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The RESO Conference: The Best Conference in Real Estate; Early Bird Discount Ends on Wed July 17th
The early bird registration discount for the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) Fall Conference in St. Louis September 9-12 ends this Wednesday, July 17. This is a timely reminder of the remarkable value that one of real estate's leading nonprofit organizations offers. If you have never been to a RESO conference and want to be in the know about what's coming next in real estate, you need to attend. RESO conferences are all about data standards, and frankly, this is the arena that's going to drive future change for our industry.
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[Podcast] With RESO Setting the Standard, Will Real Estate Innovation Accelerate?
The dirty work. The work that nobody sees. Like the job of the football's offensive linemen who toil in the trenches to protect high profile quarterbacks. They are unseen, but without them, the offense goes nowhere. Kind of like the role of a standards organization. Some have said that data is the new oil in real estate, and if that's the case, the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) might well be the organization that holds the key to how well industry incumbents can fully leverage the power of Big Data. At the same time, one must wonder if broad adoption of data and business standards will accelerate pressure from newcomers. In either case, RESO's work is critical to real estate industry innovation, and in this episode of Gradually...Then, suddenly!, we talk with Sam DeBord, RESO's new CEO to explore some of these questions and more. You are invited to tune in and learn more by clicking the link below or listening on your favorite podcast site. Tune in to the podcast now! Russ Cofano is a 30-year real estate industry veteran who has served in executive capacities in various industry sectors. Russ was President of eXp World Holdings, led Industry Relations for Realtor.com, and acted as Chief Executive Officer for the Missouri REALTORS. He is a noted author and speaker at industry events on data, technology and innovation in the brokerage industry.    
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Meet the RESO Broker Advisory Group
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Brokers: Demand Standards
Attending the RESO 2019 Spring Technology Summit was informative and fun, but one challenge resonated with me. The industry continues to be full of pitfalls and barriers when it comes to real estate information and standards. A common challenge echoed during the Broker Advisory Group was lack of compliance to the policy requiring the adoption of the RESO Data Dictionary and Web API. Why?
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How RESO Is Helping Brokers Define the Future of Real Estate Technology
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Boise RESO Spring Tech Summit Is Headed for a Sellout
Over 225 attendees have already registered for the RESO Spring Technology Summit, "From Broker Innovation to Web APIs: Blue Chip Tech in Boise," set for April 29 to May 2. We're fast closing in on a sellout six weeks before the event, so if you are thinking about attending – or bringing someone with you – now is the time to act! RESO conferences have a well-earned reputation for offering exceptional content and incomparable networking opportunities. They not only attract some of the industry's top decision makers and brightest tech minds, but our Summit schedule allows for people to spend time together, meeting face-to-face. RESO summits like this one are also are unique because space is limited: it's another reason why we keep selling out. The "Blue Chip" Tech Summit Boise is well-known internationally for its blue football field — a.k.a. "Smurf Turf" — and home of the Boise State University Broncos. But Boise is also a home for major operations of leading blue chip technology firms, including HP and Micron. In November, USA Today reported Boise as a "Top 25 Most Innovative City in the US." The lineup of topics and speakers for our RESO Summit are equally stellar. Among the Spring Technology Summit highlights: Auto-Populating Green Data Into Listings: The Regional Multiple Listing Service (RMLS™) was the first MLS in the US to add green fields in the spring of 2007. In the fall of 2017, RMLS became the first MLS to auto-populate Home Energy Scores from a real-time data service, Earth Advantage's Green Building Registry API. Hear how the City of Portland's Home Energy Score program jump-started the effort and got data flowing in a way that is easy for listing agents and energy assessors. Speakers: David Heslam, Executive Director at Earth Advantage Institute and Greg Moore, Chief Technology Officer at RMLS, who also Chairs the RESO Research & Development Workgroup. Sí, Hablamos Espanol: A discussion on implementing the Data Dictionary in Spanish: The latest version of the RESO Data Dictionary 1.7 provides Spanish-language capabilities. Moderator: Amy Gorce, Principal, Business Development at CoreLogic. Panelists: Jonelle Simmons, Team Lead Product Management Group at My Florida Regional MLS (MFRMLS); Michael Mckay, MLS IT Coordinator at Greater El Paso Association of REALTORS® and Greg Moore, Chief Technology Officer at RMLS™. Mapping MISMO to RESO Data Dictionary: MISMO® is the standards development body for the mortgage industry. MISMO and RESO are both making strides for standards development in the mortgage and real estate industries. Dr. Harigopal has mapped the RESO Data Dictionary to MISMO and will share his work with the audience in this exciting development. Speaker: Dr. Umesh Harigopal, Co-Founder & CEO, PropMix.io LLC Everything You Need to Know to Succeed with Web APIs: Learn why APIs are the way forward for real estate, the problems they solve, opportunities they create and how to implement them today. Speakers: Developers and API experts from the Zillow Group. The Unstoppable Power of Blockchain: Making Data Transparent, Provable and Immutable: A dive into the impact of blockchain on real estate and what is happening today. ULedger Inc is a local Boise company. Speaker: Peter Anewalt, Co-Founder / Chief Operating Officer at ULedger Inc. Decide the future of real estate, in person Another huge highlight in Boise will be the in-person RESO Workgroup meetings. This is where volunteers can meet face-to-face and put in the hard work it takes to get standards in place to advance the future of our business. During the three days of the Spring Tech Summit, the Broker Advisory Group, along with seven of the eight RESO Workgroups (which meet monthly by conference call), will meet in person. These Workgroups include Cross-Platform Interoperability, Data Dictionary, Distributed Ledger, Internet Tracking, Research and Development, Universal Property Identification and Web API (formerly Transport). The preliminary conference agenda schedule of Workgroup meeting times is online here. Great value, good times Finally, RESO Conferences also are known for their affordability. RESO is an independent, not-for-profit trade organization with limited staff and primarily depends on volunteer support. That's