COLIN MCCONNELL/TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO
It also will revert to focusing on GTA properties, rather than listings from across the country, at least until the site rebuilds with new realtors and online offerings.
That’s according to Toronto realtor and self-described “serial entrepreneur” Lauren Haw, who is leading a group of real estate and technology investors who recently finalized the purchase after Rogers shut down the money-losing site June 22.
The group reportedly paid about $350,000 for the domain name and technology behind the zoocasa.com site, which had been losing about $1.5 million a month under Rogers. They were planning to relaunch the website Thursday, backed by a new team of realtors.
A Rogers spokesperson confirmed the sale “of certain intellectual property assets” Thursday, but added that the deal “did not include the sale of brokerage licences or customer information.”
Haw declined to discuss the sale price, but said she hopes some Zoocasa-affiliated agents — there was a team of close to 500 nationwide when the two-year-old site shut down last month — will opt to join the new venture.
“Zoocasa.com is an important Canadian asset, backed by unique technology and a brand that’s recognized by millions of Canadians,” said Haw, an agent with 10 years of experience creating and building business ventures who will become the new CEO of Zoocasa.
“Our mission is to give homebuyers access to the best possible real-estate tools and information while providing a premium level of in-house customer service — and that means building a team of professionals who can adapt to changing consumer expectations.”
The new site, which will leverage Zoocasa’s mobile app technology, will also feature an “education centre” component aimed at giving buyers and sellers better information for navigating the real-estate market.
The site will work in tandem with another Haw site, Scholarhood.ca, which she launched in 2013 to help families “find homes in the most desirable school districts in the GTA by leveraging school rankings and district boundaries.”
“Scholarhood allowed our team to witness first-hand the web’s power to open information and enhance the home-buying experience for families,” she said.
Rogers had been trying to sell Zoocasa for some time and said recently it made the decision to shut it down to focus more on its core businesses. But insiders say the discount brokerage had been losing about $1.5 million a month — mostly in massive advertising campaigns meant to boost traffic to the site and bring in more leads around the buying and selling of homes.
At its peak, just 80 sales a month were being generated by hundreds of agents across the country.
While the advertising campaigns managed to boost traffic to about one million visitors a month, that quickly dropped off as advertising was scaled back toward the end, insiders say.