Liz Tewksbury is a dynamo in the real estate industry. As MLS Operations Director at Homesnap, she has an abundance of energy, passion and commitment to everything she undertakes while remaining unflustered by change. She’s not only an active Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) volunteer and Board of Directors Advisor, she’s also a self-described “exercise junkie” and a mother of five.
Tewksbury has adeptly navigated a dynamic career over the last decade, first as an MLS executive and now helping manage technology services provided to MLSs. Chasing after two sons, triplet daughters and a rapidly evolving real estate technology landscape has a way of improving one’s stamina.
With the acquisition of Homesnap by real estate industry giant CoStar, a firm at the vertex of industry change which also recently purchased Homes.com, Tewksbury remains singularly focused on the MLS industry as an avid, veteran supporter of real estate standards.
RESO’s Impact on Tewksbury’s Career
“I have learned over the years that 90 percent of real estate technology is listening, learning and asking as many questions as you need to, so you fully understand the product and issues at hand,” said Tewksbury in a recent interview with RESO.
That was one of the reasons Tewksbury was initially attracted to working with RESO’s vast network of member organizations.
“The first time that I attended a RESO conference, I was just scratching the surface of understanding the importance of adopting RESO standards,” recalled Tewksbury.
“I remember going to that conference looking for my ‘why.’ I knew that RESO creates the standards that drive innovation in our industry. But what I learned at that first conference was that adopting RESO standards results in faster software development and more accurate, robust and informative data for agents, brokers and consumers.”
Today, making RESO efforts a priority is a given for Tewksbury, whether attending the next conference or adopting and deploying a new standard.
“Data standards help MLS/vendor partnerships. When an MLS is RESO-compliant, plugging their data into an existing platform is seamless for the vendor,” said Tewksbury. “Adoption of data standards will lead to a better experience on all real estate technology platforms for both consumers and agents. Isn’t that a common goal for all of us?”
RESO’s Impact on Homesnap
“When we first launched Homesnap, we had six simple search filters,” Tewksbury noted. She understood the frustration consumers experienced when they didn’t get the highly tailored results they expected when searching on Homesnap.com.
“When the data isn’t available in RESO standard fields, our developers have to adjust their filters to use additional custom fields,” Tewksbury said. “And that only works if we can even locate where that data may be in a custom, non-standard system.”
“With hundreds of MLS data feeds coming in, you can imagine the manual process that this entails,” she continued. “This can be a source of frustration for brokers, agents and their clients, along with any buyer or seller that may be attempting to search for property in a market that is not using RESO standards.”
The difference for Homesnap was using RESO data standards when they expanded the platform’s search capabilities.
“I’m happy to report that with our new upgrade, we now have 23 search filters all using RESO standard fields,” said Tewksbury.
RESO also plays a vital role when a firm operates in multiple real estate markets. With more data feeds, challenges are magnified. Homesnap works with more than 240 MLSs covering 90 percent of all listed properties in the U.S.
“When we started developing the new search functionality, we quickly realized that using RESO standards would greatly simplify the process and shorten development time,” Tewksbury explained.
Homesnap has applied that same standards-first thinking to the development of a new feature called Homesnap Showings. Users will be allowed to schedule property showings with their agents directly in the Homesnap app.
“We have a large team of developers dedicated to this project,” said Tewksbury. “Not only are they ensuring that the fields used are from the RESO Data Dictionary, they’re also ensuring that the data can be transported via a RESO-compliant API and offers interoperability with others in the showing service space.”
Standardized data starts with listings but extends to many other facets of the real estate professional’s guidance of a consumer through the transaction process. The showing experience for agents and consumers becomes much more efficient across brokerages and MLSs with data standards.
Commercial and Residential
While CoStar has a leadership position in the commercial real estate space, Tewksbury emphasized that Homesnap is expected to remain focused on residential properties. Homesnap does have commercial listings available as well though.
Always Active, Forever Learning
Tewksbury is an active runner, Peloton rider and gym attendee living in New England. She has completed a “Climb to the Top” of the 62-story 200 Clarendon Street (former John Hancock Tower) in Boston, the tallest building in New England, an event that supports the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
This summer, she’s looking forward to “everything and anything Lake Winnipesaukee,” her favorite place to retreat for recreation and relaxation. But she also can’t wait to help create technical solutions with real estate industry folks in person.
“I happen to work with some of the brightest minds in the industry and a group of all-around go-getters,” said Tewksbury. “Having positive people in your day-to-day life is always great motivation.”
Tewksbury encourages you to join RESO if you are not a member. You can learn more at reso.org or register to attend the next in-person (with a virtual option) RESO conference, RESO REtreat, October 18–21, 2021, Kiawah Island, SC, with details at reso.org/reso-retreat.