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Controversial online brokerage shuts down

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Real Estate Professional | 09 Jun 2015, 02:28 PM Agree 0
Four months after having its hand slapped by TREB, this online brokerage is closing its doors.
  • Laura | 09 Jun 2015, 02:55 PM Agree 1
    I have been selling real estate for over 15 years and it is so much more than just data. A good Realtor can analyze the data and explain it to consumers in a way that will allow them to make informed decisions about what is likely to be their biggest investment in life. Furthermore, a good Realtor makes the process less stressful and more streamlined for the consumer. There is a very good reason why the best Realtors do only real estate. It is a full time job looking after consumer's best interests. It is frustrating to me when companies try to tap into the market claiming to want to help the public have access to information when really they are nothing more than a third party referral company charging Realtors for leads. I am glad they're gone.
  • DT | 09 Jun 2015, 03:05 PM Agree 0
    I welcome this. Rogers indeed are big suckers ,sucking their wireless/internet customers and moved to real estate who else next.

    They are Jokers.
  • James Spurlock | 09 Jun 2015, 03:11 PM Agree 1
    I moved my internet, cell and cable over after years of use when they decided to become my competition. Hope lots of other agents did the same.
  • Peter B. Realtor | 09 Jun 2015, 03:16 PM Agree 1
    Yes Laura, it is frustrating when the "new" thing tries to present itself as a philanthropic service, trying to"help" consumers. Rubbish. Zoocasa was started as a money-making venture and it did not work. Zoocasa did not close its doors because it couldn't offer free data. That makes little sense. Zoocasa sold itself as a service that linked clients to Realtors. If I recall correctly, the Realtors would offer up a large chunk of their commission in exchange for a referral from the Zoocasa program. Similar "referral" programs simply entice Realtors to join their program, promising many qualified leads in exchange for a 25% (or thereabouts) cut of the commission. Obviously their business model was faulty. Their failure was not the result of an inability to provide free data. It does, however, show just how important data is to Realtors and illustrate why it's so important for us to protect our rights. Limited stats, such as those of the average 3 bedroom dwelling in a specific area can be helpful to the public and will hardly impede the ability of a Realtor to provide their service but the critical data is something we Realtors have paid for with our dues. If we simply give it away, how many of us will go the route of Zoocasa?
  • Michael | 09 Jun 2015, 03:20 PM Agree 1
    Their business plan didn't make sense and I'm surprised that a "smart" company would have started a strategy that increased time and cost to perform a real estate transaction. By the way, this was NOT a new concept...I first came across a "referral" company about 40 years ago!
  • EddieN | 09 Jun 2015, 03:48 PM Agree 0
    Michael, Zoocasa did a pretty good job of filtering leads and they sure did a lot of advertising. I was one of those few select agents to whom Zoocasa referred business to. I am full time realtor with production numbers to prove my abilities. That is why they chose me. I, on the other hand, did not mind paying back a referral fee. It's business that I wouldn't have had otherwise. There were mostly qualified leads, and now some of these people will be my clients and friends for the rest of our lives. I have Zoocasa to thank for that, and worth every penny.
  • | 09 Jun 2015, 04:08 PM Agree 0
    This outfit was no more than a parasite sucking referral fees from RE Salespeople. Most of the successful RE Salespeople refused to pay their referral fees and so Zoocasa was not really placing the bast salespeople with buyers/sellers.
  • Patricia H | 09 Jun 2015, 04:13 PM Agree 0
    the agents they had as their "neighbourhood experts" had in many cases never even sold in the neighbourhood-just a scam to suck some money out of the system and into Roger's pockets with no regard for the well being of the consumer...glad they are gone!
  • DT | 09 Jun 2015, 04:14 PM Agree 0
    Me too hope all will do the same, TREB should not allow ROGERS into the show.
  • Mitchell | 09 Jun 2015, 05:06 PM Agree 0
    I used Oneflatfee.ca Real Estate to sell in BC and I found everything to be in line. Discount brokerages can thrive however I suspect the big guys want to crush the little guys as that is what is in their best interest. I saved $21,500 in commissions. Whats wrong with that. It is the future. They can fight it for now though.
  • Madeleine H. | 09 Jun 2015, 05:27 PM Agree 0
    Mitchell, Glad you sold your property. How much did you get? How much would you have got if your buyer had not been able to negotiate you down? How do you know what would have happened, what could have happened, or what really did happen? So, after all is said and done, who saved what? How can you possibly know that you saved anything at all?
  • Dave in Vancouver | 09 Jun 2015, 05:39 PM Agree 0
    I believe you "Pimped yourself out". It is that simple...you bought the business...you are cut of the same cloth!
  • Rod | 09 Jun 2015, 05:50 PM Agree 0
    I see a lot of fear from the real estate agents. How dare someone provide leads and charge for them. Those leads are worthless you say.. but you still are happy they shut these guys down. Why, if the leads were worthless why all of the fear? If the leads were valuable why not pay?

