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Realtor.ca Now Sucks Even Less!

I had posted about a month or so ago about how the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) had listened to consumers and REALTORS® nationwide and made some much needed improvements to its much-maligned REALTOR.ca experience.

Last Thursday, additional improvements were rolled out to REALTOR.ca which should improve the user experience even more.

A new Gallery View display will show up to 12 photos of the property (assuming there are that many on the listing) over the interactive map display. Look for the button at the upper right of the map page.

Thumbnail View display will provide 12 property photos at a time with the property description and links to other features like virtual tours or other multimedia. The button to enable this feature is also located in the upper right of the map page.

Unless you’re using Safari on a Mac, you’ll notice that the “save search” function has been moved to a more prominent place on the page, making it easier to find and use to save your favourite searches. Safari users will notice this enhancement at a later date.

Searching by MLS® number should also work better.

Firefox 3 users should also notice that the site works better for them.

Last but not least, searching by neighbourhood name should also be getting better. This was a great frustration for many users used to searching on MLS.ca by clicking on the MLS district name (for example Victoria-Fairfield or Sooke-Whiffen Spit). A reminder from CREA that if you’re searching a specific area by name and don’t get the expected results, send them an e-mail at helpdesk@crea.ca with the details and they will follow up to make sure it gets added to the database.

As always, if you’re having trouble with REALTOR.ca, contact me at 250-885-0512 or using the previous link and I’ll help you set up a real estate search on my client portal which will e-mail you new listings and price changes that match your criteria. With so many listings on the market, a REALTOR® can really help narrow it down to find the place that’s right for you.

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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  • simon

    What I would love to see is an ability to filter the results based on when listings were last posted or updated so that I can see what has changed since the last time I visited.

    As a consumer, it’s infuriating having to sift through the same data over and over, remember what I’ve seen before, and maybe stumble upon a price drop if I’m really keen.

    Similarly, I’d love to be able to get an RSS feed for a user-settable region with my desired criteria I am interested in watching.

    There is also such an opportunity for mashups with other location based data sources like transit stops, school locations, parks and grocery stores, the kind of things I want to know when I’m looking. All software I’d love to write, but the data’s all locked up behind this clumsy web portal (though I agree it’s much better than the previous mls website).

    The strategy behind this site is very confusing to me. For myself, the easier access I have to information, the easier it is for me to find what I am looking for and complete a transaction — then the Realtors involved would get their commission with less effort. Win-win!

  • Alan

    Well, my opinion is that mls.ca sucks big time compared to the old site, which wasn’t pretty, but was certainly functional. The site is terribly slow and is overburdened with too many features that require way too much bandwidth to make it useful for most users on a home PC (and I have two very good ones.) The search function sucks! (The site doesn’t recognize “Pointe-Claire, Quebec” for example). When I attempted to a search using the first three characters of a postal code in downtown Montreal, the site returned four properties, not one of which was in that postal code – and two of them were in Niagara Falls, Ontario. This is an upgrade? Give me a break. Oh – and wouldn’t it be nice if the CREA was smart enough to put a list somewhere of what the MLS Zones are within Canada so you could actually use that feature to search? It is available, but average folk like myself — you know — the people that actually look and buy houses — have no clue what these codes are. A simple link to a listing would be so much easier (or a drop-down box or something.)

    I get the feeling that someone went into the CREA offices and sold them a package of really pretty things on the site that overwhelmed the executives. But John Q Canadians like myself now find the site bloated and unusable — and very often, extremely slow. There are both site-design and network issues that need to be addressed real quickly here. Until they fix it, it’s a waste of time and less functional than it was before.

  • Richard

    The new MLS realtor.ca site sucks more! I can’t believe such a poor implementation of a site exists. The performance is useless for most of the day. There are error pages and exceptions displayed frequently. The new mapping is painful to use. The first thing I do is select Advanced Search to get to a somewhat usable interface (when the site works at all). Why can’t I search for properties and specify the minimum number of acres? I can for land but not for houses. What a frustrating nightmare using this site. Incompetence in database driven websites at its best!

  • Daniel Gibbons

    I found this post by searching Google for “realtor.ca sucks”, so it doesn’t take much to guess what I think of the website.

    But it goes beyond the site itself. There are of course some great realtors who do add value to the buying and selling process, but frankly this isn’t true of the majority. Great web-based tools are a threat to these mediocre or outright bad realtors because in theory they can replace them altogether.

    I can and prefer to do all of my own research, and the web can and should provide me with all of the tools I need to do so. Often it feels as though realtors aren’t so much adding value as they are fostering an entrenched and bureaucratic sales process that benefits them and no-one else.

    Admittedly I’m jaded because of my experiences in the Calgary and Vancouver markets (by way of example, in Calgary I sold my place near the top of the market to a friend, while my realtor didn’t answer or return calls and generally acted as though the whole thing was beneath him, but of course he showed up to collect the $30k in commissions)… But I just can’t be convinced that realtors are able to do any better or worse for buyers or sellers than prevailing market conditions. And they certainly don’t earn 7% of the first $100k and 3% of the balance.

    Realtor.ca might be a dreadful website (and believe me, it is designed so poorly it beggars belief), but it’s really just symptomatic of an industry that is utterly out of step with its customers and their actual needs.

  • Tyler

    I am not a fan of the realtor.ca user experience, the UI is clunky and dreadful.  As recent Sooke seller I was surprised to find that searches for Victoria do not present properties listed in Sooke, whereas the opposite case, searches for Sooke  display Victoria and Sooke listings.  Any thoughts as to why the advanced search behaves this way?

  • scott

    The is the worst example I have seen of an upgrade. Yes I have used the old site and yes I have tried being patient with the new one, but re-jigging a mess is just a new mess. Please, scrap this mls site, even if it means going back to the old one until you can hire someone who can build a better one.