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The real estate industry has long talked about transitioning forward from a 20-year-old data transport method. RETS (Real Estate Transaction Standard) was the industry’s first set of rules for moving data between systems in a standardized fashion.

RETS is still used heavily by MLSs and their data consumers, but its grip on real estate data transport is finally waning. MLSs have begun the process of moving their technology vendors and brokers to a modern transport standard, the RESO Web API. While the pace of this modernization varies, there are some MLSs who have acted as trailblazers for the industry.

The transition to the RESO Web API is no longer an “if” but a “when.”

Some organizations have questioned the need to rework and modernize their technology to support Web API, pointing to the fact that RETS continues to work for them. It’s also true that the floppy disk, the CD-ROM and the Zip drive all still work, yet these methods of data storage and transfer are no way to support a modern technology organization.

MLSs and technology companies are in agreement that it’s time to make the RESO Web API their primary mode of MLS data distribution.

Transparency Ushers in a New Era of Data Transport

RESO is actively publishing a leaderboard in the transition to RESO Web API: The RETS Extinction Countdown.

The MLSs that have already completed the process of moving broker and vendor data feeds to Web API are highlighted for the industry to see.

The list includes both large and small MLSs. Some have homegrown technology, while others are using traditional MLS software vendors for their Web API services.

There is no singular distinguishing factor for an MLS to make the effort a priority, aside from the determination and amount of leadership necessary by these forward-thinking management teams.

The RETS Extinction Countdown leaderboard is expected to grow tremendously in 2022. Most MLSs that engage with RESO state that they are planning a cutoff deadline for their RETS servers in the next year or two. Those who have not yet set a date are at least making preparations, and the pace of conversions is quickening.

If your MLS is making significant progress toward Web API conversion for your data consumer customers, send us your submission for the leaderboard! If you’re not, it’s time to ask your management team about your timeline. The industry’s technology is evolving, and your organization can be a driver of that progress.