Erin Davis: Hi, there. Welcome to REAL TIME, the podcast for REALTORS® It’s brought to you by the Canadian Real Estate Association or CREA. Let’s talk REALTOR.ca, shall we? It’s Canada’s most popular and trusted real estate platform, developed and operated by CREA. On behalf of its REALTORS® members, REALTOR.ca keeps REALTORS®, you, at the heart of the real estate transaction, while providing the most comprehensive collection of listings to help guide property buyers, sellers, and renters.
On this episode of REAL TIME, we look at the future of Canada’s real estate landscape. Not only that, we are peering into what’s coming in the world of tech. It’s fast-paced and the stakes are high. Tying these two together, we asked, how can REALTOR.ca secure its relevancy in this increasingly competitive space? Joining us today as we examine what kind of vision has gone into shifting REALTOR.ca from a not-for-profit association-driven product to a wholly owned for-profit subsidiary of CREA, what does it all mean, and how will it expand its potential for you, for REALTORS® and your clients? This is going to be a fascinating chat. Here we go.
Let’s start by introducing who’s joining us. First, we’d like to introduce, also from the West Coast, Jill Oudil. Jill, welcome. Tell us about yourself.
Jill Oudil: Hi, Erin. Thanks. Nice to be here. My name is Jill Oudil, as you said. I am the current chair of CREA, the Canadian Real Estate Association. I can also say that I am proud to be a realtor and I have been for, I want to say, well over 30 years, actually. I’m a second generation too.
Erin: Wow. Okay. Nice to have you here. We also have Patrick Pichette. Everybody knows Patrick, but go ahead, Patrick, make the introductions.
Patrick Pichette: Thanks, Erin. Nice to be back. Patrick Pichette, Vice President REALTOR.ca. Consumer and realtor technology is one of our pillars at CREA, so I’m responsible for the roadmap of our various technology products. I also have the privilege of leading a very talented and enthusiastic technology team.
Erin: Excellent. That includes REALTOR.ca. That gentleman sitting next to you, we all know Andrew. Andrew, go ahead.
Andrew Jackson: Hey, Erin. Hi, everyone. My name’s Andrew Jackson. I’m the head of business development for the Canadian Real Estate Association. It is great to be back.
Erin: It’s nice to have you back, all three of you, Jill, Patrick, Andrew. Now, I know I go to REALTOR.ca when I’m searching for real estate, and frankly, that’s far too often for my husband’s liking, because I get the itch, or even when I’m in the mood to browse. Honestly, you want to see what’s going on in your neighborhood, what’s happening with all the listings, but I’ll be honest, I’ve never really given much thought to its operations, so we’re going to open the curtains here. Jill, perhaps we can start there. What role does CREA’s board of directors have when it comes to REALTOR.ca?
Jill: Sure. Thanks, Erin. Well, our board of directors actually provides strategic oversight to the whole organization. We have a great board. We really care about what’s best for REALTORS®. Our strategic plan has three pillars, actually. One of those is technology, which includes REALTOR.ca.
Erin: What are the other two pillars?
Jill: Actually, the other two pillars are advocacy and also REALTORS® reputation. I can tell you that our strategic plan is supportive of innovative tools. As long as we’re providing things to REALTOR.ca that helps REALTORS® remain relevant with consumers, the decision to turn REALTOR.ca into a for-profit subsidiary of CREA was a result of our strategic planning process in the last couple of years. We want to make sure that we ensure REALTOR.ca continues to bring value to both REALTORS®, but also, of course, as well as the consumer and our clients.
Erin: Yes. Continuing to bring value to REALTORS® and consumers, I can understand the underlying importance of this move. Now, Andrew, give us a little bit more of a look behind that curtain that I mentioned. How is REALTOR.ca managed and funded?
Andrew: Absolutely. REALTOR.ca, for many years, actually, has been managed and operated within the Canadian Real Estate Association, which is a not-for-profit organization. REALTOR.ca is one of, if not, the most valued member benefit enjoyed by Canadian REALTORS®. It is primarily funded through their membership dues. However, there are also some revenue streams from services such as DDF, which stands for Data Distribution Facility. It’s actually a mechanism by which REALTORS® can have their listings distributed onwards into partners that are connected to REALTOR.ca.
