“Rogers Communications is expanding into RE; aiming to relaunch website; providing critical data that can help potential buyers assess the value of a property from the comfort of their home computer.”

“Rogers Communications is expanding into the real estate business.
The mobile and cable giant has applied to become a licensed real estate brokerage right across Canada and is aiming to relaunch its five-year-old website Zoocasa.com in May as a unique, one-stop-shopping site for homebuyers.
It’s aimed at going far beyond U.S.-based property listing services such as Zillow and Trulia which have revolutionized house hunting south of the border by providing critical data that can help potential buyers assess the value of a property from the comfort of their home computer.
… The rebuilt Zoocasa site will have “the most complete list of property information that can be provided to consumers, including neighbourhood and related information,” said real estate maverick Lawrence Dale who quietly folded his Realtysellers private sales online listings site a few months ago and started working with Rogers as Group Head, Real Estate Business.”

– from ‘Rogers to step into the real estate business’, thestar.com, 25 Mar 2013

We welcome any moves that result in availability of data regarding for-sale properties.
A Zillow-like system in Canada would represent a great improvement.
– vreaa

29 responses to ““Rogers Communications is expanding into RE; aiming to relaunch website; providing critical data that can help potential buyers assess the value of a property from the comfort of their home computer.”

  1. A natural market for them: Canadians are accustomed to, and apparently willing to, overpay for both telecom and real estate.

  2. 1) there is no indication this “zillow-like” system will display previous sales information
    2) Having this information, even if Rogers were able to display it, did not save the US from undergoing a significant speculative bubble

    There is nothing here, other than a big giant contrarian siren going off when a firm as large as Rogers enters a crowded arena with eroding margins and what looks like a shrinking market in the years ahead.

    • Ralph Cramdown

      Eroding margins? Property price * volume * average commission has far outstripped office and car lease rates and cellphone bills over the last ten-twenty years. If price and volume each decline 50%, margins would still be fat under today’s model.

    • Well, if it doesn’t display previous sales information, it’s definitely not zillow-like. And not sure what it would be, then.
      What does “the most complete list of property information that can be provided to consumers” actually mean?…. no more than MLS?

      • “the most complete list of property information that can be provided to consumers”

        How slippery the wording! Indeed if previous sales information CAN NOT be provided to “consumers” because MLS claims to own the data and does not grant the data to be distributed publicly, then all information that CAN be provided is being provided.

        In other words, same old. Tara Perkins from the Globe picked this up lickedy split. If you are good friends with, or are, a Realtor, you can access sales data at your heart’s content. Everyone else gets a sad trombone. If it’s any consolation I don’t think it matters one way or another.

  3. Nobody seems to care that Dale’s success is primarily because he likes to sue. RealtySellers failed before and it will likely fail again. If there is one thing Rogers knows how to do it is pulling the plug on a sinking ship.
    Rogers has lowered their bar again by getting into bed with dale. And they expect agents to pay them to feature their own listings on a site that has less traction than realtor.ca? Knowing how much he is loved, I can’t imagine any agent jumping to join the dale bandwagon anytime soon.
    By the way, I’m all for competition. Don’t get me wrong. It will be interesting to see if Rogers can eek out a profit in the next 10 yrs.

    • Ralph Cramdown

      I probably don’t need to tell you everything that is wrong with realtor.ca, or that umpteen thousands of its users would cheer at competition, and know all too well what they’re missing. If Bernie Madoff and Kim Jong-un partnered to build a website to compete with realtor.ca, I’d give it a try.

  4. I find the business model terribly flawed. Unless the information is wide open I don’t see buyers flocking to the site, and without that traffic agents won’t want to bother advertising on it. Furthermore, I’ve read elsewhere that they will only be allowing the cream of the crop agents to advertise. If they are that good they could probably care less about paying Rogers for impressions because most of thier business is word of mouth.

  5. That said, competition is good… But this is definitely a rolling your eyes moment.

  6. I’m curious to hear what people think. Will more transparency lead to more or less speculation?

  7. It would end some of the confusion about the state of the markets and bring much needed transparency, BLM. The effect would allow a better analysis of what is taking place in real time which should eliminate some of the speculation over trends that we now suffer from. I like the Rogers entry despite the misgivings. I would imagine over time they will offer what the market demands in the form of information.

    If not then they are wasting their time and money. Why would they do that?

