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RESO Workgroup Tackles Internet Tracking, Shares New Survey Results

May 09 2018

Chris Lambrou, Chair of the RESO Internet Tracking Workgroup and CIO at Metro MLS, and his terrific group of volunteers have been putting a bow around the final package for the initial release of online tracking standards from the Internet Tracking Workgroup. At their latest meeting during the Denver Spring Summit, Chris revealed the group's efforts has resulted in standards that include 49 fields and an additional 69 field values (enumerations).

It's exciting to see the major website and mobile app players who have been at the forefront of internet tacking -- Zillow, realtor.com, Homes.com, ListTrac, and others -- come to the table and together work to create a common method everyone agrees upon as the standard for tracking. In the past, these entities had different analytical approaches and results. Now with the RESO standard, we have a unified method of tracking across all entities and can provide meaningful data to agents and brokers.

Most recently, a remarkable amount of progress has been made. The recent additions of the ability to track the activity of saved searches, open houses, property, photos, virtual tours and more across multiple sources in a common manner keeps adding value to this exciting new RESO standard. They've added a lot of other data they can collect too, but the biggest news that came out of the meeting was the results from the 2018 RESO Internet Tracking Survey that Chris reviewed as well.

The WAV Group just completed the survey of RESO members. We received 124 responses and among the most significant takeaways were:

  • Two in three respondents are tracking listing activity today
  • Only 16% have no plans to track listing activity in the future
  • Tracking data is kept in-house, as only 17% are sharing tracking data with other organizations
  • The top three benefits: it improves the perceived value of the MLS, it's a way to improve one's product, and it's a way to strengthen broker relationships with their agents
  • Tracking lead conversion emerged as a key interest
  • Brokers (88%) and selling agents (85%) are seen as being the biggest benefactors by far
  • About one-third are using or planning to use the RESO Web API to transport tracking data
  • Data Security is a big issue, with one in four who are extremely or very concerned, and another 46% are somewhat concerned. Only 21% are not concerned.
  • People want more information and education around Internet Tracking Data: most are unsure of the transport method they will use (59%), or the amount of data storage they will need (77%), and a majority are not clear on how they will implement (58%)
  • A third want to learn more about the new standards overall

The bottom line from the survey is that our members have a very high interest in implementing detailed Internet Activity Tracking and they see the incredible value that this information offers brokers and their agents. What is also clear is that we have a lot of education to do around the work that the Internet Tracking Workgroup has done to create and deliver these standards.

If you are interested in the results of the Internet Tracking Survey, you can find it on our website here.

Getting the word out

Some of the things suggested in the last meeting – regarding education and outreach - included working with our new Broker Advisory Group, which is being Chaired by David Gumpper. The group could help with input on lead conversion needs, as well as help educating broker members.

Workgroup volunteer Ata Hassan from ListTrac shared some of his firm's experiences with Internet Tracking over the last three years. They currently provide their free tracking solution for 60 major MLSs, which cover 120 domains with 25 million events reported daily. ListTrac now covers all Realogy brands, Zillow, Trulia, and more.

The result is a massive amount of data storage is required, Ata noted, something users will have to factor in if they choose to set up their system. Ata offered to do a complete demo at a future Workgroup meeting to show how ListTrac visualizes data on a dashboard. The firm focuses on rolling up the data that is most valuable to the broker and the agent, as well as crucial information that they can share with the seller.

Internet Tracking White Paper

Chris has also authored a recent Internet Tracking White Paper, a technical look at what Internet Tracking is and how it works in a very technical sense, breaking down the components piece by piece. He's also looking for feedback to improve the white paper and is encouraging everyone with a technical interest in Internet Tracking to read the white paper.

If you are a RESO member, you can find the white paper on the home page of the Internet Tracking Workgroup inside the members-only RESO Collaboration System. If you are a non-member and have an interest, send an email to [email protected] and ask for a copy of the Internet Tracking White Paper and we will send it to you.

If you have an interest in joining this Workgroup, they meet on the third Wednesday of each month by conference call (and in person at RESO conferences in the spring and fall). You can find more information on this Workgroup and the others at reso.org/committees-and-workgroups.

Jeremy Crawford is the CEO of Real Estate Standards Organization, or RESO, the organization responsible for the creation, promotion, adoption, and utilization of standards to drive efficiency throughout the real estate industry.

Other articles of interest: What's ahead for Trestle in 2017?