RESO

Highlights and Lowlights at NAR Midyear

by Kevin Hawkins on May 25, 2017

NAR Brochure

The REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo is a mouthful, so we all just call it NAR Midyear. This one was a scorcher: both inside, as Upstream was the hot topic, and outside, as the temperatures were in the 90s in mid-May and the humidity made me remember why everyone leaves D.C. in August (except the tourists). CMLS Brings it to the Table For me, this was the highlight of the conference and it really isn’t even officially part of Midyear. It’s a tangential track that the Council of Multiple Listing Services hosted at American University, about 15 minutes north of the Marriott and Omni. The setting was in a meeting room inside its new Innovations building at AU that was so new, it wasn’t even on GPS, so finding it was a challenge for Uber and Taxi drivers. The content was stellar. Brian Boero of 1000watt introduced this clever, simple slogan to define what an MLS is with “Making the Market Work.” Brian did give me my favorite quote of the day: “No other group of 1 million people could be more different than REALTORS®.,” he said. Marilyn Wilson, our founding partner at WAV Group was tasked at presenting the results of the MLS Benchmarking survey that WAV Group conducted for CMLS. The benchmarking survey sampled the behavior of more than 200 MLSs representing over 1 MillionREALTORS®. There are certainly opportunities for improvement and CMLS best practices education leads the way. Fewer than 1 in 5 MLSs do an annual technology review Fewer than 1 in 3 have a marketing program, yet 2 in 3 say they promote products regularly Less than half measure customer satisfaction 40% use customer satisfaction benchmarks Fewer than 50% track calls Only 40% require board training for understanding financials 58% have no written succession plan Throughout the day, some of the best minds of the MLS industry shared their thoughts and visions, candidly, including Lauren Hansen (consolidation), David Charron (consolidation), Kathy Condon(broker engagement) and Chris Carrillo (The Grid). I loved what David observed: what prevents consolidation is a clashing of cultures. How true! It was at lunch that Upstream’s Alex Lange made the announcement that was heard around the industry almost immediately, creating an instant debate among PR people about whether the word “pivot” should have been used – or not. Upstream will now integrate with MLSs like a data share – allowing brokers a […]

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New! FREE RESO Marketing Toolkit!

by Marilyn Wilson on May 25, 2017

RESO Toolkit.tif

Help brokers understand how RESO standardized data delivered via the RESO Web API will help them bring new technology solutions to market and differentiate their messaging, lead gen, market statistics and green marketing. Thanks to MLSs across the country who have done a great job of embracing the Real Estate Standards Organization, the RESO Data Dictionary and RESO Web API. Today, 93% of all REALTORS® in America work with MLSs that are RESO Certified. Congratulations! In practical terms that means that brokers can now improve their ability to capture leads, save searches across multiple devices, promote green properties and take credit for the listing exposure they are generating, expand into new markets more quickly and save time and money on data normalization personnel. While RESO has done an amazing job, there is still little awareness among technology suppliers and brokers about the core advantages of RESO. That’s where YOU come in!   RESO is asking that MLSs help drive DEMAND for RESO Data Dictionary and Web API based data feeds. RESO knows how busy you are. That’s why they hired WAV Group to help bring you the FREE RESO Marketing Toolkit.  There are a variety of pre-created videos, banners, articles and information guides that you can provide to your technology partners and brokers to help drive interest in RESO feeds. It’s a very tangible way to demonstrate how much you are looking out for your broker’s best interest. Click HERE to request your FREE marketing toolkit! Your brokers will thank you for it!

