Vote to Publicly Display Listing Addresses – Yes
A recent vote put to the Huntsville Area Association of Realtors (HAAR) on whether to allow the display of property addresses on all public IDX/RETS websites, has passed by a majority vote.
We feel this is a definite win-win development for both consumers and local Huntsville Real Estate professionals alike. The proposal allows an opt-out option for consumers who may not wish the address of their listed home advertised on the Internet, thus a few new fields are being added to MLS listing forms and feeds to support this new feature.
Given these changes it will take a few weeks before procedures are documented and policy details get formalized, however it is very likely that early in 2010 Huntsville Real Estate consumers will no longer have to email or phone real estate agents for simple drive-by information. The drive-by phase of house hunting is an important step that often works as a filter of homes not making a consumer’s short list of homes to view. This enables the consumer to manage their home buying time in a more efficient manner, and alleviates agents of providing simple information to the public so they can sharpen their focus on serving their customers and clients.
How We Help Now
While per current MLS policy we do not publicly display any listing fields that are prohibited, our public website already has some tools that assist consumers during the drive-by phase of their house hunt.
For example, we have a database of Huntsville Subdivision locations and a software script that builds Google maps of subdivision locations throughout the area. While subdivision markers on a map are not explicit addresses and driving directions, they can be very helpful to consumers during the drive-by phase. So be sure to visit our Huntsville Subdivision Map page for assistance in exploring the various homes for sale within a variety of local neighborhoods.
In addition to the Subdivision Maps, every listing displayed publicly on our websites has a Request Drive-By Information link which brings up an email form that captures the particular listing of interest. By simply using one of your email addresses the home’s address, driving directions, and Google map link are emailed to you automatically. Sure we will likely follow-up with you in an attempt to build a customer relationship, after all we are in the relationship business, but believe me we do not participate in spamming, its against our @Homes consumer oriented company policies.
We are Ready For the Change!
While we do not know if additional fields will be opened to public display, we do know that if consumers wish their home’s location to be advertised to potential buyers, property addresses will become available. Just like much of the country already accomplishes today.
Given this, address geocoding is a simple step that will allow us to map properties for searching, displaying search results, and displaying all other listing within certain distances. This will change the online search experience of all local or relocating consumers dramatically, especially when incorporating Google’s street view overlay into the listing maps.
Thankfully we are ahead of the curve and currently have all of these features already developed and fully functional, however they are not yet published. Once our local MLS policy is updated and we receive the details, we will be tweaking these features and turning them on as soon as we can. …So stay tuned!
Tim – the tool guy