Finding your dream home is one thing. Finding your dream home in an ideal neighbourhood for your family is another. When it comes to finding the perfect neighbourhood, there are plenty of things to consider, and the most important thing for many families is being in a great school district. To find information about schools in different neighbourhoods, you’d typically have to search across numerous sources, only to find low-quality data. That’s where SchoolQ comes in- an online database that does all the heavy lifting for you when it comes to finding the ideal school in the right neighbourhood for your family. We’re so excited to be partnered with SchoolQ and we’re telling you all about the program in this blog.
What is SchoolQ?
SchoolQ is an online platform that showcases comprehensiveinformation about schools, neighbourhoods and real estate listings. The easy-to-use website allows you to find the best school, home and neighbourhood for your family’s needs. Whatever you want to know about a school, from school catchments, to testing scores, to a school’s community, strengths, and highlights, SchoolQ has you covered.
With SchoolQ, home buyers can not only shop for homes, they can shop for homes within a school’s designated catchment, which is a complete game-changer.
We talked to co-founder and CMO, Carolyn Keesh, to learn more about the program and how it benefits buyers and sellers.
Where Did The Idea for SchoolQ Come From?
Through thorough research with both real estate agents and home buyers, the SchoolQ founders found that when choosing a new home, the most important neighbourhood detail to consider were the schools.
“We heard so many stories from parents who told us how much time it took- hours upon hours, and even days- to find the school information they needed, especially as it relates to other neighbourhood features, such as parks and recreation, transit, safety and convenience amenities,'' explains Carolyn.
With story after story ending in a deadend- sometimes parents would spend hours finding the right school, only to find out later the neighbourhood wasn’t the right fit for their family, or they’d find a school and neighbourhood that they loved, but then learned the average home price was way out of their price range- they knew something had to be done.
“We knew we could help homebuyers save a lot of time, and unnecessary research and work,” says Carolyn.
How Exactly Does SchoolQ Work?
SchoolQ has created an algorithm that generates comprehensive reports for over 2,400 neighbourhoods in 130 cities across Canada, and reports for every school in those neighbourhoods.
We asked Carolyn how the data is collected and she explains: “The data shown on SchoolQ comes from our huge national database of the most comprehensive and richly detailed neighbourhood data in Canada. Our aggregation and curation team has compiled data from many different sources, mainly provincial and municipal government open data.”
While they use publicly available data as their starting point, SchoolQ’s curators have put in hundreds of hours of painstaking work to hand draw school catchment boundaries, add missing places, fix errors and inconsistencies found in other databases, and expand on basic data with descriptions and other qualitative information about schools and other places.
“Our curation team is our biggest differentiator, and our hand-curated data is all about depth and relevance,” says Carolyn.
How Does SchoolQ Benefit Buyers and Sellers Looking to Move to a New Neighbourhood?
SchoolQ helps home buyers find the perfect sweet spot- the best school for their kids; a neighbourhood they love; and a home that has the price and features they’re looking for.
For example, says Carolyn, “If a home buyer wanted to find their ideal school, home, and neighbourhood in Brampton, they would see that there are 45 Brampton neighbourhoods they can explore. By choosing filters to refine their search, they can find the most relevant information for them in a few seconds.
If a homebuyer selected Elementary Catholic schools, with a French immersion program, a school score of 5 or higher, with a home price of $1.5 million or less, they would see that out of the 45 Brampton neighbourhoods, only 5 of the neighbourhoods are worth digging into deeper.”
SchoolQ also knows how important dogs are to families, so homebuyers can find off-leash dog parks with one click. They can also use the Park filters to find facilities like playgrounds, swimming pools, sports fields, tennis courts, and many other neighbourhood lifestyle features.
For instance, explains Carolyn, “In the Etobicoke neighbourhood of Stonegate-Queensway, there are 19 parks. If it was important to the homebuyers to be near a swimming pool, they can select that filter and find out in a few seconds, which parks have pools.”
Connecting with Experts and Professionals
The Neighbourhood Experts at SchoolQ are real estate and neighbourhood professionals. They can help with specific neighbourhood questions, as well as more general assessments of what it’s like to live there.
Another valuable resource is the help from a professional Realtor® who has the experience and knowledge to guide both new and experienced home buyers. The sales reps at AskNina personally care about their clients and will do their utmost to help them find the right home, with the right fit, at the right time. We advocate that buyers involve qualified professionals from every industry (Real Estate, Mortgage, Legal, Inspectors) early in the home buying process, and not wait to the last minute when poor decisions can be the result of rushed circumstances.
Finding a home in your ideal neighbourhood is now easier than ever. If you’re ready to start the search for the dream home, click here and you’ll find everything real estate at askNina.com or click here to start a SchoolQ search.