07 Jun A better way to search for MLS Real Estate Listings
Great news for everyone constantly searching realtor.ca for their fix of real estate listings. A better way to search for real estate listings is finally here. The Toronto Real Estate Board has just released a new tool called Collaborate that allows the real estate agent’s client to search for listings, create and save lists, create auto-searches, comment on suggested listings etc. Here are few screenshots to give you an idea of what it looks like:
How does collaborate compare versus realtor.ca (the MLS System)
- The ability to create and save lists makes it much easier to organize your searches. Let’s say you are looking for detached homes in Markham but would also consider Richmond Hill. You could create a list for both areas and add properties of interest to two different lists to better organize your search. On realtor.ca you are only able to save the listings into one category, the favorites section . This section becomes cluttered and impossible to sift through. Other useful scenarios would include: creating separate lists for different school zones or making a list of properties with open houses this weekend.
- The ability to like, dislike and suggest listings. Collaborate allows you to give your real estate agent feedback about suggested listings. Although “I like it but it’s not my favorite” is a polite way of letting someone know you’re just not into a property, it isn’t very efficient. By giving a listing a thumbs up, thumbs down you can give instant feedback and move on.
- Creating your own real-time automated MLS listings search. At the end of the day, nobody knows more about what you want then you. Collaborate allows you to create the searches yourself and it comes with all the bells and whistles real estate agents get through the Toronto Real Estate Board system. Want to draw an area on a map? Want to get instant notifications instead of a 24 hour delay? Want to create multiple searches? All possible. In this hot market, half the properties are already sold by the time they hit realtor.ca. The collaborate system gives you a leg up on those have to wait till the morning for new listings to hit their inbox.
- Larger pictures. I usually set up my clients on an automated MLS search. It is basically an uglier version of Collaborate that only I have access to. If there is a match, the system will send out the listings every morning. The one big issue is that the pictures in the emails are thumbnails and clients can never get a good sense of what the property really looks like. In collaborate, you get full sized pictures. You get a better idea of what the property looks like and it saves me time since I don’t have to create separate emails and attach each picture. Here is a screenshot of what clients receive in their inbox with automated MLS searches. The pictures are reduced to practically 2 inches x 2.5 inches:
- All your communication and files in one spot. After numerous back and forth emails, bits and pieces of information get buried under mountains of re:re:re:re:re:re. Conversations will start in a regular email, then clients will reply through automated listings and so on and so forth. With Collaborate, all your comments, likes, dislikes and suggestions will be neatly organized. There is also a file storage system that allows documents to be uploaded and kept for future reference. No need to sift through your inbox to find that representation agreement.
The one annoying thing about collaborate
This new system has only been out for a few weeks so there are bound to be some glitches. As of now the only thing that bothers me are notifications. When someone signs up to the system, by default, all notifications are turned on. This means that anytime someone does anything (like, dislike, comment, add to list, suggest) something gets sent out to your inbox. You might be thinking “i thought that was the whole point of the system”. With these notifications turned on and set to “immediately” instead of “daily”, your inbox will be flooded by messages letting you know there was some type of activity. It does not aggregate all the listings I’ve suggested in the last 10 minutes into 1 email. It will send out 10 separate emails. So I would say the first thing to do once you sign up is to go to settings and edit your notifications:
How do i get access to Collaborate to search for real estate listings?
The only way to get access to Collaborate is to be invited by a real estate agent/ realtor that is part of the Toronto Real Estate Board. Since it has just been rolled out I doubt many real estate agents will be using it any time soon (that and most real estate agents do not like change/technology!). If you would like to have access, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the bottom right button to live chat in real time.
Take some time to play around with the system. If you need my help just send me a quick message. My email and information is plastered throughout. Same goes if you would like to go view a property.
Norman Hill Realty Inc
20 Cachet Woods Court #2