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The Multifamily Information and Transactions Standards (MITS) is a complex technology initiative with a simple objective: it wants to make it easier for apartment-related software to talk to each other.

Since the National Multi Housing Council established it in 2002, MITS has produced nine voluntary and freely available sets of data standards covering a variety of apartment operations, from resident screening to property marketing to physical asset management. Now the initiative will benefit from the complimentary technical services of one of its own partners, a NMHC executive says.

David Cardwell, NMHC’s vice president of technology, says Kroll Factual Data has agreed to provide free technical oversight and support to the industry-wide data standards initiative. NMHC provided technical support in-house until staff reductions last year, Cardwell explains. For the past year, it paid for support from a third party vendor.

Kroll Factual Data has been involved with the MITS initiative for more than four years. “This new partnership will take development of data transfer standards to the next level,” Cardwell says.

Damon Littlejohn, senior vice president of sales and specialty services for Kroll Factual Data, called it a “natural extension” of the company’s long-term support of the MITS initiative and looks forward to developing “the next generation of MITS standards.” Cardwell said the MITS initiative grew out of a desire for standardization across multiple platforms.

Software firms were engaged in the development and deployment of a range of applications for a variety of business purposes. Apartment firms, including owners, developers and managers, wanted integrated solutions, he said, adding, “As the demand for real-time processing grew, the need for standards to move data among solutions became more important.”

The standards–which are freely available to software developers and apartment firms–serve as the high-technology version of building codes, allowing faster delivery of more sophisticated software products and smoother software integrations for those who want “best of breed” systems for their various operations.

MITS is a dynamic standard. “It will continue to evolve as business processes and technology improvements evolve,” Cardwell says.

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