Well the day has finally arrived! We have been working diligently behind the scenes for the last 2 ½ months on replacing our MLS gateway solution with a new RETS based database solution.
What is RETS you ask? The Real Estate Transaction Standard (RETS) is a new web-services protocol standard that facilitates the exchange of data between Multiple Listing Services (MLS) and Brokers/Associates. The current Internet Data Exchange (IDX) system is not a standard at all and in fact one of the main problems with the current system is that it is often proprietary to a particular MLS. RETS will solve these compatibility problems and ease communication issues across the industry, thus benefiting consumers as well.
But there is more! Since RETS is web-service based there is no longer any need to download the entire local MLS database in the wee hours of the morning or do weekly updates. RETS facilitates a near real-time database update procedure that deals only with modifications that have occurred since the last query and also supports queries on individual properties. No more out of sync distributed IDX databases littered with already sold properties!
Don’t get me wrong, the last 2 ½ months have been plenty painful and full of bug fixes on both sides of our MLS link. Nevertheless, we are proud to have served (even as a ginnie pig) in blazing this technology trail for our local market. The National Association of Realtors has mandated member MLS’ support this standard by June of 2009 and our North Alabama MLS (NAMLS) is already compliant.
The new RETS website can be accessed via the normal links of our Huntsville Real Estate Blog or it can be accessed directly at www.NorthernAlabamaHomes.com . The public interface is free to the public without registration, however registered Users and Members receive advanced property search services.
Enjoy and Thanks for Visiting – Elizabeth