Rogers Communications shutting down Zoocasa.com on June 22, 2015

zoocasa  They launched back in 2008 in a beta version.  In 2011, they began offering property valuations through Zoopraisal.  And in the coming years, they provided the public with property sales data.   Surprisingly, Rogers Communications announced they will close the site as of June 22nd, 2015.

There is much speculation about why Rogers would close this online real estate site.  This was not some small business.  This site had a huge following and was ranked number 1181 in top websites in Canada…  That may not sound impressive, but that’s actually incredibly high.   Remax.ca is ranked #484, Royallepage.ca is #535, Sutton.com (Sutton Group) is just #3559… according to Alexa rankings.

Zoocasa also solicited realtors, banks and other industry suppliers to buy into their ad campaigns and lead generation system.   A strategy we have seen elsewhere with controversial Online mortgage rate shopping sites.

Clearly, they weren’t making enough money.  Isn’t that why businesses close?   That’s puzzling, given that Rogers is a huge conglomerate with enormous resources at its disposal.   It makes me wonder… If Rogers can’t make an online real estate site work, that’s gotta tell us something.

For years, we’ve heard complaints about the high cost of real estate commissions.  Sure, I don’t want to pay the 5% either… and there’s probably a segment of the population that can list and sell without the use of a realtor.  From my own personal experience of selling and buying several properties, and having worked with thousands of homeowners, paying that 5% is usually well worth it.

This isn’t a plug for realtors, but I’ve seen too many consumers get burned with inappropriate real estate contracts, or being unable to sell their house or having to sell their house at below market value due to lack of exposure and lack of expertise.  A good realtor is worth the cost.   They should be able to sell your home for fair market value, quickly and without hassle.  If they can do this, then it’s worth the cost…. that’s my opinion for what it’s worth.

It will be interesting to see who picks up the slack with Zoocasa.com gone.  I’m sure this closure will be used for debate or an argument against the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) or Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB).   There has been much debate about MLS and TREB in recent years.   The Competition Bureau had a legal battle that ended with TREB preserving it’s data for members only.  Stay tuned.. this isn’t over yet…

Your best interest is my only interest.   I reply to all questions and I welcome your comments.  Like this article?  Share with a friend.

Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 steve@mortgagenow.ca

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