    This entire industry with be automated in the next few years. Stay ahead of the curve.
  • Jeese D | 09 Jun 2015, 06:46 PM Agree 0
    They started selling mortgage leads and r/e leads. Then dropped the mortgage leads and denied ever selling them. Maybe they will soon deny ever selling r/e leads too. Rogers should stick to what they think they know best...cable and mobile. Let the professionals do everything else. The idea was no novelty nor original and could be beneficial to all involved but apparently they did not do it quite right since they are being shut down. I do know a couple very good realtors who took some leads so I cannot say all the realtors involved were sub-par, although still glad to see them shut down. As a couple others said there is much more to the job of a good realtor than Zoocasa was making it out to be.
  • Edie C | 09 Jun 2015, 08:49 PM Agree 0
    Real Estate goes beyond data, it's a people business and we need to care about our clients.
  • Stugatz | 09 Jun 2015, 09:41 PM Agree 0
    How rich, criticizing a company for wanting to make money. Yet, the 5% plus commission realtor's charge isn't exhorbitant at all, eh?
  • Peter B. Realtor | 09 Jun 2015, 09:45 PM Agree 0
    To be clear, Zoocasa was not a "discount" brokerage. They were a referral business. I also looked into them but as I provide Full mls at 3.75%, there was little to gain. One of the problems is that many realtors refer to any other realtor that charges less than 5% as a "discount" broker. Discount what? Cut your overhead and pass on the savings. Perhaps some of you "non discount" brokers should deflate your big heads and improve your business models. I am full time. I do not "pimp" myself as some idiots would claim. Seriously, think before you write.
  • Debbie Wilding | 09 Jun 2015, 10:41 PM Agree 0
    I'm a Realtor too and I had to laugh at their advertising that said they "match YOU the consumer with an agent that will suit you"...what a joke. The agents that were affiliated with them PAID a fee to ZooCasa to be on their list of "preferred agents" and they were not interested in matching YOU with an Agent they did not really care who got the client just as long as THEY got a share of the commission. I personally am glad they are gone and now we have to get our industry working smarter, better and more consumer oriented. Selling homes on the internet does not work...you still need to meet a) to see properties b) learn the market place when buying c) get comfortable with your agent

    The internet has brought about a false sense that Buyers and Sellers THINK they know everything that a Realtor knows and as long as things go smoothly they are fine but the minute stuff starts to happen they call us to fix it, advise them, help them find a lawyer, mortgage broker, home inspector, contractor, electrician, mould removal specialists, movers, insurance companies....and then when their house deal does not close they are looking for help but fast. If everyone could do the job of a Realtor everyone would have a licence but it is hard and not as easy as we make it look.
  • IHateRogers fan | 09 Jun 2015, 10:59 PM Agree 0
    Good riddance! Just because the own all telecommunication they thought they'd suck the blood of the real estate industry! Good riddance!!!
  • Cheryl | 10 Jun 2015, 01:02 AM Agree 0
    Good post Laura. I agree wholeheartedly with your comment "It is a full time job looking after consumer's best interests." There are a lot of great Realtors out there working hard for their clients.
  • 5% is crazy | 10 Jun 2015, 11:50 AM Agree 0
    Rod - I'm with you
    I support anyone taking on the status quo in the RE business.
    That's why I've sold 3 houses without an agent - very easy - don't believe the BS. 1 with Comfree. Who did all the selling broker work anyway for a flat $1,000. Another one just using an agent in Kingston who only lists houses on MLs for $99



    I still had to pay the buyers agent on 2 occasions because the buyers were too stupid to use a website. I built that into the selling price btw.
    The third one I gave the 2% back to the buyer because they came without an agent - I told them that up front.

