Zoocasa clear-cuts Canadian real estate jungle

The new real estate search engine makes looking for homes online an easier task for Canadians.


For aspiring homeowners, navigating the Canadian real estate market can be as difficult as trying to cut a path through thick jungle brush with a pocketknife. Zoocasa.com is a new website that’s aiming to make the process a lot easier.

The Rogers-funded tech start-up plans on promoting itself, in the short term, by channeling its marketing efforts through Rogers print properties and online portals, as well as street teams, focusing on Toronto and Vancouver.

‘We’re taking a strategic position where we’re going to do two places extremely well and then we’ll rinse, repeat all over the place,’ explains Saul Colt, Zoocasa.com’s head of magic (a.k.a. head of marketing). ‘Once we have a better understanding of who our market is and what’s working and what isn’t working, we’re going to be branching out into a much larger campaign.’

Drawing attention to its national launch on Tuesday with a press event and mock listing – including a virtual tour – for Toronto’s Rogers Centre, Zoocasa works with the Canadian real estate industry to give buyers easy access to complete listings, and quickly connect them to agents. The search engine enables home hunters to scope out national listings based on relevant criteria – like desired neighbourhood, proximity to nearby schools, parks and restaurants, and walkability ratings – both through its website and an iPhone app. It’s also leapt into the realm of social media, providing listing updates via a Facebook fan page and Twitter profile.

Zoocasa is currently carrying advertising mostly from Rogers properties, including Citytv and Chatelaine, though now, after its national debut, it plans on opening up opportunities to more advertisers, especially those who are relevant and useful to its visitors.