Canadian Real Estate Site Wants To Remain Unusable; Threatens Those Who Improve It

from the this-again? dept

In the past, we've written about various organizations who break out the lawyers immediately when someone else makes their own poorly designed sites work better. This has happened with sites like the Ellis Island site and a movie theater chain in the UK. In both cases, some folks who got fed up with the poorly designed official site stepped up and created a better interface to the data hidden within. That same situation appears to be happening in Canada. Joe writes in to let us know that the Multiple Listing Service in Canada (which is basically the core database listing homes for sale) has a poorly designed website. Some enterprising individuals in Toronto made a much nicer interface, creating a mashup that pulled in other data (such as Google maps info). Rather than, say, recognize how useful the better interface was and talk to the developers about how MLS could use that work themselves, it sent a cease and desist, forcing the site to shut down. The site's creators were doing this as a hobby to improve the usefulness of MLS's data. And now it's gone. That's no way to run a business.
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Filed Under: canada, cease and desist, interface, mls
Companies: multiple listing service


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  1. identicon
    James SoCal, 19 Nov 2009 @ 4:47pm

    MLS Access

    Having fled to a warmer area decades ago this chain is interesting. It seems you are going through what we went through many, many years ago. Now, in California, we are finally approaching a dream I had decades ago. One database for the State. Most of Southern CA is linked together at this time with some of Northern CA moving in the same direction. From my computer I can log into my local database & search for properties from Ventura to San Diego & East beyond Palm Springs. This covers an area with a population almost equal to all of Canada. A listing reaches over 106,000 Realtors with direct access to the information. Almost all of the information is available on the web. Clients can search, through my personal site, all active listing, REO's, etc. as well as finding closed sales as comps. All their searching points back directly to me. When they find a property of interest I am most often the Agent they call. I don't have to preview house after house because they have already done that. When I get the call it is from a serious Buyer who really knows what they want and where it is located.

    You might want to have your Board look into the Carets system used by the Pacific West Association of Realtors along with the other Boards in the area. I might add that because we have so many Realtors on one system many of the added utilities were formerly had to pay for are now included in our annual dues at no additional fee. /www.pwaor.com, www.ca-rets.com & sca.mlsalliance.com.

    This is only to show you what can be done when we put aside our, I own this attitude, and work together for the betterment of our clients.

    Just my spin on it so take it and run with it or drop it like a lead balloon and keep things as they are.

    BTW before you say I know nothing about Canada I have lived in every Province from Western Ontario to Vancouver, BC & all point in between & have traveled back many times keeping in touch with family members all over Western Canada. Just to head of that likely comment from some.

    Have a great day, a mild winter & a bright future.

    James SoCal
    Southern California.

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