Draft Syndication Data Standard Approved

Apr 14, 2008  |  Michael Wurzer

Last week at the RETS trimester meeting, a draft of a syndication data format was approved by the general session.  A brief history:

  • On January 2, I wrote an open letter encouraging data standards in syndication.
  • Several companies were already working on this issue and agreed to meet with me at Inman in New York.
  • Following this meeting, the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) created a Syndication Workgroup, which quickly drew participation from all the key players.
  • The Workgroup, being led by Paul Stusiak from Falcon Technologies, met many times in person over the last two months hammering out the fields to be included in the draft.  (Thanks to Yahoo!, MLSListings, and others who contributed office space for the meetings.)
  • The hard work of this Workgroup was approved by the RESO general session last week.

There remains some work to do with the specification, including ensuring that the spec is consistent with the full RESO Schema.  Also, the specification currently is expressed in XML/schema and the workgroup also may flatten it out and express it in a comma-delimited or other format more easily read by non-specialists.   There also need to be some tweaks to allow for hit tracking from the various syndication destinations.  Nonetheless, the concensus was to have some companies move forward with using the specification to better determine where improvements need to be made, with the expectation that the specification will be finalized at the August trimester meeting of the RESO in Chicago.

Personally, I’m very pleased with this result and thankful to all those who’ve worked hard on the specification.   The workgroup met nearly every week in person for the last month or so to get it done, and, knowing how hard travel is these days, that’s a great commitment.  Having a standard for syndication is going to be a great improvement in efficiency for distribution of listings to advertising sites and this is a major step forward in the realization of such a standard.

Once the data standard is finalized, my expectation is that a transport/update standard also will evolve to ensure that there is a standard method for ensuring that the standard data is kept up to date easily on all sites.

4 Responses to “Draft Syndication Data Standard Approved”

  1. Christopher Clement says:

    Thanks for the update – Question: Where can I find a quick and dirty one page summary of what RETS is and what value (with examples) it will have for my Board. I’ve been asked to summarize why we should or should not implement RETS. I have read the RETS.org site summary and found it lacking sufficient content to sway my board in the right direction. I’m really looking for something I can show to a group of uninterested, no-technical board members. I’ve one shot to persuade them and unfortunately, I don’t have the tongue I wish I had.

  2. Christopher, sorry for my delay in responding. I was hoping to get something more formal. I do have a draft PDF from the RETS marketing group and I’ll forward that to you separately. I know the marketing group is working on lots of other pieces as well and will keep you in mind as they release them. In addition, if your MLS serves in an area where there are some market overlaps, this post on Why RETS? might be relevant for you. Lastly, if your Board isn’t already aware, this post describing the NAR MLS Policy Committee rule for RETS compliance for all MLSs by June 2009 is important.

  3. christpher clement says:

    Michael, thanks for the flyer…it’s pretty close to perfect. Furthermore, after reading all of your posts in the RETS category I do have a better understanding of RETS and can now talk more fluently. I appreciate your help and again, great blog!

  4. Thank you very much for a great insight into the RETS work group.

    We will take this protocol in mind for our StartUp. Which is focused for overseas properties in Mexico, to be more specific.

    Is the work group considering multilingual support in its RFC proposals?

    I Googled it and got this small discussion.
    http://forums.rets.org/showthread.php?p=5129

    Can you give us your opinion is it will be implemented in RETS 1.X.

    Regards.