Toronto Star: A Streamlined Process That Gets You Into Your New Home Faster And Cheaper? That’s The Goal Of New Startup RIOS
A group of housing industry experts have launched a new data platform they say will help modernize the development industry and deliver homes to consumers faster.
RIOS (real estate industry operating system) is a data platform that aims to eliminate the holdups around approvals and communication in the home-building industry — problems co-founder Joe Vaccaro says he witnessed first-hand as former CEO of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association.
“Government efficiency is a wonderful goal, but ultimately in the industry this is our opportunity now,” Vaccaro said.
“We’re looking to build a platform that gets you the compliance and approval and, ultimately, gets the consumer into their home faster and cheaper than what the system provides today.”
Vaccaro cited assignment sales — the process where a pre-construction condo buyer resells that property — as one area that would benefit from the RIOS technology.
A largely paper-driven process, the transaction that involves the seller, builder and buyer could be hastened to 10 days from 30 days, for example, he said.
“The expectation is that building the data highway helps consumers when they get to the point of signing that purchase and sale agreement — that the process in front of them is so efficient that they’re not going to have to worry about delays in paperwork, delays in regulation, delays in compliance.
“Ideally the data flow is so smooth and easy they get their home delivered on time with no issues,” Vaccaro said.
RIOS is partnering with Teranet, the company that owns and operates Ontario’s property search and registration system. It will identify and address a variety of problems in housing and commercial real estate, said George Carras, founder and CEO of real estate innovation company R-LABS, which announced the new enterprise on Tuesday.
The housing supply crisis is the catalyst for revolutionizing the way the development industry does business, gathering data in one system that tracks a project from design, approvals and sales, he said.
“When history happens no one rings the bell and says, ‘Today is the day things change.’ Today is that day,” Carras said.
He called the RIOS platform “an excellent tool to help drive efficiencies” in a system “that is cumbersome and inefficient.”
Making development more efficient puts more supply online faster, and it is supply — or lack of it — that is driving Ontario’s housing affordability challenge, Carras said.
Also named as a co-founder of RIOS is Antoni Wisniowski, a former president of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), which assesses real estate in Ontario.