Few people understand industry standards. “That’s for the computer geeks,” most of us think. Our busy schedules and our tenacious focus on business priorities rarely allow us to fully understand how standards directly impact us every day. Our ability to easily communicate with one another relies on standards. Think of computers and operating systems. Right now, the giants are Apple and Windows. They each implemented their own standards for communicating between devices. If standards had not been designed and implemented, we would not have cell phones, tablets, laptops and desktops all talking to one another. Do you remember when Apple devices could not talk to Windows devices? So now, let’s look at the real estate industry. We all agree that MLSs are our life blood for listing and finding properties suited for our customers, our revenue. Yet MLSs tend to have different ways of presenting data. So RESO has created a “data dictionary” that ensures each system speaks the same language and defines real estate data in consistent terms. As real estate listings flow from one place to another, they follow policies and rules through software that facilitates listings from the MLS database to be publicly displayed. This process is called Internet Data Exchange or IDX. It allows brokers to reciprocate information. So, I can see that your eyes are beginning to cross. Let’s stop here and simply remind you to think about how fast information travels today. Think about all the technology that has dramatically changed our lives in just a couple of decades. And it’s moving faster and faster BECAUSE of standards. Do you want to get left behind like the guy who insisted 8-track tapes were better than cassettes or, for the younger in the crowd, who still has a fat TV instead of a smart TV? For those of you who take action to learn and understand the brink that the RE industry is on, for those who accept the role as an early adopter, YOU are the leaders who will benefit rather than get left in the dust. YOU will be the innovators who can see the future and who will TAKE the competitive advantage. You will BE SET APART from the masses who follow. Take that leap to set your business at the top and keep it there. Join us at the upcoming RESO webinar to discover how to cut operating expenses, to establish […]
The Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) has driven the most important data solution for real estate brokers over the past year. With support from the National Association of REALTORS®, all NAR® affiliated MLSs (think association-owned) are required to adopt the RESO standard for MLS data. This change compelled CoreLogic®, the nation’s largest MLS provider to make the changes to the MLS data feeds. Zillow Group also jumped into the mix with the acquisition of Bridge Interactive to complement RETSLY. But firms went further, and it‘s good for brokers. Prior to the NAR mandate to adopt RESO data dictionary, every MLS in the nation spoke a different data language. In parlance, everyone had different data fields and rules in those fields. For example, some would structure the number of baths as a whole number that added up all of the bathrooms, like 3.75. Others would structure the data to say 3 full baths, 1 half bath, and one quarter bath. Now, almost every MLS has adopted the same structure for data distribution through the RESO Data Dictionary. The way that any given MLS made choices about data structure was up to the MLS. Now it’s a standard across them all. Read the full report on RESO Standards Adoption here!
RESO is now accepting nominations for five open seats on the RESO Board of Directors. The RESO Board of Directors is responsible for the governance of RESO and development of the organization’s Strategic Plan. Two Vendor seats are available (Class B-5), for Vendors with revenues over $25 million. Three MLS seats are available (Class C 1-4), for MLSs with fewer than 50,000 members. All five positions are for a two-year term beginning January 1, 2017. Candidates for the Board must be an employee of a RESO member organization. With the exception of NAR, no more than one person from a given company or its subsidiaries may serve on the Board of Directors at the same time. If you or someone you know is interested in lending your voice and talents in leadership to our organization’s goals of development, adoption, and implementation of standards, please complete a nomination form here (google form). Nominations will be accepted until midnight Eastern, November 10, 2016. Nominees will be published online at www.reso.org October 15 and updated as additional entries are received. Thank you for your support of RESO.
