Data is the most important aspect of the real estate industry, but it’s also one of the easiest to ignore. Every aspect of each real estate transaction is powered using data collected and shared by the 600 MLSs across the country. And yet, it’s easy to overlook the complexities involved in managing data from such a diverse array of sources.

There are many situations where it makes perfect sense to manage your data yourself. A proficient in-house team can do an excellent job managing relationships and integrating data from a handful of sources, such as MLSs, public records, and more. But at a certain point, your data needs will likely outgrow your team’s ability to manage them cost-effectively. Read on to learn about a few of these scenarios and how an experienced data services expert can help.

  1. You’re growing and scaling in new markets

All businesses have a major goal in mind: growth. In real estate, the segmentation and compartmentalization of MLS data across the country pose unique challenges to scaling in the real estate space. On the one hand, businesses need to manage and maintain their existing MLS relationships. On the other, they need additional time and resources to initiate the process with others. This process isn’t as simple as signing on a dotted line, and there are unique regulatory and compliance issues to consider:

  • You need help entering into new MLS relationships: Establishing MLS relationships is a multi-step process. When you’re also working on growing your business, it pays to work with a partner that knows how it’s done, so you can focus on what you do best, too.
  • You need help managing existing MLS relationships: Once you’ve secured an MLS relationship, you need to maintain it and ensure you’re meeting all regulatory and compliance requirements. Doing business with a partner whose business revolves around these requirements means you never have to worry about them, freeing you up to serve your customers better.
  1. Your team can no longer effectively combine your data

In MLS data, field names, ranges, categories, and more aren’t completely standardized, meaning the same type of data could have a dozen different names and formats across 12 different MLSs. Parsing, normalizing, and cleansing data is an enormous undertaking, and the more data you have, the more challenging it becomes. Experienced data aggregators have already done all this work on the front end, so you don’t have to.

  1. You need enough data to take advantage of economies of scale

If you have a few minor DIY projects around your house to do from time to time, it makes sense to do them yourself and even invest in a few tools to make them easier. If you suddenly find that you own an entire apartment building, chances are you’ll hire an expert to help you, which will save you time and money in the long run. At a certain point, an increase in volume actually leads to a decrease in unit cost. When you work with an expert that specializes in data, you can leverage their size to get a better deal for your business.

Working with the right data partner can pay dividends. Constellation1 is a premier real estate data services provider with more than two decades of data expertise, world-class APIs, and a dedicated team of nearly 30 employees. We have relationships with the vast majority of North American MLSs and can put our experience to work for companies big and small. If you have any questions about outsourcing your data needs, we would be happy to advise you.


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