW President. “Over the years, we’ve seen an increasing trend toward people renting farther into adulthood. The economic proposition of home ownership isn’t as simple as it once was, and renting deserves to be seen as an equally legitimate choice.”
We’ve all seen the jokes about millennials simply needing to give up avocado toast, but the Lower Mainland remains one of the world’s most expensive real estate markets for buyers, driving many families to look for affordable rentals as an alternative. Unsurprisingly, this affordability crisis has only worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A recent REW survey of over 1000 home searchers found that 45% of respondents had either lost their job or had their income reduced due to the pandemic. About 38% of survey respondents said that COVID-19 had negatively affected their financial ability to buy a home.
“The shift to include rental properties on REW has been in the works for some time, but the pandemic has really accelerated the demand for this service,” added Bray. “There’s a real need for a rental platform that is safe, secure, and provides renters with the same great experience enjoyed by buyers.”
In addition to listings, REW.ca says renters will have access to videos, virtual tours, market insights, and detailed descriptions of the rental properties, including their location, nearby schools, and amenities.
When asked about REW’s strategy, Bray added that, “our goal is to help Canadians find their next home, no matter what that looks like. Whether it’s buying a brand-new development, browsing a listing down the street, or finding a great rental apartment, REW is focused on delivering a complete real estate experience for everyone.”
With the uncertainty surrounding the future of COVID-19 and its impact on the real estate market, these rental resources will become increasingly important to families that want to shop for a home online.
About 80% of REW survey respondents believe online real estate sites like REW are now a critical resource, with 90% reporting having used a website like rew.ca in the last 30 days.
However, if you’ve rented in a major city, odds are you’ve seen more than one listing that turned out too good to be true. To combat misleading or straight-up scam listings, REW says they’re 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.”
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.
For more information and to view rental listings, visit rew.ca.