Each board decides on how much information it will release to the public, said Gary Zalepa Jr., chair of the CREA technology council. So the association cannot release data, such as previous selling prices for homes, unless the membership approves it, he added.
“CREA doesn’t have the ability to display sales information anywhere because the members have not given that permission,” he told CRE Online
CREA’s new listings policy will, instead, permit brokerages and eventually third-party websites to post Realtor.ca listings. CREA will not provide any new information than what’s already available on Realtor.ca with this policy change, Zalepa Jr. said.
The easiest way to think about it, he said, is CREA will feed its existing listings data to new websites, which can then be customized. For instance, brokerages may wish to add a Google Walk Score option, or demographical information.
“We’re still working out all of the exact details to be honest with you, but we’re talking about the data that displays currently on Realtor.ca and making a subset of that data available to members for their websites in a three phase rollout.”
CREA spokesperson Pierre Leduc said the three phases should be referred to as modules because they represent different data feeds, which all give Realtors a different level of control.
In the first module, all participating brokerages will have access to the national feed of listings on Realtor.ca, which they can then filter by property type and area.
In the second module, Realtors will be able to retrieve their own listings and post them to other websites, such as a business colleague’s.
In the third module, third-party websites, such as Zoocasa.ca, Craigslist.com and Kijiji.ca, will have access to Realtor.ca listings, Leduc said.
“The third module is going to take a little bit longer, though, because we need to get proper legal agreements with [third-party sites],” he told CRE Online
. The first two modules are expected to be ready in the fall.
This new listings policy is part of CREA’s data distribution facility (DDF), which has three levels of control.
First, CREA will create a list of suitable vendors who will be able to carry Realtor.ca listings, Zalepa Jr. said. Second, brokerages will decide whether their listings can be posted on other websites. Finally, sales representatives will decide which sites can post their listings. So, the policy won’t necessarily lead to a proliferation of third-party sites, Zalepa Jr. said.
CREA’s decision to open up its listings service, though commonly believed to be a response to pressure from the Competition Bureau, was instead a collective decision made by members to extend their reach in the marketplace, Zalepa Jr. said.
“This was a response to our members requiring the ability to market their listings on the worldwide web better than they are today. Basically, that’s what I think is driving this. Members saw that the Internet marketing strategy they needed to could be better. And this is a response to that.”
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