The dedicated staff at the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) and thousands of volunteers from companies across the globe have labored away at the arduous task of creating consistent data standards to be used by all MLSs, technology companies and brokerages. They have set the stage for a ton more efficiency and innovation in our industry. The RESO Data Dictionary is now available through nearly 550 MLSs across the country serving nearly 1.2mm REALTORS® today and the RETS data transportation standard has been adopted by every MLS organization and successfully utilized over the past 16 years since its inception. RESO’s hard work and success at creating a consistent method for transmitting and displaying real estate information is designed to help brokers be able to expand into markets more easily and to help technology companies move quickly to add new features that will help brokers differentiate themselves and provide more value to real estate consumers while reducing the complexities of support at the local MLS level. The RESO organization has done such a good job of creating awareness and adoption of its real estate data standards and formalizing official certification programs for all RESO standards that it has attracted many other standards organizations. RESO is expanding its leadership role to ensure all aspects of real estate are covered by one cohesive collection of data standards. Today, RESO partners with a myriad of real estate standards organizations creating an umbrella of standards that will help the real estate thrive. RESO enjoys an impressive list of partnerships with the Department of Energy, the National Multi-Family Housing Council and their Multifamily Information and Transactions Standards (MITS), the mortgage industry with the Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization,(MISMO) the Building Industry with the Building and Land Development Standards (BLDS). These collaborations make it easier for brokers to participate in multifamily sales, green home sales, mortgage transactions and new home sales. In addition, RESO is a member within OASIS, ensuring the real estate industry leverages global technology standards that complement the needs of the real estate industry. Art Carter, CEO of the California Regional MLS and Chairman of the RESO Board shared this with us, “RESO has worked long and hard to lead the way when it comes to real estate standards in our industry and we are thrilled to have become the de Facto leader of real estate standards in our industry. The partnerships we have […]
We would like to share that the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) is accepting applications for its newly created Manager, Multiple Listing Service position.We are looking forward to working with this individual and believe this role will help to grow our cooperative relationship, inform policy development, and keep the MLS perspective part of the discussions.Know the perfect candidate? Help identify the individual that will maximize the potential of this position by passing along this information. A complete job description can be found below along with the link to the NAR job portal where candidates can apply. Position: Manager, Multiple Listing Service Reports To: Vice President, Board Policy and Programs Division: Board Policy Position Summary: Provide support to NAR members, REALTOR®-association owned MLSs, and the MLS industry. Candidates should have experience working for an MLS and strong knowledge of the technical and administrative MLS operations. Major Duties and Responsibilities (Not all-inclusive): Actively connect with MLSs and REALTOR® associations, the Council of Multiple Listing Services, and the Real Estate Standards Organization by attending relevant meetings and cultivating relationships with the organizations’ leadership and executives. Track and issue reports on progress. Participate in strategic creation of educational and operational resources supporting REALTOR® association MLSs. Assist NAR MLS Committee Staff Executive in preparation of committee and advisory board meetings. Implement projects arising from NAR’s MLS committee and NAR’s collaboration with CMLS. Research, identify, analyze, and keep current on developments and events effecting MLS operations. Make presentations and help prepare other informational material as necessary. Work on other departmental projects as needed. Experience and skills: B.A./B.S. preferred 2-7 years of working in Operations at an MLS Knowledge of the organization and rules for REALTOR® associations and MLSs Tech savvy Knowledge of/participation in RESO is a bonus Self-motivated Strong written and verbal communication skills Effective and persuasive relationship building skills Strong problem solving and analytical skills Outstanding interpersonal skills Positive attitude Travel up to 5 to 10 trips per year Please find the link to the NAR job portal where candidates can upload a resume: http://www.realtor.org/careers-at-nar/search-jobs
RESO Fall Conference: October 24-26, 2016 Nashville, TN RESO Conferences have become a CAN’T MISS event for MLSs, Brokers and Technology Partners. The 2016 Fall Conference is no different. Join the industries leaders, movers and shakers, and your peers for a look into the future of real estate standards. Three ways to enjoy of the 2016 Fall Conference: Participate in a variety of Workgroups Contribute to the future of standards Join the NEW Business/Broker Track Learn how to grow your business using RESO Standards Attend the Technology Track Learn about the future of RESO and Web API Register now to receive the early bird discount! REGISTER HERE! Hotel information: Renaissance Nashville Hotel 611 Commerce St. Nashville, TN 37203 Click here to book your room.
COMPLETE THE SURVEY NOW The Real Estate Standards Organization, RESO, has been hard at work creating consistent data across MLS regions and across the country by creating the RESO Data Dictionary. To date 1.1 mm agents across the country now have access to RESO Data Dictionary thanks to the hard work of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, The Realty Alliance, NAR, MLS system providers and MLSs across the country. This normalized data built from years of work with technology leaders from around the industry is being used to fuel Upstream, Broker Public Portal (Homesnap) and the AMP program. RESO standards are making it easier for brokers to expand into new markets and to work with innovative technology providers. WAV Group, along with RESO and its industry Ambassadors, is very interested in learning more about the challenges you and your brokerage face with data management today and what RESO can do to aid in your challenges. We would like to gather insights from you as a broker about RESO and candid feedback about the challenges you deal with when trying to ingest and manage MLS data. If you can spare about 5 minutes we would love to get your input! If you are a broker interested in completing the survey, CLICK HERE! If you are an MLS interested in distributing to your brokers, CLICK HERE! If you would like to learn more about RESO and how you can be involved, contact Marilyn@wavgroup.com.
