What will MLS data standards do for the consumers?

Hopefully, all of our lives – buyers, sellers, Realtors – will become more efficient.

With the recent talk of how forthcoming data standards are going to make property data sharing more efficient and thus better for consumers and Realtors, here is one of my requests –

I’d love to see a (Google) Mashup (or the MLS would be even better, and I think a no-brainer) providing an overlay of school districts. Albemarle County School Districts are here and the City of Charlottesville’s school districts are here. Even better, make it so that registered users could make their own pages with all their important locations to help them organize their thoughts and help their Realtor representatives better understand their thoughts and thought processes.

But here’s a problem – Albemarle’s maps are PDFs and the City’s districts are encased in a Java-heavy page. What’s the solution?

The number I have heard of common fields to be shared is around fourteen – methinks there’s some work to be done with this. I could think of fourteen fields pretty quickly …

Price, address/lat-long/parcel ID, bedrooms, baths, living room, dining room, fireplace, pool, garage, lot size, view, fenced yard?, flooring type?, room locations, laundry?, paved?

Ok, that’s 16 from a stream-of-consciousness, but you get my point.

From a consumer point of view – what are the most important pieces of data that help you get an initial picture of the property?

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  1. Michael Wurzer April 28, 2008 at 07:34

    Jim, the GIS shape files for Albermarle County are here. You can convert the shape files to KML, but apparently it <a href=’isn’t a trivial excercise for non-GIS experts. The guys at SolidEarth also should be able to do this for you.

    Regarding the mashups you mention, we’re working on a My Maps function now for flexmls Web.

    Regarding the syndication standard, my understanding is that the focus is on the snippet to drive traffic back to the suppler and so the number of fields doesn’t need to be high. I believe some of the firms receiving data wanted more and some wanted less to keep it easy for brokers, and the resulting compromise of those firms is the result. Of course, anyone wanting more can ask for the full RETS feed, which has every non-confidential field in the MLS.

  2. Jim Duncan April 28, 2008 at 08:55

    Hmmm …. I wonder if there are any GIS experts in Charlottesville looking to try an experiment ….

    Thanks, Michael (as always) for the comment and insight.

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