The First Wiki MLS: LAUNCHED!

 I am officially launching, the The First Wiki MLS!

Where BUYER AGENTS, in Virginia and DC, from multiple brokerages come together to ADD information and photo albums to listings they visit. MORE DATA & 1,000+ MORE PHOTOS!

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!

Sure they sell for $15,000 less but they are a pain for everyone. Oftentimes foreclosures or a listing by an underpaid or sucky agent have no photos!

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 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”:

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, 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 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). 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%.

  1. “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
  2. 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
  3. 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)
  4. Photos only mode. Just a page full of 50 medium sized images. For the quick glance.
  5. 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. 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: (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

Reviews of, the new Wiki MLS (send me your review)

  • 8
  • April
  • 2008

79 Responses to “The First Wiki MLS: LAUNCHED!”

  1. Jay Seville -- Arlington Virginia Condos says:

    Frank, this is so cutting edge!

    I will be adding a couple dozen listings of photos this week.

    Yes it helps buyers a lot and it helps sellers who hired data entry agents instead of listing agents.

    The facebook application is great— you can have your friends looking for a home for you and sending you listings if you’re the buyer. Incredible.

    Real estate 2.0 is where consumers get the best service; it’s that simple.

    Jay – Realtor

  2. Jeff Royce- Remax says:

    This is a great way for good agents to work together for the good of their clients and the public in general.

    I love being able to use photos I take when showing houses for more than just the clients I’m with. This is a win-win site for agents and for users who are looking for a house.

    Jeff Royce

  3. Terry says:

    Fastest MLS site out there, and easiest to access (that I’ve found).

    It would also be helpful to search sold properties with the ability to filter by sale date, sale amount, zip, community, etc.

    Also , I know it will be quite a task to install a “my account” function to allow users to save properties. However, can you come up with some system that allows you to send a listing to an email address…and then to “send history” of all listings sent to an email address? Kind of an easier way to do “my account” and allows you to capture email addresses.

  4. Al E. says:

    First of all, what a good idea.

    Everything about the site is good. I mean, I have some recommendations, but it is great for the consumer. Also — most of the time, it is much more data — and more useful data — than, yahoo, (ugh), and the million other pretenders/poseurs/wannabes. You’ve got the real deal. I even have turned on two Realtors to the site (names withheld to protect…the guilty…).

    Also it is Blazing fast, compared to the other sites. And there will _almost_ always be great photos, with quick download times, too.

  5. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    Hey Terry,

    Legally we don’t have access to the sold data on the MLS. But it is a good idea.

    Regarding the account process, I have debated this for a long time. I have really shied away from yet another website with usernames and passwords. I just hate that. So what I did was integrated it into Facebook. So if you sign up for Facebook you can save all the homes into your account and your friends can see it that way. Does that work? Also I made the URLS super short so that they can be shared.

    Another reason I don’t want to capture emails is I don’t want other buyer agents scared to send their clients to the site. If they see me taking their customer’s emails, they might get scared. They easily scare. But thanks for the suggestions.

  6. Christopher Watters, Realtor - Austin, TX Real Estate says:

    interesting concept and site. You’ll have to keep us up to date on AR how things progress over time.

  7. Megan Buckley- says:

    This has been fantastic!

    I’ve been able to use the site before it officially got released to the market. I’ve been out house hunting with clients, and have been able to look up information on properties from my phone.

    My clients are impressed and appreciative. And I think the Comments that Buyer Agents can post will become a huge resource for buyers to gain additional information on properties, all from a click of a button.

    Hopefully Buyers will see those Agents that go many steps above and beyond other Agents will choose them as their Realtor.

    There is nothing else out there like this, and it’s going to be so helpful Buyers, Agents and even Sellers when choosing their listing agent.

    Congratulations Frank!!

  8. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:


    No need to hide it your 2 Realtors friends.

    Instead ask them to participate! This was made for other Realtors too! The Realtors just started a new annoying login system. With this site they can bypass that and get the data fast


  9. John C, MLS searcher says:

    I found your site via google. At some point I stumbled on your site and grew to like it. In particular, I liked :

    – All the information, all the pictures on one page.

    – that I didn’t have to create an account to use it.

    – the google map link to the houses address. I can’t tell you how many times on other sites that I had to go to google map myself and enter the address. What a pain! The use of google maps over mapquest or yahoo is appreciated.

