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’s interview is with Dan Troup, the Director of Data Operations & Strategy at RE/MAX and a sitting member of the RESO Board of Directors. Dan is also chairing RESO’s new Certification Analytics Focus Group, which will meet quarterly to review the metrics that RESO Certification is currently producing. The group will be using a data-driven approach to look for items to surface to RESO’s workgroups that address problem areas or potentially create new standards that keep pace with emerging practices in the real estate industry.
Q1: You have served on the Board of Directors for RESO for the last three years and have continued on as a board member in 2022. Why do you think it’s important to have broker representation at a standards body that has largely been focused on MLS data?
Dan: I really think that is such a key question, and here’s why. Brokers shouldn’t necessarily care what gets done at RESO but should know what is driving the work of RESO. Competitors are setting standards together for the industry, and everyone is okay with it. We lower barriers to entry, we make tech cheaper, we want tech companies and brokers to reiterate quickly, and initiatives like the RESO Data Dictionary are key to realizing those goals.
Look at what we do internally as a broker/vendor. We identify all of our MLSs by the Unique Organization Identifier (UOI), and we normalize all listing data to the Data Dictionary format. RE/MAX is fully embracing the RESO standards. As a broker and vendor, RESO has saved us a ton of time and money. I want to give back. Serving as the chair for the new Certification Analytics Focus Group and being on the RESO Board of Directors allows me to do that.
Q2: At RESO’s 2021 fall conference, you demonstrated a national broker’s data set as part of your work with G73 Data Solutions in a project using a concept called Geohash, which divides the earth into grids using letters and numbers at varying precisions. Combining this with Elasticsearch, you brought in data from roughly 500 MLSs, consisting of about 51 million listings, in order to plot listings on a map. The G73 project showed how difficult it is to determine MLS boundaries. It was a fascinating display, and I obviously took notes. What caused you to put this project together?
Dan: I simply wondered what it would look like, to be honest. Everyone seems to want this information, so I pecked away at it, not really knowing what the purpose was yet. I was interested in knowing where one MLS ended and the other began, and it felt right to put it on a map. With remax.com, we need to know which MLS to search based on where the consumer is focusing on the map. The way remax.com is structured, it sets context for the search and helps improve performance.
Q3: You are a long-time Michigander. From a vacationing perspective, it seems like Michigan is having a moment. Can you put on your Convention & Visitors Bureau hat and sell a 4-day vacation in Michigan?
Dan: Our shoreline has everything that both coasts have with one important exception. No sharks.