Zoocasa closes, Zoocasa opens

Rogers Communications has now sold its discount real estate website, Zoocasa, to a Toronto Realtor and a group of investors following the site’s shut down just 10 days ago.

Lauren Haw and her investors group purchased the site’s domain name for $350,000, which has been losing millions under Rogers’s leadership, reports the Toronto Star.

“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 now become the new CEO of Zoocasa, told the Star.

“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.”

Going forward, the site will focus on GTA properties, rather than listings from across Canada until it rebuilds with new agent clients and online listings. Also, the site will no longer offer commission rebates and will instead feature an education centre to help agents navigate the real estate market.

Scholarhood.ca, another site run by Haw and her team, will run in tandem with the new Zoocasa and help families find homes in the best school districts in the GTA.

Zoocasa was launched as a brokerage in 2013, as a Rogers-affiliate. Previously, it had published listing data via real estate agents. The concept of the company was to make real estate data more accessible to the public.

However, in February 2015 Zoocasa stopped publishing home sale data to its site after receiving a warning from the Toronto Real Estate Board.

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Michael Williams

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