Real estate needs a true standard for data

Perspective: A call for RETS improvements

NAR’s sponsorship and implementation of RETS (Real Estate Transaction Standard, an industry data standard) in our industry provided needed direction and was a valuable step forward to promote an easier exchange of information between MLS, brokers and vendors.

The RETS standard enabled MRIS to provide CURE, our data-sharing product, to MLSs and agents across the country. Currently, nearly one out of every four real estate agents is an active user of CURE. While implementing this service, we discovered several opportunities for improvement in the current RETS standard. These opportunities for improvement include:

1. True standardization of data. While RETS standardizes data transport, it falls far short of a true industry standard for the actual data being sent. Why? Let’s explore a simple example. If a real estate professional is looking at the individual data fields being sent in a message, numerous discrepancies can be found at both the data field name and data value levels.