stan cropped web“Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don’t!” – Pete Seeger, noted singer and lyricist.

When we look up what experience means in the dictionary, we get an assortment of meanings from verb to adjective to noun: knowledge, venture, background and on and on.

So now we face yet another competitor in our business in the guise of a soon to be broker, Rogers Communications (via the Zoocasa website). Rogers’ Canada-wide enterprises totally overwhelm the miniscule numbers of members of CREA.  At the helm is the well-documented hero of slash and burn commissions, Lawrence Dale, formerly of RealtySellers.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way denigrating either Rogers or Mr. Dale’s entrepreneurship.  I’m questioning and shrugging at the same time. Do we really need Rogers in our business?  We’re not in theirs!

From what I have read, Rogers, under the watchful eye of Mr. Dale, will grace our incomes with referrals based on who will give them the highest referral fee. Hmm. Let me see, if an experienced agent is working his system, he doesn’t need Rogers’ lead system.  It may be okay for an inexperienced agent who is hungry for his first deal or first several deals.  But at what referral cost(s)?  And would a typical homeowner want an experienced agent to sell his most valued possession based on a referral from a telecommunications company?  A mega corporate giant with no attachment or credentials to perform the services that we can, as long-standing providers of real estate related services?

Mr. Dale is a learned lawyer and has been recorded as an opponent of the current MLS systems. I am sure he will render great advice to Rogers in their quest to become a Realtor’s best friend!

Not too many of you remember Moneytree Mortgage Fund in the U.S.  They too thought that they could feed Realtors leads from their clients. They are no more.

Look, I am not saying that Rogers has no right to expand their already huge enterprise, which is now looking like a “Big Brother” corporation.  It just seems that each year we’re facing more challenges.

So, back to experience. What’s your experience worth?  What’s it worth if you get what I’d call a legitimate referral from a friend, business or another agent? Does the consumer want to have a knowledgeable and trusted advisor to hunt for a home or sell their own?  I’m not saying that a new agent who takes a Rogers referral will necessarily mess up, but let’s pretend than we’re not agents for a minute and we’re transported to being consumers. We would want someone who had knowledge and the expertise to see an offer/listing through from start to finish.

And all of that has a value that’s transposed to the commissions we charge – and I can’t say what you should or shouldn’t charge.  The value of your experience(s) dictates what commission you feel you are worth.  For newer agents, my advice is to associate yourself with an experienced agent to lend credence to your zeal and quest for a successful career.

Experience the help of a mentor. Then later in your years of business, pay it forward!

I encourage all of you to tap into your own experience and then decide if Rogers’ referral system will add to your ability to earn the money you deserve.

 

Stan Albert, broker/manager, ABR, ASA at Re/Max Premier in Vaughan, Ont. can be reached for consultation at [email protected]. Stan is now celebrating his 43rd year as an active real estate professional.

16 COMMENTS

  1. I find it interesting to read all the comments that are not based on the facts. The Real Estate Industry has gone online. What is great is that you can compete large or small. Rogers and Zoocasa will be one of many options for consumers. We all need to put our best Value proposition forward and compete for the business like we have always done.
    My understanding is that Zoocasa is capturing online leads and then selling them to a select group of agents that meet standards set by Zoocasa. Online lead capture is difficult, and having a large budget will not guarantee you are the winner, it will drive traffic, lots of traffic. I have encouraged my agents to participate because client acquisition costs money. You can spend the money yourself or in this case have Rogers take the risk for what they hope will be for a share of the profit

    • Paul:

      You state “I have encouraged my agents to participate because client acquisition costs money.”

      Yes…their money…not yours.

      Why don’t you start a program within your brokerage whereby ‘you’ pay the Zoocasa bribe money up front on behalf of your “Zoocasa-selected” agents if you believe so strongly that you will ultimately net a good return on said investment. Sounds like a slam-dunk sure-fire money-making deal to me.

  2. This is what it has come to now? Write an article full of hypothetical thesis and spread the fear among the uninformed masses, while devaluing real estate agents in general.

