A New Way To View Condos

About two years ago when I did property or land searches I would log in to the MLS. With technology advancing like it does, now I find myself searching for real estate with other sites (Galen’s is one of my favorite). The best sites all tend to use MLS map searches as their primary search. For instance, if you go to Estately and type in Ballard as the town, you get a great map giving the boundaries to the town and the homes that fit your criteria within that area.

I was doing a search for a client (a good friend) this weekend, but instead of residential properties, he was looking for a condo. Since condo ownership is different than owning a single family home we wanted to look at the Homeowner’s Association (HOA) too. Since many of the new condos all have about the same features, one of my client’s #1 priority was condo community. They wanted to get as much feedback from other owners or tenants in the building as possible.

Basically I wanted to compare condos, so I Google’d Seattle Ballard Condo Compare Search

The first link was actually a company called Condo Compare. It is pretty cool. All of the other sites list the individual units for sale and do not focus as much on the building as a community. Once you do find a couple buildings you like, I have not ever found a way to compare these buildings side-by-side or see all the data about each building or condo unit. Condo Compare has a pretty cool ‘push pin compare this condo’ feature where you can view a bunch of different units/buildings side by side.

When I started with RCG I was talking to Dustin about something like Condo Compare, but for areas (Ballard, Queen Anne, Bryant), so its cool that someone is starting something like this… if anyone else knows of anyone else doing something like this, please let me know.

32 thoughts on “A New Way To View Condos

  1. Jon,

    I wrote a post on Condo Compare some time ago and the fur started to fly 🙂

    There are so many hefty fines this month, I’d be wary of being creative and showing other agents listings in any format other than the IDX approved format that everyone else uses at the moment.

    There’s a war going on and innovation is not winning it.

  2. Ardell-

    Dang, the ONE time I don’t have you edit my post, there is a problem… It says Condo Compare uses the same MLS feed as anyone else, so what do you mean?

  3. Thank you Jon for the nice posting… Ardell, to shed some light on this… we show other agent’s listings exactly the way they are shown on every other site. We don’t add to or subtract from the listings. We have a seperate set of data for the condo buildings, but the listings themselves are 100% the same. same pictures, same descriptions, same data… we are very compliant and do not deviate from the MLS rules. We are here to play nice 🙂

  4. Hi Casey! Hope all is well with you.

    The most recent fine was against Redfin, (as reported by Marlow on 360 degree Digest) not Condo Compare. Just noting to both Dustin and Jon that there is a lot of very cool stuff that we could all come up with, but sometimes you need deep pockets to try new things.

  5. Hello Ardell… I hope you are doing well too!

    Speaking of cool… we are allowing our users to make comments on each condo building which I think is pretty interesting. They can rank (stars) buildings based on their experience, upload photos, create their own “condo enthusiast” profile etc… let me know what you think!

  6. Thank you… Just started ranking and commenting late last week. Still not terribly noticeable on the site… we are working on that, hence the lack of comments! You should comment on the buildings that you know… Good for you, good for us. You can build a little profile linking back to RCG to show your expertise 🙂

  7. I spent too much time this morning playing with my crystal ball for my prediction post. But I will check it out as soon as I have a little time.

    You guys created an amazing resource site. Kudos!

  8. Galen-

    YOU ARE SO right on. We had MLSMAPSONLINE.com and we were forced to take it down… but we could have aggregated the same info and used the name. It does not make a whole bunch of sense, but I do know if they do not loosen up soon, the flexibility of companies like Trulia will continue to dominate

  9. “…we could have aggregated the same info and used the name.”

    Unless you did it before the rule change and were grandfathered on the use of “mls” in the name “mlsmapsonline.com”, I doubt you could have used the name.

    I wonder if TheMlsOnline.com or Mls4Owners.com can sell that name, or their companies with the name, without damaging the grandfathered privelege. They are the only two companies who got in under the wire of the “new (now old) rule”, as far as I know. There’s one other called MLSvideo.com in Bellevue. Not quite sure what that one is about.

  10. “MLSes are doing their best to help brokers lose any edge they have to non-MLS aggregators.”

    I don’t know about that. I think it’s more big broker banging on their competition and trying to squash the idea of agents being their own brokerages. Otherwise how do you explain the mass feed from Windermere to…is it Trulia or Zillow?

  11. In Chicago, agents, buyers and others can compare any three census areas, buildings or unit types on an indepedent Web site, ChicagoCondosOnline.com. Our database currently has 11,000+ buidlings, virtually every condo in the city. Through MLSs, we are planning to bring this tool and concept to other markets.

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