why we rely on sponsors to help us keep our conferences both affordable and fun! For this year's Technology Summit, our local host, Intermountain MLS, is a Platinum Sponsor, along with realtor.com and Zillow Group. FBS, CoreLogic, Centralized Showing Service, Inc. and Auth0 are all Gold Sponsors. DynaConnections Corporation, Lone Wolf and ShowingTime are Silver Sponsors. CRS Data, remine, RPR | Realtor Property Resource, RE/MAX and Austin Board of REALTORS® are all Bronze Sponsors. All of this incredible support allows us not only to host amazing after-hours receptions, but your low-cost Summit registration fee includes a full breakfast for three days of the event, two days of lunches, and evening receptions that include food and drinks, hosted by our top Sponsors. If you are not a RESO member, there's no better place to understand the value of a RESO membership than to join us in Boise. If you are a RESO member and haven't yet registered, it's time to go online now and reserve your space before we are all filled up. It looks to be a blue chip event in every sense in Boise! To register online go to https://www.reso.org/spring-mtg.    
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Forefront of Technology: The Importance of the RESO Web API Workgroup
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RESO Announces 'Broker Breakthrough' with New IDX Data Standards
The Real Estate Standards Organization's (RESO) newest update to its RESO Data Dictionary – version 1.7 – will add vital updates, including a new IDX (Internet Data Exchange) requirement and Spanish-language capabilities. The RESO Data Dictionary is known as the real estate industry's "Rosetta Stone" as it establishes a common language, allowing real estate information to be understood and translated between systems. The new Data Dictionary 1.7 update includes an IDX data standard for Broker Reciprocity that has 219 fields related to the property. This new standard allows the same MLS property listing information from different MLSs to be delivered to brokers. IDX is an essential tool for brokers as it enables them the right to display each other's listings on websites and mobile apps. This move solves a common problem that occurs when brokers are members of more than one MLS. Because the IDX information that brokers currently receive is not standardized, brokers must spend time and resources to "normalize" the property information they collect from different MLSs before using it. The new requirement is expected to be applauded by the brokerage industry, which has pushed for IDX standardization. "IDX standardization is now a reality," said Art Carter, chair of the RESO board and CEO of California Regional MLS (CRMLS). "This has been a top priority for our Broker Advisory Group and we are pleased to deliver a solution that the broker community has wanted to serve consumers better." David Gumpper, who chairs the RESO Broker Advisory Group, said, "This is exceptionally good news for brokers and for every IDX technology firm. It means quicker time to market and that brokers will be able to expand into new markets faster. If all MLSs follow NAR mandates, we will have the highest quality and consistency of IDX data going out across all markets. This gives consumers access consistently to the best information. Agents and brokers look better when the information we give consumers is better. We've been lobbying for an IDX standard for years and now RESO is delivering a major breakthrough for brokers." Also, for the first time, the RESO Data Dictionary 1.7 update mandates that MLS organizations must implement the RESO Data Dictionary on the RESO Web API to obtain certification for the new version. This certification combines the validation of a company's system to structure real estate information to RESO standards and the ability to communicate the information to others through an Application Programming Interface (API). "The RESO Web API is the future for standardizing real estate data," said Carter. "This will allow us to award MLSs RESO Data Dictionary and RESO Web API certifications instantly when the Data Dictionary is implemented on a certified RESO Web API platform." Carter notes the RESO Data Dictionary is available to more than 1.3 million members of Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) nationwide – predominately real estate agents and brokers – mostly through a communication standard called RETS. Carter explains that RESO wants to see full MLS migration from RETS – a technology created in 1999 – to modernize how real estate information is communicated through current robust and responsive web API technology. In layman terms, the transition to APIs will mean that more real estate agents and brokers will gain access to the most current and accurate data available, thus delivering the right information to their consumers. The interest in RESO standards continues to grow globally. Firms in Canada and India are now using RESO standards and interest is on the rise among international software development companies. The RESO Data Dictionary, which now includes Spanish-language fields, will serve Spanish-speaking countries. Including Spanish also responds to requests from brokers and agents to better serve their sellers and buyers in the U.S. Fifty-two million people comprise the U.S. Hispanic and Latino population alone, according to the U.S. Census, and it's growing at four times the rate of the nation's total population. Other updates for Data Dictionary 1.7 include the addition of hundreds of new data fields to provide for information on real estate agent teams, open houses, social media sites, roster information, property history, saved searches and showing events and hundreds of pick list items related to property, members and offices. Data Dictionary 1.7 also includes new fields for the RESO Organization Unique Identifier (OUID), a common method to give firms an identification number in the RESO ecosystem, as well as additional fields to track web user activity across the internet. "The latest version of the RESO Data Dictionary will deliver huge benefits to both real estate professionals and consumers," said Rob Larson, chair of the RESO Data Dictionary Workgroup and CIO of CRMLS. An original pioneer of the Data Dictionary, which traces its roots to 2011, Larson added, "The dictionary is a living document and will continue to grow, but it's exciting to reach this milestone. It's taken the help of a lot of dedicated folks to get to where we are. But the implementation of this version by MLSs, brokerages and software technology firms will lead to the improvement of websites, mobile apps and other technologies, and we believe it will drive more innovation." RESO's commitment to evolve its Data Dictionary and real estate standards is shown by its dedication to hold conferences, which hosts its in-person workshop meetings. Both Larson and Carter encourage brokers, MLSs and technology firms to join them at the upcoming RESO Conference in Boise, Idaho, April 29-May 2, 2019. More improvements to the Data Dictionary and other RESO standards are part of the agenda. Details about the RESO 2019 Spring Technology Summit can be found online at https://www.reso.org/spring-mtg.    
