I wanted to give up.

Ever since we were featured on 24 Hours media in February 2016, we couldn’t sustain the hype. Our servers couldn’t handle the large amount of traffic, we were inexperienced and we absolutely did not have the manpower to fulfill what we wanted to do: help locals find the perfect home, unfiltered.

We had two programmers to help us. But the first one left to work on his startup and the other left to work for EA. They left us because we had a roadmap that was over our heads. We thought that coming up with an idea and hiring a programmer to work on it was good enough for an overnight success. Like getting hit by an 18-ton wheeler, we were slammed to the ground. The site was offline often, we received complaints about our review system and we didn’t know how to handle them. We were inexperienced.

The project was scrapped and left on its own by the summer of 2016. Our excitement, goal, and purpose were washed away. By the fall of 2016, even after several attempts to revive the project, we hit a dead end.

Turning Point

In November 2016, on the heels of the Christmas holidays, both Jess and I met up with Eric and Kevin. It was love at first sight.  We talked for hours at Waves coffee (this was where it started), and it leads to sequential meetings in short order. We shared the same ideas about the housing market, about the need for transparency in real estate and the goal of making it easier for people to find information about their potential home.

Fast forward 9 months later, we’re ready to re-launch Rate This Building to the world. Since Vancouver is a place we call home, we’re going to focus on the Lower Mainland for testing before we scale this for other cities. You can now review over 2,000 buildings in Vancouver, Burnaby and the Tri-Cities! It’s mobile responsive and when you land on a building page, you can imagine yourself being there. Try it out!

Upcoming: Transportation

In the next few months, we’ll be integrating transportation information to the pages. That means you will soon be able to see what types of public transportation is offered near the home you’re looking for. This is really important to us because we know how important transportation is to you! We want you to feel comfortable knowing that a bus is within 3 minutes of walking distance from your future home and that there is a nearby car-sharing vehicle in the corner so you can go on expeditions on weekends.

Upcoming: Property Listings

You’ll be able to list properties for rent on Rate This Building in the future. The interactive tool will allow you to post high-quality pictures, videos and descriptions about your place. Security is a key component to our site and so is safety. We will make sure your information is safe and secure with us, especially when you’re connecting with potential tenants through Rate This Building.


Failure is bound to happen. We’ll eventually try things that won’t work on here. But we’re going to fail forward and allow you to be part of our journey every step of the way!



Yat Li  @yatli