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Insight: REIBC blog > Going National with an Online Real Estate Marketplace

Going National with an Online Real Estate Marketplace

posted on 9:49 AM, April 17, 2020
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Credit: Zolo

“Though searching for a home begins online with digital listings and virtual tours and, quite often, ends online with e-signing and e-transfers, the entire process between these events is still mired with antiquated methods. For Zolo.ca, that just wasn’t good enough,” writes Zolo’s Romana King.

The real estate industry has, on the whole, been slow to embrace new technology. According to King, this has to do with the market share held by large brokerages: “Big business with big dollars helped create and sustain a business model that restricted consumer access to data and information, thereby securing the realtor’s role as gatekeeper. But this isn’t a sustainable business model…”

Zolo, headquartered in Vancouver, has a real estate database of roughly eight million homes and provides real-time price and transaction data. The intent is to provide buyers and sellers with information, to help them explore the market. The focus is on the client, who is the end-user of Zolo’s mobile-first technology.

“People can explore with us, which is important, because what you think you want at the beginning of your journey is not what you will end up with—which also happens with dating,”writes King, quoting Zolo co-founder Ryley Best who, before Zolo, started a UK dating site.

More than just providing the client with information, Zolo seeks to provide this information at the right time.

“In the past, opportunities were missed because agents were unable to deliver the right information at an optimal time. It was common for realtors to lose their connection with potential clients, particularly during busy selling seasons, such as spring and fall,” reveals King. “In order to grow, the Zolo team chose to focus on how to solve this problem. By paying close attention to measuring each agent’s response rate … [the team] was able to identify areas of weakness. This allowed a growth manager—a licensed agent tasked with helping all agents with every aspect of client service—to step in and provide support.”

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Download Fall 2019

For more about Zolo’s business model, read King’s “Tech-Disrupter Zolo Rockets into National Market” in the Fall 2019 edition of Input. Download Fall 2019

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