    Nearly 50% of agents in Stan’s own office produce less than 4 deals a year. Only 17% agents make more than 12 deals.

    • sounds like you may have the averages , maybe out of skew, but nevertheless, I would never stoop to denigrate a fellow colleague as you have done.
      You miss the point of the article totally.

  3. “through our Rogers Security System allows you to know when the showing agent arrives”
    This statement like many is fallacious as the take up on this alarm system is very small. Perhaps one in every 300 listings may have this feature. So why promote something as if its in wide use when its not. Many have come to this business in the past, Few stay. In particular Royal Trust, Family Trust Canada Trust all came and moved on because its not core of their business model.

    • When you list your home from a Zoocasa Preferred Agent, Rogers will install and provided Rogers Home Alarm Free of charge so you always no who and when your home is being shown whether you are at home or away.

      After the sale the buyer will receive 3 months Free as an added bonus for buying any Zoocasa Recommended home.

      Rogers has just found a way in the front door to bundle even more services.

      Stan this isn’t MoneyTree this is realestate.com.au. Contact the Remax brokers in that country and find out what is coming your way. We did over 3 years ago.

  4. Stan,

    The real problem with ORE is the number of unproductive unprofessional agents. Take a look at your own brokerage. Why don’t you tell this forum how many of your agents do say only 4 or 5 deals a year. I bet its the majority. Based on what you say, the majority of your agents should be standing in line for referrals from any source as they all need the business. You are talking like the industry is full of professional experienced agents, when that cannot be farther from the truth. There are good, experienced agents out there, but they are dwarfed in numbers by the masses, the majority of which have parked their licensed at firms like yours trying to just survive. So, why don’t you come clean and show us all how professional, or might I say unprofessional, your brokerage is. Don’ t be ashamed, you are in good company.

    • Have at him Stan; I’ll referee. I used to be a hockey ref. in my younger days. You have the advantage, intellectually and experientially. I’ll only intervene if you threaten to expose his identity. Wouldn’t want to embare ass his ego. He might not come back.

      Brian

      P.S.: Please excuse my spelling; I lost my dictionary.

      • He’s only saying what you’ve been saying Brian. Too many non professionals. Heck he’s even throwing a little Brian style at it.

  5. Only focusing on Ontario or even the GTA, here is what your competition will be looking like for all those GTA listing Agents when Zoocasa reaches Critical Traffic Mass, folks.

    The following comparison is based on The Zoocasa Brokerage Marketing Package of $2499.00 versus the traditional listing agent at $7499.00 (on a $300,000 home). Buyer brokerage commissions to be negotiated at the time of offer. Sellers will save $5000 choosing Zoocasa Brokerage at start. All fees are payable only upon successful completion of sale. Zoocasa accepts Visa, MasterCard or AMEX and gain an additional 20000 points if you use your Zoocasa Visa.

    Evaluation Pricing:

    Zoocasa -An appraisal using SOLD data garnered from every MLS association in Ontario, representing every available MLS listed property in your community. 100% of listed and sold properties will be used. FSBO data will be included to ensure the most accurate price possible.

    Traditional RE/MAX Agent- An appraisal using ONLY SOLD data from the Agents Local Board. In a city like Oakville this represents less than 70% of listed properties and properties posted to the MLS from competing boards will not show in the results. FSBO property results will also not be shown.

    Marketing Program:

    Zoocasa- A Professional Marketing team made up of experts in all forms of Marketing, the same one used by Rogers Communications and the Blue Jays, will produce Feature Sheets, Handouts, Virtual Tour, Print Advertisment, Mobile Ads on Canada’s largest Cellular network, Upgraded Zoocasa.com listing, Premium Zoocasa.com positioning, complete realtor.ca exposure with direct link backs to your Listing on Zoocasa, Exclusive Buyer Benefits Offers competing properties cannot offer.

    Traditional RE/MAX Agent-The agent will create, produce or outsource from companies with limited to no credentials, your ads, feature sheets, virtual tour. Your listing will be linked back to a site that has lower Traffic than Zoocasa. No Buyer Benefits other than recommending a lawyer or mortgage broker.

