Real Estate Transaction Standard: All You Need to Know

Ryan Williamson
3 min readMar 8, 2022


The Real Estate Transaction Standard, or simply RETS, is a framework responsible for the optimization of property listing data transfer between multiple listing services (MLS), agents, and brokers. Now one is bound to wonder if RETS plays any other role besides offering an industry standard.

RETS supplies critical benchmarks for the storage and transfer of real estate listings. In addition to that, RETS also serves to ease the process of establishing an IDX site. Consider a situation what things would look like if you didn’t have RETS. Imagine you are a real estate agent in Columbus, Ohio and you wish to set up an IDX site. And for that, you’ll need data listings from the city. Columbus is close to Cleveland and Akron, so you’ll need to showcase listings from the nearby counties as well.

Do you know what that has led to? Impressive growth in real estate technologies and other such products, right? To help you understand RETS better, here is a quick look at how it works. The system involves two key factors:

RETS feed: A RETS feed is nothing but a tailored stream of raw data between a real estate website and an MLS. It enables business owners to import property listings that are then shared with clients via the RETS client. To simplify it further, a RETS feed is what supplies all the listings-related information on your website.

RETS Client: It is a user-facing app that enables the transfer of real estate data from a RETS server. The app finds the relevant data on the server, imports the appropriate listings, syncs the latest data, etc.

Finally, allow us to give you a brief about the benefits of RETS feed:

  1. Improved SEO performance: With a RETS feed, the real estate business hosts and integrates the MLS’ property listings. This is different from simply viewing the listings via a frame. So how does it help? In a rather crucial way, this particular setup means an increase in the number of indexable web pages on your real estate website. Do you know what that means? It means better page rankings on search engines, thus driving up your visibility to potential customers.
  2. Up-to-date data: One of the most interesting things about a RETS feed is that it provides a direct link to the MLS. How does that have any bearing on your business, you wonder; well, it means that your data ends up being more accurate. Not only that, often your real estate website will be able to update much more quickly with new property listings than it would be able to with a framing system.
  3. High levels of customization: Yet another compelling feature of a RETS feed for your business is the fact that they are highly customizable. This means you do not have to make do with a generic feed; instead, you can choose precisely what data is relevant to your business interests and then import said data accordingly. So say your business USP is that it deals in only a handful of types of real estate properties or perhaps you cover only a specific geographic area, the RETS feed for your business can be so that the other irrelevant data is filtered out. This means you get a property display that is based on your business.

The concept of RETS may seem overwhelming at first, but when you finally figure out your way through its apparent complexities, one is finally able to see just how beneficial it can be for any real estate business. So, go ahead and find yourself a trusted vendor for custom real estate software development so you can start reaping its countless benefits ASAP.



Ryan Williamson

A professional and security-oriented programmer having more than 6 years of experience in designing, implementing, testing and supporting mobile apps developed.