I had the opportunity this week to attend the REW.ca relaunch reception at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Vancouver. This event was an industry launch of REW.ca’s new branding on their website and print newspaper where local bloggers and industry insiders got to see first hand the changes that have been made.
There was not only an update to their website but REW.ca now offers a mobile optimized experience that I’m sure will become very popular as more people search for homes on their smartphones. General Manager of REW.ca Ian Martin was on hand to announce all the new features.
REW.ca has created a video outlining many of the great new features of their website and Teri Conrad (@TLCHOME) has posted a great review of the full website on her blog so in this space I’ll focus more on the REW.ca mobile website.
The REW.ca mobile optimized website
The REW.ca mobile website is a great resource for home buyers. It allows full access to the REW.ca content, but optimized for your smartphone.
Users can search real estate for sale by neighbourhood or city and/or Realtor. The REW.ca mobile site does a great job at outlining your search results in an easy to read manner. One option I wished there was and hopefully REW.ca will implement this feature down the road is GPS locations. The mobile site could be a great tool for people to find Realtors and listings in their area.
The one issue I noticed on the site is when searching by Realtors the results show up starting buy first name and alphabetically. This gives in my opinion preferential treatment to Realtors who’s first name starts with “A”. Teri mentioned in her post, “It would be nice to see some sort of peer recommendation tool integrated down the road.” and I agree as well.
The REW.ca mobile site will also allow you to register and sign in to let you manage email alerts and also save properties in a shortlist. I was however unable to get this feature to work on my iPhone. Something I am sure the will be fixed shortly.
As more community information is added to the site and once the shortcomings are addressed I think REW.ca could really begin to compete with the mobile offerings of the Realtor.ca App as well as the MLS.ca websites.