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RESO

MLSs have done a great job of embracing the Real Estate Standards Organization, the RESO Data Dictionary and RESO Web API. Today, 93% of all REALTORS® in America work with MLSs that are RESO Certified. RESO volunteers have worked tirelessly for years to get us to this stage.  MLSs have done the hard work to make RESO data standards available to their members and technology partners. We’re on the cusp of greatness with RESO. While just about all brokers in America can leverage RESO standards on their website, CRM and other marketing solutions now, very few are aware of the power of RESO standards.. Even fewer understand the inherent value of a consistent set of fields across every MLS in America and how that will make it a lot easier for innovative products to launch in even the smallest areas. What needs to be done? MLSs need to help brokers understand how RESO standardized data delivered via the RESO Web API will help them bring new technology solutions to market and differentiate their messaging, lead gen, market statistics and green marketing. The industry needs to drive DEMAND for RESO Data Dictionary and Web API based data feeds.  We will know that we have done our job when brokers insist on using RESO data feeds delivered from their local MLS to fuel their IDX and technology solutions. It’s incumbent upon all of us to promote the advantages and availability of RESO-certified data feeds so that technology companies and brokers can take advantage of this powerful resource. FREE RESO Marketing Toolkit WAV Group has helped RESO create a Marketing Toolkit complete with promotional content, webinars, banner ads, presentations, logos and other elements designed to help you promote the availability of RESO data feeds in your local market. We would like to encourage every MLS to take advantage of these FREE marketing resources to help increase utilization of RESO certified data. It’s a very tangible way to demonstrate how much you are looking out for your broker’s best interest. If you can support your technology partners to convert to the RESO Data Dictionary, you will be doing your subscribers a great service. Click HERE to see a presentation of all of the components of the Marketing Toolkit delivered at the 2017 RES0 Technology Summit. It’s really easy to take advantage of this free marketing service. Sign up for the FREE Marketing Toolkit HERE […]

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RESO Real Estate Standards logo

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 […]

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RESO Standards Adoption Report

by Victor Lund on January 11, 2017

RESO Real Estate Standards logo

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!

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2017 Growth forecast concept

2016 has been a great year for real estate. On many levels we see the entire industry rethinking. Giving credit where credit is due – this is an initiative that was powered by the National Association of REALTORS® – but morphed into many other things. Consolidation 2016 saw the most rapid consolidation of MLSs and Associations in history. WAV Group worked on many of them. The common drive is the notion that there are “too many MLSs and Associations.” But what we learned from deeper investigation through services reviews and satisfaction reviews is that there were “too many ineffective MLSs and Associations.” As Californian’s often remark, there are not too many winemakers in California, there are too many that make bad wine. In 2017 and beyond, organizations need to take broker and agent satisfaction more seriously. Associations and MLSs that put a bad wine on the table and expect their members and subscribers to drink will quickly learn that they are obsolete. The real estate industry is at war with well funded outside companies that intend to disrupt it. Areas of the country that do not provide outstanding services to brokers and agents will see disruption first. Consolidation 2.0 – it is worth mentioning the largest consolidation effort in America – Bright MLS – the new company founded by the bundling of Trend MLS, MRIS, and about eight others to create the Nation’s largest MLS. In this case of consolidation (and there are many other examples), a number of great MLSs with exceptional services and subscriber satisfaction are joining together to reimagine how they can serve brokers and agents even better. It is not just the approach of economies of scale – as you will see in the coming year – its about providing an MLS service that is far different, and far better than any other. This is a group that is highly strategic and highly skilled. Their future is indeed, Bright. RESO – Real Estate Standards Organization Perhaps the leading indicator of failing MLSs in America is RESO Data Dictionary compliance. To pass compliance, the MLS must format a data feed that uses an industry standard for the fields and field names. This is not hard folks. Out of more than 720 MLSs, there are still 50 that are not in compliance. These organizations had two years to plan and implement. And now they are more than a […]

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2017 RESO Board of Directors Nominations

by Marilyn Wilson on October 10, 2016

RESO Real Estate Standards logo

      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.

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MLSs and Brokers Misunderstand RESO

by Victor Lund on October 7, 2016

Working Programmer

Our industry is in the dawn of a new day. With some measure of struggle, the Nations’ MLSs and their Vendors have endeavored to adopt a set of standard fields for standardized data transportation from the MLS system to applications that support the real estate industry.  I consider this the dawn of the effort because, for the very first time, MLS adoption of the real estate standards are more strictly mandated by the National Association of REALTORS® MLS Policy. For years, the National Association of REALTORS® supported and funded the Real Estate Standards Organization, which is referred to by its acronym, RESO. Despite being a free standing non-for profit with an independent board of directors, the bulk of the funding for this standards organization came from NAR, and was supplemented by MLS vendors and a few others. Today, the Real Estate Standards Organization has blossomed into one of the most collaborative industry wide efforts we have ever seen, with funding from vendors, brokers, Associations, and MLSs. The effort ties MLS Vendors, Broker and Agent Technology Vendors, MLS Operators, Associations of REALTORS® and many brokerages together. This group is funding and directing a massive overhaul of how information (data) is used today, and laying a strong foundation for the future. It is inspired transformation. Like anything new, different, and technical, there is also a massive level of misunderstanding that is frustrating the efforts. In some small way, my hope is to clarify some things to set some people straight. We try hard to understand before disagreeing, and disagree without being disagreeable. The MLS system has a native database. When agents enter listing information into that database, they most often enter data that is not RESO certified. We refer to this as entering data into the NATIVE MLS Database. Despite the 1,078 fields and 1,475 values within the most current version of the RESO Data Dictionary, the MLS has additional fields, business rules, database logic, and numerated values that are beyond RESO standards today. With few exceptions, NATIVE MLS Databases and listing input forms have not been converted to the RESO Data Dictionary standards. If MLSs were to adopt the RESO Data Dictionary standards for MLS fields, it would require an MLS conversion. I imagine that most of you reading this have suffered through an MLS conversion, so you can appreciate the expense and pain that it would cause to convert all […]

