myhood.ca is a Toronto focused apartment finder and review tool. Considering that the site was launched just 1 month ago, I find it amazing that there are over 900 reviews of various apartment buildings on the site already.
The site is a Google Maps mashup that lets you find apartments based on location and marks the location of grocery stores, subway stops and shopping malls on the map. This model is even better in Toronto, where people tend to be particular about what neighborhood they want to move to.
I already made use of myhood.ca by reading reviews of our new condo building on the site. I think that providing a service that allows condo owners to review their buildings would be useful, although there is a large disincentive to being critical of a building your currently own in. I turns out that the building manager is hard to deal with and that I should make-nice with Janice, the front desk lady. I did that today, bypassing the manager, and introduced myself to Janice. I was glad to know I didn’t need to waste time.
I also know how painful it can be to find an apartment in Toronto having moved up here blind to both Toronto and large city living period. I can still remember the shock at the sticker price for a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment, not knowing the ups and downs of one building or another just made it all that much more confusing.
Right now, myhood.ca is trying to use a referral fee model for sending people back to the site where a particular listing originated. If they can make this work, and pay, with all the providers out there, then it could be a lucrative model. There will also be some banner advertising and allowing landlords to purchase “featured listings” that will be displayed more prominently.
myhood.ca is self funded to date and they are thinking about looking for investment to help them take the site to (I presume) other markets.
Jeff Hersh is the one-man show behind myhood.ca. It’s pretty evident that he is able to execute well on an idea. A large marketing firm teaming up with a web development shop would not have turned out anything close to myhood.ca for anything less than a 500k budget for the first phase. Jeff has done it solo and is off to a great start.