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Homes.com recently put RESO Standards to the test. What was the real business value of RESO Data Standards? Homes.com findings shed some serious light on this subject.

If you doubted the economic value of RESO Data Standards, and haven’t adopted them, that’s akin to reading by candlelight: you can do it, but you’re only getting about 12.57 lumens. And long term, it’s killing your eyes.

If you’ve gone ahead and adopted RESO Data Standards, but haven’t implemented them, that’s a big leap forward from reading by candlelight, so you’re using a standard 60-watt bulb, that’s producing about 800 lumens. Long-term, it is killing your pocketbook.

But if you have implemented RESO Data Standards, like Homes.com, you’ve replaced all your standard bulbs with LEDs. That means an 8-12 watt LED bulb is giving you that same 800 lumens, and that means your annual savings are adding up fast. Now we know definitively from the Homes.com Case Study, along with the work done previously by myTheo, that the key to RESO Data Standards savings merely is implementation.

What Homes.com did

Homes.com is well-known at RESO as a charter member, active volunteer and contributor to our Workgroups and Committees. In the real estate industry, Homes.com is known for its endurance and innovation during a time when technology, businesses and market conditions have been perpetually shifting. Today, Homes.com aggregates and normalizes data from hundreds of data feeds to service more than 700 real estate markets.

Homes.com implemented both the RESO Data Dictionary and the RESO Web API internally within their infrastructure and externally for receiving real estate data from MLSs, brokerages and technology firms. Shaun York, Executive Director of Technology at Homes.com, gave us a great preview of what they did at our last RESO Fall Conference in October of 2017. We wanted to take a deeper dive to examine the effectiveness of the implementation of these standards with a full RESO Case Study. Specifically, the Case Study looked at:

  • Time to integrate new MLS feeds in existing products and services
  • Time to convert existing MLS feeds from non-standard to RESO Standards
  • Time to update established MLS feeds to RESO Standards
  • Time to troubleshoot listing issues

Homes.com worked with six MLS partners and three different MLS systems to test their new approach throughout several different environments.

Homes.com used with both Data Dictionary 1.5 and 1.6 Platinum certified RESO installations and tested RESO Web API 1.0.2 Gold, Bronze and Core certified MLSs to understand better how to deploy RESO standards in a variety of levels of RESO Certifications.

They compared the development time required to deploy a new feed using the legacy RETS approach versus the new RESO Web API approach. They wanted to see if moving from the standard light bulb to the LED light bulb would be worth the effort.

What Homes.com did for the entire real estate industry was replicate the variables that exist in the “real world” when anyone is ingesting and deploying data from several MLS markets.

Homes.com sought collaboration

Through its involvement in RESO (Homes.com is a charter member), its team members have regularly participated and contributed to the Data Dictionary Workgroup, Internet Tracking,  Transport and Research & Development Workgroups. Team members were also involved in the June 2017 Clareity Developer Workshop, which allowed them to interface with some of the best and brightest technology minds in the business. Sharing ideas about how to create a more efficient real estate marketplace is key to what standards are all about, and Homes.com gets this.

Homes.com also drew on the expertise of the best practices of their data partners for deploying standardized information. Through it all, they also realized that documentation is key to success when migrating from one data process to another. Documentation became a core element of the Homes.com approach.

That’s a critical reason that RESO has developed several documents and technical resources that we make available free to the developers, brokers, technology companies and MLS organizations to assist with data standards adoption and implementation.

What Homes.com discovered

Homes.com was able to reduce the time of launching a RETS market from 25 to 16 hours by using the new Data Dictionary offering. That’s a reduction of 35% in developer’s time and costs!

Now let’s put that into numbers your CFO can understand: if Homes.com ends up doing this for a couple of hundred customers? Instead of a regular mapping installation costing them over 45,000 hours and nearly $7 million, for 700 MLS installations, they would save over 7,000 hours and more than $1 million.

Share those numbers with your CFO when you talk about renewing your RESO membership or attending our next conference.

More savings with the RESO Web API

As enormous the cost savings were with RESO Data Dictionary standardization for Homes.com, the RESO Web API implementation numbers are even more stunning.

The ease of using the RESO Web API helped Homes.com simplify the data ingestion and distribution process even further. Homes.com development team used to have an implementation time of 24 hours on RETS, but it only took 2 hours with the RESO Web API. for the first listing source. The second listing source took just two hours and only $300.

Again, using the equation we used to measure deploying feeds across 700 markets, the cost for the RESO Web API reduced the cost by more than 90% to map the entire country.

The big takeaway

I hope these Homes.com findings, combined with the experience of many more forward-thinking innovators, bring those who have been resistant to standards and change out of the dark ages and into enlightenment. These are hard dollar savings and enormous development resources and time savings that now have been documented.

The Homes.com Case Study is available for download, along with our myTheo Case Study we released in January, for free now at https://www.reso.org/reso-case-studies.

DLU April 16th, 2018