Marilyn Wilson, partner at the WAV Group, led a RESO Remix spring conference session on new tech that needs more robust standardized data from the MLS. She was joined by Stacy Spickes, CEO of TourZazz.
Spickes opened with a frank analysis of a specific business situation she sees as a broker in Austin: “In 2021, we’re still handing our buyers a clipboard with MLS sheets, and they’re taking notes on paper. In our world, whether the client is 28 or 78 years old, they look at us like we’re nuts.”
The digital revolution hasn’t made its way into all of organized real estate’s practices yet, said Spickes, while Wilson pointed out that showing systems, in particular, are traditionally limited in focus around setting up showings with sellers. The interesting thing about TourZazz, according to Wilson, is that the product is more focused on the entire ecosystem of buyers and sellers.
Explaining the advances possible with more new technology integration in showings, Spickes stated, “We paste the addresses for listings we want to show into the tool, and Google Maps arranges the most efficient tour route. Then we push a button and it schedules instructions by reading the MLS listing to the seller, agent, etc. with a customized call. It creates the most efficient route for us.”
The system then sends a link to a buyer and they receive an interactive tour. The buyer can change or cancel an appointment from the app, and the seller or seller’s agent is notified depending on the seller’s preferences noted in the MLS listing.
The system does even more. For instance, it knows that a larger home will take longer to show. It adapts to factors that make for a more customized and efficient tour.
Being RESO compliant as a brand new product turned out to be a huge benefit for TourZazz.
“We came out of the gate with the coaching we received,” said Spickes. “Build RESO-compliant from the get-go. We never knew any other way. But it allowed us to use the Data Dictionary upfront and not retrofit it later.”
“MLSs have confidence when we first talk to them when we tell them we’re RESO. With David Gumpper’s coaching, our devs saved a ton of man hours and a ton of money in building.” David Gumpper has been a long-time workgroup chair at RESO and a vocal proponent of RESO standards throughout the industry.
“IDX fields are in good shape with most MLSs. But showing fields are not usually shared in IDX,” said Wilson. “How did you ingest that kind of data?”
“Our whole platform doesn’t work unless we can get those showing fields,” said Spickes. “We have to use VOW. The Austin Board of REALTORS® and ACTRIS MLS have been very progressive and supportive. Not all MLSs are as well equipped to move quickly.”
Wilson suggested that MLSs should be standardizing all of their fields to make it easy for innovators to create great tools with great data. Broader data supporting broader business cases will only increase the value of the MLS and its standardized data sets.
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