He’s already racked up 291 points in his NHL career; been compared to the likes of legendary Hockey Hall of Famer Doug Gilmour, and runs his own charitable organization. And at just 23 years old, Toronto Maple Leafs all-star, Mitch Marner, has just scored a new equity deal with Canadian-owned real estate brokerage Justo.
The partnership between Marner and Justo fits like a glove – a hockey glove, that is – as the 4th overall pick in the 2015 draft was looking to explore new investment opportunities and the brokerage was in the market to find some new capital.
And the investment opportunity couldn’t come at a better time, as Marner signed a six-year, $65.3 million contract, worth $10.8 million USD annually prior to the 2019-2020 season.
“As someone who has grown up in the GTA, played in London, and as the son of a former local realtor, I’ve always been intrigued by the local real estate market and interested in the business of real estate,” says Marner. “While my current focus is entirely on my hockey career and helping the team win the Stanley Cup, I am also looking for the right investment opportunities, with the right partners.”
“We wanted to bring on some additional capital to help with marketing and to help us grow the brand. But in order to achieve this, we wanted to get the right people involved,” Robert Reichmann, Justo investor and the brokerage’s chief development officer, tells Toronto Storeys.
“From the beginning, we knew we wanted to get Mitch involved because we felt he would be the perfect match because of his philanthropic endeavours, his brand, and his overall approach to life.”
Reichmann said since his time as a star in junior hockey, Marner has been disrupting the game, much like Justo’s unique brokerage model has disrupted the real estate industry.
“Committed to being part of the team, Mitch shares Justo’s commitment to fairness and its desire to help Torontonians succeed financially, particularly when they are buying or selling their homes,” said Reichmann.
Currently, the real estate’s commission-based model in the GTA results in 5% of every home transaction split between the agents representing the seller and the buyer. Estimates suggest that in Toronto alone, commissions under the traditional home brokerage model represents approximately $4.2 billion annually.
Frustrated by the traditional model, Justo, which was founded in 2017, decided it was time to disrupt the industry’s standard commission structure. And today, when representing a seller, Justo’s commission is half of what agents usually charge and when representing a buyer, Justo gives back half of the commission paid by the seller – meaning thousands of dollars in cash back to the buyer.
Through the ongoing business relationship between Marner and the brokerage, Justo will also be donating a minimum of $100 to Marner’s charitable foundation, the Marner Assist Fund, for every home sold through the brokerage, for a minimum of three years. Reichmann noted that the buyers and sellers involved in the sale will also have the opportunity to make a contribution to the foundation as well.
“Justo is committed to helping people save money, and to bring greater fairness and transparency to the industry. They also demonstrated a commitment to supporting the Marner Assist Fund, which is very important to me and my family,” says Marner.
Through the Marner Assist Fund, the Leafs forward has previously run hockey tournaments for young children and has recently been helping to provide meals to front-line health care workers throughout the pandemic.
“But more importantly, this isn’t a one-off promotion,” said Reichmann. “He’ll be involved in the business as a long-term stakeholder, and we’re excited about working with him for years to come.”