What's next for Canada’s MLS?

by Jamie Henry06 Oct 2014
Zillow purchase Trulia and Rupert Murdoch’s Move Inc. looks to buy Realtor.com – property listings are increasingly big and competitive business in the U.S. But what does it all mean for Canadian agents largely reliant on their own, relatively exclusive access to MLS data?
“Agents are now forced to market themselves (as more than) gatekeepers to the MLS and to become local data and homeownership experts,” Will Caldwell, a contributor to Inman News, wrote of the Zillow-Trulia merger. That’s a great lesson that those north of the border can learn.
Many of those lessons come down to positioning yourself as an expert, which B.C.-based agent Doris Gee – who has been in the industry for more than 26 years – says is crucial to longevity.
“I’ve been in the business a long time,” she tells REP, “and I focus on a [small] area. If you want the business, [you’ll position yourself as a local expert].”
For rookie agents, Gee says it’s important to become a fixture in the community. “Lots of exposure will help,” she says. Gee also points to the importance of agents becoming homeowners themselves before they can help guide others through the process.
“You have to know what you’re talking about,” she says. “If you try to convince someone to buy, but you don’t even own yourself, that’s pretty difficult.”
As for a merger making the Canadian MLS nearly obsolete, Gee says she doesn’t see that happening any time soon.
“The MLS is pretty powerful,” she says. “Everyone relies on it and Realtors are pretty used to it… If you want to sell real estate, you go to MLS.”

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