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The Listed App: Pioneering the Future of Real Estate

The Inception of Listed: Bridging Gaps in Real Estate

The real estate market is transforming remarkably, spearheaded by innovative technology applications such as Listed. This platform is not merely another online marketplace; it is revolutionizing how individuals buy, sell, and rent homes. By enabling users to swipe through listings effortlessly, receive updates on preferred neighbourhoods, and communicate directly with agents, Listed has become an indispensable tool for anyone involved in the real estate market! Our team at Fox Marin loves the application and could not wait to sit down with the founder to discover the story behind the technology!

At the heart of this transformative journey is Catharine Macintosh, the visionary founder and CEO of Listed, who has embarked on a mission to realign the interests of organized real estate with those of consumers. Catharine’s journey to the forefront of real estate technology innovation is a compelling narrative of entrepreneurship, design, technology, and deep industry knowledge. With a rich background that spans over 16 years, her experience encompasses a wide range of roles within the real estate sector, including residential and commercial brokerages, environmental design, and condominium board directorship. A serial entrepreneur with a fervent passion for universal data standards in real estate, Catharine’s endeavours have led to significant advancements in the industry.

Our latest article explores Catharine’s unique path, shedding light on her motivations and the events that led to the creation of Listed. Her story begins with a simple yet profound affinity for fixing broken things and creating new ones. Despite initially pursuing a degree in political science, Catherine’s true calling lay in art and technology. Her pivotal decision to leave her job at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, and enroll in art school marked the beginning of a journey that would ultimately merge her interests in art, technology, and business.

An Entrepreneur’s Vision for Change:

Catharine’s inspiration for Listed emerged from a personal experience highlighting a real estate market gap. While walking down a street in Kensington Market, downtown Toronto, she encountered a charming little white house that sparked her interest in living there. This moment of curiosity led to the realization that accessing information about a property was not as straightforward as it should be. The cumbersome process of contacting a real estate agent and navigating through thousands of listings online underscored the need for a more efficient solution.

This revelation set the stage for developing Listed, an application designed to bridge the gap between consumers and real estate agents.

By leveraging technology, Catharine envisioned a platform where potential buyers could easily obtain information about properties and connect with listing agents ready to assist them. Her goal was to create a tool that would not only serve the needs of consumers but also enable realtors to fulfill their desire to assist clients effectively. Listed is a testament to Catharine’s vision and determination to transform the real estate landscape. Through her innovative approach and deep understanding of the industry’s challenges, she has created a platform that simplifies and enhances house-hunting!

Experience the Listed Difference – Watch & Learn:

The Technology Behind Listed: Simplifying Property Searches:

The development of Listed is rooted in a simple yet revolutionary idea: the ability to stand anywhere in the world, tap a button, and instantly access information about a property. Inspired by an early investor’s advice to focus on “one beautiful note,” this concept aimed to redefine the essence of home buying, selling, leasing, and renting.
The real estate industry, known for its lack of transparency and accessibility, presented a unique challenge. With over 550 multiple listing services (MLSs) operating in silos without interoperability, the task at hand was daunting. However, Catharine’s vision resonated with the underlying principle of Multiple Listing Service(s) — cooperation and compensation among brokers. This principle, akin to an art form, leveraged collective resources to maximize exposure for sellers and provide buyers with comprehensive market access. Yet, the realization that agents could only access a fraction of listings within their boards underscored the need for a unified platform.

Listed aspires to revolutionize this fragmented landscape by fostering a seamless connection between agents and clients on a global scale. The platform’s underlying philosophy is that consumers thrive with a great agent. Listed aims to empower agents to serve their clients more effectively, regardless of geographical boundaries, by advocating for a unified system. This vision transcends the traditional confines of professional regions, advocating for a professional universe where agents can assist clients anywhere.

Fostering Transparency: Listed’s Impact on Agent-Client Relations

At its core, Listed is a technological innovation and a relationship tool designed to support the intricate web of interactions between agents and clients. The platform recognizes the invaluable role of agents — not just in navigating the inventory of properties but in understanding the multifaceted aspects of communities, schools, job markets, transportation, and neighbourhood dynamics. In a rapidly moving market, the connection between an agent and a client is crucial, making Listed a silent yet powerful digital ally in this journey.

