“Nobody bothered with this until [Competition Commissioner] Melanie Aitken put the pressure on CREA. So it seems like they’re really bowing in front of the Competition Bureau,” he told CRE Online.
CREA is working on a data distribution facility that will allow brokerages and eventually third-party companies, such as Zoocasa.ca, Craigslist.com and Kijiji.ca, to use and customize Realtor.ca listings on their websites.
Rokham Fard, chief marketing officer of TheRedPin.com, said the decision represents a big step for the industry that has long suffered from a lack of creativity, but it could never have happened without external pressure from other industry players and the Competition Bureau.
Last year, CREA agreed to allow private listings to be posted on Realtor.ca after a long battle with the Competition Bureau, which claimed then that the group’s hold on the market was “anti-competitive.”
But the fight started a few years earlier, Fard said, when a website called Realestateplus.ca began posting Realtor.ca listings online.
The company had big plans to turn its website into one similar to Zillow.com in the U.S., but it only lasted about a month, Fard said. CREA took the business to court, which ruled that the site’s creators had broken the association’s rules for listings, Fard said.
No one directly challenged CREA after that until the Competition Bureau began its fights last year, he said.
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