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RESO Continues to Expand it’s Influence and Leadership

by Marilyn Wilson on August 2, 2016

RESO Real Estate Standards logo

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 […]

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CMLS

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

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SAN FRANCISCO, July 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/– Reflecting the strategic and operational importance of eSignature and Digital Transaction Management (DTM) across the real estate, property management and mortgage industries, thought-leaders Alex Lange from UpstreamRE, Bob Goldberg from National Association of REALTORS®, and Jeremy Crawford from the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) today added their expertise to the xDTM Standard Association’s advisory board. The xDTM Standard provides in-depth guidelines and best practices that Digital Transaction Management vendors should address to create a trusted online environment for their customers, including data ownership, transparency, security and the ability for data integration across applications. This is especially important in the real estate industry, given the standard includes requirements that personal information is used only for the purpose it was intended. This aligns directly with brokers’ and agents’ priority that the data collected be used appropriately and only in a manner to which brokers and agents have consented. “Standards are integral to the health of the real estate industry – they lay the foundation for improved collaboration between parties and promote efficiency in real estate transactions,” said Jeremy Crawford, Executive Director at the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO). “We’re pleased to bring our real estate expertise to the xDTM Standard advisory board, and we’re looking forward to working with the group to ensure the right levels of privacy, validity and security are in place for all our members who use eSignature technologies.” The appointment of these new members is testament to the real estate industry’s importance as one of the earliest adopters of eSignature and DTM technology. And it comes at a time when the xDTM Standard Association is seeing increased interest from the sector to ensure improvements in technology can benefit brokers, agents, buyers, sellers and everyone involved in the complete transaction – from listing to close. “All digital transactions – especially real estate transactions, which contain some of the most sensitive and time-sensitive information – will benefit from the xDTM Standard,” said Alex Lange, CEO, UpstreamRE. “UpstreamRE is thrilled to join the xDTM Standard Association advisory board and further the work of the body to foster trusted digital transaction environments that allow for choice, privacy, flexibility, security and control – critical elements for brokers, agents and their clients.” More than 300 companies already endorse the xDTM Standard – with several prominent Board of Governors including individuals from SAP, BASF, Dow Jones, News Corp, Visa, Intel, Hewlett Packard, FedEx, NBC Universal, DocuSign, the United States Postal Service, BuckleySandler, […]

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Register Now For The RESO Fall Conference

by Marilyn Wilson on July 8, 2016

RESO Fall Conference Promo

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.

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RESO

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.

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It is RESO week. The week when CIO and CTO types gather together in Austin, TX for the Annual Real Estate Standards Organization meeting. This year’s conference was sold out for the first time with a rumored count of more than 700 participants. Kevin Hawkins of WAV Group Communications says that the environment and buzz at the conference is amazing. You can follow Kevin’s RESO updates on Twitter @RESO_RETS  or follow the RESO hashtag at #reso15 to listen to the conference chatter. One of the astonishing calls that I got today was from an MLS asking me if CoreLogic was providing their new RESO compliant/certified Trestle solution to non-corelogic MLSs for free. The Answer is YES! We verified that Black Knight Paragon customer Coastal Carolina MLS is going through the certification process on the Trestle RETS platform from Corelogic. WAV Group’s understanding is that Black Knight and other MLS system vendors may be charging a reasonable one time fee for their customers to update their RETS servers and go through the certification process. We did not check with every MLS vendor to find out the policy. We have learned over time that these types of fees are often calculated on a market by market basis anyway. CoreLogic is not charging any fees for compliance at this time. Brokers and technology vendors who rely on RETS have long been frustrated by the lack of a single standard and a RESTful API for too long. The National Association of REALTORS MLS policy committee made the RESO standard a requirement for NAR-affiliated MLSs over 16 months ago. The deadline for meeting that requirement is December 31st of this year. The requirement to provide the RESTful API is July. This is a huge endeavor for every one of the 770 MLS in America today. RESO has not announced how many are certified. WAV Group has watched for the announcements and it seems like about 50 to 100 have gone through the process. There are only 60 days left for MLSs to get certified! In truth, every vendor of MLS services is involved in RESO and it is not unreasonable for a vendor to charge a fee for the service. It is a major undertaking. The biggest challenge is that the MLS must fill out the paperwork and pay the RESO application fee before the vendor can do anything to update the system in time for the […]