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Why Brokers Should Join RESO and Attend RESO Conferences
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How Is RESO Helping Brokers Get Ahead of What's Next in Real Estate?
Long-time RESO member and Chair of the Research and Development Workgroup, Greg Moore is a 16-year veteran at RMLS and is currently VP of Technical Systems. He's been in the real estate technology industry for more than three decades. Greg began his real estate technology career in 1986 at the Santa Barbara Board of REALTORS®. There he installed and managed its in-house MLS system. His career includes a two-year stint at HomeSeekers.com, where he developed and deployed one of the first Internet-based MLS systems. Portland-based RMLS is the Northwest's largest REALTOR®-owned Multiple Listing Service. It serves some 10,000 real estate professionals in more than 2,200 offices licensed throughout Oregon and Washington. RMLS has been a stalwart supporter of RESO, having been the first MLS in the nation to only offer IDX data feeds based upon the RESO Data Dictionary. At RMLS, Greg facilitates the technical requirements for data processing, hardware services, network communications, and management information services. In this video interview, Greg discusses the importance of RESO Data Standards, and specifically, how real estate brokerages benefit from all the work that RESO is doing and the importance – and value – when brokers become highly involved.
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Telling Your Data Story: Easy Access to RESO's Organization Unique Identifier with Microsoft Power BI
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We Need a 'Common App' for Data Feed Approvals
Sometimes we just make it too hard to do business in real estate. We spend SO much time and energy talking about herculean tasks like statewide consolidation efforts, yet spent so LITTLE time talking about practical, unsexy solutions that can make our lives so much easier. During the broker panel Helping Brokers Compete and Innovate: Broker Panel at the this month's RESO Conference in Milwaukee, we discussed a simple innovation we can deliver in our industry that can make a world of difference in helping brokers get access to real estate information with a lot less hassle! While brokers and their tech partners are looking for easier ways to access the RESO Web API, there are even MORE interested in a way to make the process of gaining data feed approvals easier. Today, every MLS's data feed application is different. In some cases, the information needed to gain approvals is not clearly spelled out and it is extremely difficult to find someone at the MLS to answer questions.
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MLS Improvement Requires Broker Support
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Brokers Say 'No' to Setup Fees
If you missed the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) 2018 Fall Conference in Milwaukee, you should plan on attending the 2019 Spring Conference in Boise, ID. There were many informative and powerful sessions sprinkled throughout the conference. RESO is the only conference where MLSs, brokerages, and technology companies collaborate under one umbrella, striving to create a better industry. This time, there was one topic that resonated with brokers: "Say 'No' to Setup Fees."
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New "Open Standards" White Paper from RESO
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The TRIBUS Case Study: RESO, Brokers and a Million New Voices
Membership among brokerages in the Real Estate Standards Organization – RESO – has exploded in recent years. With nearly 1 million agents now RESO members through their brokerages, we have a million new voices helping us further our mission to create and promote the adoption and utilization of standards that drive efficiency throughout the real estate industry. Recently, we collaborated with real estate brokerage technology provider and RESO member TRIBUS to better understand the practical value that standardized data can deliver to real estate brokerages. We also wanted dive deeper to understand better the vital role that broker technology partners perform in addressing many of the crucial challenges that brokerages face today. More importantly, we wanted to put a spotlight on our findings and share them broadly.
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How RESO Helped a Tech Firm Find the 'Cool Kids,' Launch Instant IDX Websites
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Nearly 80 Percent of Large Brokers are Expanding and They're Demanding Standardized Data
If you believe that brokers are not engaged with RESO or data standards, think again. According to the recently published 2018 RESO Broker Survey, nearly 80 percent of brokers are either considering expansion or are in the midst of expanding into new regions. Brokers, especially larger brokers, are getting much more interested in leveraging RESO standards to implement their needs for expansion, innovation and efficiency.
