I am officially launching FranklyMLS.com, the The First Wiki MLS!
THE “OLD 1.0 WAY”: (see all 31 MLS search engines here)
1) One-Way Information. “Here are homes for sale, as marketed by the listing agent. Take it, trust it, or leave it.”
2) Photoless MLS Listings!
3) Confusing Branding.
Who is selling what? Each of the 60,000 MLS listings are plastered with one “Brought to you by” buyer agent from one brokerage. I tried to explain: “No, I am not listing 1,298 homes,” but it isn’t the consumer’s fault, it is confusing! See my account on Homesdatabase.com/frankly a service that many agents pay $30 a month for. My annoying face on each listing.
4) Limited Data or Sign-In Required.
All but a few sites have stopped the practice of requiring users to create an account and login in order to see listings. Also many sites will NOT show you all the data possible. Some even hide the addresses so you have to “call your local trusted Realtor!”
5) Fancy, & Feature Filled, But SLOW-
Some of it might be useful, but it slows down the website. Their goal is to have such perfectly targeted results that it can take minutes to find something.
6) Small photos. As our monitor resolutions get higher, the images get smaller. On my screen most MLS sites show 4 inch photos.
7) Computer based. No focus on cell-phone ready searching.
The “NEW 2.0 WAY”: FranklyMLS.com
1) Wiki it!
(Attn Buyer Agents, do you have a progressive office? Let me come and talk at your Tuesday meeting so that more Buyer Agents can get involved.)
The World’s First Wiki MLS. No, we can not CHANGE the listing itself (or the price!) as presented by the listing agent. What we do is ADD comments and photos to the listing and as a community flag and remove inappropriate comments. Every buyer agent with an ounce of techie-ness should be taking Buyer Agent Photo Albums. What is that? Well, the listing agent takes photos for their sellers to put the house in one light, but the buyer agent takes photos for their clients in a more realistic light. Including shots of how far it might be from a highway, or showing bathroom water damage or a roach infested place (scroll to bottom of those listing to see the comments).
The goal is to add information, and not opinions. No “this house stinks” or “this house is great,” but instead factual information like “This house backs to Rt 66″ or “This house is listed at 44.6% lower than the purchase price in 2006.” Information not evident in the listing agent’s presentation. I wish everyone was like Loudoun agents Tony and Danilo with their Blogback blogging for feedback where they list the pros and cons of their listings and ask buyer agents to leave comments. How can you find the reviewed homes? When you do a search on FranklyMLS.com, homes with a YELLOW highlighter, those have the comments, see an example search for 1021 Clarendon.
2) 1,000 More Photos Than ALL other MLS sites.
So far, prelaunch, 10 buyer agents from 5 firms add photo albums with as many as 40 photos of 50 properties. With this, the database grows to thousands of extra photos. Consumers want PHOTOS,PHOTOS, PHOTOS and on our co-opetition website, several otherwise competing agents come together to give what the customer wants… MORE INFO and PHOTOS.
Sidenote: A year ago I bought a baseball glove from Amazon.com. It was photoless. After getting the glove, they asked if I would take a photo of it and post it on Amazon. That is what first gave me the idea for this Wiki MLS. (see post)
The site also has a point system. 1 point for comments, and 10 points for a photo album. For that, the contributor is listed underneath the listing instead of my mugshot on each listing (see above). They also get a front page link to their website. Why contact me as a buyer agent, if another agent has actually BEEN to the property, specializes in that area and has helped you get more information on it.
Buyer agents, her
e is a ”
how to add the photo albums.”
3) No branding, advertising, or logins required. Other than the required link from the site owner (me) at the bottom of each page, there is no advertising or cheesy recommended buyer agent next to each listing. Only when a buyer agent contributes to a listing with comments or a photo album, do they get a link to their site. Also, you should already have a buyer’s agent by the time you hit this site.
4) ALL MLS DATA(that is legally allowed to be shown) We show everything. Including BOTH the Days on the Market-M (MLS#) and Days on the Market- P (Property). Otherwise known as DOMM and DOMP We even show you the “within the industry ‘you must be nuts’“ listing agent’s name and number. Only 1 other site does that. Don’t worry agents, there is a disclaimer that says NOT to call the listing agent and why. So why have it? Well the consumer should ultimately decide.