Erin: Okay. Well, it’s clear that REALTORS® are embedded in the platform’s mission, you get that from its name, obviously, but Jill, as chair, how does it add value for REALTORS®?
Jill: Well, we make sure that it adds value for REALTORS®. I think that what is really important is that what’s good for clients and the consumer is what’s good for REALTORS®. It’s actually both. It does provide other things. There is a listing stats app that’s related to that, that our REALTORS® can provide information and direct correspondence and statistics to the clients, which is amazing. Then also, of course, REALTOR.ca helps REALTORS® be top of mind with our customers. It’s so important that we have that connection.
Erin: Absolutely. Patrick, what do you have to say about this?
Patrick: Just to build on what Jill was saying, just to paint a picture of the relevancy of REALTOR.ca in the marketplace. It has a 48% market share, meaning 48% of all Canadians who use real estate sites and apps have REALTOR.ca as one of their destinations. That’s a monthly percentage where there are some months where we’ve hit over 50%. This rarely happens in any industry where you have a market leader that has that kind of market presence.
Also, there are some major companies that have aligned their brands with REALTOR.ca. I think my favorite example is probably Apple. When they launched iOS 15, they included the REALTOR.ca app as part of their promotion. There we were next to Ted Lasso and Justin Bieber. There’s many other examples. TD is another one that comes to mind. If you visit the TD Bank website and you look up the mortgage affordability calculator, and you use that tool, you put in your information and it spits out an ideal range for you, as part of that result, it will show you listings that fall within your range from REALTOR.ca. To see the full listing, you have to click through to REALTOR.ca, and that lead goes directly to our members.
That kind of visibility, you can’t buy that. It’s earned. It just speaks to the strength of the REALTOR.ca brand and how much credibility it has in the marketplace. Even my friend at ChatGPT agrees. I must have tried 20 or different queries about where to find real estate information. Every time REALTOR.ca is number one. I don’t know if you’ve all tried it or not, but it’s scary actually how smart it’s getting over time. Just to add, again, to what Jill was saying, we’re quite fortunate to have this powerhouse brand that’s out in the marketplace. At the end of the day, it’s generating business opportunities for our members.
Every year we send over five million leads back to REALTORS® in the form of email and phone leads. This comes at no cost above and beyond membership dues. This is something that’s unique anywhere in the world, that the market-leading platform is owned by REALTORS® it’s exclusive for them, and they get to benefit from the leads without paying any additional fees.
Erin: Wow. Then maybe, Andrew, you can address this. Why the shift to a for-profit structure?
Andrew: The shift to a for-profit structure is fundamentally about allowing us to grow revenues and to access new levels of funding, funding that’s really needed for the business and needed to make into different areas for investment. Really I think of four main areas. The first and foremost is the talent, the team that’s required to build this. We’re constantly needing to retain, but also attract new talent. The roadmap that Patrick speaks to, needing to deliver to that roadmap, but also to accelerate delivery to that roadmap.
Also, we just talked about ChatGPT, and there’s lots of examples of emerging technology in the 10 years here that Patrick has seen. I’m sure you’ve seen lots of emerging technologies, Patrick. Really, we need to make sure that we’re on top of that and that we’re always leveraging what is appropriate for us to stay on top of there. Then last but not least is really about making sure that our visibility and our reach is always there. Even if you have a leading position you can’t take that for granted. You can’t rest on your laurels.
Now, I will say that, obviously, not-for-profits have strict limitations on things, whether that’s things like the revenue model or the types of revenues. Even the timing of revenue and when you can recognize it and when you can spend those revenues all come with constraints in a not-for-profit context. Really why we’re creating this now is to create a for-profit subsidiary that really frees up some of those constraints so that CREA can better fulfill its mission. We also like to think that it’s actually a little bit more than that. It’s also about really building here a PropTech contender that is realtor owned and that is there to fight for a future that is friendly for our members.
