OK, so I’m rather late with this but that's what happens when you spend too much time at conferences. So here is my summary of the RESO Fall Conference and the follow-on results at the NAR REALTORS Conference & Expo. First off, Bob Gottesman and the RESO team did a fantastic job with the RESO Fall Conference. From the PlugFest to the last day, it was full of value. Anyone who wants to see the real estate industry move forward and who wants to be a part of making that happen should participate in RESO. Otherwise...don't complain! Okay...you can still complain, but it's so much better to actually help craft the solution.
While the PlugFest was a loooooong day for all involved, it was a lot of fun. It was awesome to see the standards we've been working on for so long in action. Rob Overman (CTO of Lone Wolf) did a great job emceeing the day and kept things moving and interesting. And it was great to see a lot of new faces looking to create better solutions to various real estate challenges.
SHAMELESS PLUG: Onboard presented the RESO Standard Version of our Listings Search Engine API, the Listings API+. We also showed a Web demonstration created by Seth Siegler of Hoverboard Labs (and Curb Call) that allows users to search across over a dozen MLSs in a single UI.
Two apps were prototyped in a matter of hours on the new standards-based version of our listings API. Fred Larsen and James McDaniel from Utah Real Estate built a cool text messaging app that hit the Onboard Listings API+ to bring back a specific listing and schedule a showing. Kevin Dolan from Address Report created a mash-up of the Onboard Listings API+ and the Address Report API which allowed a user to create a detailed report on any listing in Brooklyn. There were a lot of other great concepts presented using the RETS 1.x standard and dreaming up ways to utilize the new Web API Standard.
The speed with which demos were created is a testament to why we’re pushing so hard on the API front.
The rest of the conference allowed us to dig into many of the more gnarly challenges the industry faces. A lot of discussion centered around a few key areas:
- Data Standardization - An immense amount of work has gone into the RESO Data Dictionary. Now it needs to be adopted and implemented. Many MLSs are in process, but it's going to take time. To help with this process, vendors can get a better understanding of the dictionary now, so they're ready to accept it on their side. There's going to be re-tooling needed all around, but the benefits will far outweigh the initial effort.
- Replication vs. Real-time - A major goal of the new RESO Web API is to make it easier for industry developers to build applications without having to replicate all that data in house. But it's more than just listings data. There are millions of photos companies need to download and manage as well. There was some great discussion and debate over why hundreds of companies have to replicate this data rather than access it in real-time.
- Data Update - With so many agents keeping millions of listings updated, you can imagine people's dismay over having to do double-entry, triple-entry or even more. That’s what happens when agents need to update their internal system, the MLS system and various other systems that require changes to key fields like price, description and even photo changes. The industry desires...no…demands...a better solution. We need the ability to update data to any system in (near) real-time from any application. The RESO community heard this loud and clear and is jumping on the issue to propose a standards-based solution.
This conference was very action-oriented with a focus on putting the major challenges on the table and agreeing on next steps to address those challenges. I can safely say from the various workgroup meetings after the conference that everyone is focused on problem-solving.
And the RESO Board of Directors has been just as active as the workgroups. They should be commended for not only the stance they have taken but also for their actions with NAR. Which brings me to this past week.
Image Credit: LaserGuided on Flickr.com