Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Marilyn Wilson asks a great question

Marilyn Wilson on the WAV Group Blog

Why are MLSs making it SO hard to innovate?

“We have made it REALLY hard for the smart 16 year old in her garage to build the next big thing for a brokerage. Frankly, even well-established tech companies have major challenges working with more than 600 organizations. Refer to my commonapp article for more on that topic.

Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of a tech start-up. They have built something interesting. They find a broker that wants to try it out. The broker says go to the MLS and apply for a data license. They are not aware of the differences between an IDX, VOW or Back Office Feed. Most don’t even know what an IDX, VOW or Back Office feed IS! They don’t know that IDX feeds can include actives, actives, pendings and solds or just actives and solds. They have no clue what a non-disclosure state is, what that means and how it affects their product in those states. They don’t know what a “RESO” is or the benefits of using a feed that is RESO Data Dictionary compliant. They may know how to leverage API’s, but don’t know the difference between a RESO Web API and one offered by another group.

The start-up diligently follows the advice of the broker. They set out on a path to get a data feed.

Here’s what happens…or more accurately what DOESN’T happen, on most MLS websites. We make it REALLY difficult for someone new to the industry to figure out how to get that data feed the broker has asked the start-up to go after.”

This whole post is so damn good. Go read it now.

  1. Admittedly, this is a very disjointed part of the real estate industry.

    I hate to mention NAR and I’m not even sure if this issue is on their radar. But, some kind of centralized primer, a set of guidelines and MLS contact resource would be great. Yeah, I know, your eyes glaze over.

  2. Great points Marilyn.

    Roland, fair suggestions as well. Let me take this back and see what we can do on the NAR side.

    I’ll keep you posted.


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