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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 chatted with Joseph Szurgyi, the CEO of MLS Grid, a data services provider created by a network of MLSs to help brokers, MLSs and product vendors to work efficiently together by implementing RESO standards toward improving MLS services through collaboration. Prior to starting at MLS Grid in 2016, Joseph worked for nearly nine years at UtahRealEstate.com.

Q1: With the advent of the RESO Web API, asking MLSs who their vendor is has become a more nuanced answer. One vendor may supply the MLS system while another may supply the API for data download. Where does MLS Grid come into play?

Joseph: We are on the “who provides the data download” side. We’re not the MLS system. We’re agnostic. We work with CoreLogic, with Black Knight and with homegrown systems. We’re only concerned with the data downstream, not with MLS membership rules. If data can be provided in a RESO-compliant format, vendors and brokers are happy to consume it.

Q2: Your business model involves a remote workforce. Can that continue indefinitely and why or why not?

Joseph: Yes it can. Because the services we provide do not require direct interaction for training purposes. We are singularly focused on licensing, compliance and data distribution. Thankfully, we can do that from anywhere at any time.

And I should specify that I’ve done it both ways, particularly when I worked at an MLS. Even before COVID, the devs were happiest when we were focused on results and not on hours spent in an office environment. I don’t care when my people work, I just need them to produce. As long as they continue to do that, then we will remain remote. If they don’t produce, then I’m hiring the wrong people or the landscape has changed.

Q3: In past conversations, we have learned that we each have a love for hip hop music. Who is the best hip hop emcee of all time?

Joseph: Does a group count? If so, it’s the entirety of Wu-Tang Clan. If I have to pick a single individual, maybe Talib Kweli.

(Other acceptable answers: Rakim, KRS-One, Chuck D, Jay-Z, Eminem, Q-Tip, Aesop Rock. Any other opinions out there?)