  8. This is funny. You guys are comparing Zoocasa with Zillow and you are saying that Zoocasa will not be able to offer historical information. He he, MLS doesn’t do that either. That is exactly the point, they will compete MLS and this will be enough. If a buyer/seller wants historical information the agents will also have access to MLS 🙂 . That will be for a while t(2-3 years probably. By then Zoocasa will have their own database with enough information to provide historical data. However as far as I know most of the previous sales are also registered with the government and accessible for a fee.

  9. Yellow Helicopter

    Vreaa, did you hear about Carney’s wife complaining about the cost of housing in London? She blames the wealthy French. :-/


    • Good one, thanks.

      ‘The housing allowance relates to the fact that I’m moving from one of the cheapest capitals [Ottawa] to one of the most expensive capitals,’ he said.

      Pity he’s not being forced to move to Vancouver… the discussion about housing allowance would be rich.

    • [NoteToFarmer] “A daughter of a wealthy pig farmer, she attended the £31,000-a-year Marlborough College in Wiltshire before gaining a first in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St John’s College, Oxford.”

      [NoteToEd] What wouldn’t the Governor be able to afford for CDN $30,000 a month? Don’t think he would bat an eye in Vancouver though he would witness first hand the effects of his policies.

      • Ralph Cramdown

        Ouch! The British press are so nasty. Everything’s factual, but it’s just one damning thing after another. And the average colonial doesn’t even see it.

      • I blame the “BedroomTax”…

        “It is absolutely necessary we get that spending under control.” – Commons Public Accounts Committee/Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

        [UK Independent] – Housing benefit bill: MPs warn that ‘bedroom tax’ will hit poorest

        …”Plans to slash the housing benefit bill partly by the introduction of the so-called bedroom tax could have a “severe impact” on the income of Britain’s poorest people, MPs warn the Government today.

        Two million people are expected to be affected by reductions in housing benefit of up to 25 per cent for tenants judged to be living in properties too large for them.”…


        [NoteToEd: Pity Mrs. Carney having to make do on a paltry weekly housing allowance of just GBP5K… What’s worse, it’s so hard to find children to clean the chimneys these days! – never mind GoodHelp]

    • Those damn French immigrants and greedy foreign buyers! How dare they plump up jolly old London prices with all their dirty Euros and proceeds of wine and stinky cheese.

      • [#CouldBeWorse]

        Speaking of “critical data that can help potential ‘buyers’ assess the value of a ‘property’…”… your TuesdayZen & Quote ‘O TheDay, DearReaders…

        “I didn’t even travel once outside of Qatar. I was saving and saving. I didn’t buy myself a fancy car.” – Jamal Qassim, NewlyDivorced [who’d worked and saved for nine years to accumulate his wedding’s 450,000 Qatari riyals – USD$123,600 – cost.]

        [AllJazzEra] – Big fat weddings weigh down Qatari grooms: Opulent ceremonies cited as reason for falling marriage rates in Gulf state, as costs deter many from tying the knot.

        …”Doha, Qatar – The Gulf state of Qatar is among the wealthiest countries in the world. But despite the affluence, increasingly extravagant weddings in Qatar are making it difficult for men, who pay for the celebrations, to foot the bill…

        …Accordingly, Qatar has been taking measures to ensure “the continuity of cohesive families and large households”, which it sees as “crucial to the national vision”, according to Qatar’s National Development Strategy Report. As part of that strategy, last week Qatar Charity launched Zawaj, a marriage programme, which will offer pre-marital counselling and financial assistance to Qatari couples.

        The couples may also be provided with free wedding tents “in a bid to reduce marriage expenses and help preserve the institution of marriage”, according to Qatar’s national news agency.”…


        [NoteToEd: Fancy that. A WeddingTent! I had to make to do with a SexTant.]

      • Did it produce children though?……..

      • It gave Yeoman’sService on many a PerilousPassage through NarrowShoals, Farmer… TooWell, actually. Fortunately, I was eventually obliged to return it.

        Of course, It’s OldSchool in the extreme… but when it comes to plotting a course would you rather gaze at HeavenlyBodies and engage in AstroNav… or play with your Garmin?

      • So there is little ones, then?

      • …..or are you still working the Garmin?

      • That’s a terribly difficult question to answer, Farmer… We were always so scrupulous about never visiting the same port twice. I’ll let CaptainFlint, ScourgeOfTheAmazon answer in my stead… 🙂

  10. This new service isn’t going to be like Zillow. It’s going to go “far beyond” Zillow. But as we all know — without the spin — that if it even gets half of what Zillow has, it’ll be a miracle. Slippery, fraudulent, wording indeed. I expect nothing less from the current state of the market and the corrupt players within it.

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