Rogers Communications is expanding into the real estate business. Well not exactly. They are registering as a real estate brokerage called Zoocasa but without a team of agents or an office or any of the other things you might expect to find in a brokerage.
Really, what they are doing is developing an online directory of property listings and agents. In other words, it has a great deal in common with an advertising site but the catch is that they will offer rebates and other goodies to consumers by charging agents a fee of 35% of their commission earnings for clients referred to them. Say what? 35%?
This blog outlines it well and expresses my feelings to a tee. I do think that organized real estate has failed to provide the best technology for consumers via the very popular realtor.ca website and this has left an opening for a private entity. I do however wonder how any “top” agent would consider sharing 35% of their income with Rogers.
Think about it. A top agent has usually been in the business for some time and has built a business by proving their value to clients who are repeat customers and/or refer others to the agent. They don’t need to beg for business and they are certainly not giving away their entire profit margin to a private company for leads. So who is willing to pay it? Is the consumer really getting the best value? You decide.
I also noticed in their media release a reference to them being able to provide a seamless link to a raft of Rogers’ other services, such as digital devices and even home security systems. Aha, now I get it. Advertise themselves AND make money off agents. Brilliant. They win. Will the consumer?