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By Sam DeBord, CEO of RESO           


Broker involvement in the Real Estate Standards Organization is reaching unprecedented levels. Today, the leading brokerage brands in real estate are heavily involved in creating and utilizing new technology standards. RESO members include over 100 brokerage brands and the vast majority of brokerage networks and conglomerates.

A growing number of brokerage leaders serve on our Board of Directors, and our Broker Advisory Group is attracting feedback on the day-to-day needs of professionals. We continue to grow our membership by reminding the industry that RESO exists to benefit your organization.

RESO isn’t just a thinktank of data geeks—it’s an organization intently focused on providing technology standards solutions that allow real estate professionals to provide more value to their customers every day.

The RESO mission

The mission of RESO is to create and promote standards that drive efficiency throughout the real estate industry. These efforts provide direct value to brokers’ businesses, so engaged broker members are critical to RESO’s success.

In just the last two years, RESO workgroups have been hard at work developing many new broker benefits, including:

  • Greater quality and broader data in broker and agent websites and apps: The rollout of a new IDX data standard for broker reciprocity and Spanish language capabilities is included in the latest version of the Data Dictionary, version 1.7. The Data Dictionary is the universal language that allows technology systems across the industry to understand and work with one another.
  • Easier ways for brokerages to share their data with their technology partners: Agent rosters, open house information, property history, saved searches, showing events, and more are included in the latest Data Dictionary update.
  • More seamless integrations between broker technology tools: RESO created the Organizational Unique Identifier to give each organization within the real estate industry a unique ID. The RESO OUID is the industry’s most comprehensive and current list of REALTOR® associations and MLSs, as well as technology partners, affiliated businesses, and data providers. Broker and MLS tools can provide more accurate and timely data by accessing these IDs through RESO’s free OUID API.

Innovation in data delivery is the motivation behind the RESO Web API standard. The Web API is the modern way of transporting data. It supports both traditional technology vendors and new uses for technology such as agile real-time data delivery and updates to mobile web applications.

REALTOR® MLS organizations are required to provide their members with access to data that complies with RESO Data Dictionary and RESO Web API standards. The development work that technology vendors undertake to make these standards upgrades will help fuel broker technology innovation and give brokerages better access to information and technology tools across markets.

Looking ahead to what’s next

Where RESO can be most valuable to brokerages is providing a seat at the table to help decide the future of standards. If your franchise is a member, that means as an individual broker, you are as well. You are encouraged to participate in our discussions in the RESO online collaboration system. Membership also affords you one of the exclusive benefits of RESO membership: you’re eligible and invited to be a part of any Workgroup meetings that you choose.

Here are a few ways brokers can shape what’s next for real estate through their RESO membership:

Broker Advisory Group

The RESO Broker Advisory Group identifies issues facing brokers of all sizes, provides specific recommendations to the Board of Directors, and promotes RESO as a driving force for the collective future of the industry.

The group is currently generating feedback on broker data needs in their direct relationships with consumer customers. More information about the Broker Advisory Group can be found here.

Cross-Platform Interoperability Workgroup

The RESO Cross-Platform Interoperability Workgroup’s purpose is to identify solutions that will bring together disparate systems to better serve the real estate industry, particularly the practitioners and brokerages.

The group’s initial focus: Transaction Management Systems. The real estate industry needs a standard for the discovery and description of transaction documents. The Workgroup will look to creating a standard that can:

  • Easily share documents across TMS platforms.
  • Easily add additional people to a transaction from the MLS roster.
  • Retain the participants in the transaction, their roles and permissions, and other document metadata when documents are shared between platforms.

More information about this Workgroup can be found here.

Distributed Ledger Workgroup

You’ve probably heard a lot of buzz about blockchain and real estate. How about a seat at the table where practical applications are being discussed?

The purpose of the RESO Distributed Ledger Workgroup is to identify and document property lifecycle events. These events could be recorded in a distributed ledger by the industry participants to support accountability, provide instant notifications and identify rules/patterns that are valuable to real estate professionals. The workgroup will work closely with other RESO workgroups to maintain alignment with their work. The implications for brokerages are enormous. More information about the Distributed Ledger Workgroup can be found here.

Internet Tracking Workgroup

Internet Tracking data is a crucial component of business intelligence. This workgroup creates and maintains the recommended industry-wide standard for tracking all internet, product and service activity surrounding real estate listing data, brokers, agents, consumers, and utilized technology solutions. Learn more about the Internet Tracking Workgroup here.

Research and Development Workgroup

This is where great ideas start at RESO. The R&D Workgroup is the top of the funnel for data standards and the place where new ideas are discussed, and business cases are formulated and finalized to justify the involvement of RESO and the creation of standards. The R&D Workgroup serves as the entry point for information intake and task decision-making. Learn more about the R&D Workgroup here.

All of RESO’s workgroups, including the previously mentioned Data Dictionary, Universal Property Identification (UPI), Web API, and Payloads provide brokers valuable opportunities to shape the future of standards. That’s why brokerages need to have both technology and business representatives involved in RESO Workgroups.

RESO conferences are key

One of the most important places a broker can have an immediate impact on helping to shape the future of technology standards is at a RESO conference.

RESO conferences provide a unique opportunity for in-person workgroup meetings, in addition to the monthly scheduled conference calls. The RESO conferences offer exceptional networking opportunities for face-to-face meetings with some of our industry’s brightest minds. Space is always limited and these conferences have a history of selling out early.

The RESO Spring Technology Summit in Boise, Idaho, April 29 to May 2, is already sold out. It features a lineup of speakers and topics that will give brokers insight into what’s coming next. A RESO conference is different: presenters roll up their sleeves, show what’s under the hood, take all the hard questions and share solutions. Initial details about the RESO Fall Conference, scheduled for September 9-12, 2019 in St. Louis, can be found at