We do a lot of work with IDX and IDX/RETS, and one of the key issues is quality of the data that you get handed. It would be unreasonable to expect the local real estate agents to learn the ins and outs of the USPS standardization model while keying in their property addresses. BUT, DID YOU KNOW, there are SOAP services out there that cost 2-3 cents per address that will standardize the address? These are fully CASS-compliant vendors (USPS's standard).
What does this mean? It means that when someone types in "1604 Splitrial", it gets corrected and standardized to "1604 Splitrail Dr". It means that when an out-of-area agent guesses incorrectly at a city or a zip code, it gets fixed AT THE POINT OF ENTRY.
What are some of the benefits?
- Complete search results because cities and zipped are corrected
- More comprehensive ability to see past listing activity - since all addresses are standardized, one real estate agent's entry will be identical to another agent's entry, and you can easily see the progression of activity
- More accurate geocoding of homes for map display. Have you ever wondered why some homes don't appear on the maps? Often it is because of an inaccurate address.
- Easier cross-referencing of data.
For my MLS (Sandicor), the cost would probably be a few thousand dollars, a very small number for a 20,000+ member of the MLS (e.g., everyone contributes a dime). The new data could be distributed as additional fields, which is the typical way to distribute standardized address data. If no standard address is available, then the additional fields are blank.
Margaret & John Hokkanen