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WAVes of Tech: Spreadsheets on Steroids, RESO, and MLS Policy
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5 Key Takeaways in Preparation for the FTC/DOJ Workshop
When Daniel Castro from the Internet Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) took the stage at Inman in New York on January, we all thought he was going to provide an academic view of our industry and provide us with some food for thought. What we didn't know was that he was going to tell us how the consumer needs open data because we have somehow been holding back on them. We also didn't know at the time that the ITIF had been promoting Zillow for many years. Castro published an article on the Federal Government's Economic and Statistics Administration website featuring a promotional video from Zillow in 2015 entitled, "Open Data Impact: How Zillow Uses Open Data to Level the Playing Field for Consumers." The contentious conversation that begin at the Inman Data Track got me thinking about all of the ways that the industry supports open data for use by brokers of all types, technology companies – both start-ups and well-established leaders – and, of course, the consumer.
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How Blockchain Technology Could Transform Real Estate Listings and Marketing
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Missing Data Points
It was a great week at NAR Midyear to re-connect with fellow colleagues, have sonorous discussions about the industry, and – of course – chitchat about the current controversial brew-ha-ha that seems to occur around these types of events. Over the last month – especially last week – I had the pleasure of talking to many real estate technology companies who provide products and services to brokers and agents. When the discussion would lead to back office architecture, the discussion was segmented into two groups: Companies who have been in real estate for some time and new companies who are just starting their foray into the real estate industry.
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RESO: Brokers Welcome
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RESO Workgroup Tackles Internet Tracking, Shares New Survey Results
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:
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Innovation Winners, 30 Industry Leaders Honored by RESO in Denver
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Data Talk and the Consumer Experience
For the last month, a lot of people have been talking about data. Inman Disconnect crafted a data statement as one of its Parker Principles, RESO's spring 2018 conference was all about data, and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) held a panel to discuss how real estate can be more competitive with technology, which included data as a component of its theme. Here are some thoughts on the good, bad and ugly uses of data.
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It's Game On for Data Standards at RESO Denver Spring Tech Summit
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RESO Confabs are Real Estate's Club 33
Denver will be my fourth RESO Spring Tech Summit. Compared to many of the RESO leadership, who, like WAV Group, work for companies that are charter members, I'm still a newbie. Even so, RESO conferences have come a long way from the Chicago spring meeting I attended in 2015 at the NAR HQ. This year's tech summit is set for the pop-themed Denver Curtis Hotel, April 24-26. There's the Jimmy Buffett and Star Trek-themed guest rooms. Others have Pac Man machines in them, an inspiration for the conference theme: "It's Game on for Data Standards." RESO conferences have become our Club 33. For the non-Disney super fans, Club 33 is the exclusive, private club side of Disneyland and Disneyworld that only a limited number of people get to experience. I make the analogy because RESO Conferences are limited to 300 people, attract the brightest tech minds around, and are attended by many industry key decision makers and influencers. It's a genuine VIP crowd. It is so intimate that you can get face time with anyone attending. And when you leave, you often feel like you were part of something special. That's not hyperbole: ask a first-timer what his or her experience was after a first RESO meeting, post-2015.
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RESO San Diego Hits a Homer with DataComp and Other Highlights
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Is Real Estate's Next Genius Idea at San Diego's RESO DataComp?
Colleges have given birth to some of the most exciting and innovative startups of our lives today. You know the obvious ones: Page and Brin at Stanford created Google; Zuckerberg with Moskovitz, Saverin, McCollum and Hughes at Harvard created The Facebook; Ferdowski and Houston at MIT created Dropbox; and Michael Dell as a freshman at the University of Texas created PCs Limited (which became Dell). Then there is Reddit (University of Virginia), Snapchat (Stanford), WordPress (University of Houston) and Yahoo! (Stanford again) just to name a few more. In real estate, legend has it that ZipRealty was born in visiting lecturer Brad Inman's class at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. At RESO, we want to help give birth to genius ideas to improve real estate. The mission of RESO is to find ways to drive efficiency throughout the real estate industry by creating and promoting the adoption and utilization of standards. So why not reach out to our colleges and universities, as well as the incubators and tech startups even outside our own industry, and bring in fresh ideas and some of the brightest young minds to help us look at how to improve the real estate ecosystem through data standards?
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5 Ways RESO Data Standards are Benefiting Brokerages
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Data Is Power and You Have the Power, Brokers!
The smart money is on brokers who figure out how to differentiate themselves online by leveraging MLS data in new and exciting ways. Brokers really DO have the power to take back their leadership position online if they fully take advantage of the rich and engaging MLS data that is available today.
