DuProprio: 25 years of helping Quebecers sell their homes
Published on February 15, 2020
It all started in Lévis, Quebec, in 1997, when 21-year-old Nicolas Bouchard founded DuProprio. Armed with a cell phone and a computer, he had no doubt that his service to help homeowners sell without a broker would revolutionize the real estate industry.
Now, 25 years later, thousands of Quebecers turn to DuProprio each year to help them sell their home. Not only do they receive support and tools throughout the process, they also learn that this important transaction isn’t just for brokers.
Giving our clients more autonomy and knowledge, and leaving them with more money in their pockets: that’s the promise we’ve delivered upon and that makes us so proud. Here’s a look back at this homegrown Quebec success story.
Starting small but thinking big
Simon Landry, a DuProprio representative, has been with the company for 21 years and has seen it grow over time. Here’s what he remembers about his first contracts as a photographer.
“In the early days, the founder did most things himself”, explains Landry. “My job was to go to people’s homes to take photographs of the property and install a sign. As the company grew, the services evolved. Now, my work involves guiding the clients and reassuring them. I have fewer appointments, but I spend much more time with each person.”
The team of real estate coaches came into being a little after the 10-year mark. And these marketing specialists continue to be there for each and every seller.
Better serving a growing clientele
In 2009, the company added an assistance service to help clients with legal questions. That year, DuProprio became the largest commission-free real estate network in Canada by acquiring ComFree.
One thing Simon Landry appreciates is that his employer has never been afraid to innovate. In 2008, DuProprio was the first company in the field to use HDR technology for its photographs. In 2017, all clients could choose to have a 3D virtual tour of their property. DuProprio.com continues to be the most liked real estate site in Quebec1, and its photographs are still considered the best in the industry.
It was also DuProprio that created Appraiser+, a customized, professional tool to determine the right price for a property.
“Because I was there at the beginning, I was always the first employee sent out into the field to test new technologies,” the experienced representative says proudly.
Nurturing a family atmosphere
Today, DuProprio employs over 500 people. Does that mean the family atmosphere that reigned at the beginning has disappeared?
“Not at all,” answers Hélène Larochelle, who has been a customer service advisor for 11 years. “The company’s human side is encoded in its DNA. Despite the changes over the years, we have always stayed close-knit.”
DuProprio indeed changed hands several times before returning to Quebec-based ownership two years ago. In 2015, the company was purchased by Yellow Pages Limited. Three years later, the UK company Purplebricks acquired the DuProprio network as part of its plan to expand into Canada. And finally, the company returned to its Quebec roots when Desjardins bought its shares in 2020.
“Despite the changes, there has always been respect for the employees,” says Ms. Larochelle. “We don’t feel like a number. Every day, I help people save a lot of money and that’s really gratifying.”
Julie Benoît, general manager and CEO of DuProprio, has only good things to say about the company’s employees, whom she finds talented, generous and committed to their clients’ success. “I work with an experienced team that has a lot to share. This year, it’s time to celebrate our family spirit, which we want to keep nurturing.”
Since DuProprio was founded, 344,497 people have used its commission-free support services2 to sell land or property. The company shook up the real estate landscape by offering Quebecers an alternative. To this day, the green signs standing across the province are a visible sign of success.
While people asked a lot of questions at the beginning, DuProprio has now earned Quebecers’ trust. The key to its success? The quality of the support offered and a platform that provides unequalled visibility. More and more, homeowners know they can now take control of their real estate transaction hassle-free.
“When you help a 92-year-old client, you really tell yourself, ‘Mission accomplished!’” adds Ms. Larochelle. “There’s really no age limit for calling on DuProprio. We offer the same care and services to people who don’t use the Internet, and we support them from A to Z.” It’s not surprising that 97% of DuProprio clients report being satisfied!3
What the future holds
As it lights its 25 candles, the little Quebec company has become a must for anyone selling a property. Proof that innovation works, it’s now one of the most admired companies in Quebec.4
But DuProprio is not resting on its laurels. “There are many new things coming, including upgrades to the digital platforms and many new benefits for our clients,” explains Ms. Benoît.
Want to sell your house? Let our experienced team guide you.
To learn more about DuProprio’s services, watch our webinar.