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by G. Sax, Director of Growth Management, RESO

Welcome to “Three Questions,” an interview series that introduces you to real estate industry professionals, their businesses and how they interact with real estate standards with a goal of humanizing the tech side of the industry, fun included.

During our RESO Retreat fall conference in October 2021, we recorded several one-on-one conversations in the style of Zach Galifianakis’s “Between Two Ferns,” which I know is a legitimate reference point because President Barack Obama appeared on that interview show in 2014.

This week’s interview is with Jeff Bosch, (at the time of interview) COO of MARIS and newly appointed chair of the Broker Advisory Workgroup. Please enjoy the video or read an edited transcript of the interview below.

Q1: After nearly 20 years in real estate brokerage, you shifted to a pure MLS position. How has that transition been and what are your current goals under the MARIS banner?

Bosch: The transition has actually been pretty easy, because I was a former board member and board chair, so I was already familiar with the MLS space. Obviously, the world works a lot differently from the inside than from the leadership position.

As far as goals go personally, I’m looking to continue to be more involved in the industry and grow my leadership opportunities. From a MARIS perspective, we are working on some pretty exciting things with data and working on how to expand boundaries and cooperate with others with tech.

Your footprint at MARIS has really expanded, so I’ve been watching with much interest since the old name, which was the Mid-America…

Bosch: Mid America Regional Information Systems, which is technically still the proper name.

But officially branded as just MARIS.

Q2: You seem to be the embodiment of what RESO wants to accomplish with its Broker Advisory Workgroup, which is essentially a coalition of brokers, technologists and MLS professionals helping to solve pain points for an easier flow of data. What can we do to attract more people like you to our workgroup meetings?

Bosch: I think the biggest thing is to have conversations. Without them, it’s a void. The people who choose to be at RESO are actively participating. But I think a lot of times there is concern about not being technical enough, not being aware of what’s involved in the industry. And that’s really kind of a shame, because it puts the focus on a smaller group of people that should really be involved in the conversation.

That is a common refrain with brokers. “I don’t do that techy stuff; I don’t know.” But I think they know more than they realize.

Bosch: I think they know where things are broken. They know where business doesn’t work right. Even with the [broker] session today, being able to articulate how that translates to the agent level is really important, because it’s easy to get lost in just the pure tech and how it works. But, ultimately, how it translates is where we can get more broker involvement with the types of organizations that maybe can’t field an industry relations question.

For brokers and anybody who happens to be reading this, what technologists want is for you to be able to explain the problem. If you explain the problem, they will think about a solution. That’s what RESO’s R&D Workgroup is for and what the Broker Advisory Workgroup is for. These groups are designed to take those ideas and consolidate them for technologists to marinate on what is needed to solve pain points from a technical standpoint.

Q3: Are you a little bit bitter about RESO poaching Jason Darrough from the halls of MARIS to be our Technical Product Manager?

Bosch: You know what, I was so proud of him today. I was proud because Jason was always a heads-down person. I love to see him blossom. Of course I’m going to give you guys trouble about that, but we love to see it. We’re super proud of him, and as much as I want to give you all a mountain of grief, I’m super happy.

That’s good to hear! During the day that this interview was recorded at RESO’s conference in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, Jason was impromptu pulled up on stage to present RESO’s certification-reporting platform live. If you’re a technologist, you know that is a very difficult thing to do with live Internet and spotty Wi-Fi connections in large, shared spaces. He did a great job.

Bosch: As someone who’s always behind the scenes, it was awesome to see him up there, front and center.