Technology

Internet sets real estate data free

A decade of homes on the Web

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Editor's note: Ten years ago, the first home listings were put on the Internet. In this special Inman News series, our editorial team explores the implications of this decade of online experimenting, investing and haggling. Nearly 10 years ago, Saul Klein traveled around the country trying to convince Realtor associations and MLSs to give the public access to home listings. He recalls having had big doubts about selling the idea to an industry whose greatest fear was that very access. "When I first went to present it, I didn't even have a contract for them because I didn't think they would say yes," said Klein, Realtor and president of InternetCrusade, an online real estate community. But eventually they did. The Austin Association of Realtors in Texas was the first board that agreed to pay $1 per listing per month to have listings appear on the Realtor Information Network, a technology venture created by the National Association of Realtors. That was the beginning. However...