    Property Showings:

    Zoocasa Brokerage through our Rogers Security System, allows you to know when the showing agent arrives, see them at your front door on your smart phone and even watch them from interior cams as they walk through your home. All appointments are handled through the Rogers Network were our Staff monitors each and every showing, garnering feedback on any comments made while the Buyers view your home. Agent Feedback is accomplished by immediate txt feedback via our Zoocasa Feedback App included with any Rogers cell phone, for Agents using a competing cell provider, although outdated we still use SMS with repeated sends until feedback is obtained. It’s all automatic working 24 hrs a day 7 days a week ensuring our sellers have immediate feedback at any time.

    Traditional RE/MAX Agent- all appointments are booked through our office.
    We contact the agent for feedback. We call you once or twice a week to let you know what they said. We can email you too btw.

    Offer Negotiation:

    Zoocasa Brokerage-has moved into the online world of presenting offers. Login to your Zoocasa Seller Account and you will see your Offers live and ready to negotiate. The Offer will already be reviewed by our legal team with suggested changes for your protection noted in the box on the left side of the offer itself. Using our Chat window, you and your spouse can sit back and discuss points of contention with our Professionally trained Negotiators. NO PRESSURE and done with no one looking over your shoulder. Make your changes, sign electronically, and we will submit your offer back to the Buyers digitally. This process may take 2 or 3 attempts but in the end you will come out the winner. Don;t worry about getting all the offers you can because we automatically SMS-email every agent, every buyer and even casual Zoocasa shoppers that if they want to bid on your home they must act immediately.

    Traditional RE/MAX Agent- We will contact you as soon as an offer arrives and set up a time to get together to present the offer. We will contact the other agents that showed interest to let them know we are presenting at the given time. We sit with you Face to Face and hold your hand through the negotiating process. We review the offer and inform you of our opinion on what you should do. If the Buyers Agent insists on coming we will let them attend as well so they can give you the reasons why they have offered the price they have. This face to face arrangement may seem strange in a world of smartphones and email but we know how to sell homes.

    Conditions and Closing
    Zoocasa Brokerage- Everything is handled electronically. You can use the Zoocasa Closing Service to handle your transaction and benefit from our in house legal staff to ensure your deal goes smoothly. Don’t worry about problems because with the power of Rogers Corporate behind our legal team most deals close on time and with no fuss.

    Traditional RE/MAX Agent-We handle paperwork until the sale is firm ourselves. We may need to arrange to meet with you to sign. You can use your own lawyer and make arrangements to attend their office and rely on their experience if a problem arises.

    Post Close:

    Zoocasa Brokerge- We know our past clients move every 5-7 years and Zoocasa wants to stay in touch with you and show you how we value your business. You can take advantage of any Rogers Service at a discounted price and even use the Zoocasa App to get quotes on insurance, renovations or even your next automobile.

    Traditional RE/MAX Agent-We value your business and to show you how much we want to do business with you again accept this gift basket. We will email you monthly with real estate news to keep in touch. We will call you or drop in uninvited just in case you are interested in selling again or in case you have a friend to refer to us.

    This technology is fully available to Zoocasa through Roger right now.

    And it’s even better, starting 2014 every Rogers phone will include the Zoocasa App alongside Rogers TV, One Number and Your Account Apps. Giving you 365 days of real estate updates without you ever needing to touch a computer again.

    • So for Property Showings:

      Zoocasa Brokerage through our Rogers Security System, allows you to know when the showing agent arrives, see them at your front door on your smart phone and even watch them from interior cams as they walk through your home. All appointments are handled through the Rogers Network were our Staff monitors each and every showing, garnering feedback on any comments made while the Buyers view your home.

      And this is supposed to make potential Buyers feel ‘at home’ … ? I understand the security angle Zoocasa/Rogers is trying to push but I’m not sure as a Buyer how comfortable I’d feel viewing that home and would definitely keep my mouth shut knowing that I was being listened to the whole time. Good luck with that one.