An inside look with the Workgroup’s Chair, Rob Larson of CRMLS By Jeremy Crawford He’s at the helm of what has been hailed as real estate’s “Rosetta Stone.” Rob Larson, the Chief Information Officer of the nation’s largest Multiple Listing Service, CRMLS, chairs the RESO Data Dictionary Workgroup. The Workgroup is responsible for the real estate industry’s new and growing set of property data listing standards, which is quickly approaching the NAR mandated deadline of January 1, 2016 for Data Dictionary adoption. Larson and CRMLS are testaments to the old adage “Practice what you preach.” At CRMLS, Rob has lead a holistic Data Dictionary effort – called Data Dictionary Plus – that not only deploys the required Data Dictionary core property data fields (161), but CRMLS is converting all fields whose definition matches an entry in the Data Dictionary. Larson also notes there are additional fields in his MLS system that are not in the RESO Dictionary, but is renaming those fields to match the Data Dictionary naming conventions. Following the naming convention on non-required fields is Larson’s “Plus”, but it is not a RESO requirement. RESO Data Dictionary Certification has several levels of Certification. Today, the focus is on the mandate – Core Certification – yet MLS firms also can achieve Bronze, Silver, Gold and the highest level, Platinum Certification. Once CRMLS is Data Dictionary certified, they will have leapfrogged to achieve Platinum Certification, joining MetroList in Sacramento, which is already Platinum Certified. Though Larson admits, “implementing the platinum level dictionary not only in RETS, but all the way back into our MLS system will be a challenge.” “When I started the Dictionary, I included the concept of adopting the Dictionary, not just in the RETS interface, but in the MLS Input, Search and Display as well. From the get-go I felt this was the right course of action because I believe in a consistent experience for my members and their clients,” Larson says. He explains, “Application vendors who use RETS are inevitably going to have their search and display mirror the fields they see coming from RETS. By taking the unrequired step of adopting the Dictionary in your MLS system, you’ll standardize the members experience as they use the variety of software options available today.” Larson points to the fact that MLS members are accessing MLS data in a lot more places than just through their MLS system; […]
At the “CMLS Brings it to the Table” meeting at NAR Mid-Year, there was a great discussion led by some early adopters of the RESO Data Dictionary. They talked about the inherent benefits of creating a consistent data standard for all MLSs, Brokers and Technology Vendors. They talked about how data consistency creates an environment that will stimulate innovation and new thinking that will make it easier for REALTORS® to be successful. They talked about all how brokers will be able to operate more easily in multiple markets with a consistent data standard. Basically, our world with the RESO Data Dictionary in place is a LOT more efficient and a LOT more customer-centric than the world we operate in today: Local nuances make it virtually impossible for an upstart company to enter the industry and for brokers to easily roll out new products in multiple MLS regions seamlessly. So doesn’t all of that sound like the type of industry that you want to operate in? An industry supporting and nurturing new ideas that will help brokers thrive, being able to differentiate their businesses in meaningful ways from one another and to serve the needs of their clients more effectively? Sounds great to me, but then let’s look at the reality of where we are today. When the audience of about 150 was polled asking them if they are in the midst of executing the RESO data dictionary, just about 30 of them raised their hand. After hearing compelling arguments in favor of RESO were presented by the esteemed panelists, I asked the question, “Now that you have heard how RESO will make our industry stronger, how many more of you are interested in pursuing RESO?” Disappointingly, just one or two hands went up. So here’s what I have surmised that most folks are thinking after watching that dynamic. It’s NOT optional Some MLSs are not aware that there is a deadline looming. By 1/1/16 every MLS is required to have implemented the RESO Data Dictionary to be in compliance with the IDX policy that was approved at NAR National in November last year. My Vendor will Take Care of It Many MLSs believe that their MLS vendor is simply going to take care of it for them and they won’t have to deal with it. While the MLS vendors DO play a vital role in this process, the MLSs must […]
The National Association of REALTORS MLS Issues and Policy Committee made a bold move to require RESO data dictionary complainant by Jan 1, 2016, and RESO RESTful web API by June 30, 2016. Further complicating the matters is the groundswell of considerations with third party portals making requests for MLS direct feeds. Data sharing between MLS systems, RETS Update, and system conversions taking place across the industry today deepen the data transport considerations. Wrapping it all together with a lit match could easily lead to mass hysteria. WAV Group took a look at what the largest MLSs in the nation are doing and we came upon a similarity that is worth noting. Large MLSs do not always represent best practices, but more often than not they do. Along with size comes complexity and a wider group of data management needs. Flexible Data Feed Configurations By Vendor One of the most significant problems facing MLSs when it comes to data management is managing variations of data feeds. A straight IDX feed can be configured in a pretty standard way. But feeds to other MLS systems, VOW Feeds, Broker Feeds, feeds to publishers with broker opt in or agent-opt in, or special other feeds become untenable. Most MLSs just bail out on variations and simply send all of the data with an agreement that says: “only use what is permitted.” This is a disaster waiting to happen and the worst business practice with data management. A friend gave me the analogy that sending all of the data but telling someone they can only use a portion of it is like depositing all of your money into someone else’s bank account and telling them they cannot use it. Moreover, sending all of the data when only a portion is necessary requires additional data feed bandwidth even if the vendor is throwing away the parts they don’t need. Most MLSs already use 3TB to 4 TB of data per month. Big markets use 10TB to 12TB per month. To solve this problem many of the large MLSs like the Houston Association of REALTORS provision a feed according to the exact data license agreement and only send the licensed data. They can even get fancy and turn watermarking on or off by data feed or any number of other interesting and flexible configurations. Becoming MLS Vendor Agnostic There are two styles of storing and managing […]
The Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) is clearly picking up steam at driving standards across the real estate industry. A pivotal inflection point in the success of standards is the adoption of those standards by MLS service providers and their vendors. One of the vendors who is particularly aggressive at adopting those standards is FBS, developers of FlexMLS and Spark. You can translate “particularly aggressive at adopting standards” to leadership in real estate technology. I will be using FlexMLS to demonstrate my point thought out this article, but to be clear – many MLS Vendors and MLS service providers are on the same track. To Download the full report click here.
