By Barb Sukkau
You take pride in the things you own.
Look no further than your house; you want people to be impressed the minute they walk in the front door. After all, you worked hard to get it and you work even harder at maintaining it.
Well, CREA has given you a reason to be proud of something else you own: Realtor.ca. The No. 1 real estate website in Canada has undergone a “renovation” and now features a sleek design with a more powerful search engine, enhanced homebuyer calculators and access to hyper-local information.
And, coming soon, sold and historical data will be made available on Realtor.ca listings, making it easier for consumers to get the information they want.
Just so we’re all on the same page here: as a member of CREA, you own the website that has, on average, 300,000 accurate Realtor listings at any given time. Not to mention the 264 million visits and the 2.6 million leads generated from Realtor.ca – at no additional cost – last year alone. With the largest number of listings, Realtor.ca is the only real estate website combining board/association MLS systems feeds from every real estate board in Canada and remains the most trusted brand by consumers and Realtors.
That’s something to be proud of and it’s something our American counterparts to the south envy.
Third-party, non-Realtor websites flood the U.S. real estate landscape and there is currently no trusted nationwide listing management system there. Some of the bigger sites will charge a premium to advertise a listing, meaning some leads get buried, or worse, won’t even get to the original listing agent.
What makes Realtor.ca so special is its investment of time and resources to help you succeed. The consumer-trusted, advertising-free website is where many consumers begin their real estate journey. In fact, 97 per cent of visitors use Realtor.ca and its apps as their primary or secondary source for viewing property listings and 92 per cent of Canadians are aware of Realtor.ca.
However, this isn’t the time to slow down. Technology is advancing the industry at an unimaginable rate, and Realtor.ca is constantly evolving to meet these new-age demands consumers have. The latest redesign of Realor.ca, released in October, targets desktop users and delivers an improved and responsive website for all.
After leading many presentations and speaking to thousands of Realtors over the last several months, I can tell you there’s a lot of excitement building over the new Realtor.ca
You wanted school boundaries added to your listings? You can now view properties for sale within a particular school’s catchment area.
You wanted improved mortgage, land transfer tax and affordability calculators? Done.
You wanted to promote your personal brand on the site? Every Realtor has a customizable profile on Realtor.ca so you can refer your page to potential clients and generate leads.
It’s important to point out Realtor profiles were viewed 6.1 million times last year, meaning consumers are definitely searching for you.
All of these make for impeccable business tools, but one of Realtors.ca’s more refreshing and consumer-focused highlights has been the addition of the Living Room blog. It features Canadian industry experts tackling a variety of home-related topics including market trends, home improvements, neighbourhood guides, design files and unique homes. The latest stats show 45 per cent of visitors to the blog are new to Realtor.ca and those who view the articles are almost twice as likely to contact a Realtor.
I could go on and on about Realtor.ca, but really it comes down to you embracing all that it has to offer. Become familiar with it, try the new features, and should you need a helping hand, the CREA member support team is an email away. You don’t truly know the powers of Realtor.ca until you discover them for yourself.
We work in an ever-changing industry and Realtors need to embrace innovation. So, be proud of the fact something you own continues to push the envelope and is seen as an industry leader.