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MLSs Working Hard to Make Broker IDX Feeds Work Harder
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Brokers: How RESO Will Help You Become a GREAT Competitor Online
Brokers, even those that invest significant money in their online presence, struggle to engage potential customers. In just about every market, brokers have taken a backseat to venture-backed sites that are constantly launching new bells and whistles to capture the attention of potential home buyers and sellers. There's been a group of hard-working technology leaders at work creating the Real Estate Standards Organization, or RESO, as it is called. This smart community of thinkers, led by many of the largest broker organizations—including Keller Williams, Home Services of America, REALOGY, Watson, Crye-Leike, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, The Realty Alliance, Michael Saunders and Company, The Group and many others—has built a standardized way to describe real estate used for websites, marketing tools, back office systems and just about every system that brokers use today that are dependent on MLS information. So what does that buy a broker in everyday, practical terms? Lots of things. I am going to explain just one of them that can be a huge advantage for a broker website.
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RESO Rolls out RETS 1.9, Announces RETS Workgroup will "Sunset"
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The 6 Things to Look for When Sourcing Quality Data
Onboard Informatics has been aggregating data for 15 years. We strive to provide quality data for our clients that it easy to use and effective, but what does that really mean? If you want to make sure the data you use is quality data, there are six key things to look for. In this blog, I'll explore each element, why it's important, and the potential ramifications if it's off. There are many ways to examine the quality of data, but these are the main components: 1. Is the Data Complete? When we talk about completeness in the context of data, we are really talking about the final user experience. In other words, will the data meet or exceed user expectations? If you are building a real estate tool that provides home sellers a recap of the last sales price of all the properties within a specific area, you want to make sure the dataset will account for all the home sales. If there are significant gaps, whether in time or area, the end user will notice and you will instantly lose credibility. When you are looking for a data source, find out how often the data is updated, the source of the data and the overall coverage to make sure it is complete.
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RESO Offers Free Web API Tools for Connecting to MLSs
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[Video] Unleashing the Marketing Power of RESO for Brokers
According to a recent survey, most brokerages have five or more tools/systems that don't communicate with each other. These are critical systems, too, like accounting, human resources, back office, CMA, etc. The problem? Many of these tools speak "different languages," due in part to a lack of standardized data fields. In fact, brokers say inconsistent data fields from the MLSs that they work with is their no. 1 data challenge. This is a challenge that increases technology costs and  the time it takes to get to market for products that use MLS data. So what's a broker to do? For an increasing number of real estate brokers, the solution is to rely on data standards. According to the aforementioned survey, a whopping 91 percent of brokers believe that data standards are critical. Brokers surveyed believe that consistent data flowing across the MLSs that they use means benefits like: Lower technology costs Focus moves to technology innovation Bug fixes are faster to implement Product enhancements are faster to market Quicker response time The benefits of data standards is a topic we tackled in depth last week during a live webinar with the Real Estate Standards Organization last week. RESO's CEO, Jeremy Crawford, and RESO board member Tom Flanagan, VP Technology for Alain Pinel Realtors in Bay, joined us for "Unleashing the Marketing Power of RESO for Brokers." Missed the webinar? Don't worry, you can catch the full replay in the recorded video below:
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What's ahead for Trestle in 2017?
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Why Do Standards Matter for Real Estate Brokers?
If you're a broker and you're a member of more than one MLS and dealing with listing data for your websites or mobile apps, you know just how challenging it can be trying to deal with inconsistent data fields and MLS data feeds which transmit data in a legacy manner that just don't synch up with what you really need—standardized data delivered through global technology supporting modern data technology methods, such as APIs. That's precisely why RESO, Real Estate Standards Organization, is spearheading an aggressive effort to change this and directly help real estate brokerages solve this problem. On Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 10am PT/1pm ET, RESO is hosting a free broker webinar to talk about this and more ways brokerages can benefit from real estate standards and how important it is for brokers to get involved in RESO to help shape those standards. The webinar – "Unleashing the Marketing Power of RESO for Brokers" – will feature one of the brokerage industry's sharpest professionals, Tom Flanagan. Tom is the Vice President of Technology at Alain Pinel REALTORS, board member of RESO, and most recently was recognized as one of the real estate industry's most influential leaders by Inman News. Tom, who also is on the LeadingRE Marketing Technology Advisory Council, heads up the tech efforts at one of the most forward-thinking brokerages that provide successful technology solutions for its agents. Tom and I will help brokers learn how real estate standards can help their brokerages to be more nimble, innovative and profitable.
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How Can RESO Make Brokers Money in 2017?
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Making the Leadership Lists: The Growing Influence of RESO
Two big leadership lists were just released: one from Inman News and the other one from Swanepoel T3 Group. It was striking to see how many leaders on these lists run firms that are RESO members and leaders of our board. These are highly prestigious lists, and tremendous amount of effort went into preparing them. The coveted Inman Influencer List, which names the real estate industry's most influential leaders for 2017, salutes industry professionals "who shape, change and influence the industry," Inman writes, bringing "a mix of credentials, viewpoints and backgrounds from all walks of the real estate business. Some are creative, intuitive and gifted. Some have power, reach and charisma. And some are controversial, rabble-rousers and disrupters," yet all contribute to change. The 2017 Swanepoel Power 200 list also is designed to recognize the most powerful and influential in our business. According to Swanepoel T3 Group, the list is "culled from over 3 million real estate professionals, with less than 0.01% selected to be included." What's amazing is that they spend over 400 hours in researching and analyzing their rankings, looking at leaders from "all residential real estate brands, brokerages, technology companies, MLSs, associations, economists, authors, consultants, coaches and media members." That's why it's so exciting to see so many RESO members and board members being recognized. A stunning 35 RESO members are on BOTH the Inman Influencers and the SP 200 lists. A total of 73 RESO members are on the 2017 Inman Influencers List, and 116 appear on the SP 200 list. As someone who made the Inman Influencer List for the first time, it is both exciting and humbling to see one's name included among so many great leaders of our industry.
