The Internet and technology are now fundamental to doing business. CREA is at the forefront of digital technology with a suite of tools and services built for our members.

Consumers and REALTOR® members alike are loving the new website.

A fully redesigned Beta website went live across Canada this year, and all early reports are that consumers and REALTORS® are both loving it. has long been the single most popular source that Canadians turn to for information about residential real estate, and the new site is only going to make it all the more so.

"It's a complete redesign of the existing site and the feedback to date from consumers has been extremely positive," said Marc Lafrance, director of product management and member services at CREA. And what do people like the most? "It's the photos," says Lafrance. "That is the key thing that keeps bringing people back. The new site can accommodate up to 99 high-resolution photos per listing, and that's definitely the thing consumers like the most."


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The new website...

The new website was extensively beta-tested throughout 2013, with a graduated roll-out that began in Nova Scotia, moved to other provinces and finally, in November and December, entered the major markets of Quebec and Ontario. "We launched it in smaller chunks," Lafrance said. "That gave us an opportunity to uncover any usability issues, and make sure that we delivered a bug-free once we were ready to decommission the old site."

The new site is such a leap forward that not all listings will be able to take full advantage of it yet. CREA is working closely with Boards and Associations across the country to make sure that their MLS® Systems, from which draws all its information, are also upgraded to keep pace.

2013 also saw the addition of a powerful new feature on data that will give a demographic snapshot of the neighbourhood around a listing. "It includes average household income, demographic profiles and other information that consumers have been asking us to develop for some time," Lafrance said.


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Mobile is exploding

Both REALTORS® and consumers are embracing the mobile app and mobile web versions of, with traffic on the mobile sites starting to catch up with the desktop version. And it's really no wonder. REALTORS® are constantly on the move, and the mobile site gives them the ability to track new listings, search for listings close to where they may already be showing a house, and even map their way to nearby listings as they are showing clients around.

With versions of the mobile app available for IOS, Android and BlackBerry devices, plus a special version of the website that can be accessed via the browser on these devices, "mobile is now generating, on its own, over five million visits every month," said Lafrance. The mobile versions will also soon be getting the same Points of Interest feature already available on the desktop version as well as the demographic data soon to come to the desktop version.

"An efficient, fast, user-friendly and intuitive app that is appreciated by our clientele."

Louise Montgrain

Louise Montgrain is a REALTOR® who has been serving Montreal and Montreal North since 2003. She is a member of the dynamic PROFUSION IMMOBILIER team, an exclusive Westmount affiliate of CHRISTIE'S INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE.

Reserve your own .REALTOR domain name now

A new top-level domain (TLD) is coming that is certain to be of keen interest to all REALTORS®. TLDs are the extensions that come after the dot in a web address, and a whole new slew of generic TLDs are about to come on the market as alternatives to the widely-used .com and .org.

REALTORS® in Canada are able to make use of the new TLD through an exclusive marketing partnership CREA has with the National Association of REALTORS®. CREA is planning to provide the first 10,000 members who register a domain on the TLD with a complimentary first-year subscription to one domain name. Members would be able to secure a .REALTOR domain using their name on a first come first served basis. Further details, including pricing for additional domains and other related products will be announced at a later date.

WEBForms® continue to grow in popularity and functionality

WEBForms®, the electronic service that uses verified listing details drawn from Board/Association MLS® Systems to create polished and professional paperwork that REALTORS® can present their clients, gained new users and new features in 2013. More than 52,000 REALTORS® used WEBForms® last year to generate in excess of nine-million individual forms. More than 4,000 of those REALTORS® used a new capability to email the forms to their clients and have them electronically signed and returned. This coming year will see WEBForms® integrate with plug-ins from at least two vendors to support document management.

Data Distribution Facility puts your listings in front of new clients

CREA's Data Distribution Facility (DDF®) is a service that lets you extend your own promotional activities in a controlled fashion by distributing your listing data to other REALTORS® as well as to third-party sites. It can put your listings in front of hundreds of thousands of new potential buyers. Almost 100,000 of the 350,000 listings active on last year were shared in a national pool, a four-fold increase from the year before. More than 75,000 of those listings were also shared on third-party sites. Many REALTORS® would like to share their listings on others sites; DDF® gives them the ability to do so with assurance and control over exactly what is displayed.