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Ross Buck and Greg 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’s interview is with Omni MLS CEO, Ross Buck. We discussed pacing in business development, the openness of other countries to an established way of doing business in a standardized manner and the language of data. Enjoy!

Q1: Omni MLS is making waves by nudging the MLS concept into Mexico, Central America and South America. Are you going about this in a slow-and-steady methodical way or are you trying to capture the entirety of the Latin market quickly and furiously? Whatever your answer, why is this your approach and how is it going so far?

Ross: Our approach to expansion involves a balanced strategy that combines elements of slow-and-steady progression and targeted market capture.

We aim for comprehensive coverage, but our emphasis remains on methodical steps to ensure sustainable growth and effective establishment within each region.

We recognize the significance of understanding things like diverse cultural nuances, regulatory frameworks and unique market dynamics in each country. We prioritize building strong foundations by forming local partnerships…conducting extensive market research…adapting our strategies to suit specific regional requirements.

This methodical approach allows us to cultivate trust within local real estate communities, which, in turn, allows us to tailor our services to meet local needs and ensure a solid infrastructure for expansion.

This approach is essential for establishing credibility and sustainable growth versus rushing into the market with a “quick and furious” approach. We don’t want to risk overlooking crucial elements that could hinder long-term success.

So far, our approach has shown promising results. We’ve been able to establish meaningful partnerships and gain traction in key markets that will lay the groundwork for further expansion.

Q2: You have been working in the real estate industry for 30 years. Why is now the right time for you to be the CEO of an MLS concept that is attempting to break down formerly high international walls?  

Ross: Having dedicated three decades to the real estate industry has provided me with a deep understanding of its complexities, challenges and evolving trends. I’ve witnessed the gradual evolution of the industry and the increasing importance of international collaboration and connectivity.

Now, more than ever, is the opportune time for me to take on an MLS concept aimed at breaking down international barriers. The advancements in technology, coupled with a growing global interest in real estate investments and cross-border transactions, present a unique window of opportunity.

The real estate landscape is shifting towards a more interconnected and globalized market for seamless access to international property data. Consumers are demanding increased transparency and streamlined processes. I feel like my extensive background equips me with insights, industry connections and the strategic vision necessary to navigate these changes effectively.

We are in an era where international collaboration is paramount. Breaking down formerly high international walls in the real estate industry aligns with the global trend. Opportunities in diverse markets abound, and I’m really excited by these developments.

Q3: The Data Dictionary has been translated to Spanish. But has it really? Is it Spanish Spanish, Mexican Spanish, Colombian Spanish, Argentinian Spanish? You get my point. What can RESO do to support international efforts such as yours? Is it language or something different?

Ross: The translation of the Data Dictionary into Spanish is definitely a significant step towards internationalizing the MLS concept. But it’s true that taking the nuances within the Spanish language across regions is going to be essential for ensuring broader accessibility and understanding.

To support international efforts like ours, RESO is taking three measures beyond language translation that will continue to improve the standard.

The first thing is facilitating the creation of a more adaptable framework that allows for regional variations. This approach acknowledges linguistic and cultural differences, enabling flexibility in implementation while adhering to the core standards. This is huge.

Second, RESO is working with local industry experts and stakeholders from different regions to develop region-specific guidelines or adaptations. In the future, this could expand to involve forming advisory boards or task forces comprised of professionals from various Spanish-speaking countries to provide insights and refine standards to align better with regional practices.

Education and training initiatives can be pivotal here. RESO can offer educational workshops or training programs tailored to different Spanish-speaking regions. These efforts would not only promote understanding of the standards but also foster adoption and compliance within local real estate communities.

Third, and going beyond language, RESO supports international efforts by encouraging the exchange of best practices across borders and promoting networking opportunities.

Creating platforms for international discussions and knowledge-sharing among real estate professionals from different regions, as occurs at the two RESO conferences each year and at events like the International MLS Forum in France, will further enhance the global adoption of MLS standards.

While language translation is a crucial step, RESO’s full support in acknowledging and accommodating regional differences sets the table in a positive light.


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