Data Distribution Facility (CREA DDF) Explained

The U.S. and Canada real estate industries have evolved in different ways. One of the major differences is the Data Distribution Facility or CREA DDF. We created this article to answer some common questions about CREA DDF.

What Is the Data Distribution Facility?

The Data Distribution Facility (CREA DDF) is a national pool of property listings in Canada designed to help agents and brokers gain wider exposure for their listings and to streamline syndication to third-party websites.

Created by the Canadian Real Estate Association in 2012, the DDF can be thought of as a  national MLS.  CREA DDF allows homebuyers to search available listings across Canada. And it provides an IDX-like service to agents and brokers whose home association does not offer one.

What is a DDF Feed?

A DDF feed is a data connection between a website and the CREA DDF database that allows agents and brokers to import and display listings and to set up a portal for property search.


DDF feeds are available to any CREA members and they adhere closely to RETS, a U.S. technology standard for real estate data transactions.

How Does DDF Work?

CREA DDF works by encouraging agents and brokers across Canada to share listings and services. Once posted to DDF, the listings are made available to every other DDF participant. This brings the listing before a larger audience, which can reduce costs and days on market.

It also streamlines the syndication process. DDF listings are pushed to a number of third-party websites. DDF participants are able to how they want to syndicate and with which websites. Any changes to the listing will be automatically updated on the DDF and the syndication sites.

What Are the Advantages of DDF?

CREA DDF offers a number of advantages to participants including improved listing promotion and marketing analysis services, as well as access to one of the largest databases of homes in North America. We go into more detail below.

1. Better Exposure

By participating in DDF, agents and brokers are able to attract a national audience to their listings. This can increase competition for the home, resulting in more offers, higher prices, and fewer days on market.

This exposure is especially important for agents in rural areas who may not have access to IDX services in their region.

2. Easy Syndication

Agents and brokers are able to exert more control over their listings through the syndication options. With a few clicks they are able to decide where they want their listings to appear.

This can save agents time by avoiding the paperwork and development necessary to work with syndication sites one by one.

3. Listings Data

CREA DDF automatically generates statistics on the performance of participant listings. This can help agents and brokers evaluate marketing techniques and understand better the market trends in their communities.

4. Fast Updates

Any listing updates are automatically made in the DDF and pushed to syndication sites, so clients are always seeing the most up-to-date information.

What is the difference between DDF and IDX?

DDF and IDX provide similar services, though DDF is done on a much wider scale. While in the United States, IDX can provide agents and brokers with all active listings in a certain region, DDF provides listings across all of Canada.

This covers the main points about CREA DDF. Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments. Or for an explanation of more real estate terms, check out our article Real Estate Data Explained.

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The opinions or information expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views, policy, or position of Realtyna. The information on Realtyna’s Website is general, for informational purposes only, and is not to be relied upon or interpreted as real estate, legal, accounting, or other professional advice or a substitute. Please discuss anything related to the certification process, professional advice or legal procedures with your MLS providers.

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  • Milorad Krneta
    Posted at 09:17h, 24 April

    Our company would like to use MLS database across Canada. We would produce Artificial Intelligence Predictions of Residence Sale Closing price. This AI predictions would be for use by Real Estate Agents and Brokerage.
    Please help us to achieve that goal.

  • Jodie Ouimet
    Posted at 15:26h, 07 June

    DDF reciprocity is only as good as its participants. In our area, 2 of our largest brokerages have opted-out and although our listings are being channeled out, we are not receiving data feed for over 1/2 of our local market. It’s a shame on many levels. . I wish CREA would promote the benefits of DDF moreso the brokerage owners, to achieve better buy in.
    Jodie Ouimet – Mountain Town Properties
    Rossland BC, Canada

    • Tait Militana
      Posted at 04:09h, 12 June

      Hi Jodie, you’re right that there are local differences in CREA participation. The more brokers participate the more everyone benefits.