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The Realtor Property Resource (RPR) & You- A Call to Action

Realtor Property Resource (RPR)

Did you catch it? The whisperings of new platforms from NAR that surrounded their annual meeting have become a full blown roar. Houselogic and the Realtor Property Resource have now shed that cloud of secrecy and are now headed for the real world.

AG’s Jim Duncan and Benn Rosales explained it far better than I could here and poll results about RPR are all over the board. My hope today is to reemphasize how incredibly important it is for us to go beyond simply understanding what it is to contemplating what affect this 800 pound gorilla could be.

Will it be another plodding NAR program that has little impact on any of us? Doubtful. The one could be a game changer and it’s going to be up to us to be ready as our industry evolves in 2010.

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Realtor, Speaker, former Indianapolis radio personality. Least prettiest person ever on HGTV. Crashed in a helicopter and a Cessna 182. Seven lives left. Blessed by an amazing family!

28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Greg Cooper

    November 15, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    ADDENDUM: One of the great joys of commenting on fast changing subjects is that from shoot time to press things do change. By now many of you will have seen the thoughts on the VERY chilly reception on 11/14 that the RPR got at NARDiego. Some have already pronounced it dead because of that reaction. In due respect to those who think the RPR is dead, I’m not buying. I can’t believe that NAR would have spent millions on this to have it shot down and be done so quickly. (Note to NAR….please tell me you didn’t just intend to Pelosi this down the throats of people without a back up plan or some intent of conciliation). For now, I’ll stand by the belief it still has the potential for enormous impact to our industry in 2010. Although this is the same org that pushed us into Realtor.com…..hmmmmm.

  2. Bob

    November 15, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Greg, I think the impact it has is that of waking the sleeping giants. I believe this is DOA because FirstAm will get a partner and do it better, while also offering more value to the local mls.

    NAR believes this to be an offensive that will put them in the cat bird seat. I believe this to be a re-do of the Maginot Line where people will simply bypass it. Worst case, it is the last straw that starts the anti NAR revolution.

    I have had my issues with NAR for awhile, but saw value in the homeowner advocacy lobbists they are. That changed with their backing of the tax credit extension.

  3. Greg Cooper

    November 15, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Bob,
    You may have confirmed my worst fears….that NAR has in fact spent HUGE coin to fail with the RPR. I thought Rob Hahn was hasty yesterday pronouncing it dead. There seemed to be curiosity and positive energy from agents over it. It may well end up that the organization that moves like it’s running in four inches of water will itself end up belly up after this is over.

  4. Reggie from RPR

    November 15, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Hey Greg,
    First and foremost the RPR is a huge member benefit. I’m not sure how much you’ve heard about the tool, but in my opinion it’s been needed for while.

    I hear often from REALTORS a major challenge they face is the huge amount of misinformation or out-dated information available on line…which their clients run into each day.

    By assembling this “Gold Standard” in data, it will empower members as the source for trusted, complete, and reliable real estate and property ownership data. This is a good thing for the industry and each member!

    Another challenge REALTORS face is obtaining information outside their territory. RPR would assist these members and allow them to carry out a myriad of new activities for their clients like creating market to market comparisons, advanced analytic reports and the RVM value.

    As for MLS’s, in the ballroom discussions there were many great questions and many wondering what it all meant for them. Also yesterday I was able to sit in on a string of suite meetings with MLS executive. These meetings took the demonstration and conversation to a deeper level. The MLS executives were there to fully educate themselves. They went through a very detailed demonstration of the RPR tool, and asked the pertinent questions for their marketplace. When confirmation was made that RPR will carry no offers of cooperation and compensation and the fact that it would firmly apply the MLS’s business rules to their data, sign a no compete, etc… the MLS executives I heard were eager for next steps.

    Also remember the idea of cost savings through a national compilation of 3rd party data (tax and assessment data, property data, neighborhood, school, demographics, maps, trends, and reports) is a real benefit for many MLS’s…and of course would result in increased profits.

    I should also mention the MLS’s that opt-in will get a branded version of the RPR system to integrate with their MLS system…so their members will be able to click right from a listing inside the MLS and land on a MLS branded/integrated version of the RPR. As a result, the MLS would be enhancing the members search experience and facilitating the discovery of additional market data. This is another huge value-add and was exciting for many listening yesterday.

    BTW, Rob Hahn was hasty with his post yesterday and I mentioned that to him on Twitter. If you know Rob you know that he often admits that he likes to see the dark side of things.

