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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.

This week, we sat down with John Breault, Vice President, MLS & Member Services at State-Wide Multiple Listing Service in Rhode Island. If you watch the accompanying video, you’ll learn how to properly pronounce John’s last name [hint: not like Brole] and hear Greg rattle off a bunch of cool bassists in this enjoyably off-kilter interview. As with other “Three Questions” recordings, the written transcript of the video closely follows the actual dialogue but with a few adjustments for clarity and grammar. Enjoy!

Q1: You have become more involved in RESO in recent years, first as the vice-chair of the Research & Development Workgroup and currently also as a member of the RESO Board of Directors. In addition, you are becoming a common participant in other workgroups. What’s your draw to RESO at this stage in your career? 

John: I think my draw now really is about solving pain points for brokers, data consumers and vendors. The industry has done a lot there, especially with RESO’s help, but I feel like there’s a lot more that can be done. As an MLS, as a data producer, I’d like to be a part of that solution.

RESO: So not necessarily solving stuff just for MLSs but for the people you serve.

John: Of course. That’s what it really comes down to. That’s what it’s all about.

Q2: What do you personally think the most important thing for RESO to work on is at this moment? 

John: We have been talking about having one data feed for a while, and so I’ve been a big advocate for display rules going along with that data feed. Because once we get data into one feed, a problem may surface where data consumers don’t know what’s IDX [Internet Data Exchange] appropriate, what’s [Broker] Back Office appropriate, etc.

So I’d really like us to work on a way of just carrying those display or usage rights along in a very simple format, not with detailed MLS rules or policy rules, but really just, “These fields can be used for IDX and these are for Back Office only, etc.”

I think there may even be some element already in the Data Dictionary about that, but we’re talking about expanding that a bit. And I think we’re going to have to, because it looks like the one feed is coming.

RESO: Are we still going to have the terms IDX and Broker Back Office?

John: For now. At some point, it may change. We saw earlier that there was an appetite to change not just the data feed but the policies around it. I think it was the LEAP policy [Listing Exchange and Access Policy], but it was too big a bite to take at once. And so now we’re solving the bigger pain point, which is getting the data. I think at some point we’ll circle back around. Now, I don’t know if that’s a RESO initiative as much as it may be for CMLS [Council of Multiple Listing Services] or, obviously, NAR [National Association of REALTORS®].

Q3: You are a bassist. What bassists have influenced you and continue to influence you?

John: There’s a long answer to that question, because it depends on where I was. When I first started playing, I loved John Entwistle from The Who because, earlier on, you’re dazzled by the flash.

So John Entwistle. Geddy Lee [from Rush] is an amazing bass player. I really liked that sort of style.

And then it would depend on the bands I was into. If I’m in a blues band, I’d sort of discover these blues bassists. Once I was in an eight-piece funk / R&B band with a three-piece horn section, so that’s when I started to get into the more laid-back, mellow – like a Bootsy Collins.

I’m all over the map. Guys like Flea [from Red Hot Chili Peppers], for example, what I like about him is that he’s got a good groove, but it’s also sort of an in-your-face kind of approach.

RESO: Do you have a favorite bassist?

John: Can you pick just one? I don’t know. It depends on the day you ask me. I probably do, but I can’t think of it right now.

RESO: That’s alright. You named a couple. So that has nothing to do with real estate, but part of what we do here is get to know each other. And thank you very much for your time, John…

John: Thank you.

RESO: …Brō.