    The secrecy around house sales data interfered with my sales but there are ways around that - don't forget how greedy agents are and how far they'll go for a case of beer

    Agents will tell both the buyer and the seller that their services are free - don't fall for it.




  • Mike w | 10 Jun 2015, 02:05 PM Agree 0
    I love when people save $21,000 in commission its just unfortunate that they didn't realize had they used an experienced agent they would have net $60,000 more. So they actually had a loss of $39,000. Seen it so many times It's sad.
  • Catharine | 10 Jun 2015, 03:32 PM Agree 0
    Statistics consistently show that what you "save in commissions" is less than what you'd make if you sell (and achieve a higher price) with a real estate professional. However, if you feel you did well and are happy that's all that matters. In the majority of cases and for most home sellers this doesn't hold true.
  • Josee Couture | 11 Jun 2015, 07:53 AM Agree 0
    If you don't know real estate, you don"t do real estate! It was only a matter of time and I am not surprised the slightest bit
  • Peter A | 12 Jun 2015, 06:22 AM Agree 0
    Not sure where you get your information from, but you are incorrect. Zoocasa did not charge a fee to agents. You only paid a referral percentage on completed business. A smaller portion of the referral percentage was issued back to the client as an incentive. It was not much different than paying a referral fee to another agent once you close on business you originally received from them. Likely you would charge me 25% for a referral ... or do you hand them out 'no charge.' Zoocasa merely improved on what REALTORS are already doing -so if you disagree with their business model, you'd might as well disagree with your own when it comes to referrals.
  • Peter A | 12 Jun 2015, 06:30 AM Agree 0
    DEBBIE WILDING: You wrote "The agents that were affiliated with them PAID a fee to ZooCasa to be on their list of "preferred agents" and they were not interested in matching YOU with an Agent they did not really care who got the client just as long as THEY got a share of the commission."
    Not sure where you get your information from, but you are totally incorrect. Zoocasa did not charge a fee to agents to be on any so-called 'list.' The only list consisted of agents who went through a stringent review process. They did not pay ANY fees to belong, and likewise, no fees up front on referrals.

    You only paid a referral percentage on completed business. A smaller portion of the referral percentage was issued back to the client as an incentive. It was not much different than paying a referral fee to another agent once you close on business you originally received from them. Likely you would charge me 25% for a referral ... or do you hand them out 'no charge'?!

    Zoocasa merely improved on what REALTORS are already doing -so if you disagree with their business model, you'd might as well disagree with your own when it comes to referrals. If you're looking for a bad guy in the business, there are lots. Having worked with them, I don't think Zoocasa was anybody's enemy.
  • RE 416 | 12 Jun 2015, 10:59 PM Agree 0
    While their business model (not plan) had its flaws ZooCasa did help many realtors get referrals they would have otherwise not enjoyed. So instead of 'dancing on their grave' perhaps we should wish good luck to the employees that no longer have jobs and hope that they secure employment soon.