    – the image layout.

    a) I love the inclusion of all thumbnails. Some sites don’t provide thumbnails. You have to peruse all images, many of which you wouldn’t have looked at had you seen the thumbnail.

    b) The simplistic way to change the image by mousing over the thumbnail.

    c) the fact that this powerful functionality exists without flash or java.

    My suggestions:

    – Make your query results rss-able. I have an i-google homepage, consisting of my favorite rss feeds. I have one tab devoted to rss real estate feeds.

    – Add a firefox and internet explorer search bar plugin. I’ve already made one for your site that I’ve installed in both my browsers.

    From the search bar, I select the franklymls search engine, enter the mls number, and viola, the page comes up on the screen. See also:'s-Search-Bar-(Windows-Version) and

    – Provide a map based interface like the saabrealtors site I mentioned earlier. The other sites has two flaws. a) It uses mapquest’s crappy interface. b) Due to javascript madness, you can’t select a house and have it open in a new browser tab or window.

    – A link to the school system for that neighborhood

  10. Joan M- Virginia says:

    I think the site is nice and simple, although sometimes a bit hard to look at.

    I like how you provide the DOMP & DOMM, except there’s not a definition anywhere in the site as to what the differences are between the two. Also, what does the Original Price represent? The price of the house that the seller originally listed it for or the price of the house when it was first sold after it was built? I think having a definition for some of these headings would help. Also, the spaces between the each listing is a bit narrow. Other than that, thanks for providing this website.

  11. Nicky Fulgencio says:

    I love the site.

    I’ve been telling all my friends about it. I found a bank owned house in Dumfries, made an offer and the bank accepted and will hopefully close this month. Thank you. I am a techie and have been using Google since its inception. When I tell my friends about the site, I compare it to Google, clean, no fancy useless features, fast, and just useful content.

    Keep up the good work and good luck to you.

  12. Tchaka Owen says:

    Wiki Wiki Wiki! Frank, I too had gotten tired of your annoying face on every listing so I’m glad this has been launched. >:-)

    The idea is certainly innovative and I wish we had something similar in South Florida. It’s disappointing to visit a home that doesn’t match the pictures or description. At the same time, there are a few homes that shine more than their MLS listings. It would be great to have comments. Any plans to expand geographically?

  13. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    I recently add a definition for DOMM and DOMP. Look for the “?” next to DOM on the site.

    As for it being narrow, yeah, sorry about that. I have a lot that I wanted to get onto one page. I tried to cut down on all scrolling and clicking.

  14. Karen B says:

    I really love your site.

    It is so user friendly and fast.

    I found it during a search engine and have been using it for up to date MLS Listing every since.

    My real estate license have expired but I am renewing it so since I can’t access M R I S currently it is a quick snap shot view. Thanks again and keep it up.

  15. som says:

    This is my go-to site. I may use others to find discrepancies/fraud.

    Appreciate the data you provide with your search engine!! All MLS search engines should provide as much data!!!

    Few suggestions: Include rentals in the search. Add tax ID to the listing. If possible, cross reference the address to any previous MLS# to check for re-list. Great search engine. Great Blog. I must confess, I don’t like giving out your search engine address, I figure you upset many of your “fellow” realtors®. Keep up the great work!! Professionals like you will come out of this real estate down turn for the better!!

  16. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    Hey Som,

    No need to hide it. This is also meant FOR my “fellow” Realtors. Heck the listing agents should love it. All the other sites remove their name and number and replace it with a cheesy Realtor photo. Everyone thinks they are the listing agent, when actually they haven’t got a clue about the property.

  17. Rachel G says:

    Hi Frank,

    I found your site the other day and absolutely love it!

    Your basic info and large pictures on the photos & details page is great!! The list of how many pictures are available to view with each property. This is a nice feature, I could stay on the main page and scroll through the pictures without having to open a new page.

    I love the pictures, size is great, you don’t have to go to another page to actually see it! And as I said earlier I loved that you listed the lot of pictures that are available for each house and again can stay on the main page to see them, it is excellent, this is where the site really kills the competition! Pictures are so important in the house search, why would you only list one?

    Couple suggestions –
    Please add sq. ft. of the house (currently you have lot, which is fine, but I am more interested in the house)
    Also, have you seen on long and foster how they have a map view, it shows where the house you clicked is and then nearby houses for sale, that is a nice feature.

