The National Association of Realtors has taken a major step towards a property centric MLS. The Realtor Property Resource (RPR) is not intended to become a national MLS system but it has the potential to provide vast amounts of property centric data. This is big news that has not yet been covered by the major press or tech news. Yet, this has the potential to be a GAME CHANGER in online real estate. So far the best information has come from blogs like 1000watt, Agent Genius, MLS Tesserat, and The Notorious R.O.B. and for real-time comments see #RPR.
To discover the what and why I went to the source and found some documentation by NAR leadership:
The Opportunity: Collectively Realtors® know more than anyone else about individual properties, communities, local trends, regulations, and other factors related to local real estate. If this collective knowledge (sometimes called “the wisdom of crowds”) could be organized and archived in a single industry sponsored and operated database, Realtors® could share their expertise and leverage their collective experience to provide broader, deeper, and more timely and accurate information to their customers.
The Solution: Creating a property or parcel centric national library or archive that has robust and useful information on virtually every property in the US.
Source: NAR Whitepaper (May 2008)
According to one of my sources, the NAR09 Conference next week is going to be the “first and best place for RPR related information”. I’m trying to find as much information as I can as soon as possible. This is supposed to be a major value proposition for brokers that is “industry-friendly” allowing us to be a reliable and “trusted advisor”. To date millions of dollars in Realtor dues have been spent on this initiative and it has now finally being unveiled. Time will tell if it was money well spent.
While the specifics are vague, I believe that RPR has the potential to be a very important development in real estate. At a minimum, it is moving us towards better, more accessible, data on all real estate properties (not just those currently for sale or lease). It should, in theory, make life better for the consumer. However, before we get there we’re going to have to deal with a lot of growing pains.