Real Estate Webmasters is investing millions into a brand-new data infrastructure. Their goal? To be the global leader in real estate data standards.
It’s well-known that a lack of data standards presents a significant hurdle for the entire real estate industry. For technology providers, differences between the 700-plus MLS boards across North America can cause significant performance and reliability challenges—not to mention a total lack of MLS data in most international markets.
But with RESO (the Real Estate Standards Organization) bringing in new data standards, tech providers have the chance to make big waves. Vy Luu, director of product development at Real Estate Webmasters (REW), plans to lead that charge on the international scale.
Luu, who has previous experience in data-driven industries like telecom, travel and finance, sees nothing but opportunity. “Everyone knows real estate data is well behind other industries, but that doesn’t mean we have to be.”
In 2017, REW became one of Canada’s largest Google Partners by migrating their data infrastructure to the Google Cloud Platform. A year later, an RFP resulted in a new partnership with Slalom, a billion-dollar consulting firm with 6,500-plus employees globally and a track record of bringing data solutions to finance, telecom and technology giants.
In partnership with Google and Slalom, and backed by REW CEO and founder Morgan Carey, Luu is pioneering a state-of-the-art data solution that not only makes use of world-class database and search technologies like Cloud Spanner and Elasticsearch, but also adopts RESO data standards.
How will this impact the industry? Luu sees three major benefits.
The first is a major boost in performance. “REW’s new listing data structure will be really fast, extremely reliable and scalable in ways previously unavailable.” Faster home search algorithms, servers that automatically scale in size with the number of website visitors, and monitoring tools that proactively detect changes from MLS boards are all potential realities in this new world.
The second impact comes in the form of new analytics and data queries. “This isn’t just about improving speed. This opens up entirely new capabilities for the types of home searches we can perform and the products we can create.” Luu provided an example from Chinese culture. “Homes with red doors, or homes with the No. 8 in the address, are considered symbols of prosperity and good luck. These types of previously unimaginable home searches are now a possibility.”
Third, adopting RESO standards allows Real Estate Webmasters to take their first-class real estate technology to the world stage. In the current landscape, listings data is even more disparate outside of the United States and Canada. “Removing barriers relating to unstructured data allows us to bring powerful home search technology to the entire world,” says Luu.
“This is a fantastic example of what leadership on data standards can do to improve technology for international marketplaces,” says Sam DeBord, CEO of RESO. “Local differences are what make real estate so interesting and valuable, but technology is global. Providing this essential common language of data standards to the marketplace shows great vision and commitment by Real Estate Webmasters to the global real estate technology community.
Starting with Europe, Real Estate Webmasters’ goal is to bring reliable listings data to previously untapped international markets, reshaping the international real estate market as a whole.