The Center for Realtor Technology of the National Association of Realtors this week announced the launch of an updated version of server software for the real estate industry.

The new version allows Realtors to receive property listing information from multiple sources and eliminates the need for multiple interface programs, according to the announcement. It is designed to “more efficiently and economically provide and exchange real estate information” and to “improve listing information available to consumers,” the announcement states.

Version 2.1.10 of the Variman server software allows Realtors to receive listing information using the Real Estate Transaction Standard (RETS), an industry standard for property listings data.

“When RETS is used, access to property listing information becomes simpler and easier and costs are reduced,” said Thomas M. Stevens, NAR president, in a statement. “Such systems also help them deliver cost effective, timely and accurate property information to consumers.”

The use of numerous MLS data formats can complicates the exchange of data among members of these various systems.

The use of RETS continues to grow among MLSs, the announcement states. The technology center’s 2006 MLS Technology Survey found that the number of MLSs that offer RETS has increased from 43 percent in 2005 to 54 percent in 2006. “RETS is increasingly used by real estate brokers, especially to support consumer-oriented Web sites with current, accurate and economical property listing information,” the announcement states.

CRT developed the new Variman version in collaboration with MLS of Northern Illinois, based in Lisle, Ill.

Mark Lesswing, director of the Center for Realtor Technology and an NAR vice president, said in a statement, “Following the initial development, the new software is now in use by several regional MLSs like MLSNI. This adoption by one of the country’s major regional MLS shows that Variman, with enhancements that utilize J2EE technology, has become the state of the art for RETS delivery in our industry.”

J2EE technology refers to Sun Microsystem’s Java 2 Enterprise Edition development environment.

The Center for Realtor Technology first launched RETS server software in January 2004, and has issued several updates over the past two years.

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