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“Is there some help out there?”

Oct 9, 2009 Michael Wurzer

Here’s an email I received today from a member of the Board of one of our MLS customers:

Hi Michael,

I believe you are involved with the Data Standards group at NAR, right? We are still struggling with some definitions and wondering if there is anything published by the data standards group on things that have already been agreed on at the NAR level. Do you have anything like that? Yesterday we struggled with “Single Family Detached” home for over an hour. Is there some help out there?

Thanks, and look forward to seeing you in San Diego.

I typically discuss data standards in relation to MLSs wanting to share data or regionalize, but this is a good example of an MLS simply wanting an easier way to get the data right. I pointed this customer to the RETS schema, but also had to say that it wasn’t user-friendly and didn’t say anything very specific about her question.

From my perspective, a broker asking for a definitive data definition to be published at the national level isn’t too much to ask. I would really like to be able to respond, Yes!, here’s a link to the data dictionary we’ve been working on for the last many years and the definition you’re looking for is on row 28 (or whatever). Wouldn’t that be great? Let’s make it happen.