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standardsThe key to the success for the future of all real estate brokerages will be data standards. This is not hyperbole, it is a fact, and let me explain why.

Today real estate brokerages struggle with profitability. Shrinking margins have become the business norm. To keep up, brokerages and franchises have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in new technology for their businesses. Yet research has shown that one of the biggest pain points that brokerages and franchises face is that overall the technology they use doesn’t “talk” to each other. This is inefficiency at its best.

Brokerages often struggle to incorporate MLS data into their back office solutions, websites and other software tools and apps. It’s a heady challenge for their tech teams and their technology partners. For brokerages and franchises serving multiple markets, their external technology challenges are compounded, because until the RESO Data Dictionary is used industry wide each MLS offers slightly different property fields and information on their IDX, VOW, and broker back office data feeds.  Brokerages therefore have to spend significant resources in both labor and funding to not only ingest this information but also normalize it throughout the various technologies they use internally.  At times, the cost to do so is prohibitive to the point that brokers don’t have normalized data through their various technology products and services.

So here’s the rub: All of the time and money brokerages and franchises that is going towards these data efforts are taking time and money away from their efforts to recruit, retain, train and support their agents and provide innovative solutions to increase the number of transactions and overall profitability. There is nothing more vital to a brokerage than recruiting and retaining their agents, yet unnecessarily dollars are being sucked away because of the lack of technology standards within a brokerage.

It’s time for real estate brokerages and franchises to step up and grab a seat at the table in RESO.  The best way that they can help fix some of their biggest technology problems – and shore up their bottom line and improve their margins – is by taking an active role in the future of real estate through helping to shape new standards.

Here are four ways that standards will shape your future and why as a brokerage or franchise, you need to join and get involved with RESO and integrate those standards in your own platforms:

  1. Technology that talks to each other. Image how more efficient your brokerage would be if all of your technology talked to each other. That was the impetus behind RESO from its beginning. The proof of how valuable this can be lies with the most recent rollout of the RESO Data Dictionary. The future of real estate will be transformed by standards like the Data Dictionary once it is used universally. Right now more than 1 million Realtors® have access to MLSs that are Data Dictionary Certified.  Integrating the RESO Data Dictionary Standard into all aspects of the brokerage or franchise technology platforms provides the basis for the smooth flow of data between platforms and with the MLSs.
  2. Technology that actual does what you need it to do.  Real estate brokerage and franchise executives know all to well the experience of purchasing a technology that overpromised and under-delivered. This has helped to make key decision makers somewhat jaded and overtly cautious when it comes to purchasing new technology. Young startups create innovative technical solutions, but are the products they are creating truly going to serve brokerages’ needs? That’s where data standards play a crucial role and why RESO needs brokerage executives to take a seat at the table. Technology partners and software developers can’t create the right technology solutions unless they hear your voice throughout the process. Getting involved in RESO can help shape the future of innovation for brokerages.
  3. Technology that streamlines the real estate transaction. This has been the Holy Grail for real estate for literally decades, but it we are making real progress towards this goal and RESO is at the intersection of these efforts. By brokerages gaining an active role in RESO and joining Workgroups by providing active participants that address both the business need and the technology needs of brokerages can we move more rapidly towards a better real estate transaction experience for everyone.  RESO’s mission is “to create and promote the adoption of standards that drive efficiency throughout the real estate industry.” But we can only do this by having active contributors from ALL segments of the industry and that’s why we need more brokerages to take a seat at table.
  4. Technology that provides a consistent, errorless experience for all stakeholders.  Historically everyone involved in a real estate transaction had to deal with both inconsistencies and inaccuracies when it came to property data. The culprit was a lack of data standards and that meant property information varied greatly by audience: consumers saw one thing while agents, brokers, brokerages and franchises saw something else. Today, driven largely by RESO Standards, property information is now presented consistently to all parties, from the time a seller lists a property all the way through to closing, every stakeholder along the way is assured accurate property information and a consistent experience.   

Real estate brokerages will play a pivotal role in shaping the standards that will shape the future of real estate.  Working together, standards will help create disparate technology that works seamlessly together, fuel innovation that delivers technology that delivers on its promises, and help brokerages and their agents deliver a better real estate experience for their clients while decreasing financial overhead and working towards increasing profits and the bottom line

The future success for broker industry initiatives Successes clearly rests on the utilization of RESO Standards within those initiatives.  That’s why data standards really are they key to future successes for all real estate brokerages. It’s also why brokers need to reach out to their MLSs and technology partners to make sure they are involved with RESO and the latest industry standards.

Finally, if you are a real estate brokerage or franchise and need to learn more about RESO, what’s in it for brokerages and how to join click here.

DLU December 1st, 2016