Erin: Patrick, do you have anything to add to that?
Patrick: Oh, absolutely. As Andrew mentioned, I’ve been here for 10 years now, so I’m really excited about this move. REALTOR.ca is no longer just a website, it’s evolved into a very comprehensive platform. It has a web version that’s accessible through desktop. It’s got one for your mobile browser. It’s got standalone apps for Apple and Android. As Jill mentioned, there’s an app that is exclusive for members. By the way, if you’re a realtor and you’re listening to this podcast, if you don’t have the version of the REALTOR.ca app that’s for agents and brokers, go to your app store, do a search for REALTOR.ca and look for the version with the black R icon.
The red one is the regular REALTOR.ca site. Hopefully, you’ve got that one on your phone as well, but grab the one that’s for agents and brokers. That will allow you to do a few really useful things. First of all, it will allow you to see your listing stats for REALTOR.ca, as well as all your DDF destinations. It also allows you to share some really slick reports with your clients. You can fire those off through text message or email. You can manage your leads as well, so have a look.
Just to come back to the platform conversation, Erin, Andrew mentioned DDF, which is part of the platform as well. Also, we’ve built a platform now where other solutions have integrated into it. For example, we’ve got about a dozen different video and 3D virtual tour applications integrated into REALTOR.ca. There are three different realtor rating tools that also integrate REALTOR.ca. We’ve built this platform that makes it easy for tools that REALTORS® use on a day-to-day basis to integrate with. I think it’s really important to highlight the fact that we’ve evolved from a website to a platform.
Andrew is right, there’s so much capital and innovation coming into our industry. There’s about 450 known PropTech companies in Canada alone, about 5,000 across North America. All this innovation is great news for REALTORS®. It’s great news for consumers. It means better tools, more useful platforms, but it’s also imperative that REALTOR.ca still be relevant in this ecosystem, and not just for the next few years, but the next few decades.
Erin: It strikes me as you talk that it seems like a gathering place, one-stop shopping, if you will, for REALTORS® and consumers alike, who can find what they need without having to look at all of these different PropTechs and everything that are out there right now. Honestly, I find it mind-boggling, but just to be able to go someplace where it’s all been verified and the best have been chosen for people to use. Am I reading this right, Jill, as a realtor and the chair of CREA, are you excited about this place as that one-stop shopping, if you will?
Jill: Absolutely. It’s an amazing site. I think that we’re competitive. There’s so much innovation in the tech space right now, and we want to make sure that we continue to be in this race. I would say that we’re not only fortunate really, but there’s been a lot of hard work that’s come up to where we’re at today. I have to give CREA’s staff, Patrick, a good thing it’s a podcast or you’d be blushing maybe, but they’re amazing, honestly, to keep us at the level that we’re at now. Andrew said it very well, is don’t rest on your laurels.
The fact is, is we’re not lucky, we worked hard to get here, but we want to make sure that our site continues to have the mission of ensuring that REALTORS® remain at the heart of the real estate transaction. It is important and we absolutely have to make sure that we stay in this race.
Erin: Yes, by looking down the road and seeing what the future holds. As much as that’s possible, Andrew, what will be important for REALTOR.ca to get right as it shifts to this new structure?
Andrew: Of course, with Patrick and Jill here, I think that there’s lots of assurance to make sure that we are going to get things right, but I would reflect on really the following things, and they’re actually things that helped, I think, lead us to this current position of market leadership. Really four different things in my mind. The first, again, is team. Patrick and I both have a background in technology companies and we believe in the importance of getting the right talent into the right positions at the right time. That has been the philosophy and will need to continue to be the philosophy. In fact, even more as we look to grow the team and add in new dimensions of capabilities for the next journey.
The second is really about resourcing and access to resources. It’s really critical that the new REALTOR.ca have access to funding and funding models that it’s going to allow it to really accelerate things like the roadmap or other investments. One of the things that’s obviously critical is oversight and governance and a governance that continues to be supportive of the vision that involves experienced individuals who have experience in a growth journey similar to this one, for example, and of course, free of conflict.
