So much more …
First impression: The National Association of Realtors have done something really, really good, pertinent and valuable for its members.
Done well and right, the RPR (Realtor Property Resource) could be a tremendous value-add to Realtors, and could put a damper on ancillary real estate service companies – mapping, real estate data, IDX perhaps …
There have been some grumblings and speculations making their way through the real estate space, starting with Brian Boero’s post yesterday in which he cryptically posed:
I am hearing weird noises in the online real estate atmosphere. They are on a frequency few can register, and still fewer will acknowledge.
You are correct-o-mundo, Brian. It is XXL and pretty clever. It will be interesting to see the industry’s reaction…(nda)
Is the RPR ready for launch?
Just about. The addition of Cyberhomes to the fray is a huge move forward. Launching in April 2010.
Yet I have been wondering – what if Zillow’s reach becomes so great, their data become so vast and inclusive, that their Zestimates significantly impact what is fair market value? What if the purchasing and selling population refer to Zillow as the end-all, be-all estimator for their homes’ valuations? What if “close enough” is “good enough”? What if they become the de facto standard for home valuations?
Replace “Zillow” with “RPR”
100% owned by NAR.
Rich, deep and hopefully accurate information, data, maps, financing, mortgage records … this tool will make good Realtors better at what they do, and make not-so-good Realtors a bit less dangerous.
What is the Realtor Property Resource? For starters:
What is the REALTORS® Property Resource (RPR)? ((bolding mine))
The REALTORS® Property Resource is one of NAR’s Second Century Initiatives. The
goal of this project is to build a national database of robust, property centric information
covering every parcel of property in the country. This database is designed to be a
resource for NAR members and Institute Affiliates, creating single source access to data
which will add value to the information available for REALTORS® to use with their clients
2) Is it designed to be a national MLS?
No. The RPR will carry no offers of cooperation and compensation. Its design is to
provide a single source access for public record information such as tax assessments and
comparable data, liens, zoning, permits, environmental, neighborhoods, school districts
and community demographics. Its enhanced search features will allow nationwide depth
of property searches, as well as market to market comparisons and referral opportunities
not currently available.
6) What is the future role of an MLS or CIE if all data could be made available on a national platform?
The goal of the RPR is to complement, not compete with the MLS’s and CIE’s. The RPR’s
purpose is to enhance the quality of public records information and other data collections.
The RPR could also assist MLS’s and CIE’s in data acquisition to enhance the integrity of
the data at a price point possibly less than what they are able to do individually, and make
REALTORS® more efficient.
10) Will the public have access to the RPR?
There is no plan to create public access to the system. The goal of the RPR is to be a
REALTOR® based resource and member benefit for NAR members and Institute Affiliates.
What does this mean?
It means that the NAR recognized at least two things –
1 – They shouldn’t reinvent the wheel
2 – Cyberhomes offered a valuable proposition. They are similar in many ways to Zillow but offered something that Zillow does not have – more data and less baggage.
The Cyberhomes database includes more than 100 million property, ownership, sales, and mortgage records, covering more than 85% of the United States population. We update more than 575,000 new ownership records every month, verified from the original source, and our data is also enhanced with more than ten years of appraisals and appraisal review information.
Zillow.com is an online real estate community where users can find and share information about homes. With data on 92 million homes and estimates on another 70 million homes
– Cultural integration of Cyberhomes and NAR.
– What will be the Realtor reaction to the Realtor Valuation Model (RVR)? Think AVM but with really good data.
– More to come
– Combining the Cyberhomes/LPS data with the MLS data positions Realtors to have access to what could be the single best source of property information. At least for the short-term, and it’s good to see them finally making this product come to fruition.
How will Realtor.com factor into this?
God help me, I hope they don’t have the ability to publicly display the RPR’s data. And that Realtors are able to do so.
What are Cyberhomes and NAR going to do with the data?
How can we (Realtors) use the information?
– Generate reports for clients or fellow Realtors
– Market Forecast Report
I think this is a good thing. The NAR recognized the need to be competitive. And, while it’s a long time since they first started the NAR MLS (Presidential Advisory Group) PAG, it seems that they are moving ing the right direction.
– Will Realtors be able to widgetize this information?
– How are “RPR users” defined? (Answer: “NAR members with a NRDS id and in the future, all MLS subscriber participants with participating MLSs”)
Update 6 November 2009:
1) I reserve the right to re-visit this post next year if NAR/RPR screw up.
2) More at 1000WattBlog.
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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