ViewPoint Realty Services, which produces the key website for real estate data in Nova Scotia, has announced that it will now offer a mortgage brokerage to complement its real estate services.
Founded seven years ago by tech veteran Bill McMullin, ViewPoint quickly became known or its website that featured data gleaned from the Multiple-Listing Service, or MLS, on every property in the province. The site immediately became a first stop for anyone wanting to buy or sell real estate (or find out what their neighbours’ house is worth).
To monetize the site, McMullin and his team developed the company into a real estate brokerage, and now employs 75 people in six offices across the province. To meet their clients’ needs, ViewPoint will now help clients find the best mortgages available from a range of financial institutions.
“To accomplish our goal of providing a convenient, one-stop-shopping experience, we’re now offering mortgage and insurance brokerage services,” said McMullin in an email. “ViewPoint now has the technology and people to help you find, buy, mortgage and insure your property - with ease. Our powerful yet free website is funded by these brokerage services. So by using our brokerage services, you’re supporting our ability to innovate and grow - making ViewPoint even better.”
McMullin has made no secret of his hope to expand beyond Nova Scotia, and could find out late this year whether ViewPoint can expand into the key Toronto market.
ViewPoint needs access to MLS data to open a site, but outside Nova Scotia real estate boards, which control the data, have refused to provide members (and therefore ViewPoint) with the MLS data.
The Competition Bureau of Canada initiated legal action against the Toronto Real Estate Board in 2011, and last year a competition tribunal directed TREB to open its MLS system to its members. TREB appealed the ruling to the Federal Court of Appeal, which is expected to rule on the matter this year.