What is driving successful innovation in the real estate industry today? Hayden Rieveschl, co-founder and CEO of Ocusell, believes that the force behind cutting-edge innovation is integration with existing products and services — a big reason why the nation's nearly 600 Multiple Listing Services (MLSs), powering more than $2 trillion in annual residential real estate transactions, are being thwarted in their efforts to add new technology swiftly, according to Rieveschl, a former hedge fund professional.
Rieveschl founded Ocusell, a platform that's modernizing the listing process for real estate professionals, with Alex Taylor, a ground-floor Dotloop employee (now part of Zillow). Early on, they encountered a significant obstacle that is hamstringing MLSs of every size when attempting to deploy new technology quickly.
What is botching MLS systems nationwide, Rieveschl explains, are their "business rules." These foundational instructions provide tech firms with the guidelines to deploy their products and services inside an MLS.
Rieveschl and Chief Revenue Officer Taylor found MLS business rules documentation is often inaccurate or outdated, significantly lengthening the integration of new technology. In many cases, the MLS vendor has programmed the business rules for the MLS, but the MLS never provided any documentation.
The easier we can make it for the MLS to integrate with cutting-edge tech, the more MLS members, buyers and sellers, will benefit, Rieveschl notes.
Moreover, Rieveschl adds that proper MLSs business rules are vital in allowing MLSs to copyright their proprietary data schema (how information is organized and presented) to protect their data. MLSs certainly want to better protect their data, making updated business rules essential, he said.
"MLSs will agree to add a new tech solution for its members, not realizing their business rules are outdated because they switched vendors or changed their systems that conflict with what's in place."
- Chief Revenue Officer Taylor
He gives the example of an MLS that provided its business rules yet had no idea that the API listed in the rules no longer existed. If a tech firm's integration was reliant on the API, Taylor noted, they would have to start over.
This mistake creates a liability and possible litigation risk for the MLS and could unexpectedly increase their costs. In addition, flawed business rules certainly would extend the time to integrate, delaying market deployment, Taylor shared.
Rieveschl has empathy for MLSs, noting Business rules often are unreliable because they can be tedious and expensive to maintain. That's why he is offering a solution.
Ocusell is launching a new service that helps MLSs solve their business rules mismatches, allowing them to fast-track deployment of new tech solutions – today and tomorrow.
MLSs are accelerating the integration with technology partners, Rieveschl said, and more MLSs are merging and changing their systems provider or adding others. These trends create a vital and pressing need for accurate, complete and fully updated business rules. MLSs need to add powerful new tools for their members, and they need to do it smoothly and quickly. Ocusell will manage the heavy lifting for the MLS to ensure their rules are always current.
Ocusell is an enterprise listing solution for real estate brokers and teams built to modernize the listing workflow. Its one-stop-shop centralizes the listing process, enabling brokers to list properties to multiple MLSs through a single, easy-to-use data entry interface. Ocusell seamlessly connects brokers and their MLSs, increasing agent and staff productivity, collaboration, and visibility for the listing process. By providing continuous innovation, Ocusell is committed to creating enterprise broker solutions that are clear, meaningful, and above all else - simple for users.