Recently the AlbertaRE Real Estate Team at CIR Realty launched a sold data feed on their website, www.AlbertaRE.com. The team says it was the first in Calgary to make the information available on their website.
“For the longest time, Realtors were gatekeepers of information, and part of the value we provided was that we had that information and you had to come through us to get it,
says AlbertaRE team member Gareth Hughes. “This just isn’t the way the world works anymore. Consumers want access to information on their own terms. As Realtors, our job is to help our clients understand that data and make educated decisions with it.”
Releasing sold data to the public has been a contentious issue for many real estate boards. Last year the Toronto Real Estate Board lost a years-long battle to keep sold data off of virtual office websites on the grounds that it violated consumer privacy.
Mike Star, also an AlbertaRE team member, says that he worked with the Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) to get permission to launch the sold data feed and ensure it was being used in a way that complied with all privacy policies.
“When a Realtor sits down with a client to do a market analysis, they are in control of which comparable active and sold listings they want to show their client. Often, the Realtor is absolutely choosing the most relevant properties and presenting them in a way that makes the most sense for the client,” says Star. “That being said, some clients may want the ability to look at what every home in their community sold for in the past two years, regardless if it would be a true comparable to their home or not. Access to sold data gives them the opportunity to gather as much information as they want.
“As Realtors, our job is to help clients understand what that information means and how it pertains to their buying or selling decisions.” says Star.
The AlbertaRE Real Estate team includes nine Realtors.