Working on standards is actually pretty hard work. It takes a delicate balance of technical aptitude, political know-how, long hours and LOTS and LOTS of patience. So when you actually see all that work come to fruition, it's quite fulfilling. Thanks to the RESO Board of Directors, the Council of MLS, the National Association of REALTORS and so many other influences around the industry, the key initiatives RESO has been working on have now been approved as additions to the MLS rules and regulations. The key changes are:
- The RESO Data Dictionary must be implemented by MLSs by January of 2016. What this means, at last, is truly standardized data across the industry. No more hours and hours of data mapping. No more massive amounts of custom code to deal with all this. And MUCH greater ability to focus energy on where there's real value: user experience, creative applications and problem-solving.
- The RESO Web API must be implemented by MLSs by June of 2016. What this means is that developers will have real-time access, through a simple, RESTful API, for the freshest data available. No more managing tons of feeds and files, storing loads of extraneous data, and trying to learn the idiosyncrasies of various RETS implementations. A number of additional items were added that will have an equally positive impact on the industry.
- The addition of sold data as part of standard IDX will mean that on-market and off-market listings can be displayed on any member website where allowed by state law. There may be local limitations on the number of years of history.
- The elimination of "co-mingling" rules will affect markets where brokers belong to overlapping or adjacent MLSs. As an example, a consumer searching for listings in / around New York City could actually see listings in Westchester County, Long Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, etc. All served by different MLSs.
- Participants must update listings at least every 12 hours. This will mean that everyone benefits from fresher data and that everyone needs a better way to access the data faster (see item 2). This will impact both MLSs and participants since MLSs will need to ensure updated data is available.
These new developments are certainly going to mean a busy 2015. But they'll also mean that application developers will be able to be much more creative for brokers and agents than ever before. And 2016 will be even bigger for everyone involved.
It was encouraging to see and hear the support for these changes across the board. Everyone who participated in the process should be commended for their vision, drive and persistence. It was worth the effort.
Onboard, for one, is glad to see these developments and thinks they can only mean positive strides for the entire industry. Of course, we're also glad we've invested in RESO, the Data Dictionary and the Web API as we knew (hoped) that we'd see this result. We're looking forward to the next phase of this as we're just getting started.
What a great way to end the year!