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RESO is in the process of expanding its international and multi-language support through its Data Dictionary. Katie Smithson, Director of Enterprise Sales at Lone Wolf, spoke with Shayne Fairley, Chief Operations Officer at Stellar MLS, and Patrick Pichette, VP – REALTOR.ca, Strategic Business and Innovation, Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), about working with data across different languages.

“Real estate is local, but technology doesn’t see borders,” began Smithson while asking what kinds of multilingual technologies based on standards are our members seeing in the marketplace.

Pichette noted that French and English are both official languages in Canada. Thus, it is important that data standards are multilingual. CREA is in the process of translating the Data Dictionary into French with RESO.

Fairley explained how Stellar transformed to native Data Dictionary before adding Puerto Rico to its service. It wanted to be able to send data in both English and Spanish from its core database. Adding associations that aren’t on the Data Dictionary takes a lot longer, and Stellar has plenty of experience adding new companies to its membership. Spanish translations opened doors to future partnerships and enhancements.

Both speakers agreed that native speakers must be involved at every step of the process. Marketing remarks for listings, for example, are too complex to simply use an automated translation technology.

Pichette noted, “single family” as a real estate term in French is “Uni Familial,” but Google Translate turns it into the erroneous “Famille Mono-Parentale,” a single-parent family. As Pichette reiterated, relying strictly on tools like Google Translate can create awkward or even offensive situations.

CREA displays listings from all MLS systems in Canada, and they are completely bilingual. Their data syndication service (DDF) allows REALTORS® to publish listings to other websites in multilingual fashion.

How can we move multi-language data more efficiently between companies? Fairley said that Stellar is looking to sunset RETS and move all of its partners to the RESO Web API next year. Pichette said that Canada has further to go but has a strategic priority to adopt the RESO Web API with its data partners.

Smithson is familiar with the transition to RESO Web API through her work with W + R Studios, the Cloud CMA creator that was acquired by Lone Wolf. W + R was the first data consumer company to pledge to take only new Web API feeds.

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