News – Making REALTORS the Online “Community Expert”
For Immediate Release
June 26, 2017
Change in online behaviour of homebuyers has Vancouver tech firm providing an “exclusive community expertise” platform to REALTORS®
Vancouver, B.C. – Two years of software research and development into the power of an engaged community has provided a Vancouver tech firm with an unexpected opportunity in a niche real estate market. Tim Lloyd, CEO and Co-Founder of CityPOV, says that while developing an interactive, community-focused app, his team discovered that most homebuyers start their real estate search for the right community – before looking for a home or a REALTOR®. Now, CityPOV is using its proprietary hyper-local online marketing platform, along with its integrated app, to help real estate professionals to leverage their community expertise to appeal to homebuyers who find themselves changing neighbourhoods.
Skyrocketing housing prices, employment opportunities, retirement, and access to the right schools and/or health care are all factors that determine why people don’t always stay in the same neighbourhood for long periods of time. Today, Canadians often change areas, regions, provinces and even countries. And before anything else, they want to find the right community for their family and lifestyle.
“During our two years of research and development for the CityPOV interactive app, which facilitates community interaction and engagement, we learned something important about how the online behaviour of homebuyers has changed,” said Lloyd. “They search for a community first, then a home, and last, but not least, a good REALTOR®. The process used to be the reverse – you got a REALTOR® and he or she showed you the other two.” Now, Lloyd explained, it is crucial for a REALTOR® to show potential homebuyers that they are the community expert in the areas they serve.
CityPOV’s approach is that there isn’t room for 500, 100 or even 20 experts in one neighbourhood – there can only be one. Said Lloyd: “Buyers want to immediately identify the ‘go-to’ community expert. They see this REALTOR® as the best person to help them find the right home in that community.” He added: “The perfect time for a REALTOR® to be front and centre with a homebuyer is during an initial online search for a community. We work with REALTORS® and offer them community exclusivity in their neighbourhoods. That means that our community-expert REALTOR® is the one that potential homebuyers engage with first when they start their search for a new home.”
CityPOV’s exclusive community-expert concept has a strong appeal – both locally in B.C. and across the country. Lloyd says they are receiving calls from real estate professionals in Ontario inquiring about the marketing platform and exclusivity in those communities. As a result, the company has moved up the launch date in that province by several months. Said Lloyd: “To meet the growing interest, we are doing ‘pre-sales’ there. This allows REALTORS® in Ontario to reserve their neighbourhood exclusivity, while we continue to meet the demand from Lower Mainland REALTORS® for this marketing service.”
The CityPOV proprietary platform – the only one of its type in Canada – offers a value-driven, monthly marketing subscription program, including exclusivity to one REALTOR® in each neighbourhood. The REALTOR® gets a professionally developed, community-first, SEO-optimized website that is designed to attract potential buyers looking in that area. The site also shows all MLS® listings for the area, not just the REALTOR®’s. Homebuyers are enticed to the REALTOR®’s site through organic and paid search engine optimization (SEO) that aligns with local content that the potential homebuyer wants to know more about – from local schools, safety, shopping, dining, entertainment, census information, to local news. This results in a marked – and measurable – increase in quality leads for the community-expert REALTOR®. In addition, the REALTOR® is profiled on CityPOV’s public-facing, interactive app that was developed to facilitate engagement at a neighbourhood level.
About CityPOV Interactive Inc.
CityPOV Interactive Inc. is a Vancouver-based technology company founded by Andrew Ohara and Tim Lloyd. It is the Canadian leader of collecting and organizing big data on a community-centric level. CityPOV Interactive offers two streams of community connection – through CityPOV Business Solutions, which organizes and optimizes local community data for commercial purposes, and through CityPOV, a consumer-focused app, which empowers residents across the country by delivering up-to-date, intelligent information and data, with the opportunity to engage with others. Currently, the CityPOV team is focused on identifying key partners in the real estate industry. They expect to launch similar offerings in the United States in fall 2017.