Despite the advances in technology and the proliferation of data, the role of real estate agents has become more, not less, critical. Contrary to predictions of obsolescence, agents remain at the heart of the real estate transaction process. The National Association of Realtors reports that up to 90% of transactions in the U.S. involve real estate agents, a statistic that has grown in the face of disruptive technologies. This trend underscores the complexity of the real estate market and the indispensable need for trusted guidance.

Listed embodies the belief that while technology can provide unprecedented access to information, the human element — the expertise, intuition, and personal connection of a skilled agent — remains irreplaceable. Through its innovative platform, Listed seeks to enhance these relationships, providing digital support that complements the invaluable human touch at the center of every real estate journey. A notable distinction emerges between traditional platforms such as House Sigma or Realtor.ca and innovative newcomers who strive to fill the gaps left by these giants. The core of this distinction lies not just in the services offered but in the underlying intentions and the gaps they aim to bridge in the marketplace.

Overcoming Industry Challenges: Listed’s Strategic Approach

The entrance of technology into this domain promises enhancements tailored to consumer alignment and agent needs, a promise only partially fulfilled by existing platforms. The revelation that realtors lacked effective tools sparked a technological gold rush, with various entities aggregating data onto platforms to profit. The simplest route to legitimacy in this rush often involves becoming a brokerage—a process more focused on technology deployment than real estate expertise. This approach, while lucrative, introduces a model where agents often start at a disadvantage, splitting their commission to acquire leads, contrary to the practices of those thriving on repeat and referral business.

Some local platforms attract users with their popularity and vast listings. Yet, their aggressive push towards connecting consumers with their agents, often through persistent emails and sign-up requirements, borders on harassment, detracting from the user experience. This invasive approach underscores a prevalent issue across the tech landscape in real estate: the relentless pursuit of lead generation, often at the consumer’s expense.

Addressing these concerns, Listed emerges as a platform designed with the agents’ and the consumers’ best interests in mind. It revolutionizes contact preferences, allowing users to dictate how and when they wish to be contacted, eliminating unwanted communication. This feature signifies a departure from the norm, ensuring that clients are only engaged on their terms, enhancing the user experience and respecting their privacy.

Listed’s business model further distinguishes it from its competitors. Adopting a flat fee for agents democratizes access to the platform, fostering a meritocracy where success is based on performance rather than the depth of one’s pockets. This approach effectively removes any incentive for Listed to prioritize certain actions over others, ensuring its operations remain unblemished by conflicts of interest. The genesis of Listed was as much about providing agents with a superior tool for building and maintaining relationships as it was about offering consumers the best possible search tools and information access. Listed positions itself as a comprehensive solution for buyers and sellers in the real estate market by striving to match the information availability of MLS systems.

Listed’s User-Centric Model

Listed’s inception and development reflect a thoughtful response to the needs of both consumers and agents in the real estate market. By prioritizing a seamless, enjoyable user experience and fostering genuine connections, Listed stands as a testament to the potential for technology to enhance, rather than undermine, the foundational elements of the real estate industry. The creation of Listed, a revolutionary real estate search engine focused on enhancing agent-client relationships, prompts a reflection on whether its success was a stroke of luck or a result of meticulous planning. The platform’s journey from conception to execution reveals a commitment to overcoming industry challenges and prioritizing quality over convenience, a rarity in the traditionally slow-to-adapt real estate sector.

Building an app with a consumer-friendly interface in an industry notorious for reluctance to embrace change was no small feat. The real estate sector, often the last to adopt new technologies, usually evolves under duress, propelled by legal mandates or undeniable market demands. Listed’s development journey was marked by a steadfast refusal to compromise on quality, a decision that set it apart from the outset. The prevailing practice in real estate technology, driven by time and budget constraints, typically results in quickly outdated products. In contrast, Listed chose a path less travelled, aiming for a level of excellence that could only be achieved through a deliberate, albeit more costly, approach.