The last one, which we keep coming back to but I think it’s really critical here is alignment. It’s really critical that REALTOR.ca maintain its alignment to its core mission, which you’ve heard from Jill and from Patrick, which is to keep REALTORS® at the heart of the real estate transaction.
Erin: We’ll be back with Andrew, Patrick, and Jill in just a moment. It includes some outstanding news on what’s going to be getting a test rollout at REALTOR.ca in the months to come. It is so exciting.
When you’ve got some time, why not check out CREA Café on REALTOR.ca? It’s a great place to peruse everything from stories about interest rates and their effects on your life and work to some fascinating pieces like “5 Questions Your Client Should Ask a Condo Board Before Buying,” how CREA WEBForms can help your business, and even some of the most unusual bylaws in Canada that you should know about, from the length of the grass to whether your client needs to check out the rules before owning a parrot. It’s all there. Spend some time with us at CREA Café right there at REALTOR.ca.
Now back to this REALTOR.ca-focused episode of REAL TIME with our guests Andrew Jackson, CREA’s head of business development; Jill Oudil, chair of CREA; plus the VP of REALTOR.ca, Patrick Pichette. Patrick, you talked about being number one in market share, I’m going to open the curtains a little bit more here. If you would, though, can you share your REALTOR.ca secret sauce, so to speak? Please tell me it’s keto. No, I’m kidding. What is your secret sauce?
Patrick: Well, we wanted to validate this recently, so we did some comprehensive consumer research, which we do on an annual basis, but this year we wanted to have a laser focus on why has the public rewarded REALTOR.ca with the top position. If we look into what the research is telling us, the consumer has chosen REALTOR.ca as a preferred platform for three key reasons. The first attribute will be trust. Trust that’s been earned throughout the years by providing a full, accurate current view of the market, quality of the information, and also consistency of the user experience.
You could be looking at any listing anywhere in the country and the experience is fairly consistent across the board, which is something that users really value. Also, as I mentioned earlier, REALTOR.ca is accessible regardless of what device you use. There are very few real estate brands that actually provide that level of connectivity. The second attribute would be transparency. Along those same lines, Canadians appreciate the transparency of the information that they get from REALTOR.ca.
There’s no account needed. Although you can set up an account to save your preferences and set up your notifications, you don’t have to set up an account to simply see the listing information. Also, where possible, we’ve been adding more information like sold price history. In certain places, we now have the status of a listing. For example, if a listing is conditionally sold, there will be a label on the listing that will indicate that. That kind of information is very, very appreciated, and it’s expected by consumers.
The third quality is the fact that REALTOR.ca is unbiased. It represents all REALTORS® across the country and their listings. Consumers recognize the value of having that one single source where they can see the entire inventory. Definitely, having all the listings is a strong part of the value proposition. What has driven the growth, like I mentioned earlier, from 25% to 48% market share, that kind of growth over the last 5 years, what’s driven that growth has been the focus on trust, transparency, and remaining unbiased.
Erin: I think that, Jill, you can speak to this, no matter what the market or even the economy is doing at any given time, just how important it is that mutual trust. You must experience this every day as a realtor.
Jill: Well said. Mutual trust is really important with our clients because that’s the foundation of our business. We want to do what’s best for our clients and help them through the whole process.
Erin: What this is, is just building on that. Thank you, Jill. Things are good. You’ve captured people’s attention. You’re the market leader as we’ve been hearing you say. Tell me this, why is this the time to make this shift? Andrew.
Andrew: Actually, I think you’ve just laid out the reasons to make the shift. It’s precisely for those reasons. It’s much better to lean into this sort of a change from a position of strength and leadership. We know we’ve done really well competing in the so-called portal wars, as I like to call it, but the battlefields ahead are different. We need to be able to maintain our success into that next chapter and for years to come for REALTORS®. Again, we can’t rest on our laurels and assume that the success that we’ve had from this past decade just automatically secures our future.
