It’s not just buyers who want a better system than the MLS. – a group of large brokerages including Century 21, Royal LePage and ReMax are meeting with the intent of building an alternative to realtor.ca that is more technically advanced.
The meeting comes a day after Yahoo Canada announced it will offer listings on its main search page using database and real-time search technology from Toronto-based Zoocasa.com.
Zoocasa has been criticized by the industry for scraping listings off the MLS, but Zoocasa president Butch Langlois said it is operating within the industry’s rules, with each agent voluntarily offering to post their listings in exchange for the advanced features offered on the site.
It’s a slick offering that is comparable to services in the United States such as Zillow, which has become a major hub for listings and a major headache for the brokerages that used to control the flow of information. “People have embraced the site but we need to increase awareness that Realtor.ca isn’t the only place to go when looking for a home,” Mr. Langlois said.
While Zoocasa, backed by Rogers Communications Inc., (RCI.B-T37.52-0.19-0.50%) is the highest profile competitor to take on the MLS to date, there are several private networks under development across the country that want to compete with MLS.
The brokerages intend to build their own site that would run parallel to Realtor.ca and be governed by the same rules, using listings from their offices across the country. They would be able to control what features are offered, and upgrade the technology as they see fit without having to go through CREA, the trade association that represents the country’s 100,000 agents.
“We support organized real estate and this has nothing to do with pulling out of what they are doing,” Mr. Lawby said. “But the consumer wants to see as much data as they can and we want to make sure they are able to do that effectively.”
Will the MLS be overturned as the dominate listings engine in Canada? Read the full article over at the Globe and Mail.
Thanks ready to pop for the link.