The job market wasn’t working in favour of Alyssa Richard when she graduated from Queen’s University in the early 2000’s. Instead of interviewing for jobs, she took her passion for education and teaching and chose entrepreneurship as a vehicle to teach Canadians important lessons on personal finance.
In 2010, Richard launched RateHub.ca, an online platform that empowers users to make better mortgage decisions with a rate comparison tool.
“At the time it seemed so simple,” says Richard on the birth of RateHub. “There were many successful [mortgage rate comparison tools] in the United States, but there was only one in Canada.”
Today, the website attracts 300,000 monthly users and is Canada’s leading financial product comparison website.
RateHub markets directly to Canadian consumers through .CA real estate
Choosing a .CA domain was essential for RateHub to enter Canada’s financial products market, says Richard. “We want to be the first destination Canadians go to when looking for financial products.”
“We bought RateHub.ca then we acquired RateHub.com a few years later,” says Richard. RateHub.com re-directs to RateHub.ca, which allows the company to capture leads through different domains while maintaining their Canadian image.
A strategic business model
RateHub monetizes website traffic by providing quality mortgage leads to the top mortgage brokers in Canada.
We were lucky to start something that had a business model [and] earned generated revenue on day one. The first day we launched our .CA domain, we generated leads and sold them to mortgage brokers.
To continue this level of success, RateHub regularly invests in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and is active across various social media channels to drive customers to RateHub.ca. They also have an Instagram account that gives followers an inside look at daily office life.
Expanding upon the user experience
In 2015, RateHub launched three new services to compare credit cards, banking and insurance rates. In 2016, Richard plans to prioritize investments in these areas. The company also aims to spend more time interacting with consumers, particularly in startup communities across Canada, to gain the necessary insights needed to improve RateHub’s service offering, their website capabilities and overall user experience.
Media outlets including TechVibes have applauded the company’s “unbiased views on the best and lowest rates available.” The Globe and Mail praised the way it “simplifies the mortgage process.”
From its first sale to its newest offering, RateHub is changing consumer habits one comparison at a time.
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