What we can NOT legally show is: Realtor Remarks, Compensation amount (ask your agent if they take buyer agent bribes), Owner’s phone number, showing instructions and lockbox codes.
5) Not Fancy, just FAST.Except for photos of houses, there is not one graphic, icon, logo on the site. No Geewhiz, just speed. With that comes fewer features, but how many features do you see on Google or Craigslist? Just give me info fast, even if it isn’t 100% accurate (as in there might be a “madison manor” in both Arlington and Baltimore). FranklyMLS.com searches by keyword only. I know that looking at 400 homes can take a ton of time. The goal was to count each click and scroll in the home buying process and cut that time down by 80%.
- “Sexy?” homes? Search the Realtor Public Remarks. Try it, search for “sexy.” Only a 3 of the 33 local MLS sites will let you search the Realtor Public Remarks as part of an advanced search. Some information in these remarks can’t be found in any drop down or checkbox search. For example: Lake Ridge Short Sales or Arlington Metro
- Keyword search for ANYTHING.One box, search anything. Including, search by ZipCodes, subdivision name, school name (if the agent put it in), street name, street number, city, brokerage name, and even by agent name (nobody does that). It takes getting used to, but it works for Google and Craigslist, dso it works for FranklyMLS.com
- Spreadsheet mode. Search like the Realtor’s back end system. Text only results to quickly find what you need. Also the columns show you in a quick second the List price, Original Starting price, Tax assessment and DOMp/m. (See link above)
- Photos only mode. Just a page full of 50 medium sized images. For the quick glance.
- Photos and Details mode with image rollover. Most sites that have this mode have useless 1 inch images. We show in this mode the 4 inch images that other sites use for their “full size.” Also you can use a rollover link to see all the other 2-30 images.
6) HUGE PHOTOS. Example. All the other sites use the 4 inch photos for each listing. Probably to leave room for mortgage calculators, frames, ads etc. We instead are the only ones that pull the high res 7 inch photos as the DEFAULT. Bigger is better.
7) Cell Phone Ready. Nobody offers this… for FREE.
With the former slogan, “So easy, a cellphone could use it,” the site wasn’t designed for the cellphone, but it is so simple that it still works great on most cell phones. I recommend the “photo mode.” This is perfect for when you are in front of a house and want to get the details. I suggest using the house # and the zipcode.
Other interesting features:
- FACEBOOK integration.We all have been asking ourselves if a useful tool for Facebook will come up. Well now there is one. You can “save” each listing into your Facebook account with 1 click. Then your friends can comment on what you have selected, or you can share them easily with loved ones.
- Super Short URLS. http://franklymls.com/FA6683625 for easy copy and pasting. (Update: we just dropped the .html) into an email for others to share. I’m obsessed with “easy.”
- Super Short Search Strings: www.franklymls.com/default.aspx?m=R&h=ALL&s=1021+Garfield (soon this will be even shorter). You can also bookmark the search string to quickly see all listings for that search.
- Find Similar Results: If you see a “more” or a “>>” click it to find similar homes or to see ALL the listings that a particular agent has (great for comparing listing agents!).
- Links to similar Craigslist FSBOs, and to Zillow for previous sale data.
- Link to that property on Google maps. Click on the “map” link.
So that pretty much wraps it up. I hope you have enjoy the site. I would love to get some feedback from current users (see Feedback $$ contest), local agents and others on how to improve the site.
- Written by Frank Borges LLosa-Broker/Owner FranklyRealty.com
Reviews of FranklyMLS.com, the new Wiki MLS (send me your review)
- A Stroke of Genius! The Epitome of Real Estate 2.0 By Matthew Rathbun Real Estate (VAR Educator of the Year)
- Broker launches ‘Wiki MLS’ site Inman News
- Clicking with Buyers The Washington Post
- Realtor Bloggers Make Headlines – Evolving Buyer Habits and FranklyMLS real/diaBlog