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That's cold! Icelandic MLS app is the best of the bunch

Tuesday, June 18, 2013  
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Icelandic MLS "search by distance" result

By Petur Sigurdsson

 Note: The opinions expressed in REALTOR® Viewpoint are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect ORRA's official positions on the issues discussed within.

I traveled to Iceland in February of this year and was invited to a cocktail party where Felag Fasteignasala (REALTORS® Association of Iceland) was introducing its new MLS app. I was not expecting to be impressed — knowing that the Icelandic MLS is inferior to our MLS — but I was in for the surprise of my life! The app that was introduced is the best that I have seen in a long time.

This app allows the consumer to search all properties in Iceland and to view photos and other information about the properties. Properties in Iceland are geocoded, so the app allows the consumer to ask for driving directions to the properties.

Most of what I have mentioned above is already available through our MLS, except for the options that we should add to our app and advertise.

The ultimate option that I would like to see in our MLS app is for the consumer to be able to ask it, "What homes are available within a one-mile mile radius of my phone?” or to the consumer to set the parameter they want on a rolling scale. Or to ask the app which homes are scheduled for an open house on a particular day, within a certain distance, or within a particular subdivision or zip code. The app should also be able to provide driving directions between homes that the consumer has chosen to view.

What I see as the big plus about this dream app over our existing app is that this might give us more consumer involvement of the consumer and also it might increase the number of customers at our open houses.

When I look in our MLS for open houses in Orange or Seminole counties on any given weekend, I’ll usually find between 15 and 70 opportunities.

As an open house seems to be a dying breed in our area, I asked some Icelandic REALTORS® at the cocktail party if open houses worked for them. Their answer was that they sell a high percent of their listings at open houses, and that open houses are a big part of their business. This makes me wonder. Are we neglecting a big market opportunity, and should we do more to bring back the open house?

There are also two other lingering questions on my mind after this trip. Can we make our mobile MLS app more interesting for the consumer and increase involvement and activity on our MLS? Is there a possibility that we could get the customer off the incorrect third-party websites that state they have the right answer?

Petur Sigurdsson, The Viking Team, Realty, is a member of ORRA and can be reached at


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