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RETSO Preview: Working Toward a Better Syndication Solution

By Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, REALTOR® Magazine

Brad Nix, producer of RETSO, the event formally known as RE TechSouth, believes that innovation is driven forward by “doers,” the people who are willing to experiment with new technologies and figure out how they can be used for practical applications. These folks are on the left side of the bell curve of technical adoption, and are often very familiar with new products and solutions before they go mainstream. (Think blogging, social media, and tablets.)

“Doers are the risk takers,” Nix says. “They’re the ones who jump without a net.”

Many of the “doers” in real estate will be at RETSO, which is happening in Atlanta this week. I had a chance to catch up with Nix and fellow event producer Mike Pennington recently, and they offered a sneak preview of some of the key topics that will be addressed at the conference.

One of the most important issues will be syndication of real estate information throughout the Web, and how that creates problems with the accuracy of data. “I can see both arguments on both sides,” says Pennington, who’s also the managing broker at Maxsell Real Estate in the Atlanta area. “Syndication’s a valuable tool for us, because it allows us to reach farther than we otherwise would with our small amount of listings. My bigger concern as a broker is that some consumer trips over a listing and reaches someone thinking they’re the listing agent, when in fact they may have paid a fee to have their name show up in association with a property.”

Many of those data syndicators will be at RETSO, along with real estate practitioners, brokers, and industry thought leaders. The hope, Pennington and Nix say, is that interactions like these result in a better solution for all parties involved.

“They’re listening and taking notes,” Nix says. “I bet you’ll see some changes that improve the broker and agent experience, and ultimately the customer experience.”

“It’s not vendor vs. agent,” Pennington adds. “Vendors have a role. [Real estate professionals] can make vendors better, and vendors can make us better.”

I’ll be reporting on more of the perspectives on data syndication and other important real estate issues coming out of RETSO on this blog over the next couple of days. Be sure to check back here for more on that. Also, follow @realtormag and the #RETSO hashtag on Twitter for updates in real time.

Brian Summerfield

Brian Summerfield is Manager of Business Development and Outreach for NAR Commercial and Global Services. He can be reached at bsummerfield@realtors.org.

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