MLSListings is the MLS service provider in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, which includes; Silicon Valley, San Jose, Monterey County, Santa Cruz County, South San Francisco, and parts of the East Bay. It is a large region in the heart of the most daunting techno-consumers, techno-brokers, and techno-agents in America. Satisfying the needs of this audience is intense, but MLSListings has been doing it successfully for many years. They are a company that is constantly evolving to meet the ever-expanding demands of real estate information in their marketplace.
MLSListings CEO, James Harrison published an excellent paper last week called MLS Standards: Can and do Exist. You can read the paper below. One of the strong takeaway points from the paper is the plea that more MLSs join MLSListings in adopting and adhering to the Real Estate Standards Organization or RESO standards.
Here is the ugly truth about the issue of standards: All NAR affiliated MLSs are supposed to adhere to the RESO standard according to their charter. That includes the Real Estate Transaction Standard or RETS. In other words, all MLSs are under an agreement that requires them to be RESO and RETS compliant. NAR is in the difficult position of having to enforce standards, but it has been challenging. As a result, few MLSs have data standards in America today. There are 850 different data standards and systems that do not talk to each other unless someone maps the data and maintains the mapping. It’s insane for the brokers and agents who need this level of consistency for their business practices.
Of the 850+ MLSs in America today, only “64 are charter members of RESO,” according to Harrison’s paper. This is evidence that many MLSs are simply asleep at the wheel. There is absolutely no reason why every MLS and every RETS system cannot be compliant with the RESO standard.
MLSListings is a leader. It is an MLS that is way ahead in adopting the RESO standards. In truth, most of the large MLSs in the nation are part of RESO and are RETS compliant. I give a lot of credit to the COVE Group for making this happen, especially Anne Bailey for her role as the facilitator. Where is the rest of the industry?
Whenever large firms bring this issue to their local board or MLS they get rebuffed as bullies. Who else can make a difference? Is NAR expected to act as the parent or cop in this issue, or will MLSs step up and do their jobs in a way that truly serves brokerages?