Online shopping, online banking, online almost-everything-else, but an online real estate brokerage? E-commerce is moving towards the real estate industry at a fast pace. There are now many platforms that claim to offer free or low commission services in exchange for a more traditional realtor experience.
For some, this could be a great option, but for many, having a realtor is still the better and ideal way to go.
The Langley, BC area has become hugely popular. Using an online realty brokerage is not necessarily the best way to go to get an excellent price on your new home. Here’s why you should stick with a traditional realtor for the sale or purchase of your Langley, BC home.
What is Zolo?
Zolo is a Canadian-based online technology brokerage. The company was launched in 2012 and has offices in Vancouver, Regina, Calgary, and Toronto. Zolo offers to provide a free experience for their users that provides them with data and connects them to real estate agents. Zolo claims to have an exclusive market insight feature that allows users to find out the estimated value of their homes based on the current market standings. They also claim to provide the current trends, and recent activity in the specific market area users are searching within, all in real-time.
Zolo is for home buyers, sellers, and those looking to rent.
Zolo is Free to Use, so how Do They Make Money?
Zolo has a couple of different ways of making a profit.
First, they partner with realtors and provide them with leads. When you are browsing Zolo, and you request to know more information about a property or a place to rent, you are required to input your information. This information is then passed onto a realtor who will contact you. Many companies, like Zolo, use this style of lead generation. It is often unorganized and messy for the client, leaving them having to deal with several realtors they don’t want to.
They also do a commission split with their realtors. Agents who are considered “commission-only” get a part of the commission cheque every time a home is sold using the Zolo platform.
In 2018, they launched their mortgage subsidiary, where they partner with lenders and manage them the same way they do their realtors. They provide lenders with the leads, and they ‘compete’ for your business.
Using Zolo Versus Using a Traditional Realtor in Langley, BC
It would be pretty exciting to buy and sell your home online without a hitch, but it would have to be a seamless process, which Zolo is not. Zolo uses algorithms and estimates to offer their proprietary market insights, which are not always correct, and can’t be. It would be impossible to gauge the value of a home just by inputting the address without someone coming to inspect the actual condition. Any company that offers this as a feature or significant benefit can’t have 100% accuracy.
Zolo also claims to have real-time listing information, and access to homes that aren’t even on the market yet. Zolo does have access to the MLS, which many other sites like it do not, but accuracy can still be an issue in the Langley area.
Hiring a traditional realtor should be an excellent experience for you selling or buying a home in Langley. Zolo is just a website that takes your information and passes it along to a realtor that might not be busy at that moment. When you take the time to find a realtor with knowledge and some experience in your area, you’ll be much happier dealing with a real person. A realtor is in the business of making dreams come true. Hiring someone with excellent reviews or who is a referral from a friend or family is a huge bonus.
The realtor that contacts you from Zolo is also not necessarily the listing agent on the Langley home you're inquiring about. They may not know the in’s and out’s of the house when they call you to answer the questions you may have. Similar websites have been known to pass on your contact information to several other realtors. Still, it’s unknown if Zolo handles it’s leads with care or not.
For the agents, commission-based agents, and mortgage lenders who are partnered with Zolo may not be receiving great leads from the website. It only takes a few seconds to input your necessary information to continue viewing the site.
When you hire a traditional realtor in Langley, BC they immediately have your attention once you make that first phone call to them, saying you want their business. You don’t need to put in your contact information and wait for a haphazard realtor to call you back. You either call your new realtor directly, fill out a contact form online, or send them an email, and you know who you’re contacting.
Benefits of Using a Traditional Realtor
Zolo, like many of the other online tech-based brokerages, has some glaring issues. These would need to be solved to provide a seamless experience for both clients and partners. These issues are unprecedented, and you would not experience such issues with a traditional realtor.
A seasoned realtor knows how to market a home. In fact, if you’ve hired an area expert, they will know how to get your home on the market and sold as quickly as possible. They will have a network of people they use. Professionals like a photographer, an in-house marketing team for brochures and advertisements that can get the word out about your home in the best way possible. They can also give you ideas or provide you with help or a designer to stage your home to help it present better for potential buyers. They know how to get your home in front of the right audience. They have likely learned so many tips and tricks over the years through experience that they take with them into each transaction.
If you’re buying a home, they know how to find out precisely what you’re looking for, what you like, your wants, needs, "must-haves", and "would-be-nices". While it’s easy to scroll through pages of homes for sale on Zolo in the comfort of your home, you can still do that while working with a realtor. You can just forward them the ones you like and get their opinion on price, location, etc.
Due to the pay model of most realtors being strictly commission, this almost guarantees a great experience. Their livelihood depends on your satisfaction with buying or selling your home. They want you to find a home you’ll love or sell for your asking price, so they’ll work pretty hard to make that happen in a reasonable amount of time.
If your realtor has been in the game for a while, they will have many tools from the transactions they've been involved in over the years. Zolo can merely provide the client with data, house listings, and connect them with a realtor who might be able to help them. A traditional realtor in Langley probably lives in the area and can tell you everything you want to know about the city. Where the best neighborhoods are, schools, and more, and Zolo can only provide you data. Zolo’s appraisal system isn’t that accurate, where a realtor can connect you with an actual appraiser who can give you the real value of your home.
Sticking with Traditional Realtors
The lower mainland is one of the most popular spots in Canada to move because of the great weather, beautiful environment, and the endless list of things to do all year round. Langley, being especially close to the Vancouver area, is excellent for those wanting to commute for work. Langley is still far enough away to live outside of the hustle and bustle of the big city, and it has a highly competitive real estate market. It has only increased in popularity over the last decade.
A seasoned Langley real estate agent is an asset to have on your side during the process of buying or selling a home any time of the year in the lower mainland. Instead of using an online brokerage like Zolo in Langley, BC, sticking with a traditional realtor is ideal for many people. Because of their experience that they bring to the table, the skills they can provide, the fact that they are paid by commission, and much more. A realtor is on your side from start to finish, they will always negotiate in your favor, and they want to get you the best price for your dream home. That is something a company like Zolo can’t compete with.