  18. Mary says:

    Great site, great idea. The flexible searching is wonderful especially if you’re looking for something specific like a neighborhood subdivision.

    I would like to see the status (active, cntg/no ko, etc) shown in the spreadsheet view.

  19. Brian says:

    I *love* your site, especially the fact that it works on Ye Olde Crackberry!



  20. Anonymous says:

    I really like the spreadsheet. I think the contact info. to the listing agent will be very helpful. I usually have to really search for that, and it’s probably the most annoying non-feature of public search sites.

    Of course one of the best parts of your search is the ability to keyword search the comments. Let’s hope it encourages some realtors to brush up on their spelling skills. :-)

    I think the full listing looks *great*. I know I’ll be using the site. I have always disliked calling my real estate agent for the full listing when I need more information.


  21. Susan Peters - Seattle Realtor/Staging Specialist says:


    So this is what you’ve been up to. I’ll be forwarding this to all of my non AR friends. Goooooood job!

  22. Kristi Ross Palm Coast/Flagler County REALTOR says:

    Hey Frank,

    I have been hooked on your philosophy for months now. When I read your blog, I feel like you are writing my own words…great job!!!

    Very cool concept with the Wiki.

  23. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    Thanks Susan!

    Actually I was also working on listing my MOM’s place Do you remember my blog about it asking for feedback on the “before?”

  24. Brian Block -- Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate says:

    I’ve flagged this post for a feature.

    Your innovative solution for easy MLS searches and Wiki MLS should really take off (if judged by some of the consumer comments here).

    I plan to get more active on the site as well.

  25. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    As the king of points on, I hope you will become the leader here too!

    Can’t wait to see your contributions.


  26. Anonymous says:

    So if there are no ads, how do you make MONEY?

  27. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    Great question.

    To answer it simply… I have no idea.

    The goal was to make my perfect KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) site if cost was no object and profit was NOT the goal. What would it look like?

    I was personally sick and tired of fancy sites, confusing branding and sometimes NO PHOTOS. So I took the “If you build it, they will come” and combined that with “Make something you love and money will come later.”

    I guess I can make money just like every other buyer agent on the site. I can contribute and add photo albums and maybe somebody looking to buy a place that I have reviewed with a photo album, will be more inclined to use me.


  28. Tchaka Owen says:

    Innovation isn’t always led by money…..sometimes a great idea comes along, is implemented, then the money comes. In all fairness, this is still beta in the grand scheme. If it works out, who knows what investor will step in. I remember when Yahoo! was this little place to get an email address…

    I will be watching this site because if it pans out, I’d like to see it functioning in my area.

  29. Cindy Lin @ Staged4more, ASPM, IAHSP, IRIS: says:

    Wow, this is quite amazing. Congrats! I am interested to see how this pans out and if it will catch on. I think it’s an excellent product and a very unique approach.



  30. Will says:

    It will be interesting to see how this all develops. As one who built a site with a lot of user input (not just fellow realtors but also the public) I found that a free site was sucking up a lot of time in maintaining. It also got hacked and my hosting provider shut it down (flood attack). Ultimately I did not rebuild it as it was costing me time and money with the only benefit being some small recognition and appreciation.
    I hope you have better luck than I did.

  31. dnesemeier says:

    I’ve used it, attached a buyer photo album, and love the concept! Good job Frank!

  32. Matthew Rathbun says:


    I’ve come to very much respect your forward thinking approach to real estate. This is nothing short of a perfect example of what the buyer is looking for. Honest photos of the property to help them wade through the overwhelming number of homes on the market.

    I know that you’ve done a ton of work on the legality of the project and I am sure many are thankful for your benevolent and open access to this project.

    Hopefully this will stimulate Listing Agents to put better photos on their listings to serve the seller-clients that have hired them to sell the home.

    I can’t wait to see how this evolves and what you come up with next!

  33. Richard Lecinski says:

    Nice job Frank, I like it very much and its easy to use.

    Good luck!!!

  34. Steve Homer says:

    Great site Frank! I am sharing this with my buyer agents at our next meeting… Steve

  35. Tony Arko says:

    Thanks for the link love Frank. We have had no problems with getting feedback on our site and we have had no opposition from our clients with the format of the site. I have been using the franklymls wiki whenever I am in the car. I have a blackberry and once I get the browser open, your site is lightning fast. I will continue to contribute what I can to the site.

