The long-term outlook for proptech is extremely bright, as up-and-coming disruptors fill niche needs and shake up an unshakably traditional industry. These same traditions can make navigating the industry especially difficult for new entrants, who consistently underestimate how hard it is to work with real estate data and the hoops they must jump through to get it. Let’s look at some of these data challenges in more detail.
MLS relationship management
More than a century of history has created an ever-evolving patchwork of hundreds of separate MLSs across the continent, each with its own way of doing things. Even the most seasoned proptech companies can get frustrated navigating the complicated and convoluted world of MLS relationships and agreements.
There are over 500 separate MLSs in the U.S., which means 500+ points of contact, contracts, and relationships to manage. Establishing a relationship directly with just one MLS and turning on a data feed can take weeks or even months — precious time many scaling proptech companies can’t afford. This reality is a serious obstacle to agility.
MLS data aggregation
Each MLS collects data differently. They often use unique fields and set their own unique ranges and values. The result is 500+ distinct data sets that must be standardized, cleansed, and combined to create the valuable resource tech companies need. For developers, that could mean dozens, if not hundreds, of hours of back-end work per feed, making fast scaling impossible. Despite the increased push for standardized data across the industry, there’s still a long way to go and no short-term solution for proptech firms.
Compliance is a critical part of MLS relationship management that can cost precious time and strain in-house resources. In addition to unique data feeds, every MLS sets its own rules for how data can be used. If they aren’t followed, the MLS can impose a fine or decide to turn off their data streams entirely for repeat or chronic offenders. For proptech companies and their customers, this would be catastrophic.
The solution to scaling: an expert data partner
Luckily for most proptech companies, many others have walked this road before and charted an easier path. The real estate industry has specialized data aggregators who have spent decades refining best practices for cleansing, deduplicating, and normalizing disparate data sets, creating plug-and-play data feeds companies can turn on like a tap. Some, like the industry experts at Constellation1, have more than 50 years of combined experience in the data space and are dedicated partners in proptech companies’ success.
If you’re interested in partnering with an expert team for your real estate data services needs, visit constellation1.com/data-services to learn more.
Constellation1 provides front office, back office, and data services solutions to real estate brokerages, franchises, MLSs, and tech vendors across North America. Constellation1 is your source for real estate technology. Constellation1 is a division of Constellation Web Solutions Inc. and its subsidiaries and is part of Constellation Real Estate Group.