    Realtors don't like it when people complain about their large commissions when, with the advent of the Internet, buyers now do a large percentage of the early research for them - so why they are so venomous about the fall of Zoocasa. Those in glass houses...
  • TOUR GUIDE | 13 Jun 2015, 09:36 AM Agree 0
    I agree Tour Guide Service is worth Max $1,000!!!! Paying someone to be a tour guide 20,000-50,000!!! ??? How do some consumers not see they are suckers..??
  • | 15 Jun 2015, 04:13 PM Agree 0
    When Rogers embarked on this so-called business venture it provided a window into their philosophy as a company. That philosophy is the philosophy of an opportunist - to simply make money where ever money can be made. Companies like this cannot have an enduring future.
  • Joel | 15 Jun 2015, 04:18 PM Agree 0
    I agree it helped you get leads. Successful agents do not need the Zoocasa's of this world to make a living. Just the lazy ones or the part-timers.
  • rob | 15 Jun 2015, 10:54 PM Agree 0
    rogers are no. one suckers i the market and monopolized the internet and cable industry and the politicians support them fully that is why they don't let competitors grow.it is mafia operation in a nut shell supported by our politicians.shame to our good country.
  • ROCKET SCIENCE | 16 Jun 2015, 05:49 PM Agree 0
    60,000 tour guides in Ontario and there is only so many sales /listings Joel the GENIUS thinks ur lazy because like everyone should be a millionaire and nobody scrubs toilets(basically saying 60,000 agents all should have a hundred sales a year) !!!.. the tour guides say Consumers would have gotten more with a professional tour guide...all the tour guides do or anyone is look up comparables/sales and shoot for it ..ROCKET SCIENCE
  • Tour Guide | 16 Jun 2015, 06:03 PM Agree 0
    Do the Math genius Joel..

    60000 tour guides x 3 deals 180,000 ..approx. number of sales in Ontario a year!! Joel The genius says the tour guides are just lazy....
  • | 17 Jun 2015, 11:52 AM Agree 0
    Peter A: Can you please contact me? I'm putting together the Head to Head for REP's next issue and want to focus on this topic. I'm at jennifer.paterson@kmimedia.ca. Thank you.
  • Haha ... | 17 Jun 2015, 02:50 PM Agree 0
    Troll is back and here to save the world!!!

    Lol... @ "Suckers," "3 month coursers," "Tour Guides," "Rod," "1000 Transactions," "Rocket Science,", "Commission Wars"... etc etc etc and yada yada yada!

    Folks! This is the same TROLL you find in all the articles here! Don't bother! It's not worth your time!

    As always, the TROLL will resort to saying that I have nothing better to do with my time then to write this (2-3 minute) response after reading this article.

    He/she is angry at the world for being in the same situation day after day! He/she has a degree in Conflict Engineering and Envy! He/she will make fun of the same education that he/she clearly failed to complete (as noted in previous comments!). I guarantee you he/she has friends/family in the real estate business, and it eats at their soul every day!

    Hey TROLL you'll use judgements, making-fun-of (or at least trying to!...lol), and extreme examples to judge people you know nothing of! And, yet after all of these comments, it's the same-ole wine and cheese song! You haven't even changed your tune to make it a little more exciting!

    Like usual. I realize you've started your day by checking these responses (such as mine!) and with a grin and shaking of your hands due to your anger issues and excitement to reply, you will prepare the same repetitive insecure comments!

    My apologies though! I won't be taking the time to read your well thought-out and meticulous comeback!

    1... 2... 3... Let it begin TROLL!


    P.S See it's easy to copy/paste the same thing every hour, every day, every week, and every month!
  • | 17 Jun 2015, 09:26 PM Agree 0
    My understanding is that the realtor/lawyer ( in other words a part time agent) that talked Rogers into the idea of Zoocasa and than left for greener pastures is the same person that was one of the partners for the now defunct Realty Sellers discount brokerage that sued TREB and later settled for over $1 million. Also triggered all the Competition Bureau investigations and was to be their star witness. Rogers came out of this with a very damaged reputation amongst one of it's main consumers for internet services and cell phones, realtors.
  • Phantom Offers | 18 Jun 2015, 10:04 AM Agree 0
    Comparable looker uppers,

    Good thing for trolling when Sketchy TOUR GUIDES use bogus/phantom offers to inflate the price of real estate instead of real values..

    it makes sense u take a 3 month course and u are supposed to know the value of real estate...no wonder they resort to tricks,bogus phatom offers to fool the consumer.... they never address how they calculate value for a home because all it is... looking up comparables on their monopoly website that consumers are paying for with their inflated fees

    consumers stop signing those listing agreements without some kind of compensation..they charge u a ridiculous fee and than they monopolize all ur personal infornmtion for themselves.. they pretend to safe guard from the public ..but as soon as someone wants o list or sell they hand out ur personal info u payed for like candy
  • TJ | 18 Jun 2015, 05:10 PM Agree 0
    Hey "Haha ...",

    That was funny, and validated by "Phantom Offers" or "TROLL's" response!

