“The world’s changing, technology is taking over, and the Internet is driving everything today,” says Rouillard, who has seven websites and is involved in almost all aspects of property sales and management, from residential to commercial, to maintenance, student housing, renovations, rent collection, and even landlord assistance.
His latest company, which started in December, has now eliminated the middle man – the real estate broker - from the equation of selling your house.
For $99 Rouillard will provide a customer access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).
“I would put it on the MLS system for you and you would do all of your own showings and find your own buyer, so at that moment I'm completely out of the picture,” he says.
Rouillard says that eliminates the normal five to six per cent commission paid to brokers.
He says there is only one other competitor operating locally, comfree.com, but isn’t based in Windsor.
“We're just trying to make the real estate transition as cheap as possible for sellers and to streamline the system as much as possible,” he says.
“The common trend is everyone wants to sell private now nobody wants to pay commission or pay realtors.”
Rouillard says this kind of low fee brokerage is only part of what the future of real estate is going to look like and he wants to be on the ground floor, so to speak.
“The business is changing, how we see realtors today and how we saw them yesterday is going to be completely different in five years from today.”
But Windsor is taking longer to catch up than other cities.
“In the larger markets it’s pretty big,” he says.
“Just Windsor is always behind in technology but if you look at Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa - all the biggest cities in all of Canada, they’re pretty swamped with it.”
Next up for Rouillard will be a para legal business – paralegal4all.com using the “4all” which he incorporates into most of his business names.
It will be for property owners to use “for half the price of what it would cost them just going out and finding their own paralegal.”
It’s spinoff of his landlords’ organization, yet another entity in the Rouillard empire.
Rouillard has a particular interest in student housing and believes landlords are unfairly taken advantage of.
That’s why he set up his Windsor Landlord Assistance.
“I have a property management company and I’m just getting sick and tired of tenants running all over us landlords and taking advantage of the system.
“And it’s not getting any better it’s only getting worse.”
Rouillard says there are numerous student rentals in the west end where the tenants run roughshod over the people they’re renting from.
“They know that if they don’t pay rent there’s really nothing that can happen to them,” he says.
“They can just take up and leave 20 days later when they want to find a new place and there's really no protection.”
His organization provides assistance from paperwork to counselling to how to handle disputes.
Rouillard eventually hopes to enlist enough property owners – here and in other cities – to overhaul the province’s rental legislation, speeding up tribunals and cutting time lines to evict delinquent tenants.
Does this mean lobbying the provincial government?
“Absolutely, yes, one hundred per cent.”