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RESO Standards Adoption Report
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Four Brokerage Leaders Join RESO Board of Directors
For the past three years, the most impactful development in real estate technology has been driven by the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO). This nonprofit entity defines how MLS information is formatted for use by agents and brokerages. For years, this board of directors was mostly led by a combination of MLS executives and technology vendors. However, with today's announcement, you can see that brokerage involvement has reached its highest level. But that's not all—other new executives from many of America's largest and finest MLSs have also volunteered to step up and participate in guiding RESO into 2017. Executive Board of Directors Art Carter, Chair. Mr. Carter runs California Regional MLS, the nation's largest MLS, supporting over 80,000 subscribers. Alon Chaver, Vice Chair. Chaver is CIO of HomeServices of America, the second largest brokerage in America behind NRT. Chaver brings incredible technical acumen to RESO having owned and operated iHomefinder, held an executive role at Trulia, served as Director for Broker Public Portal, and other significant leadership roles. Richard Renton, Treasurer. Renton is the CEO of the Triad MLS, a regional MLS that covers 11 counties in North Carolina. He has been a longtime industry leader with longstanding support of RESO and the Council of MLS. Cary Sylvester, Secretary. As VP of Industry Development at Keller Williams, Sylvester has been steward of the technology solutions at Keller Williams as they've ascended to becoming the largest franchise organization in America. Sylvester is also a key contributor to Broker Public Portal and Upstream.
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The RESO Revolution: Brokers Win Big with Data-compliant Vendors
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Brokers and MLSs Misunderstand RESO
Our industry is in the dawn of a new day. With some measure of struggle, the nation's MLSs and their vendors have endeavored to adopt a set of standardized fields for 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 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 not-for-profit with an independent board of directors, the bulk of the funding for RESO 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 has 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 people straight. We try hard to understand before disagreeing, and disagree without being disagreeable.
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Freshly Back from RESO Fall Conference: A Real Estate Event with Passion, Innovation, and Whiskey
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RESO looks to sell out Nashville Conference with broker-heavy agenda
Thirty spots. Remarkably, that's all of the registration slots we have left for the RESO Fall Conference coming up October 24-26. Just like the theme of this year's conference – "Accelerating the Reach of Data Standards" – we've accelerated the number of people who have registered early in record numbers. We are now expecting to sell out the Nashville meet with 300 total attendees. Broker topics abound This Fall Conference is loading up on content for our highly successful Business Track to supplement a stellar Technology Track. RESO was once thought of as being just for geeks, but now top real estate executives who understand the vital importance of new standards are helping us fill the room. We've responded with beefing up our topics for real estate brokerages, because they are the ones that new real estate standards are going to impact the most. RESO needs more real estate broker-owners and franchised executives to have a seat at the table. That means the brokerage community not only needs to be present at the RESO conferences, but also become deeply involved as members in our RESO Workgroups. The RESO R&D Workgroup is an ideal place to start. We like to describe R&D as the top of the funnel for all new topics and initiatives. It's really where new RESO real estate standards begin, such as IDX Data Feeds, Saved Searches and Standardized Showing Information. In fact, these are a sample of new standards ideas we were shared at the CMLS Conference in Las Vegas last week. We asked RESO members attending to rank these ideas, or come up with some of their own. At CMLS, RESO passed out postcards to solicit ideas – as well as rank current ideas under consideration. And we gave away a Amazon Echo and that drove great participation.
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Why Brokers Should Care About Data Standards
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RESO Slashes Brokerage Membership Dues, Makes Certification Member Benefit
The Real Estate Standards Organization – or RESO – just announced two big moves. First, RESO is eliminating separate Certification fees by making all Certifications a member benefit, covered by annual RESO dues effective immediately. Second, beginning in January, real estate brokerages with fewer than 100 agents can become a RESO member for just $50 a year, slashed from $500 a year previously. Membership fees – shown below in the news release issued this morning – have been overhauled for 2017 and take into account folding in Certification fees, which should be welcomed news for larger MLSs. RESO is pushing hard to get more brokers involved across the U.S., as well as helping smaller MLSs become members, making sure both have greater access and take a seat at the table in determining future standards for data. Here is the full news release: RESO Makes Certification a Member Benefit Adjusts Dues to Make Membership Accessible to More MLSs, Real Estate Brokerages Morrisville, NC – July 26, 2016 – Hundreds of smaller Multiple Listings Services and literally thousands of real estate brokerages throughout the U.S. will be able join the Real Estate Standards Organization – or RESO – next year for as little as $50 annually. The RESO Board of Directors announced it has revised its 2017 membership dues to increase industry participation in standards development, and to ensure that adoption and certification of standards are accessible to all organizations. RESO Board also announced that effective immediately, Certification will be a membership benefit covered by the member's annual dues, eliminating separate fees for Certification.
