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OMG, It’s Almost January: Is Your MLS Data Dictionary Certified and Implemented?

The New Year is upon us and so is the National Association of REALTORS® mandated requirement that every NAR affiliated MLS must adopt the RESO Data Dictionary – the industry’s “Rosetta Stone” for real estate data – by January 1, 2016.

Remember that the Data Dictionary was initially created by RESO based on a simple premise: We have hundreds of MLSs and other real estate providers who all gather property listing data, but what good is that data if it cannot be shared or easily understood?

The new RESO Data Dictionary ensures that every system “speaks” the same language. It creates a common standard that defines real estate data in consistent terms and data structures, providing a template that data providers and software developers can use to more efficiently deliver and rapidly exchange listing data.

But the Data Dictionary is not a “one and done” project: It is a living, evolving, ever improving set of standards that will be shaped, improved and perfected over time. That means the Data Dictionary is something that will be part of the future of every MLS and provider that intersects with MLS data and that everyone will need to stay updated – and connected – to its future changes and improvements.

The Good News

The remarkably good news about its implementation this fall is that this colossal undertaking is bearing tremendously successful results: More than 500 MLSs nationwide are either in the testing phase for final RESO Data Dictionary Certification or have been certified. Incredibly, more than 300 of these MLSs were certified this December alone.

All told, MLSs that serve more than 700,000 REALTORS® today are RESO Data Dictionary Certified. We expect that by February, nearly all NAR affiliated MLSs will have completed their implementation of the RESO Data Dictionary and demonstrated the adoption of the RESO Data Dictionary through obtaining official RESO Certification.

Is your MLS certified and ready to go?

But the national RESO Data Dictionary adoption and RESO Certification mission is not yet complete, as the ultimate goal is for every MLS in the U.S. – estimated at nearly 800 firms – to be certified and implement the RESO Data Dictionary. NAR members can help in this effort. How? Every NAR member can ask his or her MLS this simple question: Are you RESO Data Dictionary Certified and is it ready to use?

If the answer is no, tell your MLS to contact RESO – we are just an email (info[at] or a web address – – away to help. We can provide information on how an MLS can start the Data Dictionary Certification process and share ways it is being implemented. If you are with an MLS that has not yet been certified, contact us and let us help guide you through the process.

And while NAR affiliated MLSs include an estimated 80 percent of all MLS firms in the U.S., we know there are dozens of smaller MLSs throughout the country that do not fall under this mandate. Some of these MLSs, that fall outside the mandate, have already recognized the value of the RESO Data Dictionary have been certified. But the others we still need to reach. That’s because the RESO Data Dictionary is going to emerge as a business imperative. Once it becomes ubiquitous among NAR affiliated MLSs, we believe all other MLSs will see both the member value and the business value that standards can bring to every market everywhere. We don’t want them left behind, but want every MLS to reap the rewards that the Data Dictionary is going to provide.

The next phase

While RESO is incredibly pleased with the current results as we near completion of the first round of certification phases for the growing RESO Data Dictionary, we are even more excited about the next big push: implementation.

Think of what lies ahead in 2016 this way: Certification of the Data Dictionary tells us the highway is built, and while improvements will be ongoing, it is ready for all of us to start using now. 2016 is going to be the year RESO helps makes adoption universal, engages the industry to continue to improve and perfect the Data Dictionary, and begin the widespread implementation of its use.

Remember: any highway brings the most benefits when it is well used. The more MLSs, MLS technology partners, brokers and agents we can get to help improve and use the Data Dictionary, the more valuable this road will become to everyone.

Do you have questions about the Data Dictionary? More information is on the website here and in our blogs, as well as specific resources for brokers here, for technology developers here, and for MLSs and Associations here.

DLU December 1st, 2016