Selling an exclusive listing can be challenging – agents are asked to promote the property without advertising that it is for sale and to get the word out only to relevant people.

Eric Skicki
Eric Skicki
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Eric Skicki says that’s the value of BrokerPocket, an off-market listing portal strictly for Realtors and their exclusive listings.

Skicki, founder and CEO, launched the beta version of BrokerPocket in September in Ontario. “It already has more than 900 agents on the platform in the first 75 days and more than 300 listings.”

He says it’s Ontario’s largest collection of off-market listings. For buyers, BrokerPocket gives your agent access to listings not available anywhere else. As a seller, it gives your agent the ability to promote your listing to a large private network of agents working with qualified buyers, Skicki says.

His ambitious plan is to launch the platform in British Columbia and Quebec in January 2022, eventually including the rest of Canada and the United States.

Agents join by visiting brokerpocket.com and fill out a form, including their RECO number to ensure only licensed agents have access to the platform. It is free to join.

Although the system is MLS-like, it is not in competition with it, Skicki says. “Ninety per cent of properties belong on MLS. We’re not trying to take away listings from MLS. We’re trying to serve the underserved, those who can’t or don’t want to go on MLS because of privacy. (For example) they don’t want pictures of the inside of their house online or are in the midst of a divorce or have other personal reasons,” he says.

BrokerPocket also lets agents explore the market by showcasing properties and getting feedback from other Realtors.

It’s geared to all price points, all brokerages and all agents regardless of experience. There are no restrictions as long as they are a licensed real estate agent, regardless of whether they are full service or discount, or where they are located, he says.

A “coming soon” section will be introduced in the next few weeks to tease properties that are not ready for sale because they need to be staged, painted or renovated. Information can be offered in short sneak peek mode or more detailed formats.

Skicki didn’t intend to get into the real estate industry. He attended York University’s criminology program, wanting to get into law enforcement and eventually work as a hostage negotiator. However at the time he graduated, there was a hiring freeze. “I didn’t want to wait for life to happen. I wanted to be in charge.”

Around that time, he happened to read Real Estate for Dummies.

“It was simple and made sense. I got excited about real estate,” he says. He got his licence in 2011 and worked as an independent real estate agent. He built a team, then started his own firm, Cloud Realty, in 2015. He chose Mississauga for his bricks-and-mortar location because he says there was no modern technology focus in the west end and he has a passion for technology, innovation and digital online marketing. He learned to leverage his tech hobby to build a team and scale up to an office, which now has about 130 Realtors and 11 staff.

However with the office up and running, he says he needed a “more ambitious and lofty goal. I needed something that would have a greater impact on the industry as a whole. I wanted to provide value to the entire industry.” Skicki says BrokerPocket can do that.

In the future, the company will make money through sponsored listings, with agents paying to put their listings on top of search results. Skicki anticipates 10 per cent of members will move to a paid model for $25 to $30 per month to elevate their profile and receive more analytics and services.

Skicki says that once fully deployed, it will be a game changer for the real estate community.

In December BrokerPocket will be looking for funding investors. Many of the initial investors were agents.

Skicki says there are similarities between police work and real estate. “Police and real estate fields both deal with people, deal with situations that can be unpleasant and (you need to know)  how to navigate complex situations. Problem solving is an asset. You have to be quick on your feet….Every client is different. He says every day is different because every client is different. “And you must be professional at all times,” he says. “You have to do what’s right, not just for today but a decision you have to live with.”

4 COMMENTS

  1. BUYERS LISTING SERVICE

    Some good ideas Carolyne. How about a buyer listing service (BLS). It would work similar to the Broker Pocket Exclusive Listing Service, but would be for EXCLUSIVE BUYER AGENTS (EXBA) ONLY. Sort of like an exclusive dating service. EXBA would register their BUYERS real estate needs in the BLS. Each BUYER would be identified by a BLS CODE. A description of what the buyers are looking for would be available for sellers to preview. Prior to sellers listing their property on the MLS, sellers would be able to check out the BLS site and see if there are any qualified BUYERS looking for a home in their area. If the seller found a MATCH they would contact the EXBA or Non Represented Buyer by their CODE and arrange for an appointment to preview their property. If the BUYER was interested, both parties would agree to work through their lawyers regarding offers. There would be NO BUYER AGENT fees paid by the sellers since the buyer will be paying their EXBA. NO DUAL AGENCY ALLOWED. Registered Non Represented Buyers would also be permitted access to the BLS site.

    • Many years ago the then TREB system created something similar in an effort to match the would-be buyer up with new listings. I don’t know what happened with that system. Maybe someone who currently knows can speak to your topic.

  2. Did I miss something? An exclusive listing can’t be promoted without advertising? Where does it say you can’t advertise an exclusive listing? Please explain. There is no rule in Alberta that states advertising exclusive listings cannot be done. Personally, it is very rare that I would list anything exclusive. However, to make this statement is not correct. Please withdraw.

    • An exclusive listing cannot be advertised on MLS as per the seller instructions. Not ever seller wants someone to google the address and see the inside of the home all over the web.

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