  36. Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton says:

    What an interesting concept. I hope you’ll keep us updated on how things proceed.

  37. Lake Norman Real Estate ~ Diane Aurit says:

    Way to push the envelope Frank. I love the large pictures and ease of getting info. We will all keep watching it grow!

  38. Russ Ravary-- Michigan Homes for sale-- Your local Real estate & Mortgage person says:

    Good Idea. I hope it works in your area and spreads to Detroit and other cities.

  39. Joseph Grabowski, REALTOR - says:


    just one more thing to take a few more minutes of time out of our daily lives.

  40. Tchaka Owen says:

    Do we need this? No. But I wish I had it in South Florida. I’d be willing to take a few minutes out of my day if it helped in providing my clients with unparalleled customer service.

  41. FRANK LL0SA Va Broker- says:

    Hey Joseph,

    While I like comments that say that they like it, I am particularly interested in negative comments like yours.

    While Tchaka says that it is in part a way to give better service, I contend that is SAVES HOURS.

    Think about for a second before poo-pooing it

    1) Do you take Buyer Agent Photo Albums? If not, do you EVER have to show a property a 2nd and 3rd time? I virtually never have to. I take 40 photos in under a few minutes, and I upload them and the link in under a minute. HOURS are saved from this.

    2) So imagine that your client wants to go see 3 foreclosures since there are no photos. And suppose a buyer agent was kind enough to share their photos. That could save you a 2 hour trip!

    I agree with you, we don’t need more things to add to our todo list that take MORE time. The entire point was the hours that it saves.


  42. Susie L. ...Picture Book Acres Photography says:


    This is awsome! I love it! I am just a real estate photographer (love the bigger high resolution photos!), not an agent, but I do look at my area’s new listings everyday; cant’ wait until it spreads to SE Idaho…(in about 15 years)!

    Best wishes!


  43. Kim Wood REALTOR(R), PA says:

    I didn’t play around with a lot of the search features; but I did enough to say WOW.

    This is amazing – and I’m sure took a ton of work to bring from idea to reality – Congrats! I hope it pays off in a big way for you :)

  44. ARDELL DellaLoggia says:

    Hi Frank,

    I wanted to wish you luck. I just got in from meetings and don’t have time to study it more closely at the moment, but I didn’t want to pass by without wishing you the best with this venture.

  45. Cindy Jones-Offering Real Estate Service for the 21st Century in Northern VA says:


    It is a nice tool and of course I’ve used it to upload photos from some of the foreclosure listings I visit. Hope it takes off.

  46. Kim Kelley says:

    Very interesting… it is a concept I will have to fully grasp, good luck with your venture.

  47. D'Ann says:

    This is a great idea…I work with a lot of buyers and already create buyer agent photo albums…I know we had talked off-line about not compromising an exlusive agreement with a client by posting photos of a home they are interested in, and I appreciate your suggestions as to how to maintain this…Look forward to playing around with your site in the future!

  48. Al E. says:

    Thanks for the initiative in crafting a well-intentioned and useful site. With all the junk on the web, finding something like FranklyMLS can be refreshing. You need to get a story in the Post or the WSJ or NYT — and then the advertisers will flow and Frank will do whatever Frank wants.

    : )

  49. struesda says:

    I think I stumbled onto FranklyMLS a few weeks ago when a home search on google popped up a link to a listing on it.

    I’m a software engineer – so I really appreciate the design choices you made to make it a lean/mean/toThePoint style of site – exactly something I was looking for:
    – paste in a MLS reference – and get ALL the current details – even from my Blackjack phone.

    It does only a few things – but does them very, very well.

    A few things that could be improved:

    * Google-like search shortcuts (BR:4+, Lot:45000+ – stuff like that)
    * ability to do multiple criteria (20170, 20171, 20173) – would pull multiple zipcodes

    If you create your own map on Google it’s not hard to click the map link from the listing, and then add it to your saved map. It’s not quite automatic, but it’s not too hard either.

    The rest of the web is moving toward this ‘mashup’ way of doing things – FranlyMLS fits perfectly into this – and you could easily add more functionality and stay fast by adding links to other services like google maps, RSS, RememberTheMilk, etc, etc)

    BTW – who does your web development? They’ve done a great job on this!

  50. Anonymous says:

    Is something wrong with the search engine?-it appears a search using the terms “Silver Spring” brings up nothing in Montgomery County!

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