Zillow Group’s Bridge Interactive will now include the functionality of the Real Estate Transaction Standard (RETS) in its application programming interface, or API, starting what Zillow hopes will be a move away from RETS toward web APIs similar to those relied on in most technology-focused industries.

The Bridge API, offered by real estate technology and data management company Bridge Interactive, is adding a program called Parity Plus that will let multiple listing services customize real estate data the way they would with RETS.

The National Association of Realtors and other groups launched RETS in 1999 as a tool to transfer MLS data, and it remains widely in use. An API is the interface that controls how software components interact with each other.

“We’re excited about the new Bridge API release because the industry now has all the functionality they formerly were used to getting with RETS and combines it with the modern simplicity of an API,” said Turan Tekin, Zillow Group’s director of MLS and industry development, in a statement. “The industry now has a meaningful choice as to which RESO [Real Estate Standards Organization] transport will best help create better tools.”

Zillow said that this innovation will make it easier to distribute, secure, share and build upon real estate data and that MLSs will have more control and fewer limitations when using Bridge API. The specific controls that keep many MLSs using a 20-year-old platform like RETS will be available on a more modern system.

Zillow specified several new features being added to the Bridge API for MLSs: the ability to control data feeds with the same level of granularity as a RETS feed, customize how to approve access to data, see what data has been mapped onto the API, specify exactly which combinations of records users have access to, hide fields depending on their condition (such as for a property with a pending status) and let users know exactly what their access to data is.

“Bridge is a staunch supporter, leader and advocate of RESO industry standards, and we applaud the innovation and enhancements they’ve brought to their RESO Web API tool,” RESO CEO Jeremy Crawford said in a statement.

“As the first to receive platinum certification [from RESO], Bridge has demonstrated to the industry the value of RESO and how new features can add real power to their API. Progress like this helps drive API adoption, and as Bridge continues to innovate, we hope it will encourage others to do the same.”

Email Emma Hinchliffe

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