CEO’s Message: Mergers, Consolidations and Data Access Create a Complicated Tale

Jim Harrison: MLSListings Inc CEO and President

Jim Harrison
President and CEO, MLSListings

Remember the nursery rhyme about the house that Jack built? It’s what’s called a cumulative tale that links things and people directly and indirectly, showing their connection.


That tossed the dog that worried the cat

That killed the rat that ate the malt

That lay in the house that Jack built.


As our relationships in real estate become modified to improve service to you and your brokerages, consumers and organized trade; we are becoming a complicated cumulative tale. But all for good reason.

MLS mergers, consolidations and data sharing are a necessary trend, but making it work is complicated.  Let’s begin with brokerage service.  Access to property data shouldn’t require pay into 5, 10 or 20 MLSs, but even as we collaborate and cooperate, our good intentions must link to compatible and cooperative technology for the benefit of vendor products, data consistency and frankly, less hassle. All MLS systems don’t “talk” to each other. This is the reason MLSListings and other pro data sharing MLSs have become RESO compliant. The Real Estate Standards Organization exists to help normalize data from any MLS in the U.S.

The next connection is to your vendor products; CMAs, customer relationship tools, and marketing support services. An MLS must aggressively seek vendor participation so that your business functions are in sync.

We are working to ensure your data connections are fully functioning. Our pursuit of data access comes with our credentials as both RESO certified and data dictionary certified—the normalized language of MLS systems. We are also leading the way in the creation of APIs (application performance interfaces) or small connectors of information that are user-friendly apps that help to short cut the delivery and availability of your business information.

While this normalization has taken many years to address, we are further along than I have witnessed in more than 30 years.  We’re currently leading the real estate standards organization on discussions of future standards.

An MLSListings team member is leading a RESO work group for block chain, the emerging standard. Blockchain is the ‘future and now’ of technology that builds blocks of processes and data, enabling your information to be faster, safer and more transparent. It’s the place to be for the well thought out ‘house’ for brokerages, less like the Winchester House of disconnected stairways and doors to nowhere, more like the House that Jack Built where connections rule.



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