RPR: now live to all members
As most of us should be aware, the Realtors® Property Resource (RPR) went live in November for all Realtor® members of National Association of Realtors (NAR), regardless of their MLS’s participation and it’s for “free” to members. RPR is a wholly owned subsidiary corporation of NAR, and it was (is) funded using dues dollars. Per its own business model, any revenue or returns from NAR’s investment in the RPR “are intended to be for the benefit of NAR members.”
RPR is a massive database of information, for both residential and commercial properties and includes active, off market, and historical listing data from the MLS. There are tools available on the site for associations, MLSs, brokers, and residential and commercial agents, with appraiser tools to soon follow. NAR announced the initial launch of the RPR back in 2009, and partnered LPS Applied Analytics, who provides much of the additional property information via their vast database; tax records, demographics, even liens and lis pendis filings.
RPR partners with LPS, Veros, pushes BPO-R certification
The product which is pushed, or RPR’s claim to fame, is the Realtor® Valuation Model (RVM) which aims to be “the industry gold standard in automated property valuations.” Agents are able to use this in their marketing, and value (price) homes better.
In anticipation for this product coming out, RPR partnered with NAR in 2011 to offer the BPO-R certification. It is a six-hour class in which the BPO process is taught, members who complete the class can earn the certification, after paying a one-time fee of $199, and then get “preferred status” in order to obtain BPOs. And while there is no direct consumer or third-party access to RPR, anyone in the lending community can order a RVM. LPS itself was granted a license in 2010 to sell the product and currently offers it, and this week, per HousingWire, Veros Real Estate Solutions added the product to their AVM list.
Much like the movie Philadelphia, I need someone to “explain it to me like I’m a four year old,” because I really don’t get it. On RPR’s blog, they sometimes announce partnerships, as they did with the BPO-R certification. However, nowhere on the site, aside from some half-baked PR posts about the RVM becoming instrumental in valuing (pricing) properties, do they come out and say who else is offering the product for sale. And they for sure haven’t said how much money has been made; either on the sale of the RVM product or on the BPO-R classes.
What is the true benefit?
Realtor® dues fund RPR, which members pay every year. It utilizes MLS data, which for most of us, is another round of dues. And who knows how many agents have ponied up for the BPO-R certification? This is not a “free” anything for Realtor® members; we simply aren’t cutting a check directly to RPR. Whatever the revenue generated from the RVM and BPO-R cert is, it is a mystery to me what we, as Realtors® are gaining as a true benefit. I know there hasn’t been a reduction in national-level member dues, nor is there any additional cash in my checking account.