Many people have already posted on this bit of news, namely Myron Adams (RESO Exec Director) here, Michael Wurzer on FBS Blog, Inman News, Masters Report, BloodhoundBlog, and more. But I will try to post the information here with links to more information where appropriate:

Philadelphia, April 11, 2008 – Members of the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO), including the National Association of Realtors® and other industry leaders, have approved a draft standardized data format for distributing real estate listing information.

The Real Estate Transaction Standard (RETS), an industry effort initiated by NAR and maintained by RESO, simplifies the process of sending real estate information by allowing brokers and MLSs to send their listing data to multiple real estate advertising Web sites without dealing with different data formats.

The standard was drafted and approved by a RESO working group composed of NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Technology and many of the real estate industry’s leading publishers and consumers of real estate listing data. They include MLS Assistant, MLS Listings Inc., MLSPIN, New Jersey MLS, TREND MLS, Move Inc. (operator of®), Bridge Interactive, Bainbridge, Cevado Technologies, CLRsearch, eNeighborhoods, eShowings, FBS Data Systems, Google, Homescape, Marketlinx, Oodle, Point2, PropBot, Prudential Preferred CRE,, Realtracs, ThreeWide, Trulia, Vast, Yahoo! and Zillow.

The partnership of MLSs, vendors and real estate brokers came together to develop the standardized data format because they understand the business and technology needs of Realtors® today and their desire to get property information to home buyers faster and more efficiently.

The draft standard will be implemented immediately by several of the partner organizations. Following their feedback, a final draft will be presented and voted on during a meeting of the partners in August.

“Realtors® are industry innovators and understand that more consumers than ever are seeking real estate information online,” said Mark Lesswing, NAR chief technology officer and senior vice president. “By collaborating with our RESO partners to standardize the data formats, we are making it easier for Realtors® to feed their clients’ property listings to multiple real estate sites in one format, saving them time and money.”

One item that hasn’t been widely reported before now is the recommendation that RESO has made on which “version” of RETS should be applied to address the following statement from the NAR MLS Policy Committee:

In order to ensure that the goal of maintaining any orderly marketplace is maintained, and to further establish REALTOR® information as the trusted data source, MLS organizations owned and operated by associations of REALTOR® will comply with the RETS standards by June 2009, and keep current with the standard’s new versions by implementing new releases of RETS within one year of ratification.

The Board of Directors of RESO has composed the following statement in response:

RESO announces that version 1.7.1 has been chosen as the minimum RETS version that will be site certified to satisfy the MLS committee policy deadline of June 2009

Version 1.7.1 is version 1.7 with minor edits to correct some errors and omissions. RESO also recommends to meet the spirit of the NAR MLS Policy each MLS implementation of RETS should be tested for compliance, not just the generic release hosted by the vendor.