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Update On New Data Standards for Listing Displays

On April 12th, I posted some “news” from NAR regarding the unanimous approval by RESO (Real Estate Standards Organization) of the draft data standards for listing display.

On Friday, April 11th, NAR announced that the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) had unanimously approved a “draft standardized data format for distributing real estate listing information.”  

A few of you wanted more information, so I contacted NAR’s Technology Center and got the full scoop.

First, the draft is NOT available on-line, at least in a format that non-techies can read.  Here is a link to some really technical stuff for those of you who know what an “enum” is all about (I do not have a clue).

Second, I found out that these standards are a subset of the RETS data.  The RETS Syndication Standards (the official name) includes less than 2 dozen fields (I’ve heard 14) from RETS.  That sounds like a lot of field at first, but once you count up the obvious ones (e.g., agent name, contact, beds, baths, etc.) that is not very many.  Not that I’m second guessing the wizards who came up with this stuff.

Finally, the near riff I reported in the original post was reasonably accurate.  The big aggregators were tired of the slowness and bureaucracy of the process, but after they threatened to create their own standards, the process moved very quickly.  Essentially, they are beta testing now and will make the final decision in August.

So, what does this mean to REALTORS®?  Here’s what Chris McKeever from NAR said in an e-mail:

With the RESO and NAR backing of this Syndication Specification, this could very easily be adopted into MLS systems to allow them to be the clearinghouse for data transfer between all points.  In other words, your single point of listing data entry into the MLS could then also dynamically be sent to every site that you choose, very similiar to how REALTOR.com is fed now.  This, coupled with the growing number of consumer facing MLS search portals(link) could throw a complete paradigm shift into how listings are marketed on the web.

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  • 5 comments

    5 Comments so far

    1. Bob Wilson April 27th, 2008 7:44 pm

      throw a complete paradigm shift into how listings are marketed on the web

      Absolutely.

      This will give a decided advantage to the listing agent and it will be a boon to fee for service.

    2. Dave Barnes April 27th, 2008 8:44 pm

      XML is good.

    3. Greg Cremia April 28th, 2008 5:19 am

      I don’t understand why the NAR wants to make it easier for the “growing number of consumer facing MLS search portals” while they are trying to stop REALTORS from using the term MLS on the internet.

      Apparently, NAR’s priorities are at odds with their members priorities.

    4. Todd April 28th, 2008 6:28 am

      Dear NAR,
      XML, RSS, Microformats, OpenID and OAuth are already accepted, open web standards currently in use world wide. The cost of adopting these open standards is $0.00. Please immediately adopt these existing standards and stop encrypting data in closed, proprietary formats.

      http://microformats.org/about/
      http://openid.net/what/
      http://oauth.net/

    5. Clint April 28th, 2008 5:49 pm

      enum is like:
      1. house
      2. land
      3. condo

      you use the number in place of what you mean.