    Lots more…but this is a long enough comment already. 🙂

  5. Greg Cooper

    November 15, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Reggie,

    I have great respect for your comments coming from your success and understanding of the biz. I also agree that if it gets there it will be a great tool….as Rob had suggested on multiple points as did others. I’m still in the dark as to how this thing gets done without the cooperation of local MLS boards given their concerns. I’m all for tools that put Realtors back in a position of having the best available information at their disposal and this potentially could be a monster group of such tools.

    My wavering back and forth throughout my comments is probably more of a true barometer of my feelings than any one post. I like the concept yet am cynical of NAR’s ability to get it executed properly. My initial goal was to encourage Realtors to continuously educate themselves on this as there will no doubt be much misinfo….or as in my case this past week….a total lack that the issue was even out there. Thanks for your thoughts….keep sharing the facts….we need it.

  6. Bob Wilson

    November 15, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Hi Reggie,

    As cool as RPR is I still have a few thoughts:

    This doesn’t change the quality of listing data.
    Our listing data is worth more than a trade for free tax data.
    FirstAm and a tech partner could do the same thing

    A few questions:
    What are the restrictions on how LPS can use OUR listing data outside of RPR?
    If a local MLS opts in, is there any restrictions put on them by RPR as to what else we can do with OUR data?

  7. Reggie from RPR

    November 15, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    @Greg – Thank you!

    @Bob – Great question and thank you for asking. There is misinformation floating around right now on this topic. LPS WILL NOT be touching your MLS data. If an MLS opts-in the MLS data will securely exist on RPR servers.

    Rather LPS will be used as a marketing channel for an analytic product created FROM the data. This is the outcome of RPR algorithm…now known as the RVM value. So when we deliver data through the LPS marketing channel it’s NOT the MLS data itself…it’s the newly created RVM analytic piece.

  8. Ken Brand

    November 15, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Exciting times. Dangerous times. Like you said, time will tell. There’s a posse of smart, deep pocketed people who put this together and equally smart, deep pockets who fear it.

    I do like Rob Hahn’s take ( https://www.notorious-rob.com/2009/11/14/in-which-i-announce-the-death-of-rpr/ ). Why. Because it makes sense. And he’s not sugar coating, kum-by-yaing it. Rob’s critical thinking keen.

    I don’t fully understand all the implications, but I do know that a possible game changer, crushes somebodies dreams. Who’s? The MLS, Zillow, local boards, etc.

    Also, 30 years of observation tells me, entrepreneurs don’t sit around and discuss, “How we can we make the individual real estate agent’s life easier and more profitable.” It’s self interest, capitalism, ego, power, fame, etc.

    Time will tell. In the mean time, focus on your individual relationships, skills, knowledge, etc.

    Like I said, exciting times. Cheers.

    PS. At least it’s owned by NAR and some 3rd party company.

  9. Tom Blefko

    November 16, 2009 at 6:15 am

    What do I think will happen in 2010? I see local boards sitting down and crunching the numbers and they won’t like what they see. Many local boards make lots of money off of their local MLS’s regardless of how good or bad the product is. In most cases, it provides a huge revenue stream to local associations. If RPR ends up providing a product that is better than the local MLS (which looks like a distinct possibility), REALTORS are going to start asking the tough question, “Why am I paying $XXX per quarter to my MLS and getting BLAH – – – while I’m getting WOW from RPR and it costs me nothing?” Local MLS executives do not want to stand up in front of a room full of restless troops and answer this question.

  10. Joe Loomer

    November 16, 2009 at 7:14 am

    First of all, I cannot believe no one commented on the fact that Greg used “Pelosi” as a verb. I had to change my shorts I laughed so hard.

    @Tom – the RPR isn’t going to “wow” anyone unless it HAS the MLS data in the first place – at least that’s my take. If it doesn’t, it’s just another “zestimate.”

    I too, was excited about the possibilities RPR had to offer – mainly because out here in the sticks the MLS is an archaic monopoly run by Mr. Potter’s evil twins – the two local traditional brokerages with fingers in every pie (mortgage, banking, insurance, development, etc.). It’s a teeth-pulling excursion to get them to add actual Seller Contributions to CLOSED data. Anything that will make them wake up and realize that IDX doesn’t stand for “I Don’t Xpect” much.

    Surprised to hear of the chlly reception – hope to see this evolve back into the exciting venture it appeared to be at first.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  11. Thomas Johnson

    November 16, 2009 at 10:55 am

    HAR is the largest Realtor association in the US. Our leaders are Inman Men of the Year, our tech people are Inman Award winners as well. I asked an HAR executive level director if HARMLS was going to feed the data to RPR. The answer I got: “What’s RPR?”
    I guess my local MLS Inman men didn’t get the memo.

