RETS IDX - Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is RETS?

RETS is an acronym which stands for Real Estate Transaction Standard.

The Real Estate Transaction Standard is a common language spoken by systems that handle real estate information, such as multiple listing services. A common language enables computers like the one on your desk to receive information from many different real estate systems or MLSs without being specially "trained" to understand the information from each.

Standards like RETS exist in many different fields. Sometimes, the standard simply adopts one of many pre-existing languages that everyone agrees to use. For example, air traffic controllers at international airports all speak English, no matter what their native language, so pilots are guaranteed that they need learn only one language to fly anywhere in the world.

RETS, like many computer standards, is a language that was built for a specific purpose, but the goal is the same: to have all computers that deal with real estate information "speak" the same language, so that you can use the same desktop computer program with any MLS that has adopted RETS.

For software developers and for providers of services like IDX sites, RETS means having to write programs to use only one language, the common language of RETS, in order to work with many different MLS systems. This means lower costs, more products, more competition among vendors, and faster implementations of new systems, all of which directly benefit people who work with real estate information as a living.

  • What does that mean?

It means we send all Active MLS data to a third party vendor, who is building your site, and they use that data on your site while people do searches.

  • What is RESO and what is RETS?

RESO (Real Estate Standards Organization) is a 'not for profit' standards organization focusing on an environment for the development and implementation of real estate data standards and processes that facilitate innovation, insure portability, eliminate redundancies and obtain maximum efficiencies for all parties participating in a real estate transaction.

RETS (Real Estate Transaction Standards) is a host of products, services and standards produced by RESO. For example RETS 1.8 is a standard under the RETS umbrella.

  • Are you RESO compliant?

GTAR/MLS Technology's RETS feed is absolutely RESO compliant. For more information on RESO, go to RESO's website.

  • Does MLS Technology offer FTP instead of RETS?

No, we do not. RETS is overall faster, easier to update, and is better on all fronts.

RETS offers real-time access to current MLS data. FTP data is available as a periodic snapshot of the MLS data. When a change is made in the MLS, it is immediately available for download via RETS. Therefore, using RETS allows end-users to retrieve the most recent MLS data instead of waiting for the next FTP data file to be created.

  • What do I do if I change IDX Vendors? Do I get charged again?

If you change IDX Vendors, you will need to contact us with your new vendor as we will need to speak with them to give them access to RETS and ensure they are compliant with our rules. You will not be subject to another one-time fee. Send an email to  

  • What are some RETS clients I can use?

There are many different RETS clients out there for vendors - however, almost every single vendor prefers to develop their own private client. RETS Connector is a free RETS client and can be downloaded from - there is documentation on the site for instructions using RETS Connector.

  • I need help with my RETS feed, who can I contact?

Please contact the MLS Technology service desk at 918-663-7500 or


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