Interview with Michael Hayes, Executive Director of Industry Development at Homes.com
For nearly a quarter of a century, Homes.com has been a pioneer in listing exposure, lead generation, and marketing solutions for real estate professionals.
More than 90% of Homes.com visitors are actively searching for a place to live, 76% of which are not yet working with a real estate professional. For Homes.com, a RESO charter member known for providing committed volunteers, quality, standardized data is essential to their business.
During a video interview, Michael Hayes, Executive Director of Industry Development at Homes.com, talked about several ways in which the RESO Web API has helped Homes.com.
Homes.com manages approximately 900 data feeds in the U.S. and Canada, including 90 feeds from a single multiple listing service (MLS), they provide and maintain IDX websites for agents and brokers, and they act as a real estate search portal for consumers.
Homes.com was one of the first companies to enthusiastically experiment with the RESO Web API to learn how to best leverage it for their clients.
“One thing to remember is that Web API is a concept, not just a technology,” said Hayes. “It’s a way of communicating. We knew all along that it wasn’t a bad idea.”
Thus, Homes.com became an early supporter of the RESO Web API and got involved in a white paper commissioned by WAV Group on the subject.
“The killer part about it is the moving forward,” said Hayes. “If we have to set up a RETS feed, it takes about…60 hours, and that’s per feed.”
That’s all well and good, said Hayes, but when the metadata or display rules change, they have to build it all over again from scratch.
The RESO Web API eliminates this time-consuming problem. Said Hayes, “There’s a business layer, there’s a communication layer, so MLSs can do what they do – they can change a field, add a field, change display rules. It’s just a matter of minutes to fix that feed.”
Homes.com’s work with the RESO Web API includes supporting several custom fields, and Hayes said, “We’re working with pretty much everyone that’s doing the Web API – from Trestle to MLS Grid to MLS Align – and each group has been great to work with.”
Hayes explained that RESO cast a wide net while developing the Web API in order to get the real estate industry to embrace it. This strategy allowed Homes.com to work with several technology providers, including FBS, creators of FlexMLS.
“The beauty of Web API is it covers a lot of businesses and different levels,” said Hayes. “If you have somebody…maybe they make a killer CMA program…they can do just a web call, get the 20, 30, 40 listings that would be appropriate for that solution, and that’s it. They don’t have to pay for servers, server maintenance, build those feeds – so they can go to market much quicker.”
Hayes said that the RESO Web API also helps them manage data for major clients like RE/MAX and its remax.com. The API allows them to map all the data and provide it to RE/MAX brokers and other major firms like Realogy – a challenge Hayes sees as nearly impossible without RESO.
Hayes advises new real estate companies to embrace the Web API.
“The bus is moving, right? It’s not too fast to catch it,” said Hayes. “If I was a new company, I would be working towards the Web API. It might be a little bit of work up front, but I think down the road, the efficiencies are going to affect them, and they can put time and energy into other things.”
RESO Web API represents the future, according to Hayes. “I think some MLSs are going to move away from your standard RETS feed and go to Web API, because they’ve got a lot more controls. They can see where the data goes.”
As a company, Hayes said that Homes.com believes that the MLS is the best source for real estate data, that the MLS is a custodian of the data and that the broker owns the listing.
“The broker should be in control,” Hayes said. “This [Web API] concept takes that to the next level where the MLS can be a better custodian and brokers can have better control over where their listings go and how their listings are being used.”
If you want to learn more about how the RESO Web API can help your organization save time and money, register for RESO Remote Encore: The Standards Collection – an affordable virtual event set for October 27–29, 2020. See what forward-thinking real estate tech firms like Homes.com are doing next. | REGISTER NOWDLU September 18th, 2020