Over the years, RESO has wanted to more fully answer a common question prospective members have: What is the real value of RESO to my business? It’s a question particularly vexing for budding, bootstrapped start-up tech firms.
It would make my job as RESO CEO a lot easier if I could say, with documented certainty, that for every dollar you invest in your RESO membership, you will get at least ten times the value back. I believe that to be true (I believe it’s actually much higher), but we’ve struggled to offer real-world proof. That is, until now.
We’ve begun, at the RESO Board’s direction, a series of case studies and white papers that are attempting to document the real value of RESO to members, looking at how tech firms, MLSs, and brokerages are using RESO data standards and the positive contributions this is making to their bottom line. Over the next year, we will present the findings of the studies.
Our first white paper to explore the value of RESO was accomplished with the assistance of start-up firm, myTheo.
myTheo was an ideal candidate and they were poised to expand into multiple MLS markets. If RESO data standards could make that market expansion go more smoothly, it would yield time and real dollar savings.
myTheo wasn’t afraid to think big. Out of the gate, they began to first work with California Regional MLS (CRMLS), the largest MLS in the United States today. CRMLS has more than 85,000 members, 100,000+ active listings, millions of property photos, and 35 shareholder associations throughout Southern California.
What was most attractive to myTheo was the fact that CRMLS is also RESO Certified at the Platinum level for the RESO Data Dictionary and is certified for both for the Data Dictionary and the RESO Web API.
The second MLS myTheo worked with was another exceptional industry leader: Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED). Again, MRED is one of the largest MLSs in the United States, based in Chicagoland, with more than 40,000 members and nearly 110,000 transactions year-to-date valued at nearly $31 billion.
After going though the RESO data standardization process with both CRMLS and MRED, myTheo was amazed with the results. Going live in a market was reduced from 6 to 7 weeks down to 3 to 4 weeks using RESO data standards.
“All told, the installation process with a new MLS took just under four weeks or so to complete a RESO Platinum certified market,” says myTheo CTO Henry Gooden. “This is noteworthy given the complexity and scope of data available in two of the largest MLSs in the U.S.”
Gooden believes the average time savings of 30-40 percent is achievable when working with a very large MLS, despite the fact that this involves dealing with huge amounts of data and imagery coming from their feeds.
The key, he says: “Every MLS needs to ensure that they can fully support technology organizations, and that means every MLS needs at LEAST one person up to speed on how to deploy a data feed using the RESO Data Dictionary fields, as well as the ability to provide access to software companies that would like to leverage the RESO Web API.”
Accessing the RESO Web API, Gordon said, really made things go smoother. “Once we got access to the RESO Web API feed, we used the metadata included in the documentation,” he said. “The MLSs we worked with to conduct the study both had at least one person who has a good understanding on deploying their feed.”
Documentation Was Vital
RESO realizes that for any software implementation to be successful, you need good documentation. myTheo said that the RESO documentation about how to use the RESO Data Dictionary and Web API were “invaluable in helping solve problems” that rose during implementation with CRMLS and MRED.
“The challenges we faced were most about field naming and query structure,” said Gordon. “The RESO Documentation helped us address those issues easily. The documentation was paramount in building our application, as it allowed us to build a framework to handle a myriad of MLS feeds with a solid compliant background. This pre-existing framework made connecting to the CRMLS and MRED feeds fairly straightforward. We also utilized the documentation provided to get an overview of the process, as well as answer specific issues we came upon during development.”
A Bold Recommendation
At the end of the two integrations, we asked myTheo to comment on the value of RESO, and this is what they had to say:
“For any technology firm looking to expand rapidly into other markets, the ability to save time and money while ensuring stability and reliability of data is paramount to success. We would highly recommend that every technology company new to the space develop against the RESO Data Standards right out of the gate. It will save you time, headaches and will position you ahead of your competition.” – myTheo
RESO and myTheo both agree that there may be more time savings in future market releases as one’s development team gets even more comfortable with RESO data feeds.
myTheo also realized some added benefits: RESO street cred. “At this point, we are just starting our marketing to other MLSs outside of the test markets,” Gordon shared, noting demonstrating the value of RESO by working with CRMLS and MRED has become a perk.
“It has already been helpful in getting quicker and faster introductions to forward-leaning MLSs,” he added. “We have heard from more well-established companies that it sometimes takes quite some time for MLSs to trust new entries like us. Because of the deeper data expertise we have accumulated from our work with some of the nation’s largest MLSs, the sales process seems to be going a bit easier.”
It’s also why myTheo features the RESO logo in presentations; demonstrating the value of RESO is both tangible, and intangible. In other words, RESO is a win-win.
Does your firm have a similar success story you would like to share in a case study or a white paper with RESO’s help? Or would you like to learn more about how RESO data standards can help your firm? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jeremy Crawford is the CEO of Real Estate Standards Organization, or RESO, the organization responsible for the creation, promotion, adoption and utilization of standards to drive efficiency throughout the real estate industry.DLU January 17th, 2018