Over the past few weeks I have had a number of phone calls from irate agents telling me ‘did you send our listings to MyHome?’ My answer was an emphatic NO. The biggest problems they are facing are old listings. This comes down to a poor understanding of agents websites. Many agents still have their listings ‘live’ long after these properties are sold, even if you cannot view them from the main page. This is mainly because of the way sites are setup and their is absolutely nothing wrong with this.
I will be adding MyHome soon as I do think it has great potential that will not be realised for some time. You will see the free offer extended for at least another six months (I suggest at least a year) because once payment time comes agents will desert the site if it is not giving them any return. I doubt many agents will fund a site for the long term, it is up to MyHome to provide this return and I am sure agents would be only to happy to pay a reasonable fee once this occurs.
Update your Terms
Get you data in XML
By creating a XML data specification for all the industry is important and REA cannot do this alone, they may want to but they will only cover data they accept. For this to work and for a person like me to even begin to accept this they have to get together with all of the major portals and other players in the industry and fund the development of an industry accepted data specification for identifying property information. This specification has to be 100% open so that when Joe Blow Real Estate wants to get their website developed by Cousin Michael/Micheala he/her can get access to this specification and develop away. I would never accept a specification that was closed and REA, Domain have to show some good faith here. I would understand commercially why they would do it, but morally it will be wrong to close it off to only the big boys.
Access to this Data
What they should be done is a way we can all protect this data from scrapers. Just because it is wrong to do it, does not mean that they will not do it. The first thing I noticed about the REA Council was that they were going to explore this avenue and I absolutely applaud this endeavour. But open it up, closing it off will be going down the lines of the music industry, so make sure it is open, I will be the first to volunteer my time to make sure this is done correctly and if it means at my own cost flying interstate I will do it, because I think it is an important step forward.
I think also this should be a specification that should be developed for the world and we could be a leader in this. We should also have 3 monthly reviews where this is updated to accept any new technologies that become available. We have specifications for site maps, web standards so why not real estate property listings?