Thursday, November 6, 2008 updates Toronto Homes

As a follow up to previous posts that commented on the functionality of the website the following was received from CREA.

Please be advised that the MLS(r) and Technology Council (MTC) has approved several changes for the website.

Effective November 20th, the existing zoom level restriction will be removed. This was originally installed to avoid situations where a property not displaying an address could still be located on the maps. This is now much less of a concern, because 85% of all properties now allow for display of address.

Elimination of the zoom level restriction will also resolve some consumer complaints. For example, some result displays now show only the "500 property" warning simply because there are too many properties in the area selected, even if it is the lowest current zoom level. The change will mean users can zoom in as close as they want to view the listings they want.
This change will also resolve the complaint of the map continuously zooming in and out. This occurs because the visitor has selected the lowest possible zoom level, but keeps trying to go lower.

Work also continues on implementing neighbourhood or MLS(r) zone identification for the "text" search, which has become a popular search tool for website visitors. This means, for example, they can simply put "Parkdale" in the Location box on the front page, and the interactive mapping will automatically take them to that part of Calgary. Since October 2nd more than 3,500 of these areas have been identified and added to the database, including the previous Board MLS(r) system zone ID (W 13 for Toronto as an example).

We need the help of all local real estate Boards and Associations to verify that the zones are correct, and take visitors to the correct area. In the world of interactive mapping, each neighbourhood or area needs an X and Y coordinate and a correct zoom level for the map to be effective. For additional information, please contact the CREA Help Desk.

CREA also continues to work on making the site compatible with MACs, and Firefox browsers.
Based on member and user feedback, the MTC is also reviewing some usability an design options. These are being tested with consumers they effectively address identified navigation or usability issues. This includes complaints that photos are too small, the thumbnail information is not sufficient, and listings are too hard to find. Changes affecting these features will be implemented as soon as possible. We’ll provide updates on any proposed changes.

Do you want access to the other 15 % of the listings?

The reality is that professional realtors have access to a database that is larger and faster to search through. Register your search criteria on a DREAM Home Finder Page, or register as a VIP Buyer to gain access to the database.

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