Hand holding circleI had one of the best days I’ve ever had since I’ve been a part of this industry at the NAR conference this year!   I witnessed what I believe to be a historic moment in the real estate industry where MLSs, Associations, Brokers, Franchises and Technology companies ALL came together for the greater good of the industry.   No drama, no conflict, just unity! Hallelujah!

Kudo’s to the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World for bringing forth a set of balanced recommendations to the Emerging Issues committee on behalf of large and small brokers around the nation. I am proud to say that I facilitated discussions with the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World(LeadingRE’s) “TAC” or Technology Advisory Council that includes several of the nation’s best and brightest tech leadership from brokers of all sizes from around the U.S.  Together we brought forth a reasonable and well thought out set of recommendations that are designed to help everyone and simply allow brokers and agents to be able to use technology and data more effectively to attract new customers.

These enhancements to the IDX policy could never have been approved so easily without the hard work and leadership of the Emerging Issues Committee led by Robert Bailey of Bailey properties. Behind the scenes, the Committee  invited LeadingRE to come and present the ideas developed by the TAC committee at their last session. They led a respectful, open and collaborative discussion trying to better understand the issues outlined and then asked LeadingRE to help them prioritize the issues to be brought forth to the MLS Policy Committee.  They also invited further discussion on other concepts suggested by the LeadingRE beyond the four that were presented and approved on Saturday.

During the MLS Issues and Policy Meeting at the NAR conference, representatives of the Emerging Issues committee did a masterful job of explaining each of the proposed rules changes in simple terms to make it easy for the audience to understand the value of each policy enhancement.

Special thanks to Henry Brandis of HomeServices for doing a masterful job of representing the needs of brokers and franchises.  Jonathan Bednarsh, CEO of Onboard Informatics also did a great job outlining how the Web API will help create efficiency, speed and innovation for real estate technology companies and their broker clients.

The MLS Policy Committee brought forth four well-thought out revisions to the IDX policy designed to help every broker and agent provide their client with more accurate and timely information in a more user friendly format.  The changes also opened up the doors to huge innovation in the industry by allowing technology companies to build their platforms to one data dictionary as well as simplifying and speeding up the methods for distributing data to brokers and agents.

It does my heart good to see that we really CAN come together when we want to. Each of the recommendations were well-thought and vetted by all of those that would use them.

This is the way the process is it SUPPOSED to work in my view.  Getting smart, open-minded and collaborative people around a table to figure out a solution that satisfies the needs of each of the groups that rely on real estate information for their livelihood.  I can’t wait to see where we go from here!

Here are the four issues that were approved by the way.   If you have any suggestions about other ways that IDX policies can be improved to make our industry more efficient and effective, please pass them our way and we’ll be sure to share them with the TAC committee and with the rest of our readers for input and feedback.

1.    Require Adoption of RESO Data Dictionary and the WEB API by January, 2016 – this means that every MLS will have the same core data set making it easier to integrate information from multiple MLSs.  By simplifying the process of data normalization, the industry has just take a great step toward encouraging technology innovation and more seamless integration of technologies across a brokerage

2.    Allow co-mingling across MLSs – The second enhancement approved requires MLSs to allow their listing data to be co-mingled with data from other MLSs.  With this change brokers that operate in multiple MLS regions will be able to display all of the data in one consumer view, making the user experience on a broker website much more engaging.

3.    Update data every 12 hours, NOT 3 days – The MLS Issues and Policy Committee also approved an enhancement to require MLSs to provide updated data every 12 hours, not 3 days as the current policy states. The policy change also requires brokers and technology providers to update listing data on their sites every 12 hours as well.

4.    Allow Brokers to Add Solds to their IDX feeds – Since consumers today can access sold information on many websites, the policy has been updated to require every MLS to offer a version of their IDX feed that includes SOLD data in addition to ACTIVE listing information.  Each broker has the OPTION to include sold data, but is not required to do. It is completely up to each company’s discretion.

If you have any questions about the policy changes that were approved or would like to discuss suggestions for other changes to the IDX policy, feel free to give me a call at 805 748-9118. I would love to hear from you!