September 25, 2020 – Industries often resist change until disruption mandates it. In Utah, however, Brad Bjelke, the CEO of UtahRealEstate.com (“URE”), refuses to wait and see what may happen, and instead believes with passion that multiple listing services must innovate now.
Leading the largest multiple listing service in the state of Utah (and one of the largest in the country) with over 17,400 real estate professionals as members, Bjelke is carving a path of technology advancement to give his members the tools and services they need to excel in the practice of real estate.
When Bjelke took over nearly six years ago, he assembled a strong technology team and a plan to completely rewrite the company’s MLS software and data distribution methodology. In addition, the URE Board of Directors supported the new development tactics as well as the push to lead the country in data distribution. As a result, in less than 2 years, URE became the first organization to be RESO Data Dictionary Platinum Certified, it became one of the first MLSs to launch the RESO Web API, and in 2021, URE will be the first organization in the country to have all of their nearly 200 data vendors using an API for every data feed available (including Internet Data Exchange feeds, Virtual Office Website feeds, broker back office feeds, and any other custom feed that can be imagined or needed).
In late 2019, URE’s API was finalized by its technical team and the entire MLS database became fully distributable to any vendor or broker that meets URE’s licensing agreement terms. In July of 2020, URE notified all of its vendors (from small local website companies to the largest national vendors) that January of 2021 would be the sunset of all data distribution methods, except for the new API. After that notification, more than 30% of URE’s vendors have converted to the new API, and feeds of every type and kind are flowing through the new technology. Using easy to follow documentation and standardized technology configuration, any licensed vendor can now enter the Utah real estate market and receive a feed of MLS data that is easy to work with, allowing for accelerated innovation in real estate services and tools.
Constellation Web Services, one of the largest consumers of real estate data in the nation, was one of the first vendors to utilize URE’s API, and said, “The transition from the old Real Estate Transaction Standard (“RETS”) to URE’s modern API has been extremely easy, and it has made the data we receive much easier to work with. Updates are simple, efficient, and quick, and we are so happy that URE is leading the API movement.”
Greg Robertson, co-founder of W&R Studios (the creator of CloudCMA, Cloud Streams and Cloud MLX), said, “The path toward adopting new standards is never easy, but we’re happy to partner with UtahRealEstate.com to move the needle forward.”
According to Sam Debord, CEO of the Real Estate Standards Organization, “We are so proud of member organizations like UtahRealEstate.com taking the initiative to push RESO standards into the vendor community and to drive adoption of the API. Many of our RESO members are starting the process of converting vendors to the API, but URE is the first to set deadlines and commit to converting all of their vendors and all of their data feeds. This type of leadership is what moves the real estate data industry forward and helps agents and consumers get the best data and innovation possible.”
Bjelke believes that the API is just the initial step in a wide range of innovations that will arise in the coming years, and he is excited to adopt new technologies to continue moving URE forward and leading the MLS industry. “URE is an MLS that leads not just by words, but by example. We will continue that mission going forward, and our members will see those technology benefits day-in and day-out for many years to come.”
Founded in 1994, UtahRealEstate.com is the leading provider of real estate technology in Utah and one of the largest Multiple Listing Services in the United States. The company provides one of the top-ranked real estate websites in the state and serves over 17,000 real estate professionals (approximately 94% of all REALTORS® in the state of Utah) and over 6 million consumers each year.