    You hit a nerve!

  • Phantom Offers | 18 Jun 2015, 07:40 PM Agree 0
    Expose the Tour Guides,

    thx for agreeing TJ and if we hit more nerves the scams of phantom offers and all the other scams tour guides use will be exposed
  • TJ | 19 Jun 2015, 10:30 AM Agree 0
    I wasn't agreeing with you Mr TROLL!

    "Haha..." comments were funny, yet true at the same time! And, your childish and vendetta responses show that you obviously have something personal against agents.

    The only nerves that have been hit are clearly yours!

    I'm a lawyer who works with agents. Now, you can go ahead and make fun of my industry as well!
  • Everyone is a Dr. Phil | 19 Jun 2015, 12:28 PM Agree 0
    Another Dr. Phil (TJ my hero),

    I know u say u weren't agreeing online but in ur head u are...watching how much those tour guides make but they feed me too!!

    Name calling from a lawyer is mature!! And I am childish!! I think u are underpayed and said why haven't ur fees doubled or tripled like tour guides fees have over 20 yrs? Values of home have went up not the value of the tour guide. If the tour guide service costs have gone up why not urs!!!??

    Stick to trading real estate Dr. Phil
  • Comparable looker uppers | 24 Jun 2015, 10:03 AM Agree 0
    Make sure consumers to ask for compensation when u sign those listing agreements. They can do whatever they want with ur personal sold data for their benefit. You pay and they(tour guide) benefit.. they scream they are protecting you to the competition bureau but soon as they can make money off the data they HAND IT LIKE CANDY TO WHOEVER!!!!!
  • Mike T | 02 Jul 2015, 11:32 AM Agree 0
    Why would you want to give 25% of your commissions away when you can just use services like http://realestateleads.ca and pay for your leads instead give away that much of your commission.
  • | 20 Jul 2015, 04:41 PM Agree 0
    I have done the same , not using Rogers services and you do it too
  • Roshan Khadem | 20 Jul 2015, 04:42 PM Agree 0
    I have done the same , not using Rogers services and you do it too
  • | 24 Jul 2015, 12:38 AM Agree 0
    Well it has become extremely difficult for the locals to own even a square piece of land in Toronto because the rates have skyrocketed. Mortgage companies aren't helping either and the burden of not being able to repay the debt has left a lasting impression on the people. I would say I had the notion that the present scenario would change but then it is kind of going from bad to worse. My uncle who has been an agent for the past 12 years after getting his training from Royal Lepage( http://www.royallepagemississauga.ca/ ) in Mississauga been doing a great job but then even he said that he doesn't see any change in the trend. All we could hope for are new measures and hopefully they would be able to buckle the trend.
  • 25 year Realtor | 07 Mar 2016, 02:30 PM Agree 0
    I represented some Buyers who were former Zoocasa customers. They were looking for a house in Guelph and signed up for a referral to a "preferred agent". They were referred to an Agent in a different city than where they were buying, who told them to call him (the Agent) when they found a house, and then he would do the offer. That is why it didn't work. Good Agents don't need to scrounge leads from referral companies. And a "good and competent" referral is definitely not to an Agent who works in an different territory. As far as the uneducated posters that rant about commissions - you don't know what your talking about. Obviously you don't use the services of a Realtor so its pretty simple minded to pretend you know what they do or what value they offer. Private sales represent less than 1% of our market so obviously 99% of consumers who do use Agents feel they receive value for the money.
  • 25 year Realtor | 07 Mar 2016, 02:30 PM Agree 0
    I represented some Buyers who were former Zoocasa customers. They were looking for a house in Guelph and signed up for a referral to a "preferred agent". They were referred to an Agent in a different city than where they were buying, who told them to call him (the Agent) when they found a house, and then he would do the offer. That is why it didn't work. Good Agents don't need to scrounge leads from referral companies. And a "good and competent" referral is definitely not to an Agent who works in an different territory. As far as the uneducated posters that rant about commissions - you don't know what your talking about. Obviously you don't use the services of a Realtor so its pretty simple minded to pretend you know what they do or what value they offer. Private sales represent less than 1% of our market so obviously 99% of consumers who do use Agents feel they receive value for the money.
  • Neil Hamilton | 29 Mar 2016, 03:02 PM Agree 0
    They tried to get me to join them here in YVR, but I could never really square with their business plan. I didn't think it would work, and it didn't. The fact is, no matter what any of the ranters and ravers against realtors say, there is no substitute for a GOOD, KNOWLEDGEABLE realtor who genuinely has his/her clients interests at heart (and there are lots of them). People who rail against realtors do it because they are jealous of the incomes the good ones make. But as I said to one of the "ranter" newspaper columnists here a couple of months back, "Let's you and I trade professions for a month and we'll see how well you do..."
  • Najib | 30 Mar 2016, 10:01 AM Agree 0
    I am a bit confused, I read the article about the Zoocasa that it closed its doors. However, I see their website still active. I checked it today March 30th, 2016. Could someone update me what is really happening here with Zoocasa?
  • Barbara De Angelis | 25 Apr 2016, 11:00 AM Agree 0
    Data information and referral services are fine and serve their limited, short-term purposes; but nothing is a substitute for trusted business relationships and true client service for long-term well being at both ends!
    /Barbara De Angelis
    Real Estate Sales Representative
  • | 28 Apr 2016, 11:09 AM Agree 0
    me too on dumping rogers, poaching in other industries
    Don't forget Investors group parent company owns Comfree
  • | 28 Apr 2016, 11:11 AM Agree 0
    you know what you saved you have no idea what you lost for not being on the larger market
    with the realtors. Sold private once won't again
  • Ready Teddy Realtor | 20 May 2016, 12:24 PM Agree 0
    It is a corporate thing lacking the foresight to believe clients don't like their suppliers to become competitors. Many years ago while in the printing field I saw Xerox buying up and opening store fronts which as you can imagine upset the copying and printing firms they were trying to sell equipment to.
  • e.harold | 30 May 2016, 10:11 AM Agree 0
    where the Hell is our policeman - RECO ??? playing like an ostrich ? what are our dues for ?

