Brokers & MLSs: Collaboration vs. Confrontation

by Kevin Hawkins on May 14, 2015

thumb_up_thumbs_downThe real estate industry come a long way from the fall of 2013, when The Realty Alliance’s Craig Cheatham warned a crowd of MLS executives attending CMLS in Boise, “You’ve got 10 days.”

That moment in time – described by blogger Notorious Rob as “the most interesting 30 minutes in the history of real estate conferences” — poignantly captured the mood of real estate brokerages towards the MLS industry.

Fast-forward to NAR Midyear 2015, and confrontation has clearly turned into collaboration.

This week, RESO or Real Estate Standards Organization, heralded the great strides the organization has made in fostering participation by America’s leading brokerage organizations.

Once thought of as solely the province of the MLS, RESO recently added Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, the largest network of over 500 premier locally-branded firms responsible for more home sales than any other real estate network, to its membership roster.

Importantly, Leading RE joins Cheatham’s The Realty Alliance, which is already a member of RESO and represents a network of North America’s elite real estate firms, whose members serve most every major market on the continent.

Add to RESO’s key real estate brokerage membership ranks Realogy (Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, CENTURY 21®, Coldwell Banker®, Coldwell Banker Commercial®, The Corcoran Group®, ERA®, and Sotheby’s International Realty®, and ZipRealty®), RE/MAX LLC, and other independent firms, such as Michael Saunders and Company, and you have literally the who’s who of real estate brokerage that now have a seat at the table and a voice in shaping future real estate industry standards are deployed.

Kudos to Leading RE

LeadingRE President/CEO Pam O’Connor points to the value of RESO to the brokerage community, including the industry’s adoption of its Data Dictionary, which is going to fuel new innovation, and generate more efficiencies. For brokerages, this will reduce costs and untether the ability of brokerage firms to grow and expand into new markets, as finally, all MLSs will talk the same language.

Pam’s message is spot on and positive: “The RESO Data Dictionary and the other standards being implemented will help all of our members,” O’Connor says.

RESO’s new Executive Director, Jeremy Crawford, a high respected MLS veteran, knows collaboration is the best way for his not-for-profit organization to succeed.

“Collaboration is vital,” Crawford said., noting the long-term goal of RESO is highly pragmatic and much needed, “National data standards and industry collaboration across all aspects of real estate data. Brokers will continue to play a vital role in this effort,” he added.

Feel the momentum?

If one examines all the things that are on the horizon involving real estate brokers – the National Broker Portal, Project Upstream, the adoption of the Data Dictionary by the end of this year – you’ll find that RESO and its national data standards are the linchpin to make these things, and other innovations, possible.

Craig Cheatham was right to call out the industry, sharing his members frustrations for not being heard nor included. Now his group, Leading RE, major real estate franchises and independents can help shape the entire industry’s future.

These leaders have created a momentum, paving the way for more brokerages of every shape and size to join RESO. This organization is not just for MLS firms and their vendors, it is for every player in the real estate industry that wants to create positive change in real estate from the inside out.

We are seeing from all of this a new era of broker cooperation, an approach that has to feel a lot better to everyone in the MLS industry, especially those executives who were in the room that afternoon in Boise.

If you would like to become a part of RESO and help shape the future of our industry, become a member of RESO and join the WAV Group at the upcoming RESO Conference on June 2nd to 4th in Chicago. We’re going to be moderating a Broker Panel talking about the important ways that implementing RESO Data Standards are going to help brokers succeed. You can register here.

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