Redfin launches in Vancouver

As the tech-powered low-fee brokerage expands its Canadian footprint, Vancouver, British Columbia, is the second city added

Not long after establishing its first Canadian presence in Toronto, Redfin is launching its brokerage services and listings website in one more Canadian city: Vancouver.

The tech-forward, low-fee brokerage, that kicked off its Canadian launch with Toronto in February, is in the midst of cementing its northern presence, and it plans to launch www.redfin.ca in more cities in the future.

Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman at Inman Connect SF 2018

Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman at Inman Connect SF 2018 | Credit: Kailya Warren/Inman

As in Toronto, homesellers who work with the brokerage will be charged a 1 percent listing fee and, potentially, a commission for buyer’s agents.

“We’ve been encouraged by a few early sales in Toronto and have reason to believe we can start just as strong in Vancouver,” Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman said in a prepared statement.

Redfin agents will work with sellers in the Vancouver metropolitan area, as well as the popular Whistler ski resort. Like in the U.S., Redfin agents are considered employees rather than independent contractors and receive a salary and bonuses rather than only commission.

“The response to Redfin in Vancouver has been fantastic so far. Consumers have been eagerly awaiting our launch,” Brooks Findlay, the managing broker for Vancouver, said in a prepared statement. “Already, we have five listings on the market, totaling nearly $9 million Canadian dollars, a testament to the desire for our service here in Vancouver.”

Along with its own listings, Redfin’s Canadian site will be populated with listings from the Canadian Real Estate Association and, in the future, the local multiple listings service (MLS).

Redfin features such as Book It Now, which allows interested buyers to schedule showings through their phone, and Instant Updates are also available in Canada. Other features including the Redfin EstimateRedfin Hot Homes, Search By School and Compete Score aren’t yet available but will eventually be added to the site and mobile app.

This month, new data showed that sales in Vancouver fell by more than 30 percent in the past year due to overinflation and tax changes on empty homes. Both Redfin and Zillow, which has also been stepping up its presence in Canada, said that they are confident that the Vancouver market will even itself and remain a popular investment destination for years to come.

“As a Seattle-based company, we already have a presence in the region,” Kelman said. “Given how expensive housing still is here, even after all the changes in the market, we hope that tech-savvy Vancouver homebuyers and sellers will be drawn to our combination of great service and low prices.”

Email Veronika Bondarenko