      • Interesting, Tony.
        I always instruct my people (my buyers) not to speak or ask questions while “in the property.” But rather to take notes and we will talk after we leave each property. They are often shocked, but then think about how they would like REALTORS(r) to treat their own home when it goes to market.

        Why? For many years, and rightfully so, people have, what have become commonly referred to as, “nanny-cams” strategically located in their homes, buried in plants, attached to a child’s bear-toy, or otherwise located in spots where they would least be expected to be.

        Sometimes more than one security item, or even different types, discriminately placed throughout the property (along with sound system management that records instant-on feedback). It used to, sometimes, be ‘edutainment’ having heard how much a buyer loved the place, the seller felt he could hold out for a higher price, at times.

        I know it happens, thankfully not often, but more so perhaps at open houses, where “lookers” sometimes actually open private dresser drawers and bathroom cabinet drawers (that’s entirely different than appraising kitchen cabinets usefulness). Not necessary looking to steal, just a force that some people don’t seem to be able to control, not unlike shoppers who feel the need to touch everything hanging for sale in retail areas, fully knowing they are never going to buy the item.

        And then there’s “the children” who not only play with the toys belonging to the homeowner’s children, but feel compelled to jump on beds, slide down bannisters, and treat the seller’s home the way the would their own, unattended, and certainly never told “no.”

        Recently this ‘showing-action’ was even filmed on one of the Buy a House tv shows. The husband plopped himself down on the master bedroom bed, and the wife jumped into the bathtub to be sure it “fit.”

        Then the husband stood in the shower. Hmmmm. Just some of the things that happen when you put your house for sale. Fortunately, not often, but it does happen. So maybe that is what Rogers is playing on, as to security tightening devices. Who knows… just a thought.

        Carolyne L

    • Well the only thing you have missed in this whole formula is a a good salesman, I’ve been at this 25 years and real estate does not sell on its own. It’s the same old story the belief is that real estate agents are making a good living because real estate sells on its own. So zoocasa comes in and says we can cut out the agents and make the money they make, we have all sorts of tools and gimmicks to make this better – your like every other cut rate broker and you will have your small portion but you actually do not understand why a good real estate agent makes money and you never will. The worst part is you actually believe that the data that has been so carefully saved and managed is a puplic utility and belongs to you, you have no respect for an industry that has bent over backwards to protect the consumer to its own detriment. Zoocasa will stay around because Rogers will throw millions at it and make a 1 to 1 profit and say they are doing great. In the long run we will list and sell the homes that you do not sell and you will never see that customer again. Trust me we will be the majority

      • .Brian you’re quite right.. most of what you and I see over the years has evolved into a multi faceted Brokerages who offer so many choices. And that’s a good thing so far as being competitive goes.
        My opinion in my articles are intended to prompt responses and am glad to see so many both pro and con.
        Thanks for being a fan! Coffee on me any time!

  6. Hi Stan:

    I like your comments, but, did you not mean to say “And would a typical homeowner want an ‘inexperienced’ agent to sell his most valued possession based on a referral from a telecommunications company?” instead of ‘…an experienced agent…”?

    I believe that the Rogers model will attract ‘only’ Realtors who are not doing well, thus incorporating within that midst a disproportionate number of newbies/inexperienced amateurs. In fact, I hope that the slimeball “I wanna get rich quick” factor often attached to the psychology of a mercenary is attracted to the Rogers model. I would thereafter hope that RECO becomes flooded with consumer complaints regarding the less than professional/ethical manner with which they were treated by their Rogers’ promoted flunkies.

    I mused a couple of years ago herein something about Walmart assembly line real estate waiting on the horizon…it has arrived, in the form of Rogers telecommunications’ “bribe-me-for-a-bone” venture with Mr. Dale driving the ding-dong week-old ice cream kiddy enticement van.

    Brian

    • Brian! hi and thanks for weighing in! nah!., I didn’t want to denigrate anyone experienced or otherwise~~!!We should start asking ourselves, ” what is a Realtor and what is a Registrant?” are they one and the same? something that gives one to ponder eh?
      Remember this Brian, that Rogers is a giant to be reckoned with. whether Dale succeeds in running it or not. they’ve got the $$$

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