The Realtor.ca website is one of the top visited Canadian real estate sites. It is owned and operated by the Canadian Real Estate Association. (CREA) has over 100,000 Realtors (including brokers, agents, and salespeople) across Canada as members. Visitors to realtor.ca can search for homes listed by local participating mls boards .
Review of Realtor.ca Search
When the home buyer arrives on the realtor.ca website, they must click to agree with an agreement or contract before they can begin searching for a home or condo. The search box has fields for city, price of property, number of bedrooms, and number of bathrooms. Their search tool requires a lot of specificity in selections otherwise too many properties will be returned, and the system was designed to handle only 500.
The Realtor.ca developers still haven’t figured a more user friendly search tool that retrieves a smaller selection of appropriate homes. Thus the searcher must refine their search again and again which probably annoys most of them.
Google’s search engines incorporates a larger number of search parameters which allows them to narrow down the best results and present them to the user. However, let’s say the searcher chooses North Vancouver, 4 bedrooms, and price between 700,000 and 750,000 dollars. That will probably result in about 30 properties. There are additional search parameters on the results page including fireplace, garage, A/C, waterfront.
From this graphic, you can see the dominant role of the map. CREA believes location is the most important feature people want in a home. The homes are placed on the outside.
If you want your home to get first look, it is wise to price the property just above the $700k price point or above the 50k increment levels they chose. They start the listing at 700k so 700,995 is a good price to get you top placement. You should choose your main property graphic well too. There’s not much you have control over at this point.
When the visitor clicks on the More Information link, they are delivered to a separate page with your mls listing info in it. The information is very standard and there’s not much to help you differentiate it. You have your pictures and your property description. You’ll want to write your description well.
Is it worth it to optimize your listings for the mls and realtor.ca? In comparison with Google leads and even Kijiji leads in Canada, it may not be even worth a thought. It does however make you appreciate other systems that provide an opportunity to give you better exposure than other agents. And that’s what marketing is all about.
Thousands of agents in your province use the same search process every day using the mls systems, so it is worth optimizing your descriptions and additional information to get their eyeballs first. It is competitive today and your clients want all the bids they can get.