  12. Greg Cooper

    November 16, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Suddenly another thought…..what about appraisers? Would the 29,000 appraiser members of NAR feel like they had been TOTALLY defrocked? Why would Fannie, Freddie not just build their own valuation models and each property could have value assigned in about 12 mins after a search was initiated? Can’t imagine they will be happy once it sets in…..

  13. Bob Wilson

    November 16, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Greg, listen to the webinar again. When he said they asked Fannie and Freddie if they would find this valuable, he said they answered yes. That isnt the same as saying it will be adopted as the valuation model. Otherwise we end up back in the same mess when lenders went from using FICO as one criteria of the underwriting process to FICO AS the underwriting process.

    The appraiser would have access to this as a member of the mls.

  14. Greg Cooper

    November 16, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Bob…thanks and understood but here’s my question:

    Why would they even need appraisers if they can set up a formula, punch in the criteria and simply have the the mother computer spit out the values? They could have a valuation for a given propety in 12 mins from already quantified data.

    Wouldn’t this increase pressure (read demand) for the data that they have?

  15. Bob Wilson

    November 16, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Its about current condition. Data doesnt give you that kind of up to date info. What it will do is make the appraiser’s job easier and less subjective when it comes to comps., but IMO you still need eye balls on the property. Eliminating the appraiser would be a huge mistake.

  16. Matthew Hardy

    November 16, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    So the NAR has become another aggregator. Data suppliers will be glad to have the customer and competitors will hope their running head start means something.

    (It’s ironic how important *data* becomes at the levels discussed here, but not in a typical agent’s own business.)

    Assembling a “gold standard” of data is marketing fluff and won’t happen. Not because of local board acceptance reasons, but because data at this scale usually contains errors in percentages that *increase* in relation to the size of the data set. As an obverse illustration, I know agents who work upscale markets whose databases are more accurate and current than any public or board-controlled system covering the same market. Their competive edge comes from answering clients questions from this rich knowledgebase, not from a recitation of information they *think* is correct.

    As far as I can tell, we’re still talkin’ residential real estate here. Market analytics et al are useful for pricing, but for other details, I don’t think inspectors should worry about their job security.

    Oh… and I really like the idea of saying someone got “Pelosied”. I think just about everyone will *forever* get it and that Greg should get etymological credit.

  17. Matthew Hardy

    November 16, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    And from an ABC story…

    > “The Obama administration, under fire for inflating job growth from the $787 billion stimulus plan, slashed over 60,000 jobs from its most recent report on the program because the reporting outlets had submitted “unrealistic data,” according to a document obtained by ABC News.”

    Now who the hell would ever submit “unrealistic data”… go figure. 😉

  18. Reggie from RPR

    November 16, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    @Matthew What’s really ironic is that you’re saying data isn’t important to the typical agent’s business. Accurate data is crucial and should always be the goal!

    Also to correct your statement, no we’re not just talkin’ residential real estate. RPR will include all property parcels in the U.S., commercial, residential and vacant land.

  19. Greg Cooper

    November 16, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    “Oh… and I really like the idea of saying someone got “Pelosied”. I think just about everyone will *forever* get it and that Greg should get etymological credit.”

    I wouldn’t rush to call Webster just yet. Feel free to call my IU college english prof from synergistic lit and creative analysis. She’d be quite pleased.

  20. Matthew Hardy

    November 16, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    > Reggie “What’s really ironic is that you’re saying data isn’t important to the typical agent’s business. Accurate data is crucial and should always be the goal!”

    I may not have stated that point clearly enough: what I was saying here is that CRM-related data is vital, yet most agents don’t take the time and trouble to collect and maintain and leverage it for the long-term success of their own business. Instead, they upload some contact info into yet-another-vendor-hosted-system then jump to the next shiny object… although some vendors try to “encourage” agents to stay by not allowing them to take all their data with them should they decide to leave.

    So, the real irony is being overly concerned about the endemic lack of accuracy from large data suppliers/aggregators while paying only passing attention to the data that matters the most – yours.

    My reference to residential real estate has to do with its personal, boots-on-the-ground quality; it’s Bob Wilson’s point, “you still need eye balls on the property.”

  21. Matthew Hardy

    November 16, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    > Feel free to call my IU college english prof from synergistic lit and creative analysis. She’d be quite pleased.