    thanks a lot eh !
  • Dick | 19 Jun 2016, 03:13 PM Agree 0
    ZooCasa was closed down by Rogers but picked up and is running via a Toronto Realtor and only dealing in the Toronto market and perhaps some of the GTA.
  • Kinder Banwait | 13 Jul 2016, 11:01 AM Agree 0
    Well said by all who commented!

    Just wanted to share that Fee Duck is another one taking a cut for doing nothing. These micky mouse companies shouldn't be allowed. These third party comapanies know nothing about real estate, yet calimed to be experts. I'm hoping that this one disappears soon...
  • Vlad | 17 Aug 2016, 12:57 PM Agree 0
    Sometimes greed gets punished... I am happy this time it happened to one of the greediest companies in the world called Rogers.
  • | 15 Sep 2016, 01:16 PM Agree 0
    No one person can convince me that giving out data to the public is a good practice interpretation is everything. If I had a brain tumor I would not try to operate myself. Realtors for the most part save their clients thousands of hard earned dollars doing it right. We are a conduit of information for the public to make informed decisions with the most expensive decision in their life.

    These type of companies have been around for a period of time now...I call them armchair realtors who are bottom feeders" it's all about money not the publics' best interest. I think Roger's was not giving this type of decision a clear and informed thought when they agreed.. it's about money always is.
  • Angelika Jost | 04 Oct 2016, 08:29 PM Agree 0
    As a home seller and home buyer, I really felt my private buying and selling information being made so readily available to the general public was dangerous, had the great potential to be misused, and violated my privacy rights without my explicit permission. I'm glad those sketchy "professionals" are gone!!
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