Brokers using the new Upstream data management tool have a new option: They will also be able to enter listing data through their MLS as well as directly into Upstream.
Realtors attending the Realtors® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., were told about the change by UpstreamRE, a data management company formed by a group of brokers and franchises to give brokerages greater control over how their listing data is used and shared online. Brokers at the meetings saw a live demonstration of the system.
As originally conceived and developed, Upstream would have allowed brokers to enter their listing data in one place – Upstream – and easily share it with their MLS, their own agents’ websites and third-party portals. Under the revised system, however, brokers can still upload listing data directly to Upstream, but they’ll also be able to continue entering their data into their MLS first, leverage its add/edit functionality, and allow Upstream to receive the listing data from the MLS.
A working system developed for Upstream by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR)-owned Realtors Property Resource (RPR) is currently being beta-tested by MLSs and brokers. Using that system, MLSs integrate with Upstream via an API – a program that automatically pulls data from the Upstream database. Participants can then use Upstream to enhance their listings by adding high-resolution photos, for example, and managing distribution.
“Our objective has always been to solve problems through partnerships,” said Alex Lange, president and CEO of UpstreamRE. “Brokers can continue to leverage their current workflow while gaining all the enhancement and management features of Upstream.”
The original Upstream project faced challenges because it would have inserted Upstream between the broker and their MLS. However, it faced a “cool response from many MLS organizations,” according to Brad Inman writing for Inman News.
NAR called Upstream’s new two-way method an important milestone in the development of Upstream. “Upstream has harnessed the technology necessary to make this a reality as we shape the future of real estate,” NAR CEO Dale Stinton said in a statement. “This next inclusive step ensures that our members remain at the center of the real estate transaction.”
However, the original vision for Upstream is still on the table, and Inman reports that Stinton said Upstream “will still implement its original idea over time.”
NAR will continue to provide resources and funding through 2018 via Realtors Property Resource, which developed the technology for Upstream.
Source: Stacey Moncrieff, Realtor® Magazine
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