There’s a new realty brokerage in town and it’s already a hit with consumers.
Justo Inc. has only been operating in the Greater Toronto Area since September, but the reception it has received from consumers has been resoundingly positive. One reason is that the brokerage returns 50% of the buyer’s fee. For example, if a home is sold for $750,000, the buyer receives $9,375.
The brokerage has been a success with agents, too. Although the commission fee is lower than the industry standard 2.5%, agents recoup that money by having all of their marketing expenses paid for, in addition to the brokerage providing them voluminous qualified leads.
“We produce all the leads and take care of the costs the agents would have to cover if they were working on their own,” said Vicki Schmidt, Justo’s co-founder, COO and broker of record. “We give them access to a territory where they can do the things they enjoy about real estate, instead of paperwork, lead generation and marketing, which we also take care of for them.”
Agents are given vast territories—outside of Toronto, it could be entire suburbs; inside it could be Forest Hill, Rosedale, or the downtown condo market—and they have the option of managing their own teams.
“They focus on gaining expertise in their markets and being very involved in the day-to-day,” said Schmidt. “If someone is a lead territory manager, they can build a team underneath them in that territory and have other opportunities for residual income, so sky’s the limit in terms of what they can build in their large territories. It can be very financially lucrative being that they’re managing clients and a team with real presence inside a designated market.”
That Justo also pays for everything from agents’ marketing to staging, virtual tours, professional photography, and more, agents are free to focus on the qualified leads provided by the brokerage. And while the brokerage is keen on accommodating its agents, it does the same for the public.
“The public’s response has been overwhelmingly positive since we launched in September, and our clients are very engaged with the model and love the transparency and fresh approach to real estate, as well as the savings,” said Schmidt. “Our listing fee is half of what a typical listing fee is; we offer additional services to buyers and sellers—for the former it’s paying for home inspections and lawyer fees and for the latter it’s the staging, virtual tours and we bring in professional photographers. We do these things so that we can get more buyers to access the property.”
It appears to be working. The brokerage is inundated with inquiries and its staff is busy preparing clients’ listings. Another reason Schmidt believes the community has been so welcoming is that the price of homes has shot up in the GTA over the last few years and every penny saved goes a long way. It’s through innovative offerings like lower agent commission fees and cashback incentives that the brokerage keeps its pipeline brimming.
“A realistic income for our agents would start around $100,000 annually and could easily reach $400,000-plus, depending on the market and the agent’s conversion rates, but they can expect to convert more transactions because they’re receiving more qualified leads.”