This dedication to quality necessitated a deep dive into the intricacies of real estate data and its standardization. The complexity of integrating data from various real estate boards, each with its unique set of standards for listing information, posed a significant hurdle. As a vice chair of the interoperability work group at the Real Estate Standards Organization, the founder of Listed embarked on a mission to navigate these complexities, striving for a solution that would seamlessly harmonize disparate data standards across Canada. This effort was about creating another real estate app and building a platform that could work with MLS systems and provide a superior user experience.

The technological ambition of Listed extended beyond mere functionality. It aimed to master the market nationally, breaking free from the limitations of regionalism that typically constrain brokerage and MLS platforms. Inspired by industry leaders like Gary Keller and his investment in real estate technology, this vision of market mastery underscored the importance of aligning interests, expertise, and technology. The realization that achieving such a feat required a profound understanding of the real estate profession led to a hands-on approach: obtaining a real estate license and immersing oneself in the day-to-day realities of the industry.

Embarking on the creation of Listed was not merely a venture into the unknown but a deliberate effort to fill a significant void in real estate technology. The journey, spanning over a decade, was propelled by a vision to provide a conspicuously absent tool for the creators and the industry. The initial three years were devoted to conceptualizing a platform that would seamlessly integrate with the daily lives of its users, allowing them to discover properties with the simple tap of a button. This period was crucial, laying the groundwork for a pivotal solution in real estate technology.

The challenge of introducing a new business model to realtors was met with thoughtful consideration of the implications for both the agents and their clients. The fear of losing access to Listed due to financial constraints was a significant concern that needed addressing. In response, a model was developed to ensure that realtors could always maintain a connection with their clients through the platform, regardless of their ability to pay. This approach underscored a commitment to creating a premium experience accessible to all, underpinned by the belief that the value of the Listed would be the primary reason for its adoption. As Listed began to gain traction across Canada, the team behind it expanded, with a significant leap forward occurring a year and a half ago when the technology and engineering teams were assembled. This marked a new development phase characterized by rapid growth and a clear focus on enhancing the user experience for both agents and consumers. Today, Listed boasts around 20,000 consumers and 1,400 agents, a testament to its growing popularity despite minimal marketing efforts. This organic growth highlights the platform’s inherent value, offering a genuine solution to the needs of its users without relying on traditional advertising strategies.

A Commitment to Standards:

In contrast, the approach taken by other search platforms that prioritize brokerage interests over user privacy underscores the unique position of Listed in the market. Listed’s commitment to being a brokerage-agnostic platform ensures that user data remains confidential, strengthening the bond between agents and their clients rather than exploiting it for commercial gain. The collaboration with the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) exemplifies the potential for technology to revolutionize the industry. The integration of Listed with TRREB’s systems demonstrates a shared vision for innovation, offering agents seamless access to critical information and tools that enhance their ability to serve their clients effectively.

Catharine envisions a future where Listed becomes a global standard, facilitating property transactions easily and transparently. This ambition is rooted in a desire to support organized real estate and empower agents with technology that enhances their ability to serve clients. Despite the challenges posed by traditional real estate practices, Catharine is optimistic about Listed’s potential to elevate the industry, supported by a community of forward-thinking agents and clients.

As the discussion concludes, the transformative impact of Listed on the real estate industry becomes evident. Through innovative technology, a user-centric approach, and a deep commitment to industry standards, Listed is poised to lead a new era of real estate transactions characterized by efficiency, transparency, and enhanced agent-client relationships.

Contact Fox Marin, Toronto’s downtown luxury real estate brokerage, today to learn more about the advantages of hiring a quality team!

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Kori Marin is a Toronto Broker & Managing Partner at Fox Marin Associates. For high-energy real estate aficionado Kori Marin, a well-lived life is achieved by maintaining an “all-in” attitude that realizes every last ounce of one’s full potential. This mindset has driven successful results in every aspect of her life – from her corporate sales and account management experience to her international travels to her years of fitness training and leadership – and is the hallmark of the exceptional work that she does on behalf of her clients in the residential real estate sector in downtown Toronto.