If you want to see the marketing department at Lowe’s or Home Depot salivate – tell them you have a data source that will notify them of the Name, phone number, address, and information about the property they just purchased. In fact, you will even be able to tell them the closing data and the move in date. That is the kind of information that is in CRM solutions and until now, that data has not been mined for advertising. Nobody understands this better than Trulia, the company that may have the most highly adopted CRM solution in America. In this assumption, I am excluding MLS systems. MLS systems have a lot of the same data in their client servicing solutions. The NAR has significant relationships with many companies who are attacking business opportunities in the moving space. A home purchase triggers a massive spending event. I have always been curious about why NAR does not offer a free CRM solution to all REALTORS. It would fit in nicely to Realtor’s Property Resource. The positioning of RPR has been to allow REALTORS to communicate more effectively to consumers – which requires a consumer record – or customer relationship management system. Maybe that is in the product roadmap already – I do not know. The Real Estate Standards Organization, RESO, is creating a structure for transporting the customer record across applications. In the years to come, RESO certified solutions will be able to leverage bi-directional RETS or RESTful APIs to make the customer record (contact information and activities) transportable. This will allow an agent to manage the customer and related activities in any number of applications like the MLS, like broker or agent websites, like direct marketing solutions, like transaction management solutions – on mobile or desktop – anytime any where. No more duplicate customer record. But there is more. Someone will contemplate monetizing the customer record. Salesforce.com is the most popular CRM solution on the planet. At the high watermark of pricing, it costs $65 per user per month. What is the value of a lead? How much do you think you could sell the customer record for if you sell it to Lowes, Chase Bank, Fidelity Title, etc. Looking at the price mortgage is paying for leads today, having just a mortgage company and Lowes would cover the cost of the CRM. I often wonder if companies managing buyer […]
Last week, the Real Estate Standards Organization released the latest Data Dictionary version 1.3 for industry consumption and adoption. Like all RESO releases, this is important as it should trigger you and your vendors to make data base modifications to come into compliance with this latest database naming convention. There are a lot of changes. Real Estate agents and brokers pay handsome fees to vendors who take disparate data sets from MLSs and map them to their application. It is one of the biggest challenges to offering services. Our industry has fallen well behind in adopting these standards and it puts us all in jeopardy of losing the position of being in the center of real estate transactions. It is incumbent upon all of us to take action to move forward in the adoption of RESO standards to remain a healthy and vibrant industry. In this latest release, there were many modifications as well as 24 new fields added – many to support property types like commercial. This release will also be the first version that will be tested and certified for compliance. Data providers that apply and pass RESO Data Dictionary compliance tests will be awarded a certificate which allows them to display a certificate badge on their website as well as being recorded and displayed in RESO’s website (reso.org). The last release of the Data Dictionary was v1.2 in August of 2013. In truth, many MLSs and vendors are at varying stages of adapting to that release. The best practice is to take this release date seriously and plan your adoption timeline with your vendors and customers. Communication is paramount to allow everyone to move forward accordingly. Running in parallel is also paramount so that you can keep existing systems running on old versions operational while everyone converts. Make clear what your timeline is for closing support for legacy data feed formats. About RESO RESO is a non-profit organization supported by member dues. It creates an environment for the development and implementation of data standards and processes that facilitate innovation, insure portability, eliminate redundancies and obtain maximum efficiencies for all parties participating in the real estate transaction. WAV Group is a founding member of the organization. We strongly encourage all MLSs, technology vendors, franchise organizations, and brokers to join the organization and support the critical role that RESO standards provide to our industry. For most organizations, the costs […]