June 2009: The Uber Era of Real Estate Data


At the last NAR Annual, the Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee passed a new rule which will require all Association Owned MLS Providers to be RETS Compliant by June 2009. The formal verbage is below.

Recently, we have been getting some requests about what all this means. Well outside of its AWESOMENESS, this is a huge step forward for data neutrality within the Real Estate Industry. It opens up doors for applications to interface directly with any and all systems, the easy transfer of data between systems, sharing of data to allow one point access to overlapping markets. The list goes on and on, but ultimately this will usher in the era of Uber Real Estate.

Simply put, its a win win for everyone: Vendors, MLS, Brokers, Agents, and third party developers.

What it literally means, well that is still being defined. The RESO Certification Workgroup has been busy identifying what being a Compliant MLS means. Such as, the tests that the vendors need to pass to be a compliant product, and the tests/criteria that must be met to be a certified-compliant site (MLS). There will probably be much discussion regarding all this during the April 2008 RETS meeting in Philadelphia.

As always, I strongly suggest any MLS operator/vendor to attend these meetings, especially this one as where we will be a year from now, will be determined today. Don’t miss this chance to define your destiny!

The Offical Verbage

The integrity of data is a foundation to the orderly Real Estate market. The Real Estate Transaction Standards (RETS) provides a vendor neutral, secure approach to exchanging listing information between the broker and the MLS. In order to ensure that the goal of maintaining an orderly marketplace is maintained, and to further establish REALTOR® information as the trusted data source, MLS organizations owned and operated by associations of REALTOR® will comply with the RETS standards by June 2009, and keep current with the standard’s new versions by implementing new releases of RETS within one year from ratification.

Rationale: At its November 14, 2007 meeting, the Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee received the report and recommendation of the NAR Internet Strategy/Technology Work Group proposing mandatory adoption of the Real Estate Transaction Standards (“RETS”) by all REALTOR association-owned or operated MLSs. That Work Group noted that REALTORS® are competing for consumer contact with outside entities holding an important competitive edge, i.e. developing tools and practices that leverage their own internally-developed data standards. The Work Group reported that RETS adoption by MLSs currently stands at 63%; that all major MLS vendors support RETS interfaces; and noted that a consistent industry standard will ensure that MLS Participants will be able to develop and implement best practices within their businesses. As noted in the Work Group’s recommendation, which was subsequently endorsed by the Multiple Listing Issues and Policies Committee, data integrity is the underlying foundation of an orderly real estate market. The RETS standards provide a vendor-neutral and safe method of exchanging listing information between Participants and MLSs. Ensuring adoption of the RETS standards by all REALTOR® association owned or operated MLSs by June, 2009 will further establish and maintain REALTORS®’ in their position as trusted advisors and as a primary source of reliable property information.

  1. Good article! I think clear and transparet information and data are for high quality realtors crucial. Both agents and clients could profit. We in Royal LePage Toronto really count upon MLS Listings and are trying to use it as a main tool for customer. Good realtor has to provide good information and reliable advice to customer to create long term relation, but this is sometimes pushed back by some unreputable realtors just to make quick profit…