RESO Analytics is a powerful platform that helps our industry collectively map and understand the density of our property data. It digs into what we, as an industry, are providing to the market in terms of data completeness and quality.
CubiCasa’s Jeff Allen, President, and Aaron Smith, Director of Sales, shared a vision for how RESO Analytics can help us identify where we have the most opportunity to make the MLS the source of key data that helps drive real estate marketplace efficiency. | WATCH VIDEO (10:20)
Allen and Smith tag teamed a deep look at RESO Analytics to help others understand how much it is empowering data consumers with information to make decisions.
As a reference point, at the time of the talk during the RESO 2023 Spring Conference, we were tracking just north of 300 Data Dictionary and Web API implementations. As of this writing, we are tracking more than 500 implementations.
Allen called it “the most complete picture that we have as a shared whole of what is the completeness and quality of the data in our industry.”
The duo looked at 620 data fields in the Property and PropertyRooms resources of the Data Dictionary to find that 59 of them were available on 75% or more listings, a group they called “High Availability” fields.
These fields included items like address, listing status, list price, agent name and agent-supplied home features (e.g., interior, exterior, lot, parking). These are all things that you would expect to see on a listing portal, brokerage website or consumer-facing MLS website.
But what they found in what they called “Low Availability” fields was more interesting to them. They learned that 455 fields were available in less than 50% of listings.
Some of the themes of these fields included property size, measurement details, school information and room details – features that are generally still considered important to a consumer’s decision-making process.
As an example, Smith noted that he was from Michigan, a state that commonly has basements, so he likes to know if a basement is finished or unfinished and if there are bedrooms down there. While these kinds of notes may turn up in agent remarks, the Data Dictionary fields may very well not be filled in.
Also highlighted was a 0% availability of the RoomAreaSource field. Said Smith, “As we look at getting at the MLS to become the ground truth of data, where is that room measurement coming from? Is it from public assessor data? Is it from building departments? Is it from a company like CubiCasa?”
He suggested that if you can cite the data source, there’s a higher level of trust in the data itself. He went on to state that there are ways in which we can figure out how to collect that data and input it in an efficient manner.
RESO Analytics gives us an excellent start, because we can now finally see what data we are providing to consumers on a macro level. Further inputs into more fields would allow it to provide even more actionable data.
And while it is wonderful that we are providing agent-supplied property characteristics, are these considered auditable facts? That was a key question posed during the presentation.
At this point, it would still be difficult to make a purchase decision without visiting the home. More often than not, a trained professional like an appraiser or home inspector must actually confirm the information that is presented.
While making a purchase decision solely from online information is a popular topic, the reality is that we’re not quite there for even having a fact-based level of data to make the idea reasonable for most consumers.
Technology-based solutions are arriving on the scene to address these issues from companies like Restbi.ai and FoxyAI, which work with image recognition. CubiCasa is doing mobile capture of floor plans. iGUIDE is doing fast 360-degree captures on cameras.
There is a movement happening towards what Allen and Smith called “technology-based property data collection.” Meaning, it’s data collection that isn’t going to be directly input by an agent but by data that is generated by a process.
These processes can be standardized so the data model always behaves in the same way. It counts square footage in the same way, it determines condition and quality in the same way, and it can remove human bias to make it that much more trustworthy.
A deep and unique data set can come from this effort, and an agent doesn’t have to type in 620 data fields for us to get there.
These new tech tools can bring in all sorts of unique data not contained in real estate listings now to help achieve RESO’s mission to create and promote the adoption and utilization of standards that drive efficiency throughout the real estate industry.
The benefits of all this new tech is obviously to capture more data; the more data the better. The duo referenced three key areas we as an industry can focus on:
1) the MLS as the source of truth for all property data in the world to the point where any call to this data presents accurate and true data that is updated in real time
2) enhancement of that data for industry efforts like REdistribute that can help an MLS provide valuable data to institutional customers
3) a stronger listing search experience for consumers using tools like ChatGPT and Lundy for descriptive home search prompts and audio searches in the very near future, if they are not already
According to Smith, we may not yet know exactly how AI search tools will function for housing or if search will fundamentally change, but we can say that the experience of search is no longer just budget and location. It’s rooted in greater detail.
The MLS that has the most accurate, robust representation of a listing, using the best technology tools available for image recognition, building floor plans and creating 360-degree tours will do well in this near future.
“We’ve been talking for a long time as an industry about how we achieve these visions and missions, so let’s get to it,” said Allen. “The tech is there, and it’s available to make happen.” Thanks to RESO Analytics, now it can.
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Of note, RESO has created two video tutorials about how to use RESO Analytics, one of them in conjunction with the National Association of REALTORS®.
Intro to RESO Certification
Go on a nontechnical walk-through of RESO’s certification process and learn how to read certification reports in a casual conversation with RESO CTO Joshua Darnell and John Breault, VP of MLS & Member Services at the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS® and State-Wide MLS. | WATCH VIDEO
The MLS Hour: RESO Analytics
Jason Sanchez, Director of MLS Engagement at the National Association of REALTORS®, hosted John and Josh, as well as DaVina Lara, CEO of bridgeMLS and the Bridge Association of REALTORS®, in an enthusiastic discussion about RESO Analytics.