Let’s be honest with ourselves: people attend RESO conferences for geeky material. Greg Sax, RESO’s Director of Growth Management, and Clint Skutchan, T3 Sixty’s VP of Organized Real Estate, did not disappoint. The two led a session on sourcing, perfecting and surfacing data about real estate organizations to provide transparency to the industry.
Both Sax and Skutchan began in the real estate industry at local REALTOR® associations. Interoperability of data was a known and glaring need in regards to identifying people and organizations in their respective associations. Association and MLS structures can be widely different and lead to disunity in data sets.
Sax gave the example of West Central Association of REALTORS®, which is a business name that exists for four separate entities in Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota and Missouri. If you’re a national vendor, how can you be sure that you are sending credentials to the correct West Central?
Further, some organizations have two names, like the Greater Albuquerque Association of REALTORS® and Southwest MLS. Should they have one unifying identifier or are they two organizations?
The goal of RESO’s Unique Organization Identifier (UOI) is to always provide just one unique number per organization, and then provide more depth around business roles and relationships via additional related fields.
Skutchan made the point that accurate data is hard to find in the industry. Just a couple of years ago, there were glaring inaccuracies in RESO’s UOI data, but Sax has been working directly with all of the industry’s associations and MLSs to provide a much more accurate product today.
Even the organizational data provided by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) isn’t perfect, so it’s worth stating that anybody can help RESO surface incongruencies.
RESO and T3 Sixty have been accountability partners in recent years to help both organizations become more accurate. Prior to that, RESO volunteers have supported these efforts with plenty of data accuracy updates, and member organizations like Homes.com, ShowingTime and Realtors® Property Resource (RPR) have been particularly helpful.
Skutchan stated that 60 percent of associations are served by regional MLSs. Consolidation of MLSs and associations is an ongoing trend, but slowly.
What we produce at RESO from the UOI is the certification map and certification reports that show how many fields, lookups and resources there are in an MLS data set. Compared to market averages and nearby MLSs, technology companies can make better decisions with this transparent data.
Skutchan closed out with the grand scale of the problem to be solved. Duplication of data is 10 to 15 times larger on the brokerage side as it is on the MLS side. The more precise and accurate we can be in the future with our upstream data, the better insights we can provide to downstream data partners and the better story we can tell consumers.
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- Don’t miss RESO’s next conference, RESO REtreat, offering both livestream and onsite programming, October 18–21, 2021 in Kiawah Island, SC. Early Bird Registration is $400 for RESO members and $500 for nonmembers. | REGISTER TODAY!