I just got back from the RESO Spring Conference and wanted to share some highlights. But first, what’s RESO?

The Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) is comprised of 159 member organizations that help define and drive standards for the residential real estate industry. All work is done by volunteers who devote their time moving things forward. They’re a passionate group of people who promote what’s best for the industry as a whole…and there are never enough volunteers to accomplish everything we want to accomplish.

Twice a year RESO holds a conference to communicate what’s happening and give people an opportunity to learn, participate and drive the mission forward. Last week’s Spring Conference was primarily focused on providing updates about what we’re working on and the latest progress.

On the opening day of the conference there was a “Show N Tell” that allowed established and new companies alike to show off what they’re working on. There were 19 participants and a major crowd of 170 attendees. Everyone had the chance to vote on their favorites and it was a very close race. Homesnap won best in show (awesome one-handed mobile demo). ShowingTime won best established vendor and the newcomer, HoodQ got best incubator.

The next day-and-a-half was packed with sessions on tons of critical topics. A couple key themes emerged throughout the event. First, we need more participants and volunteers. Some volunteers today are working in two, three, even four or more workgroups. Not only do we need assistance to help drive things forward, we need an influx of new ideas. The way this works for all of us is when we have passionate people with great ideas get involved. Please raise your hand and join in. Workgroups form around specific industry challenges. The R&D Workgroup helps vet these ideas and could be a great place to get your feet wet. The Data Dictionary Workgroup is leading the way with common data standards. The Transport workgroup is defining ways to consume and edit data via modern APIs. There’s still work to be done in the RETS 1.x Workgroup to refine things. And some new Workgroups are forming around unique identifiers to make it easier for everyone to commonly identify MLSs, offices, agents and properties. Take part in shaping the future!

The second major theme I saw was one of action. Many sessions tackled topics that people get, well, a little worked up about. Collectively we got challenges out on the table. We talked about the impact of those challenges on costs, efficiencies, and the overall effectiveness of the industry. Then we talked about solutions. I have to say, it’s gratifying when you see people raise their hands and say “we can fix that.” And then set in motion the necessary actions to do so. There were so many instances of this at the conference. This is why I participate and why others should too. We talked about IDX policies, data usage ambiguity, broker challenges, differences in fields from MLS to MLS, needs to edit records from any device, best practices when you have muti-MLS footprint and tons more. Nearly every session had actionable conclusions.

I was so encouraged to see loads of new faces to the tune of at least 20% of the audience. I’m hopeful that the trend continues. So I’d like you to mark your calendars for the next RESO conference in Austin, Texas (woohoo!!!) on October 27-29.

Oh, and Zillow throws a hell of a party…so there’s yet another reason to go!

Image credit: RESO on Twitter

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