Posted by: Daryl & Wendy Ashby | May 23, 2012

Is More Really Better?

With CREA’s (Canadian Real Estate Association) Data Distribution Facility (DDF), set to launch in July, some words of caution need to be registered are based on a similar experience in the United States.

“The U.S. went down a path where it was the more the better – let’s put our data everywhere. Then they woke up one morning and found their listings represented without permission on overstock.com, and realized that perhaps they had gone too far.”

“Now the U.S. is in a conversation – has syndication gone too far? It’s not so much that listing data is ubiquitous. It’s that not everyone will play by the same set of rules. When it comes to listing attribution, displays, the timeliness of the data – those are issues of transparency and integrity that consumers should expect. 

While you as a Seller may be liberal in the representation of your personal information on the Internet, that same information is seldom purged from the Internet by non-compliant agencies and the buyer of your home may not want their property represented in such a timeless fashion.

Regrettably, many of the aggregator sites in the U.S. do not play by the more stringent rules.

One of the lessons that can be learned for Canada is that it’s not always everywhere is better – you the consumer needs to feel confident that there is integrity to your data and the display.”

With so many concerns today regarding personal privacy and theft of identity, Cheryl and I have the opinion, “If you can’t control the data, you are not servicing the consumer properly.”

In the States, some companies have already “overstepped their charter” in an attempt to make information universally available.

It was always intended that MLS websites would display the information, but that the broker would be the first point of contact for consumers and therefore able to control the disbursement of personal material.

On the other side of the coin, many Brokers worry about FSBO companies because many in that sector of the Industry promote that all information should be universally available. The fact is, none of them have sustained a significant percentage of the market. That fact more than anything else is evidence of the value of a professional in this business.

Having said that, we strongly believe the consumer should have options, but we remain confident that after 25 years of providing reliable service, we remain successful because our consumers understand real estate is a highly dysfunctional and complex process, unlike other industries.

For Cheryl and I, the most important thing we have to insure for our consumer is that quality remains our most important competitive advantage.

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