I love that Patrick has shared all of the wonderful insights that we’ve gained over why consumers and how consumers have rewarded us with that position. We are very data-driven, and we’re always looking for the story beneath the story, really. As such, we know which consumer segments in which we are historically strong, but we also know in which ones we’re not. We know where we have achieved, let’s call it consumer preference, but we also know where we have yet to achieve consumer loyalty. These are the sorts of things that really drive us and drive the team to say, “We believe that now is the time to take that next step and not get complacent.”
Erin: The ditches are full of the remnants of companies or organizations that thought they had it and were able to sit back and put their feet up. How about some of those companies that got obsolete? Do you and Patrick have any insight so that we can look at those and go, “Yes, not us”?
Andrew: I feel we could play Bingo with them.
Patrick: We have a Myspace, but you’re right, Erin, history is filled with companies who had a comfortable lead, became complacent, and then lost market share or disappeared altogether. One that’s top of mind for me is I grew up in Hamilton and a company nearby, Blackberry RIM, had such a lead and then had Apple reinvent that whole space. To Andrew’s point, never take your lead for granted. You have to pay attention to the data, you have to pay attention to early signals, and you have to get ahead of it because once you lose that lead, you never get it back.
Andrew: Just to build on that, the other reason for that is in the technology industry it’s constantly reinventing and lines are being cast in new areas and new ways. Like I said, the portal wars, portals were a category for the past 10 years or so, but will that remain? Where will the lines be drawn now? We’ve seen that happen time and time again where in fact there could be a whole category of independent vendors that all of a sudden the next year it’s completely erased because one of the major platforms has added some new capability into its system and so that independent category no longer exists.
We know that the technology industry, PropTech included, is constantly reinventing, and we know that a victory in one lane does not mean a victory in the next. That’s what we’re building here, is making sure that this is a strong and vibrant, and nimble technology company that can sustain through those transitions.
Erin: To carry on with that metaphor, the intersection of opportunity and preparedness is where success is met. Jill, I think you can speak to this and the readiness of leadership to do this thing.
Jill: Yes, absolutely. Our leadership on our board is ready. It’s been talked about for so many years moving in this direction. Actually, there’s many other boards and associations across the country that also now own for-profits and have done similar things. Our clients are looking at other sources for information. Information is needed now. They want the information, and there’s lots of innovation in this space. This is great for our industry, but we need to make sure that we’re continually the trusted source and the one that consumers want to go to to get their information and their data.
Erin: Yes. As much as computers and ChatGPT is really entering the conversation, it’s that human connection, that human trust that you have built up for as you say your three decades as a realtor now and, of course, as chair of CREA. That human touch will never be replaced. Andrew, I do have a question for you. Are we going to expect to see banner ads everywhere?
Andrew: Oh my goodness. Yes, really. No. Thankfully it’s not 1995. First of all, the serious answer to that question is why would we begin to do things that go completely against what led us to this point of success? We just wouldn’t do that. We don’t need to, it doesn’t make sense. With the market share numbers that Patrick just shared, we have a core audience that is highly engaged, and that’s something that these other sites may not necessarily have. Our job is not to replicate the models of those sites, it’s really to find new ways to bring value to our existing core audiences, that’s both REALTORS® and consumers.
That could be either from value that REALTOR.ca delivers or via a selection of brands or providers that we choose to facilitate access to. I’d like to give you an example if that would be helpful.
Andrew: Okay, cool. For example, one of the popular areas on REALTOR.ca actually is a blog, a blog that we call Living Room. It’s got lots of great lifestyle content. This is an area very popular with consumers. Of course, when you think about it, it would be a very natural area for us to explore promotional partnership opportunities for with, for example, other lifestyle brands. Maybe another example as well is that we’re frequently approached by PropTech companies looking to offer innovative products and solutions to REALTORS®. Many of them really make sense to do that with.
