Real estate site Zillow today announced that it has acquired Retsly, a Vancouver, B.C.-based startup that helps developers access real-estate data from multiple listing services (MLS). The service takes the data from these sites and normalizes it so developers can more easily use the data in their own applications. The financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.
MLSs are the central hub for real estate data in the U.S., but they are also very insular. Every region has its own and in total, there are about 1,000 different systems. That wouldn’t be a huge problem if this were just about geographic distribution, but all of these MLSs use different software and often describe homes in different terms.
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