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Show off your whiz, bang, wow, killer app at RESO Fall Conference
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RESO for Brokerages: 4 Ways New Standards Will Shape Your Future
The key to the success for the future of all real estate brokerages will be data standards. This is not hyperbole, it is a fact, and let me explain why. Today real estate brokerages struggle with profitability. Shrinking margins have become the business norm. To keep up, brokerages and franchises have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in new technology for their businesses. Yet research has shown that one of the biggest pain points that brokerages and franchises face is that overall the technology they use doesn’t “talk” to each other. This is inefficiency at its best. Brokerages often struggle to incorporate MLS data into their back office solutions, websites and other software tools and apps. It's a heady challenge for their tech teams and their technology partners. For brokerages and franchises serving multiple markets, their external technology challenges are compounded, because until the RESO Data Dictionary is used industry wide, each MLS offers slightly different property fields and information on their IDX, VOW, and broker back office data feeds. Brokerages therefore have to spend significant resources in both labor and funding to not only ingest this information but also normalize it throughout the various technologies they use internally. At times, the cost to do so is prohibitive to the point that brokers don’t have normalized data through their various technology products and services. So here’s the rub: All of the time and money by brokerages and franchises that is going towards these data efforts are taking time and money away from their efforts to recruit, retain, train and support their agents and provide innovative solutions to increase the number of transactions and overall profitability. There is nothing more vital to a brokerage than recruiting and retaining their agents, yet, unnecessarily, dollars are being sucked away because of the lack of technology standards within a brokerage.
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The RESO 2015 Fall Conference: Green Data, Broker Standards Adoption, and more
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Upstream Revealed
As many of you know, WAV Group has been working with a group of brokers and franchises for more than a year on a project called Upstream. Today, Upstream is a corporation with one of the strongest board of directors in our industry. It has been an honor to work with the board along with the CIOs and CTOs of their corporations to define the Upstream application and talk to enterprise level technology firms who have the capacity to deliver such an enormous solution. Until now, very little information has been shared openly across the industry. Until the company's governance was established, the application specified, and a vendor sourced – there was little to say. Upstream has been theoretical. It is about to become operational. Although I love to write, the best explanation of the project comes from one of the directors, Craig Cheatham. Cheatham is also responsible for the operation of The Realty Alliance think tank, a group of 85 of the largest brokerage firms in America. Below are his words. (Italics are mine.) Upstream is a broad-based effort owned by brokers and designed to be managed at the strategic level by brokers, elected by brokers to a board and run at the operational level by a contracted vendor. (Upstream is for all brokers, not just large firms.) Upstream is a platform for data entry, data storage and data distribution. It is not a multiple listing service or a service that interfaces with the public in any way. Upstream is designed to operate outside of the core MLS functions of cooperation, compensation and valuation (and the enforcement of policies and practices relating to those). (WAV Group researched brokerages and franchises and learned that they almost all universally manage data sets not included in the MLS and that much of the MLS data is keyed into systems before it qualifies as an MLS listing.)
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Brokers need full data transparency and unified standards, not self reporting
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Shaping the Future: 3 Big Perks You Get by Joining the RESO R&D Workgroup
If the heart of RESO is our Workgroups, then our heartbeat originates from our Research & Development Workgroup. The R&D Workgroup is a collaborative effort that brings together representatives from all sectors of the real estate industry -- brokerages, MLS firms and technology vendors – whose work kick-starts the processes that create the changes that make a better future for our industry. That may sound like a lofty statement, but it's true: RETS standards, our new Data Dictionary standards, and our recently announced Final Web API v1.0.2 all started their journey by first being presented as business cases to our R&D Workgroup. Think of the process RESO goes through as a giant funnel for the real estate industry. The RESO R&D Workgroup sits at the top of that funnel. This group is tasked with being the conduit for determining which business cases will fit within RESO's work product and justify the involvement of RESO to create new standards. This is our entry point for information intake and task-decision making at RESO. The key to the success of the R&D Workgroup is its members and having a diverse and complete representation from all sectors of our industry. If you are not a member of RESO, once you become one, joining the R&D Workgroup is a terrific first step and a great way to understand and appreciate the value of this organization and the standards RESO creates. It's the perfect way to get your feet wet and to also learn how to navigate the workgroup structure at RESO. If you are already a member of RESO and are not a member of the R&D Workgroup, here are three perks that you get by joining this vital workgroup: 1. A seat at the table: New ideas are vital to the future of RESO as we work together to provide a streamlined real estate industry. Becoming part of the R&D Workgroup puts you at the front door of the decision making process. Having a direct voice provides others valuable information and insight into how each business case is viewed by the sector of the real estate industry that you represent. Having a seat at the table means that R&D Workgroup members are able to make sure the industry focuses on the most important tasks that will positively shape the real estate industry across all sectors.
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What the Heck Is the RESO Data Dictionary and Why Is It Such a Big Deal?
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Why Should Real Estate Brokers Join RESO?