It would make sense that we would have a program or a marketplace that would allow us to vet those and really work with those vendors to refine offerings that make sense for our market and facilitate their exposure. This is actually the kind of thing, I’m thinking, Patrick, we’ve done this on an ad-hoc basis in the past successfully with companies like Matterport or even RealSatisfied. I know that we’re currently working on some things with open offers that would fall into this category as well. Those are some examples of everything but banner ads, Erin.
Erin: I love that it sounds so organic, especially when you use the example of Living Room, which is just a comfortable, cozy place to go and to feel like you’re learning stuff and getting other opinions all in one place, so good. If you can do that, more power to you. I think it’s a great idea. Now, Patrick, you talked about consumer data, what else do you see trending when it comes to real estate transactions in Canada? What tools and technologies or innovations are we expecting to engage with in the future, going to do some crystal ball gazing here, my friend, to enhance the buying, selling, and listing experience?
Patrick: I love this question, Erin. Two things come to mind. First of all, I’m very bullish on virtual and augmented reality and the impact that these technologies will have on our industry. It’s still the early days. We’re just scratching the surface right now when it comes to leveraging this tech to remotely visit a property, get a feel for the neighborhood. Just imagine walking into a house and using your phone or your tablet, using that screen to start moving furniture around or knocking down a wall. I think these technologies will become a common way to interact with listings.
The second big trend. Information is going to continue to become more and more accessible. More transparent. Consumers always get what they want. They are undefeated in the history of business. You know what, that’s okay because what consumers value most from a REALTOR® is not information. What they’re looking for is a trusted advisor. Earlier on we talked about transparency initiatives. Something new that will be coming to REALTOR.ca in the next few weeks, something very exciting, will be the ability to see offers tracked in real-time on REALTOR.ca.
We announced a partnership with a company called Openn Offers last May, open with two Ns. Now they’re in the final steps of their due diligence work. They’ve onboarded several brokerages who will participate in a pilot in Ontario and British Columbia. We’re looking to address the perceived lack of transparency in the sales process that many consumers, governments, and REALTORS® have been vocal about. We want to do this in a way that will continue to keep REALTORS® at the heart of the transaction.
Erin: Okay. I’m catching my breath here as somebody who likes to look at real estate and properties around me and also find out what houses have done in areas that I’ve moved from, just because I like to look at those numbers and think, “Oh, what if I’d held onto it?” Tell me what this means. What does this mean to me as a consumer? Can you give us a little bit more insight into this? I think it’s fascinating.
Andrew: Erin, I’m just going to jump in. It’s Andrew. You know what, that you just self-described, there’s actually a large cohort of people that are just like you.
Erin: Oh, yes.
Andrew: We know that not everybody who goes onto REALTOR.ca is actually imminently buying or selling a property. There’s actually a whole cohort that go on there routinely just to see how they’re doing, or to see where they stand, or just to make themselves feel confident about where they stand. Anyway, I just thought I’d interject.
Patrick: It’s all good. I think we could do a whole podcast just on this whole offer process and how it’s coming to REALTOR.ca. Maybe I can address one of the key concerns that comes up when we mention this. The question that we’ll get is, “Well, why are you launching an eBay kind of auctioning service?” This is not at all the plan. This doesn’t replace the current offer and acceptance method of buying and selling real estate. It just automates the existing process.
The beauty of the Openn platform and its integration with REALTOR.ca is that there’s still going to need to be a REALTOR® on both sides of the transaction. The Openn platform provides buyers with the opportunity to see how much competition exists and where their offer stands in the negotiation process. On the flip side, for sellers, it builds confidence that they’re getting the most that they can from current market conditions.
Erin: I’m super excited about it and cannot wait. As someone who lives in BC, as you do, Jill, as well, as a REALTOR®, how do you see these things, these opportunities, translating into your future day-to-day?
Jill: Excellent, the way you put that as opportunities. I think that it’s crucial that we remember that we need and want to provide amazing data to our customers, to our clients. That starts with the REALTOR®, I know. I am a REALTOR®. I know how hard it is and how much work that goes into providing the information that goes into those listings that end up on REALTOR.ca. REALTOR.ca, in essence, it ends up becoming a connection, really, for us, between us and our clients.
