By: Delia Loveless

In today's red hot real estate market, the idea of buying a home can feel unattainable for many first-time home buyers. Enter Manorlead - a business rooted in the belief that purchasing a house shouldn't need to be complicated.

Founded by University of Waterloo student Richard Xie, Manorlead offers a transparent and guided process to home buyers looking to purchase new developments.

"I became tired of the way some things were done in the industry, and I just felt like the customer could be getting more value out of the experience of buying a home," says Xie. "I looked at what Airbnb had done in hospitality, and Uber in the transportation industry, and I felt like we could do something to improve the way people buy homes fundamentally."

From student to founder

Richard Xie

Richard Xie
CEO & founder of Manorlead
UWaterloo Computer Science co-op student

Xie grew up around the real estate industry. From the age of 10, his father, a real estate agent, brought him around to his listings to help put up real estate signs. As a teenager, he helped his father review contracts and gain industry experience. This led him to obtain his real estate license as soon as he was eligible.

At Waterloo, Xie is now studying Computer Science. He also gained real-world experience through co-op.

“As a co-op student, I’ve had the opportunity to work in roles that were revolutionizing typically traditional service industries," says Xie. "For example, at a financial institution where I did a co-op term, I was on a relatively small team creating an AI app that would help provide financial advice. Working on these smaller teams, I realized that you didn't necessarily need a large team to make an impact or to start a company," says Xie.

With that confidence and a solid foundation in the real estate industry, Manorlead was created.

Co-op helps Manorlead grow

Running a company while also completing your degree is no small feat. While remote classes have helped Xie balance his competing priorities, co-op students have also proven to be a significant asset in assisting Manorlead to grow.

"Our software development team is comprised of both current Waterloo students and alumni. The team has had the opportunity to experience the benefits of Waterloo co-op, and we still really believe in the potential and skills that students bring to the workplace," says Xie.

Manorlead hires software development co-op positions to help them grow their platform. They have also hired students from Global Business and Digital Arts program to help create videos, photography and digital media.

For Manorlead, assigning students projects at the start of the term helps them learn and grow in their experience.

We give our students the same responsibilities as full-time staff. We've seen a few students build out new features from end-to-end, starting with the brainstorming phase and then creating a proof of concept," says Xie." Once that's approved, we have them start building out the feature and continue its maintenance.

Richard Xie, Manorlead founder & Computer Science student

Waterloo students are willing to learn and want to take every opportunity to do so. Even before the start of the work term, I often have students ask me how to prepare. The students also come with an excellent base knowledge of technologies that make it easier for them to learn while at work.

Hiring is made easy with Waterloo.

According to Xie, Manorlead also utilizes available resources to help make hiring more efficient.

"Our dedicated account manager helps us at every stage of the process, from posting jobs to switching interview days if we have something come up. As a result, we've found students at every stage of the recruitment cycle that were incredibly talented and able to contribute immensely to our business."

Read more about Manorlead in our profile, Chance favours the prepared mind.

There are many ways that a co-op student can fit within your small business.

Get our co-op hiring information to learn more about programs that offer co-ops and available funding to employers.

We can help you find the right talent.

Get in touch with Emily!

Emily is a Business Developer for the University of Waterloo's co-operative education program.

She can provide you with guidance and answer questions you may have about hiring from Waterloo.

Phone: (226) 220-1766

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