The lack of uniform terminology and information standards in listing data has long plagued those who advocate for technology adoption and greater transaction efficiency.

Real estate tour and showings management app TourZazz announced in a press release the formal adoption of an open platform approach, meaning it has designed its iOS and Android apps for widespread industry interoperability.

As part of that mission, the showing app company is among a slew of other industry technology organizations that have “unionized” under RESO membership on the mission of data uniformity.

The team includes multiple listing services (MLS), technology and lockbox companies, all firms that are directly involved in the sharing and marketing of property data. The list includes TourZazz, InstaShowing, Homesnap, Tribus, SentriLock, ShowingTime, Delta Group Media, BrightMLS and CRMLS, among others.

Interoperability is a term derived from an ongoing effort to standardize data across the nation’s network of MLSs, and it’s primarily why RESO exists. The group will look to establish data standards for API interoperability, showing schedule ownership and lockbox data sharing, among other industry concerns.

The lack of uniform terminology and information standards in listing data has long plagued those who advocate for technology adoption and greater transaction efficiency.

It’s logical for showing software companies such as TourZazz to adopt such a cause, as its success will augment user adoption of products, as well as allow for easier exchange of data across national markets and create a foundation for a national property data platform.

In 2019, officeless brokerage eXp Realty became the first brokerage to become certified by RESO for openly adopting its interoperability mission. In a statement, eXp said the company embraces RESO’s data standards to create a solid foundation for a streamlined enterprise to facilitate growth in the industry.

Sam DeBord

In an email to Inman, Sam DeBord, CEO of RESO, said the collective effort is all about helping showing entities communicate clearly in the process of serving the industry.

“RESO’s members have exhibited great interest in coming together to ensure showing services can ‘talk to each other’ in an interoperable way,” DeBord said.  “We’ll be meeting soon to coalesce around the common data fields needed to share showing information between vendors, brokers, and MLSs.”

Such a democratization of data benefits both homebuyers and sellers alike, giving them (and their agents) the ability to choose the best tools that work for them, according to TourZazz spokesperson Jeff Salzgeber. Protection of consumer privacy is another benefit, he said in an email to Inman.

The acquisition of ShowingTime by Zillow ignited a renewed interest in how agents coordinate home tours and handle listing data, as much of the discontent about the consolidation revolves around Zillow’s access to consumer and brokerage data.

“Whether a common method of transporting data [such as a standard API] is also needed will be discussed in further meetings,” DeBord said.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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