The Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Board recently passed information data exchange (IDX) commonly known as Broker reciprocity. This is where the listings of one brokerage is shared with another brokerage and as such can be posted on the Brokerage’s web site. Many large boards have done this in the United States and in Canada. For instance the Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and London Real Estate Boards have allowed this to happen.
People in those areas can simply go to the members’ web site and search available properties for sale and consumers will have more options. This is especially great for sellers since the more places that your listings are posted the better the exposure. After all, one reason for hiring a Realtor is because you want them to give your listing the most exposure possible. The habits of consumers are changing and they want more access to information and data. Who better to provide this data than Realtors?
Unfortunately, in Kitchener Waterloo this is not happening. Some brokerages refuse to participate in IDX since these brokerages feel that they are giving other brokerages the advantage. This can be quite short sighted and foolish considering the ones they end up impacting tend to be their own agents and sellers.
Some of these same people would like to get rid of Realtor.ca as they think that there is too much data out there for the consumer and would like to go back to the old days when people would have to walk into a Real estate office to get information on properties for sale. Realistically, looking at the era that we live in, this is not going to happen and Realtors bring so much more value than just data. Interpretation of Data is just one of the many services that a qualified Realtor provides.
Our firm believes in IDX and feels that it is in the best interest of the consumer to have this available to them in order to have more eyes on their listings and be able to research a particular firm to see if they offer the best solution for their situation. After all, not every firm is identical to one another and not every agent is the same.
For those Realtors whose brokerages are not allowing IDX, they should seriously consider changing firms for the reason that the broker has made a decision to limit their ability to assist any sellers and buyers, as well as being able to market themselves. For a seller, you need to ask before committing to a brokerage if their firm participates in IDX. If they do not then I strongly suggest finding a firm that does.