First off, I didn’t come back with cowboy boots, a cowboy hat, a southern drawl or even a hangover. Not sure what’s up with me lately, but it was still a great time.
This was a pivotal event in many ways. I was absolutely blown away at the crowd. It’s not a massive conference, but at over 300 people attendance was up almost 40%! Hats off to Jeremy Crawford, the RESO Board of Directors and the entire crew at RESO who made it all happen.
There were more real estate brokers than ever before which means word’s getting out about what standards can do for your business. Everyone I spoke to (even the cynical ones) could see the tide is turning and many were there to see and hear just what that meant. Even more than the crowd, though, the topics covered were also quite pivotal.
Some highlights by Day:
- RESO is no longer just about RETS. The first day was dedicated to workshop meetings, but RETS 1.x group did not meet. CoreLogice’s Matt McGuire noted that RESO is now about across-the-board standards for real estate, not only RETS.
- People are Excited About Standards (REALLY!) – The participation in the workgroup meetings was, I think, the best I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get to all of them but the ones I did showed an increased passion, drive and determination from both the workgroup chairs and the audience. Attendees were not afraid to speak up and take part in the discussion which is always the goal.
- Innovation is Alive and Well in Real Estate – There were demos galore during the Show-n-Tell, albeit with various technical difficulties. Attendees got to see the innovation being sparked in the industry live and up close. I also had the chance to present AddressReport and briefly describe how data and API standards made it possible. HomeSpotter won “best in show” and TrustFunds and Agent Inbox got honorable mentions so congratulations to all! After a long day everyone thoroughly enjoyed the pub crawl sponsored by com.
- Technology Went to the Propeller Heads –Propeller heads (they literally passed out hats with propellers for geeks to where proudly) went to technology sessions on everything from Ashish Antal from MLS Listings presenting the new Web API and Data Dictionary to machine learning and artificial intelligence from Dr. Umesh Harigopal and Matt Kumar from io and CogNub.
- There were practical discussions about standards – There were also sessions on practical standards applications including optimizing business processes, enhancing revenue streams, reducing costs and speeding time-to-innovation. There was a great discussion around data licensing and policies led by Mitch Skinner of Larson Skinner PLLC who uniquely understands both the provider and user side of the equation.
- And there were parties- I can’t neglect to mention the party sponsored by Zillow that night. I can sum up my night in one word…whiskey.
- The Good, Bad and Ugly of a Cloud-First Brokerage – Glenn Phillips, CEO of Lake Homes.com described “the good, the bad and the ugly” of creating his “cloud-first” brokerage which focuses on lake properties. He discussed the trials and tribulations of dealing with real estate data across ten states and 46 MLSs. It was a beneficial education for all.
- RESO Web API – I chaired a panel about the RESO Web API to dig into how a few companies implemented the standard. I had the pleasure of hosting Ashish Antal of MLS Listings, John F. Kennedy from dynaConnections, and Demian Quinonez of CRMLS in California. They all provided great insight. Michael Wurzer from FBS showed us how far their Spark Platform has come, not only in support of the standards but also in support of the business and technical needs of MLSs, real estate professionals and technology innovators.
Looking back at previous conferences I always say “that was the best one yet” and I’m glad to say this one was no exception. It truly was the best yet and each year it should just keep getting better. I saw every corner of the real estate community come together to support the creation and adoption of standards. I feel that people “get it” now more than ever. They understand that this isn’t about “RETS”, and it’s surely not simply about technical bits and bytes. It’s about what these standards can do to improve the top line, the bottom line and the overall quality of people’s lives in the industry. It’s about enabling us to go so much farther and faster than we have.
There’s still plenty of work to be done. But this event, this year, showed me that there are loads of people willing to take on that challenge. Perhaps because they’re sick and tired of the headaches that surround building solutions for the industry. Perhaps because they simply believe in the cause. Regardless of the motivating factor I, for one, couldn’t be happier to see the amazing turnout and the excitement that everyone left with.
One last parting note, the 2017 RESO Spring Conference is already scheduled for April 24-26 in Austin, TX and it’s likely to sell out quickly. So don’t just think about it, book it now and take your seat at the table of driving real estate upward and onward.
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