Through the leads that come through REALTOR.ca, through us as REALTORS® providing the data and the data being in the site, it enables us to continue to provide that complete data to the customer or our clients as well. I have to say, it’s crucial that we keep providing the best tools to support our clients in their journey, which is the long journey it can be through both the buying and the selling of real estate. It’s amazing that, of course, REALTOR.ca is owned by REALTORS®.
Erin: Let’s end with a little out-of-the-box thinking now, shall we? It’s 2033, 10 years from now, they’re still talking about the slap at the Oscars, and you’re on REALTOR.ca. Tell us, what do you see? All right. We’re going to start out with Andrew.
Andrew: First of all, I’m still trying to get over 2033 as a concept, Erin. Those numbers don’t even make sense in my brain right now, but I can think about it in terms of decades. Like we’ve said, the past 10 years felt like there was the great portal wars. I think that the next 10 years are going to look very different. I think that the position that we’ve gained is phenomenal, but we have to be mindful of what we’ll have to do in order to maintain the equivalent position moving forward because the lines perhaps are being drawn differently now.
For example, there’s a lot more verticalization happening, meaning that banks, for example, are building or acquiring brokerages. The solution stacks are deepening as everybody is trying to be that one-stop shop so the real estate consumer never has to leave their site. It’s like whereas, in the past decade and beyond, real estate portals were a standalone market, it feels like that’s less likely to be now. Our plan here, though, is to create a strong and really well-supported and nimble technology company that can be around and help REALTORS® prepare for that next chapter of the journey.
Erin: What about you, Jill? What are your thoughts on this heading to 2033? Keep in mind, we’re already almost at the quarter point of this century, which is enough to blow your mind, but let’s look at the third point at 2033. What do you think, Jill?
Jill: I guess time flies. 2033 sounds so far away from now, but when I think about 10 years ago, I used to have to go drive to rent a movie. Ultimately, I think that what we want to make sure is that REALTOR.ca stays the leading platform that it is today and making sure that REALTORS® can continue to do what they love and continue to do their job in serving customers, helping them buy and sell real estate. Ultimately, that means keeping REALTORS® top of mind with all Canadians. Having said that, that makes REALTOR.ca our best tool to continue to defend that position.
Erin: Absolutely. Patrick, your thoughts on where we’re headed for the future?
Patrick: I agree with everything that Andrew and Jill said, but I’ll go in a bit of a different direction. I think 2033, when you’re on REALTOR.ca, first of all, it’ll be a much more personal one-to-one experience. Whether you’re a young urbanite like my son who’s in Montreal right now looking for his first apartment, or you’re somebody looking to downsize, regardless of who you are, you will feel like REALTOR.ca understands your needs. The other thing is, it’s going to be a much more immersive experience. Earlier I talked a bit about augmented and virtual reality and that kind of technology.
The other thing, I’m pretty confident when I’m on the site or on the apps, anywhere on the platform, in 10 years from now, I’m still going to see a lot of REALTORS®. Technology tools are going to come and go, and it’s hard to forecast exactly what kind of bells and whistles will be on the platform, but I’m pretty confident that there’ll still be REALTORS® because Canadians will continue to need that trusted advisor. Regardless of how technology is going to come support that journey, there’s still going to be a role for a trusted advisor.
Erin: Thank you all for your time today and continued success as you look to the future, holding on to your integrity and what you have already built and just making sure that everybody gets the best experience from REALTOR.ca. We’re grateful for the illumination today. Thank you so much, Jill, Patrick, Andrew.
Andrew: Thanks, Erin.
Patrick: Thanks, Erin.
Jill: It was great. Thanks.
Erin: Our guests today have been CREA Chair, Jill Oudil; VP of REALTOR.ca, Patrick Pichette; and Andrew Jackson, CREA’s head of business development. I’m Erin Davis. It has been my pleasure once again to host REAL TIME, a production of Alphabet® Creative with Rob Whitehead and Real Family on the tech side. Thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you again soon on REAL TIME.