Combining her expertise on the military community and the posting process, one former military member is launching a web portal that will revolutionize how military families move.
Cpl. (ret’d) Tonya Redekop, who served in communications as a reservist in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) from 1990 to 1997, has built quite a name for herself in the military community when it comes to relocation.
A decade after retiring from the military, Redekop jumped into the furniture rental business and established IR Solutions. Originally meant to provide furniture rentals to military members on Imposed Restrictions postings, largely in the Toronto area, IR Solutions grew to be so much more.
Realizing that military members were moving into bad neighbourhoods because of their affordability, Redekop began negotiating rates with building owners and managers in better neighbourhoods for CAF members.
As a former military member and a military spouse, Redekop knows how the military community relies on one another for expertise.
“It’s such a close-knit community, and we really rely on each other differently than any other group I’ve ever encountered or worked with,” said Redekop.
Soon, the former Corporal began fielding calls from members who were moving into the Toronto area but weren’t on IR. Over the years, the business also expanded to the Ottawa and Halifax area.
“I was constantly helping people find the vendors they needed anyway. So, it seemed like a good segue to help people in a different way, in a better way really,” commented Redekop.
Building on the trust she’d established over the years, and wanting to take her expertise to the next level, Redekop decided to launch Moving Forces.
“Having established the trust with IR Solutions, we’re hoping that we can be as respectful of it because that’s huge, knowing that you can ask somebody without having to worry because we’re all always relocating all the time,” added Redekop.
Moving Forces is a free online portal for CAF members, veterans and their families to use. Launching on April 1, it will serve as an online community geared towards easing the transition process for military members and their families into their new hometowns.
The sophisticated web portal, developed by some of the best according to Redekop, will provide members with a distinct webpage for every base where members can post their homes for sale or rent. Members and their families can also look for homes in their new location, use filters to narrow down their search to the perfect house and use proximity scales to find homes in their desired areas.
As the website matures and through the help of its members, a personalized directory of all necessary service providers will be available to assist in every phase of the relocation process.
Services such as real estate agents, lawyers, daycares, trusted mechanics, etc. that are recommended by other members of the military community will be sorted by base.
“We’re harnessing the positive ability that we, the military community, have to help one another and putting it all in one location. The more people using and populating the site, the better it will become,” explained Redekop.
The directory is unlocked after members register and complete a profile. Broad demographic information (no personal identity information) gathered from these profiles can then be used to request products or services in the member’s location that weren’t currently provided.
“If a percentage of members in your location really want hot yoga, for example, we can go to the vendors and prove the demand for it,” said Redekop.