Real estate agents in Colorado who use a Macintosh will no longer be able to access the MLS database with the newly designed Internet based system that’s about to go live next month.
The MLS database is the central listing database that keeps all the information on properties being bought and sold in the area. Every real estate agent, regardless of what company they work for, use this system to do their job.
“I have three relatives who are real estate agents in the Denver/Boulder area of Colorado,” Scott Mesch, president of StarPlay Productions in Boulder, Colorado, told MacCentral. “My aunt, cousin and brother are real estate agents and all use Macs. In the Boulder area the old ‘Boris’ MLS system (which worked fine with Mac, Windows, and Unix systems) is being replaced with the new Internet/Browser based MLS system.”
Now the Boulder agents will use a system located at
IRES, a secured site accessible only by agents with passwords.
While Denver agents use a different MLS database, the same thing is happening there, Mesch said. The new MLS Web site won’t work with a Mac browser. It’s unknown whether it’s the fault of Internet Explorer, Netscape, or the language components that drive these sites.
“This is a big blow to these agents who love their Macs and have invested a lot of time and money into their software and hardware,” Mesch said. “While SoftWindows or Virtual PC is an option, most believe it is too slow or too much trouble to use. Now they’re looking at buying a Windows laptop, just so they can do their job. These are agents who work from a home office most of the time and are the heart and soul of the Mac user base. They have decided for themselves that they prefer using a Mac. They made all the purchase decisions. No company told them they had to buy a certain type of computer (until now).”
These users are being forced to dump all their hardware and software because a separate company developed the new MLS database with no concern to support the Mac, Mesch said. There are plenty of programming resources available to fully support all functions required by a robust MLS system on the platform, he added.
“The Internet is supposed to be a public access system,” Mesch said. “It is supposed to make users more ‘platform’ independent. But in this case, Macs are locked out. Perhaps this company should be held responsible for forcing so many agents to buy all new equipment, software and go through a lot of new training! These are the kind of users the Mac cannot afford to lose.”
Mesch hopes companies will make a better effort to support independent Internet users regardless of platform (Mac, Windows or Unix). He also said he hopes that something can be changed or added to the Mac OS and/or Mac browsers that will allow them to function properly on such essential Web sites.
IRES had no comment on the matter.