For years RESO, or Real Estate Standards Organization, has been thought about as a group for Geeks. I'll admit it's been a well-deserved moniker. I mean, how many non-tech conferences schedule a session called "Using OpenID Connect?" But after RESO was incorporated as an independent non-profit organization, a strategic objective emerged to bring in brokers. The Geeks had a meeting of the minds to explore what was needed from a business perspective. Before, like all technology groups, the Geek perspective dominated: Projects were interpreted from a Geek point-of-view to serve the Geek-side of customer needs. Geeks realized they need more Greeks (business leaders) at the table to incorporate the brokerage point-of-view that was missing. This was never more poignantly apparent then when Craig Cheatham, who heads The Realty Alliance, shared his letter of grievances with the industry. That was a great "wake up" call for everyone as clearly more brokers needed to be actively at the table, not simply passing along the changes they would like to see. Today, RESO is actively recruiting more broker members, and not just because of the impending implementation of the Data Dictionary which directly impacts the brokerage world, but because of the invaluable insight that is missing at the table by not having more brokers participate. It's RESO's goal to provide solutions that help agents and brokers directly. You only have look at our incredibly successful Spring Conference in Chicago in June to see how valuable having brokers at the table can be. Marilyn Wilson of the WAV Group, a RESO member, presented a broker panel that featured Dan Troup of RE/MAX; Michael Garner of Keller Williams; David Grumpper of Michael Saunders; Alex Paine of Pacific Union and Tei Baishiki of NextHome.
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Top 3 Ways to Make the New IDX Rules Work for Your Brokerage
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NAR Conference Takeaways: Upstream, Danger and More
This month, I attended the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo. One of the main topics of conversation was, of all things, data. Last weekend, NAR's board of directors approved the funding of a partnership between Project Upstream and Realtors Property Resource (RPR) to the tune of $12 million. Project Upstream has been in existence for two years. It's an effort for brokers to take back control of listings management, creation, and distribution by moving the point of origination from the MLS to brokers – thereby moving it "upstream." Talk of Upstream has bubbled up periodically the last couple years, but never has it had so much momentum. Now, with funding secured and smart people behind it, it's poised to make an impact. Brad Inman wrote a good article on its implications this week and asked readers to weigh in on the likelihood of using Upstream if it turns into the listings distribution platform its founders envision. Seventy-six percent of respondents so far say they would use the system. So there's need, there's interest, and now there's capital. We'll keep an eye on where this goes. Also last week, NAR put out its D.A.N.G.E.R. Report which lists the top 50 dangers agents, brokers, NAR, associations and Multiple Listings Services could face. The whole report had some interesting insights on the current state of the industry, with one item in particular lining up with the Upstream objectives, and then take it just a little farther.
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Brokers and MLSs: Collaboration vs. Confrontation
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Major Changes In Real Estate
Behold, changes are taking place in real estate. We are seeing significant efforts like Project Upstream, RPR AMP, Broker Public Portal, Fair Display Guidelines, and RESO mandates that are shaping the future of our industry. It makes you wonder what is driving this explosive cocktail of industry wide initiatives. At the heart of many of these developments are brokers. When they survey the world around them, they rue the existence of poor data management and profit taking by others. Poor Data Management I believe that it was MRIS CEO David Charron who coined the term "Overlapping Market Disorder." He was referring to situations where MLS areas overlap. It is a condition that causes brokers and agents to participate in more than one MLS and struggle to keep data clean and abide by different regulations. MLSs have long established unique data schema and rules to "differentiate" themselves from a neighboring MLS. MLS of choice caused this. And in many ways, association of choice amplified it. Today, nearly every MLS supplies brokerages with different IDX and VOW data feeds. For the broker and their vendor, maintaining these different types of feeds and rules is time consuming and painful. The Real Estate Standards Organization seeks to make it better. They are doing an excellent job, and the Data Dictionary--the effort to normalize field names and attributes--will see the day of light by the end of this year and into 2016. It will be a slow transition, but brokers will finally be able to get a data feed that is normalized across multiple markets. At least we are optimistic. The lever to cause the data dictionary to be adopted is the NAR MLS Policy Committee. Technically, MLSs not adopting the standard would be subject to penalties from NAR for non-compliance. We will see how seriously NAR and MLSs take this requirement. For its part, the MLS Policy Committee has done an excellent job of evolving the MLS model rules. For example, last year they standardized rules relating to the access and display of sold property data in the IDX model rules.
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The 2015 NAR MLS Policy Change Checklist for Brokers
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Is Your Data CRAAP?
Data is the backbone to publishing content online. And content is critical to attracting and keeping consumers on your website. The good news is data is becoming more widely available today. But not all data is equal. How do you ensure the quality of data? Is your data CRAAP? Is your data CRAAP? Reflections on Data Quality – YouTube When evaluating data at the Meriam Library in California State University, Chico devised an acronym to help determine how good your data source is. Currency: The timeliness of the information. When was the information published or posted? Has the information been revised or updated? Is the information current or out-of date for your topic? Are the links functional? Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs. Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question? Who is the intended audience? Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)? Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use? Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?
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