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Quarterbacking the adoption of the RESO Data Dictionary

by Marilyn Wilson on October 8, 2015

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; […]

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Good things are happening with the IDX rules from NAR.  As many of you know, IDX or Internet Data Exchange are the policies that allow brokers to provide the complete inventory or listings available in their area on broker websites.  These policies have been in place for some time, but thanks to the great efforts of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, these policies have been overhauled to make IDX data work even harder for brokerages across America. Leading Real Estate Companies of the World(LeadingRE) outlined several ways that IDX data could be more effective at engaging potential buyers and sellers on broker websites.  The fruits of their labor are providing exciting ways for brokers to enhance and deepen the quality of information they can offer to consumers. 1. Sold Information WAV Group conducts more research with consumers than anybody else in real estate. We talk regularly to consumers about what information they need to make an informed decision about their real estate purchase.  Universally, consumers ask for more information and specifics about a property to better understand its history, strengths and key attributes.  Most importantly, they want to know about sold information for active properties as well as sold information for comparable properties to a house they’re looking at. The new IDX rules now allow a broker to choose whether they would like to include SOLDS on their website to provide richer information.  You just need to call your MLS and request that they switch your feed from one with just actives to one with actives and solds. 2. Richer Information Surrounding a Listing Third party sites do a great job of surrounding a listing with all types of information that encourage a consumer to stay on their site longer and learn more many facets of a property.  Now with the new IDX rules brokers can do the same thing.  Brokers can add all types of information that make property detail pages more interesting. To compete effectively for traffic online brokers can now share unique and compelling information that will help consumers make a more well-informed decision about homes they may be interested in. I would also highly recommend that you study the ever-changing information that is offered by the third parties. They spend thousands every year testing new concepts with consumers.  If they are showing a particular type of information chances are homebuyers and sellers are interested […]

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MLSs and their vendors are staring down the barrel of the NAR requirement to become compliant with the RESO RETS Standard. Only 4 MLSs are currently certified, 764 to go. It’s really a double barrel, as MLSs are also adjusting to Listhub’s loss of syndication service to some leading portals. MLS vendors like Corelogic, FlexMLS, Rapattoni, Black Knight Financial, and the others are head-down developing solutions and launch plans to help their clients meet the December 31st, 2015 deadline – looming a short 6 months away. The deadline has created an eerie silence that makes me wonder how many MLSs will miss the date. The bigger question is what the NAR will do about it. According to CoreLogic customers, their vendor is launching a product called Trestle to serve the needs for RETS 1.3 compliance – but also extend the functionality of their RETS server by incorporating a dashboard empowering each MLS with an easy, self-managed distribution alternative to Listhub (from MOVE) or reDataVault (from RED) or Direct Syndication Platform (from Bridge Interactive). Best part – CoreLogic clients indicate that there will be no charges to the MLS for core services that replicate existing RETS. Part two of the RESO RETS Certification process is the delivery of a WEB API by the middle of 2016. Again, Trestle will deliver that requirement too. The announcement of this launch is timely. It looks to me like CoreLogic also plans to make a single API available to vendors for all MLSs that have valid MLS data licenses in place. That will solve many problems for application vendors like IDX service providers who would otherwise need to interface with multiple web APIs. In addition to the MLS data, for an additional fee CoreLogic plans to provide consolidated access to data sets normally found in REALIST including public records, property data, geographic overlays, AVMs, etc. CoreLogic’s strategy looks well thought out. It seems to encompass many strategies that other MLS vendors plan to deliver. It feels a little bit like a mash up of the best processes. I know that their customers are breathing a sigh of relief. Brokers, vendors, and MLSs should reach out to CoreLogic and other vendors to understand their plans. The landscape of data distribution in our industry is about to shift in a significant way.

