The only usable data is accurate data.

Key Takeaways:

• Real estate agents should remain vigilant and abide by MLS rules regarding timely reporting

• Data integrity is important because it is used beyond real estate

• Practice database integrity and everyone involved in your real estate transaction wins


Kent Simpson had seen enough.

Kent Simpson

The amount of out-of-date information he was finding on the MLS was more than he could take, so he posted a blog article in July 2015 directed at his fellow real estate agents titled “Umm … Could You PLEASE Close Your Listing? (The Data is Important!).”

The Tucson, Ariz.-based agent wrote how the failure of agents to report closed listings on the MLS had kept an appraiser for the buyer of a property Simpson had on the market from being able to make a price comparison.

Making progress with database integrity

Today, Simpson is happy to report, he is seeing fewer and fewer such cases, but he urges his colleagues to remain vigilant and to abide by MLS rules regarding timely reporting.

“I don’t think some agents understand the value or the real reasoning those rules are in place,” said Simpson, now with Realty One Group – Mountain Desert in Arizona.

“A prime example is in what I was writing about in that blog post. We needed those comps to get the appraiser the data they needed because they can’t count something as a closed comparison unless it has actually closed.”

Simpson, who has been on the National Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors for the past five years, said data integrity is important for many reasons. He noted a couple of years ago he was asked by the Arizona Senate Transportation Committee to study the effect of a new streetcar on residential property values within walking distance of the streetcar line. Because he was able to rely on accurate MLS numbers, he made a significant finding.

“I found that since the announcement that the streetcar would come until the moment it was built, we saw properties within a half-mile on either side of the tracks actually outperformed properties outside that corridor,” he said. “That’s another reason data integrity is important: because it’s used beyond real estate.”

Simpson says he has seen improvements in the way real estate agents treat database integrity.

Real estate associations push for accuracy

As for the improvements he has seen in the way agents treat data integrity, Simpson credits the efforts of the NAR, as well as state and local real estate associations, to emphasize the importance of accuracy on the MLS. He added colleagues aren’t only responding to rules and regulations, but also to the need for updated information.

“People are seeing the value of accurate data,” Simpson said. “I think with the advent in the past decade, decade and a half, of syndication of listings to other portals, if it’s wrong in the MLS system and that feed is going out to Zillow, Trulia and all that, it’s going to be wrong everywhere else.”

How strongly do you feel about database integrity? How often do you “scrub your database?” Share with us in the comments below!

Source: “Keep it clean: Database integrity proves crucial to real estate transactions,” OnCourse Real Estate Data Analytics Digital Resource Guide. Read the entire article here.