Jeremy, congratulations on being named the Executive Director for the Real Estate Standards Organization! Why don’t you tell us a bit about your background and what you’ve done in the industry so far?
Matt, I joined RESO from MLSListings, where I was Chief Operating Officer since 2012 and formally the Chief Information Officer. At MLSListings, I was responsible for all aspects of Enterprise Information Technology, Product and Project Management, Software Engineering, Customer Support, Rules, Regulations and Compliance, Contracts, Data Licensing, Secretary to the Corporation in 2013, and many aspects of operations for MLSListings, Inc.
Previously I was the Chief Information Officer at Sandicor, Inc. for five years and while there with similar duties I was awarded the San Diego 2010 Information Technology Executive of the year and was elected as a Corporate Officer and Secretary to the Corporation.
Before joining Sandicor, I had the exciting opportunity to join a local Knoxville, TN start-up, MarketLinx which is now CoreLogic and was the Director of Networking Operations from 2001 until 2006. During my tenure at MarketLinx we grew to serving over 300,000 real estate subscribers nationwide in less than 5 years and included launching the first RETS Update server in the industry for First Multiple Listing Service.
With more than 15 years of information technology experience in the real estate, financial services and education sectors, I have spent the last 10 years being heavily involved with the RETS standards and workgroups and served on the RESO Board of Directors since 2013 prior to becoming Executive Director.
I also serve on the DocuSign Executive Advisory Council, the Interop Advisory Board, and are the lead for the Council of MLS technology sub-council. I hold a B.S. degree in computer science from East Tennessee State University.
I have had some amazing mentors in my career and I can’t speak highly enough regarding the education and learning opportunities they have provided both the technical and business role and perspective. Thad Shows, President of Marketing during my tenure, Ray Ewing, CEO, Sandicor, and Jim Harrison, CEO, MLSListings have all been enormous contributors to my career, background, education, and skill-sets and I will be leveraging everything each of them taught me along the way for the benefit of RESO’s success including the balancing of every aspect of the role of Executive Director.
What has RESO done well to date, and what do you hope to make better?
The past few years has been extremely exciting for RESO as the community of standards, specifications, and volunteer contributors converted into an official corporation with extensive operational infrastructure added to support the standards creation and adoption needs by the previous Executive Director. The infrastructure allowed growth of the membership, revenue, and most importantly standards creation and adoption with the Data Dictionary being a prime example of the huge RESO success.
It is my top objective to build upon the newly existing infrastructure with increased membership and workgroup participation, standards adoption and certification of the Data Dictionary, and the creation of the latest Web API standards specification. The contributions from volunteers over the past 10 years has been amazing and with the proper infrastructure and staff being in place RESO is poised for making even more positive impacts in the real estate industry through standards adoption and help solve the business and technology needs of the industry.
I will also be working on many content efforts including launching a new RESO.org website with content augmentation and a Data Dictionary Wiki will be launched this year to compliment and updated and expanded public website. We are also working to release a Property Unique Identifier Algorithm and a Organizational Unique Identifier this year.
What are you going to be doing day to day?
Wearing many hats for starters, and I’m adding another hat every day to the list. We have a great Strategic Plan for the organization as provided by the Board of Directors, and my role will be delivering upon those objectives while also maintaining the day to day operations of the company. Those involved with RESO as members and work group participants will see me present at every workgroup meeting and it is my job to ensure output from the work groups through project management and task oversight. Those involved within the Industry will see me at most conferences speaking formally regarding RESO, standards creation, adoption, and certification and informally gathering information to see where RESO standards can aid business and technical issues as well as recruiting new members and work group participants.
As a top priority, Data Dictionary certification deadlines for MLSs and Associations will keep me busy through 2015 ensuring all 770+ MLSs understand the data dictionary as it applies to them, what they need to do in coordination with their vendors for implementation, and how to get certified to satisfy the N.A.R mandate. We have approximately 6 months to make that happen with only a handful of MLSs certified today including MLSListings, MetroList, MRIS, and MRED. In those efforts, I’ll be spending an enormous amount of time ensuring RESO has the staff and resources for certification while making sure the organizations and vendors have the information they need to comply.
Looking forward, what does RETS look like when it’s “done”?
I first consider that the standards creation and adoption are never truly “done”, as new business cases come in weekly where standards expansion can possibly solve those needs. Ideally overall, the vision is a common data schema nationwide (data dictionary) with global technologies able to be used in an easy manner to access MLS Data (Web API with OData 4.0 as an example for 2015) which is embraced and implemented consistently across technology vendors, MLS/AORs and Brokerages . RESO is here to provide efficiencies and a streamlined real estate technology industry through standards creation and adoption. Our mission and vision are very clear and the work products over the past few years have really accelerated towards the industry needs and it is now past time for implementation, adoption and certification nationwide while continuing to expand standards for the needs of the industry.
For any development project to be successful setting expectations with stakeholders, one has to balance resources, scope, and time – publish a plan and work to meet that goal. Do you think this is something you can do at RESO?
It’s not only something I believe I can do, it is something I have to do or RESO will not continue to be successful. With RESO’s membership growth and industry impact, we will continue to leverage more resources in various forms to ensure success while maintaining a balanced budget.
Jeremy, I’m glad you agree that you have to publish a plan for RETS – I’ll be keeping an eye out for it. One of the biggest complaints I hear about RETS is that the standard is evolving too slowly, and over the past few years we saw a lot of vendors publish proprietary APIs because the standard didn’t have an easy to use API and no expectations were set about when there would be one. I think if RESO sets expectations about the priority and timing to complete new aspects of the standard (for example, client collaboration or transaction management) and someone wants to accelerate development of one or more of those aspects, then we can finally have a better conversation about what resources RESO needs to move faster in that area.
I wish you great success in your new position!
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