Pulling MLS into the 21st Century
Funny, the MLS real estate site has been around for 10 years on the internet. It’s proprietary, exclusive and so very web 1.0. It was handy in the 1990’s, but is in desperate need of an upgrade. The Canadian Real Estate Association has built a walled garden for Canadian real estate, and in doing so has limited innovation and revenues. There are a handful of alternative web sites that offer real estate sales, but they don’t have the coverage of the MLS. Some are just eye candy that pulls details out of the MLS database (considering how anal the CREA is, I’m surprised that they’ve allowed this).
A smart person could scrape the MLS database and make a very innovative, creative, interactive Real Estate application. I want a real estate site that will do more than provide static information on housing sales. I want to be able to search for VERY specific things: lot size, finished basements, mature landscaping, distance to water. I want to see the other houses on the street that have sold in the past 18 months. All this information is in the house details, it’s just not part of the searchable database. Silly. I also want to know how long a house has been on the market. Imagine adding the ability to pop an offer right onto the site. I’m thinking eBay for housing. :-) (Sorry Alex, I know I’ve just hit you right in the pocket book).
Yes, I realize that’s quite a grocery list, but for gawd’s sake. It’s the 21st Century. I want to do my homework. I want to do it effectively and quickly. I’m even Ok with paying a monthly service fee for a cooler website. I’m all for needing a real estate agent when I want to sell my house, but I can do a pretty good job on my own for finding a house :-) C’mon CREA, get your act together and let your hair down…