“Branded” Photos on the MLS
The Toronto Real Estate Board, oh sorry, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board just can’t get out of its own way.
Whether it’s telling you the reason they won’t release sold data to the public is because of privacy concerns, or using a database system that was developed back in the 90s, they find a way to mess things up.
The latest screw-up is with their new database system. It has so much potential and I actually think it will be good, but I have reservations because I know TRReb so well.
They recently released 2 new platforms. One is for preparing and digitally signing real estate documents like the agreement of purchase and sale and other official documents.
The other is uploading listing data to the MLS.
I like being at the forefront of new technology so when I was given the option to upload a new listing using the new system, I thought why not?
The input fields are much easier to navigate. It prompts you to fill in the mandatory fields. It automatically saves your progress which is amazing because I lost a number of listing uploads when the TREB MLS system decided to log me out due to inactivity. I wasn’t inactive. I was writing the listing description and because I hadn’t switched tabs in 20 minutes, it figured I was idle.
Poof – all listing info is gone.
When I uploaded the listing to the MLS and looked through the info for a hundredth time, I was treated with this destruction of property when I got to the photos:
Perfectly nice photos ruined by the system inserting my brokerage information.
Some agents want to insert their logos or write some dumbass info like “living room” on photos but I find it tacky.
This is just downright stupid and does not coincide with my values and beliefs when it comes to advertising.
That’s all realtor.ca (the public MLS) is; a place to advertise houses for sale, not an individual agent or brokerages.
TRREB in its infinite wisdom decided otherwise and I’m certain it was the old boys club that sits on so-called real estate board committees, who are all brokers, office managers, and “top producers” who still think it’s a realtor’s job to gatekeep property information.
I can already hear the reasoning behind this:
“Members have expressed concern over the use of their intellectual property (photos) by other members using the photos in their own advertising.”
I think it’s due to all of the listing info aggregate sites like housesigma, properties.ca, or even conglomerate brokerages like Re/Max, Royal LePage, and the like.
If you google a house address, the first page will all be results from these data-driven sites.
What ends up happening is if someone is looking for information on a specific house and google the property, this person has no idea which brokerage and agent actually listed the house for sale, and in the eyes of that brokerage or agent, they are missing out on opportunities to sell the house themselves because these other sites out-rank them online.
I can just see a smaller franchise owner from(top of my head) iPro realty putting up a stink during one of these board meetings and demanding that their brokerage info be displayed on the MLS photos so that Jane and Jon, who only want house information know that house is listed with what company.
Jane and Jon don’t care. They just want to know how much it is, how many bedrooms and bathrooms it has, and where it is.
iPro Realty franchise owner thinks otherwise.
I chose iPro randomly. It could easily have been a struggling Re/Max franchise owner instead.
This is just another failure by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board not doing what it is supposed to do which is provide its member, dickhead real estate agents like me, the best tools and resources to serve our clients in the best way possible.
Other MLS boards, especially in the States have amazing tools for their agents.
the Toronto Board, which has upwards of 65,000 registered agents, who all pay well over $1,000 a year to belong to the board, which translates to hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenue per year, would rather pay money to “rebrand” from the Toronto Real Estate Board to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board than provide good technology and resources for its members to do what they should be doing.