A big step in real estate transparency has slowly evolved over the past couple of years---No registration required Atlanta MLS access for home buyers. In the past, all sites, both big and small, required you to sign up before giving you access to all the Atlanta real estate listings. Although there is still a large segment of real estate sites that still require registration of some sort (name, contact info, email address), these sites are slowly dying. Why you ask? Because our generation and those after us go to the web for a free (obligation-free, cost-free, and risk-free), easy, fast, and comprehensive lens from which to search. Registration? Not fast. Not easy. And definitely not free.
The Problem with Most Real Estate Sites
For these buyers to find a site like this in the Atlanta real estate market can be difficult. The sites that do offer no registration Atlanta MLS access usually offer terribly outdated search functionality, below average user experience, and no differentiation (the same 10 or so companies do the vast majority of real estate search engines on sites here in Atlanta). Many sites look like a dictionary threw up on the webpage. There is text everywhere. There's hyperlinked content in every conceivable nook and cranny of the page--stuffed in the footer, the sidebar, the header, and throughout the page. For some sites it takes 15 minutes to scroll through all the mess and clutter to the bottom of the home page to navigate the site. With all the "content", you'd think that it would at least be a good read. Sorry, chief. You'd be wrong. The pages are so deliberately and blatantly stuffed with keywords that reading the information offers no benefit to the searcher other than a massive headache.
Other sites will give you limited access to MLS, displaying most of the information, but withholding key pieces of listing data (some features, not full addresses) which can be even more annoying. Still others require registration to get their "Market Reports" like "10 Ways to Sell Your Atlanta Home in 15 minutes or Less". The reason for all this registration is because the vast majority of agents are not trying to educate the consumers---an educated homebuyer frightens the average agent---but rather they are using their website strictly as a lead capture tool. By giving your information you haven't gained new insider secrets about Atlanta real estate. Rather, you've received the right to receive mass emails from agents as they try to convert you from a lead to a prospect to a client. It's Web -2.0---traditional old school real estate methods just carried over to the internet.
No Registration MLS Access
One thing you won't find here at Clickscape is the need for registration. Here you can check out all the latest Atlanta listings complete with ALL the information we get from the MLS that we are legally able to post. And it's 100% free and you can search anonymously. Why? Because buying real estate is different than every other transaction. Buying a home is a huge investment and a major step in someone's life. It is not unusual to begin the research and search process a year before you even think of buying. With such a long sales cycle, many home buyers are not ready to contact anyone for professional help just yet. Real estate is also different in that many people are just serial home shoppers, searchers, or gawkers and want nothing more than to just see homes for sale out of curiosity. Others just enjoy the voyeuristic component of real estate. I also recently had a friend tell me that real estate is married people's porn. The point is that we get it and it seems a few other sites are finally starting to get it too.
Atlanta real estate consumers deserve the free flow of information. There should be no firewall between the information and the buyer. Unfortunately, all too often that firewall is the agent or broker, the very parties who should be actively educating their clients about the process.
Many of today's searchers resent the request for their personal information and are unwilling to give it because of privacy concerns. This gives the user a negative impression of the site and the real estate company right from the beginning. The Atlanta real estate brokerages that give you this unrestricted Atlanta MLS access and market information without anything in return are doing it for the right reasons. Home buyers should seek out these companies and sites that are advocates for them and not those which are simply lead generators for agents.