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As we begin to ramp up to the 2022 RESO Fall Conference this October 25–27, we still have presentations worth resharing from the 2022 RESO Spring Conference, including today’s offering, “The Surprising Benefits of the Native RESO Data Dictionary.”

Dana Bennett, VP of Industry Engagement at REcolorado, and Shayne Fairley, Chief Operations Officer at Stellar MLS, each shared stories about why their MLSs converted their native MLS database to the RESO Data Dictionary. Their stories, told from different parts of the country with different geographical nuances and MLS vendors, turned out to be remarkably similar. | WATCH THE VIDEO (19:05 minutes)

Both MLSs believed that having systems that spoke the same language as the RESO Data Dictionary would create quicker integrations and, thus, quicker rollouts of new and exciting tools, making them more attractive to innovators.

For Stellar MLS, the change was spurred by a growth path that had them consistently adding new shareholders with different data structures. Removing the technology translation layer in favor of the more “human” language of the Data Dictionary has helped them create more technology and communications efficiency.

REcolorado concurred that getting people to speak the same data language has created more buy-in for data-driven solutions and more understanding about why it is important for the organization to pursue a recognized standard and to have clean data.

The many similarities between the two projects included:

  • a desire to “walk the talk” and create something innovative based on a trusted industry standard
  • the need to cull information from a bloated database
  • the creation of a central meeting place and team leader for inter-departmental collaboration
  • the convenience of having your MLS vendor onsite during the transition
  • preparation for lengthy data-mapping and testing processes
  • overall project timeline (approximately 10 to 12 months)

Communication was a critical component of both efforts, but the two MLSs differed in their approaches. 

Bennett said that REcolorado elected to involve their subscribers at every step of the project to help them understand the why of the undertaking. Bennett stated their approach gave their subscribers a sense of ownership of the project.

Fairley said that Stellar MLS elected to concern their subscribers with only key changes during what they treated as a behind-the-scenes data project. Stellar MLS provided updates and answered subscriber questions as needed, of course, but handled all of the day-to-day work themselves.

Both MLSs reported that the outcomes and benefits included a more streamlined database with improved data quality. What surprised them was how their communications between staff, vendors and customers have been highly improved. With everyone using the same terminology, the MLS staff was able to much more clearly and efficiently get everyone to the answers they needed.

As with all tasks of great magnitude, both organizations recognized some challenges that came with building a native RESO Data Dictionary. But as both companies readily attest, the benefits far outweigh the challenges.

If you have further questions about how your organization can integrate the RESO Data Dictionary into your systems, contact info@reso.org for assistance.