Zillow acquires Retsly, platform for real estate software developers

Company 'normalizes' MLS data for use by real estate apps

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Zillow has acquired Retsly Software Inc., the year-old real estate startup that streamlines access to multiple listing service data for real estate technology developers. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Vancouver-based Retsly’s tool also provides metrics back to MLSs showing how their data is used in the platform, helping them verify compliance with MLS rules and licensing agreements.

Retsly’s technology was on display at a 24-hour “hackathon” the startup partnered with real estate giant Realogy to put on during the National Association of Realtors’ national convention in November.

At the event, the Retsly platform “normalized” data from six of the largest MLSs in the U.S., including California Regional MLS, Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) and Sandicor.

Many MLSs have uniquely formatted data feeds. Retsly’s platform converts feeds into a common format for tech developers. That way, developers can concentrate on building tools, without having to customize them for each MLS they want to work with. Retsly also helps facilitate developer-MLS relationships.

Zillow says the Retsly acquisition expands its growing, 9-month-old “Tech Connect” program that helps developers of marketing tools for real estate brokers and agents integrate them with Zillow. The Tech Connect program now has 25 participants.

As we all know, the real estate industry is hyper-competitive. And because there are few better catalysts for innovation than competition, real estate is constantly blazing new ground. Real estate expansion teams -- teams that do business in multiple markets -- are one of the industry’s latest, and hottest, innovations ...

“Retsly’s platform will spur tremendous innovation in the real estate space, enabling developers to build software that works across MLS boundaries and without the overhead of dealing with local data formats,” said Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff.

Retsly’s co-founder and former CEO Joshua Lopour, along with co-founder Kyle Campbell, will continue to lead Retsly’s team of eight employees from the startup’s Vancouver headquarters as general manager.