RESO -- Listen to Seth Godin

Feb 4, 2009 Michael Wurzer

Seth Godin makes a point today that I’ve been stressing with the RETS marketing workgroup for, well, let’s see, about a half dozen years or so, to no great effect.  But I’m persistent and believe Seth is right:

If someone comes to you with a ‘great’ product that just needs some marketing, the game is probably already over.

That doesn’t mean it’s over for RETS but rather that, as I’ve written before, it should begin with the marketing workgroup and not the technical workgroups.  The goals I’ve suggested before are big and audacious but achievable.  His what I wrote on this same topic last December:

Define and Promote a Strategic Road Map.  For as long as I can remember, the “marketing” workgroup has met at each in-person meeting to discuss ways of promoting RETS.  At each of these meetings, I say the same thing: “Marketing is more than promotion and you can’t do effective promotion until you’ve defined your product and your market.”  What’s been missing for many years is a clear strategic road map.  In my view, the marketing workgroup and the business side of the Board should be helping to define the customers to be served by RETS and the needs of those customers.  Once defined, the promotion of that road map will be much easier.  Here’s my suggested road map:

  • Adopt and promote broad and deep data standards to:
    • Reduce or eliminate duplicate entry of listings;
    • Promote easier data sharing among MLSs; and
    • Reduce the costs brokers and others face from dealing with disparate IDX data feeds.
  • Adopt AtomRED as the transport for syndication to make it more cost effective for all parties involved to have timely and accurate data on all web sites, instead of the out-of-date mess that exists today.
  • Establish and promote a uniform property ID system to foster linkage of property data on the web.
  • For some more thinking on why this is important, check out Mike Audet’s recent post called Who Should Drive This Real Estate Bus? My answer: RESO through the adoption of broad and deep data standards.