For years, developers have been asking, “When will RETS be a real data standard, when you can get the same data in the same field names from every MLS?” I understand the frustration of having to go to a RETS server and needing to work to figure out how to get the most basic data from it. For example, it would be so very nice to know to ask the RETS server for “ListingContractDate” – rather than needing to figure out that data could be under “ListingDate”, “DateOfListing”, “ListDate”, “AgreementDate” or somewhere else entirely.
Today, we are one step closer to that dream.
The Real Estate Standards Organizations (RESO) has released a new version of the Data Dictionary (v1.1). This version has made improvements to the standard field names and values for properties, and also adds elements for member, office, contacts, and history.
You can download the new Data Dictionary in spreadsheet form here:
There will surely be a few changes coming over the next few months and many additions (i.e. saved search and contact activity / prospects) – but it’s time to start talking with your MLS vendors about implementing the new data dictionary. This may take the vendors some time, but best be prepared – a new round of RETS compliance testing is probably not too many months off. I recommend a plan involving offering the new capabilities while maintaining an option for backward compatibility for some time to come.
I’m looking forward to the day when, not only will it be easier for innovative third party developers to use real estate data, but RETS will also make it easier to move from MLS system to MLS system without having to leave behind information such as prospects and saved searches. We’re making serious progress toward that end on the standards development front – but it also takes MLSs pushing to get the standards implemented in a timely fashion so everyone can benefit from the work done at RESO.
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