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An Industry At Risk

by Victor Lund on June 25, 2015

I am an optimist, so I live under the warm blanket of confidence that everything is going to be all right. But during the past month of traveling to every corner of our nation, I have encountered the twisty, curvy road to progress. I found greatness, and I found stagnation. I found agile innovators alongside good ol’ keep-it-is-ers. It’s hard to characterize our industry. We use most of the same words to describe our flocks of agents, brokers, Associations of REALTORS®, and MLSs. At times, is it is unfair to call some by their name. Are you an agent if you don’t sell real estate? Are you a broker if you do not have any agents or do any transactions? Are you an Association of REALTORS® if your chapter does not have enough dues to employ at least one full time staff member? Are you an MLS if your only duty is to collect fees? The one thing that we do have as an industry is freedom of choice. Agents have the choice to become REALTORS® or not. Brokers can maintain their license with little effort and use it as a shell corporation for data access. We have Association of Choice. There is also MLS of choice as long as you do not expect to take a copy of the data with you when you move. If you do not like something about your flock, you can move on quite easily. Indeed, if you are breathing you are likely being recruited. What could possibly disrupt all of this? Is the disruption likely to be constructive or destructive? What will divide us on our path as we face the intersection of doing nothing or doing something? We have among us some passionate leaders who are igniting constructive disruption from within the rank and file. They are organizations doing something like the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) who has set a goal to have every MLS RETS certified by the end of the year. There is Project Upstream that seeks to create a unified process for brokers to originate, copyright, and distribute their data to maintain their rightful ownership and prohibit misuse. There is the Broker Public Portal that sets out to deliver on a national consumer facing website fed by MLS data – adhering to the fair display guidelines – and giving brokers a new alternative to property display their listings […]

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 Four Major MLS Firms Adopt Data Dictionary Morrisville, NC – June 4, 2015 – The real estate industry’s Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) is fast becoming the industry’s “innovation enabler and cost-saver,” as technology firms serving the real estate industry will be unleashed as property data becomes standardized by the nation’s estimated 850-plus Multiple Listing Service (MLS) firms. Driving the welcome change is the National Association of REALTORS® mandated deadline for the adoption by Realtor affiliated MLSs of the RESO Data Dictionary by Jan. 1 of 2016 – just six months away to ensure industry adoption on enabling standards. Four of the nation’s largest and most respected MLS firms are now Data Dictionary compliant: MRIS, serving the Mid-Atlantic region; MRED, or Midwest Real Estate Data serving Chicagoland; MetroList Services serving Sacramento; and MLSListings, serving the Silicon Valley. Combined they serve more than 100,000 agent members and drive tens of billions of dollars in real estate transactions each year. “The role of RESO is clear,” says Jeremy Crawford, Executive Director of the nonprofit organization. “We are real estate’s innovation enabler and cost-saver through data standards development, implementation, and adoption, which is what every major industry experiences when data becomes standardized.” “RESO empowers the real estate industry to more rapidly innovate and iterate by creating an environment through standardization that eliminates redundancy. What we all are trying to achieve is better experience for consumers when they buy or sell a home,” Crawford says.  “For real estate technology startup TLCengine, RESO efforts like its Data Dictionary, Web API and RETS (Real Estate Transaction Standards) specifications, create a faster path to success,” says its CEO and Founder, Krishna Malyala. “RESO efforts will give us the ability to deploy our new technology faster, lower our development cost, and allows us to update and improve our product features far more rapidly,” Malyala says.  Malyala argues the key will be the continued embracing of new standards delivered by RESO by all players in real estate. “RESO and its impending standards, including the Data Dictionary, are not just an MLS thing or an MLS vendor thing,” he says. “Everyone in the industry will be positively impacted by RESO and new standards so everyone needs to get involved now, and not wait for a deadline. We are involved because we want to have a voice in real estate’s future.” Crawford adds that “everyone” Malyala refers to includes real estate broker-owners […]

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RESO: Your job depends on it!

by Marilyn Wilson on May 28, 2015

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 […]

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