News: Section Councils

CMLS Green MLS Section Council Addresses Emerging Data Trend

Monday, May 9, 2016  
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CHICAGO — Working with the U.S. Department of Energy Better Buildings (USDOE Better Buildings) Home Energy Information Accelerator, the CMLS Green MLS Section Council has published its first ‘Green Sheet‘ to quickly educate MLS organizations on an emerging trend that could influence real estate transactions.

Automated Energy Models (AEMs) are defined as proprietary algorithms that estimate the resource usage of a home without onsite inspections and rank those properties accordingly. While such scoring systems have advantages, consumers accessing this information will have little insight into the data used, the assumptions made, or methodology of any given model.

“With the increasing desire of consumers to know more about their home’s efficiencies, the MLS industry is concerned about reliability, assumptions, and algorithms as well as the methodology by which real estate agents may confidently distribute this data to their clients,” said Colette Stevenson, chair of the CMLS Green MLS Section Council and COO of Hilton Head Island MLS. “There are many questions still unanswered, but the CMLS Green Section Council wants to stay in front of this trend. That being said: Our committee, along with the entire Council of MLS membership, stands ready to work with any entity with a goal to provide our members with tools to better serve the buying and selling public.”

As one of the first steps toward meeting the needs of an energy and resource conscious public, AEMs provide some advantages. They provide consumers with a quick comparison of all properties across a specified market. Since most focus on the attached systems and structure, they are meant to reflect the efficiency of the property and not the energy consumption patterns of a specific homeowner.

“Homebuyers are eager to understand how much energy and resources a home is likely to use. By offering a quick method to generate rough utility cost estimates or preliminary ratings, AEMs are a response to this demand,” said Joan Glickman, Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of Energy. “But, as we know, all information is not equally reliable or understandable. That’s why we’re so pleased to work with CMLS Green MLS Section Council as well as other interested MLSs around the nation. Working together, we can all encourage AEMs to commit to greater transparency and accuracy – and communicate to consumers the value of a more thorough rating or in-person home energy assessment.”

CMLS remains committed to exploring the most cohesive, consistent, and efficient marketplace possible. As AEMs are an emerging technology made up of multiple startups, different approaches, and new initiatives being considered by major public-facing portals, CMLS will continue to determine how AEMs can improve our ability to build a better marketplace.

The CMLS Green Section Council is currently soliciting insight, opinion, and input through CMLS on how the MLS industry will address AEMs and similar technologies like Automated Valuation Models (AVMs). Some questions that are being asked include what would be an appropriate IDX strategy for such information, whether there is a mechanism for syndication, and how the accuracy of such content might be improved.

Download the Green MLS Section Council Green Sheet on AEMs today. Upon review, CMLS members are invited to submit their opinions to the attention of the Green MLS Section Council at