    Oh sure Greg, anything to make your english professor happy! 😉
    (Geeeze… the guy’s givin’ me homework!)

  22. Matt Stigliano

    November 17, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Rather LPS will be used as a marketing channel for an analytic product created FROM the data.

    Reggie – How will RPR account for bad data in the first place? I know my MLS is chock-full of inaccurate information and data that has been input (whether knowingly or not) that couldn’t be correct if it tried. Like the agents on the NE side of town (why it’s prevalent on that side of town I do not know) that like to list acreage without decimal points. A 773 acre lot with a 3/2 home on it for $160,000? I don’t think so.

    I know you’re a data kind of guy, so I’m sure you know the old phrase:

    Garbage in, garbage out.

    This assumes of course, that I am understanding you correctly…that MLS data will help feed into the RVM algorithm.

    • Reggie from RPR

      November 18, 2009 at 1:34 pm

      Hey Matt,
      Great question! The reality is you’re right, sloppy data entry does happen in any given MLS. First thing to understand with RPR is that it’s a parcel centric database, so let’s say another agent in your office took a listing and entered the data incorrect. As you mention they entered acreage without the decimal point. When you see the property in RPR it would have a side by side comparison of what the public facts say and what the listing agent facts say, and of course even historic facts, aerial view of the parcel. All available for you to review.

      Also worth noting is the RPR refinement tool that will allow members to modify key property details for their own experience. Then using very complex algorithms, eventually RPR will learn from the aggregate of this shared data.

  23. Matt Stigliano

    November 18, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Reggie – That’s exactly the answer I was looking for. I guess with the extra data being pulled in from other sources, it will become apparent as to what’s right and what’s wrong in many cases. I also like the idea of RPR being able to “learn” from the refinement tool. That sounds very interesting – almost sci-fi.

    I’ll be very interested to see the RPR in action, especially in a place like Texas, where our taxes are based on appraisal district data (as we are a non-disclosure state). I see a lot of houses (especially older ones) that are in the appraisal districts data as (for example) 1,000 square feet, but thanks to non-permitted construction or data that wasn’t updated properly, are in reality twice that size because of additions or conversions.

    Thanks!

  24. Matthew Hardy

    November 21, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Quoting Reggie Nicolay on Sellsius:

    “I can confirm that RPR will provide an API for VOW operators. There is still work to be done on this piece, but as I understand it will allow a registered VOW user to go to a section of the VOW, select a report and the RPR system will deliver the link to the report back through the VOW.”

    I’m looking forward to more information.

  25. Joe Cline

    November 29, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    I’m a broker in Austin Texas and have looked over the RPR data on the web.
    My initial reaction after a few days is as follows:

    Great. NAR is spending our dollars on something that NAR will profit on and so will some tech company execs. Our MLS will not get any financial benefit and likely will have to spend resources on the data transfer setup, maintenance, and upgrades as time goes on. So my MLS gets bogged down with the details of giving good data to NAR and gets zip in return.

    As an agent, I sell locally. I’m not an expert on this, but I bet 99% of agents sell within the area covered by one or two MLSs. NO ONE SELLS EVERYWHERE, so why do I care about a national database as an agent? NAR and their tech partner obviously care because they need national data to sell and profit from.

    Texas is a non-disclosure state. That means our real property values are none of the government’s business. I don’t put it past NAR to sell to government agencies, as they have said there is massive interest from government agencies. So now, you can expect our normally sub market value taxes to go through the roof. Who wins here? Again it seems to be only NAR and their tech partner. Buyers and sellers will see less value for their dollar and the cost of home ownership will rise. If you’re not from Texas, let me tell you that our property taxes are already high compared to most. Think 2% per year. Each bump in appraised value is not $5, but more like several hundred $$$ a year.

    I just don’t see this as a move that makes sense for agents, brokers, and MLS systems. Do we need it? Nope. Does it help the agents in the field? I don’t see how. Will it cost agents/MLS anything? Unless the data is going to grow legs and walk over to NAR, YES. Is NAR or the tech partner going to give us anything of value in return? Not really, unless you count access to data from Wasilla, AK something of value to agents in the lower 48.

    If I’m missing something, let me know.

    Right now, I think RPR is just NAR bringing a tech friend along to their “Giving Tree” that is the agents who enter data, pay for NAR membership, and see nothing in return.

    Joe Cline
    Austin Realtor

  26. joseph chambers

    May 2, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Well what a surprise. NAR is spending our cash on something that NAR profits.

    So now our MLS has more to do with absolutely no return!

    Typical.

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