This new real estate brokerage wants to save GTA homeowners $2 billion a year in commission fees
Justo offers premium service, low rates and an advanced MLS search engine for buyers and sellers
It’s fairly common practice for real estate agents to give their clients a gift upon the completion of a sale: maybe an appliance, a gift card or something else for the home. But when Rinat Cohen and her husband Tomer purchased their $960,000 home last month, they received a far greater present from their agent: – $12,000 in cash.
The windfall wasn’t actually a gift, but rather cash-back courtesy of their agents, Justo Inc. Brokerage, a new real estate concept that’s disrupting the residential real estate market in the GTA. Justo’s revenue model differs radically from other brokerages. For sellers, this translates to dramatically reduced commissions; and for buyers, Justo agents split their commission 50/50 with their clients.
“Technology has made buying and selling homes easier, but the standard model hasn’t changed at all, and we find that to be unfair to our clients,” said Daphne De Groot, Justo’s CEO. “With the housing boom over the past 15 years, agents are making multiple times the commissions for half of the work. We just don’t believe it should cost someone the equivalent of a year’s salary to sell their home.”
Here’s what to know about the company:
Consolidated marketing means a stress-free transaction for clients
Justo’s all-inclusive service model bundles many of the extra fees associated with buying a home at no additional cost, including home inspections and lawyer fees, allowing customers to have a more efficient and streamlined experience. Justo also pays up-front for staging, 3D virtual tours, and additional value-added services specially designed to market their clients’ homes and maximize their potential.
“Everything was included, so we didn’t need to worry about finding a lawyer or sweating the small details,” said Cohen. “We’d been looking for a house for a long time, and everything we’d seen just didn’t fit us. But they took the time to get to know us and our tastes, and found us the perfect place very quickly. Our biggest stress was arguing over what to do with the cash-back money.”
Savings apply to both buyers and sellers
Whether you’re buying or selling, you still get a major discount. For sellers, Justo cuts the typical 2.5 per cent listing commission in half, ultimately saving sellers tens of thousands of dollars upon closing. Buyers, on the other hand, get half of their agent’s 2.5 per cent commission back. For a $2 million home, that’s $25,000.
“Justo is derived from the Latin word Justus, meaning fair and transparent, which is the foundation upon which the company is built,” said Vicki Schmidt, Justo Broker of Record. “Technology and accessibility to data is allowing people to be more involved in the real estate process, so sharing the commission with our clients just makes sense.”
Agents are experienced and professional
While some may question why experienced agents would choose to take smaller commissions, the fact is that Justo’s agents are all licensed, experienced professionals who are tired of the old business structure—and want to be a part of the Amazon or Uber for real estate. On the Justo team, agents work together and benefit from corporate marketing. They can focus exclusively on delivering outstanding customer service (part of their compensation is even based on client satisfaction), rather than spending the lion’s share of their time on business development and personal marketing. Justo generates the leads for the brokerage, so agents operate on a volume basis, making more deals per month than most realtors.
Overall, Torontonians are rapidly turning to Justo’s new model. The company can significantly lower the costs of buying and selling a property—while still making sure their clients get the best possible deals.
“Based on data from the past two years, we calculate that if Justo handled every real estate deal in the GTA, we would save buyers and sellers over $2 Billion in fees and commissions,” said Schmidt. “We believe we’re providing an option that’s desperately needed in Toronto’s current overzealous market.”
In a city where one-bedroom condos can sell for over $1 million and stressful bidding wars are the norm, homeowners finally have another option—one that gives them bonus cash to construct their dream bathroom or help subsidize a new kitchen. Check out Justo’s website to learn more.