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RESO data standards continue to improve rapidly, making it easier to move listing data and some related information—but what about data related to accounting and production, CRM, leads and referrals, transaction management, forms and contracts, website activity, front desk and appointments, showing information and syndication?

Data standards can be further defined and improved to make it far more efficient and cost-effective for brokers to offer a well-integrated suite of best-of-breed products, create a far more competitive technology marketplace to benefit brokers and agents, and vastly enhance current products and enable new technologies.

Recently I was reading about a company that programmatically grabs data out of lead emails from advertising portals to put leads into agents’ contact databases. That approach is slow and unreliable, and it doesn’t scale well to receiving leads from all the places from which leads may come. If this is solved right, using a standardized API, it can really put brokers in the lead management driver’s seat. Instead of just a name and basic contact information, a lead could include much additional standardized lead information, including much more information about the person, their interactions with listings (e.g., detail view, liked/disliked, etc.), information gleaned via social logins, and so much more.


Imagine there was one lead format that could be leveraged by lead management and distribution systems, by CRM systems, by broker websites (as leads transition to that site) or MLS prospecting. That would create a better experience for the consumer, a more knowledgeable agent who can better respond to leads, and lower integration costs all around.

Now let’s look at that “more competitive technology marketplace” benefit. Brokers experience frustration whenever they want to replace one system with another because their data is stuck in the old platform, and even when data can be moved, it’s complicated and expensive to do so. This issue is addressed with data standards—and companies would know they must remain competitive, or customers could easily and inexpensively move to another platform.

Again, data standards also enable brokers to offer a well-integrated suite of best-of-breed products, where data of many types flows between those products, creating efficiency for users, and where it’s less expensive to integrate a new product and remove one that’s underperforming.

What can you do to accelerate work on these data standards?

  • Brokers can get involved in RESO ( to advocate for relevant data standards and by actively contributing to those efforts.
  • Brokers can also ensure their software vendors are involved in RESO, contributing to the standards effort.
  • Lastly, brokers should ensure RESO data standards compliance and access—as well as compliance with single sign-on standards such as SAML and Oauth—in technology contracts, so as standards continue to evolve, their software vendors are required to use the new standards.

Matt Cohen is chief technologist for Clareity.

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