Successful real estate marketer, serial webpreneur, and founder of the popular real estate portal, www.Real-Estate.ca, Christopher Audette has always viewed life as one continuous learning experience.
Real-Estate.ca has given Christopher a few valuable life lessons. Started as a local real estate lead generation site, over the years it has morphed into a popular national syndication portal. It has become well known throughout Canada with nearly 2 million homebuyers visiting the site annually looking for a new place to call home.
A Rare Method to Success
Christopher’s venture into the online world started when he was working with a media buying company that was bought by a notable interactive advertising firm. This was a catalyst where Christopher gained insight that not only encouraged him to branch out on his own, but also revealed specific ways he could help others succeed.
In 2001, he formed a small startup marketing company called Christopher and Co. with the following mandate: “find people who are good at what they do and help them be successful at it.” It is this mandate that inspired Christopher to start a lead generation company for real estate agents. This venture revealed significant opportunities within the real estate industry. From that point on, he has leveraged his experience, actively applying all the lessons he learned from past iterations of his business and websites to his successful current business model.
Real-Estate.ca A Top Tier National Real Estate Portal
www.Real-Estate.ca is known for being a front runner in the online real estate listings category in Canada. When Real-Estate.ca first entered the field, most of the sites looked archaic and were difficult to navigate. The first rendition of the website was branded Realesto.com and modeled after that of an online shopping catalogue, which had numerous products and an appealing format. Since that time, Realesto.com has morphed and expanded from its original local listings site for Calgary, Alberta Canada.
In 2017, the site was rebranded to Real-Estate.ca and expanded significantly. It is now a national site that serves hundreds of thousands of listings from Canadian coast to coast. It is popular with both the search engines and homebuyers. The ease of navigating has always been the number one reason users give for loving the website. However, there are numerous other reasons that Real-Estate.ca is so popular, such as informative neighborhood pages that include community videos, write-ups, agent opinions, interesting facts and figures, and more. The site also makes it easy for clients to learn what it is like to live in different areas. To make Real-Estate.ca even better, Christopher recently announced that he will be adding a third-party feature that will allow users to conduct searches based off different features and architectural styles, or search for homes with photo details that resemble those of a particular photo. This feature will allow the homebuyer to search using criteria not available on competitive websites,” Christopher explains. “From our research, Real-Estate.ca will be the first real estate portal in Canada to offer this technology for real estate search, and we project it will be up and running by the first quarter of 2022.”
Real-Estate.ca and Beyond - Award Winning Marketing
Most recently, Christopher’s marketing campaign found itself listed alongside the likes of big-name companies such as Geico, BMW, and Hewlett Packard, as the winner of 2 international awards from the Internet Advertising Competition (IAC): Best Real Estate Website and Best Real Estate Ad. Still, Christopher is far too humble to accept all the praise for this extraordinary achievement, making sure to credit his exceptional team, and the collaboration with web provider REW.com, graphic design company, FreshTake Marketing, and the talented videographer at Inthehood.io for the significant contributions they made toward the marketing receiving such distinguished recognitions.
Creating a Cohesive Team
When he originally started the lead generation company, people would inquire to view homes and the company would refer them to various agents. However, Christopher rarely received feedback on whether the agents did a good job. Four years ago, he created a hybrid of the business model. Local inquiries are retained for his team, The Group at Re/Max First, and out-of-area inquiries are referred to affiliates. After he became a team lead, the group put together structure and processes that gave them much more control over the different aspects of the real estate timeline. They were then able to guarantee service levels to a much higher degree and monitor fiduciary duties. By the teams second year, their conversion rates had doubled over the straight lead generation model.
The Future is New
In the latest news, Christopher and his team are in the process of capitalizing on the immense popularity and momentum of Real-Estate.ca and are launching a new construction and new development website, New.ca, which aims at branding and marketing of new construction. It will help buyers figure out where to go and assist them in their search for new developments. “I’ve always wanted a new construction website that operated similar to our MLS system,” Christopher explains. “Our goal is to make it easier for people to search for new development locations and to navigate the process.”
Life Gets Better with a Group
From winning marketing and production awards to creating new websites and business models, Christopher attributes his success to the team of people he works with—a stellar group of professionals who put their work and results first and collaborate with him hand in hand. “They’re a phenomenal group and I feel very lucky to work with them all,” Christopher says. “When you’re around quality people, it inspires you to do more and to be more, so I’m fortunate to have built such amazing relationships.”
Since joining RE/Max four years ago, Christopher and his team have received multiple recognitions and awards. They have been ranked among the Top 10 Real Estate Teams in Western Canada and among the Top 50 in Canada. The brokerage Re/Max First has captured the #1 spot as the top producing RE/MAX office in the world for closed transactions, and Real-Estate.ca continues to dominate online. Christopher holds a new home designation and serves as both an associate broker and team leader. For the last three years, he has been one of the Top 5 Contributors to The Children’s Miracle Network for Western Canada.
Founder and Realtor®
Real-Estate.ca and The Group at RE/MAX First
LinkedIn: Christopher Audette