Tag Archives: LPS

Reviewing RPR Demo, Part 1: The Invention of Gunpowder

All your castles are belonging to us now!

After a fairly lengthy silence, the team at RPR has released a deluge of new information on their new blog.  A couple of things before we delve in.

First, Reggie Nicolay and his team deserve a ton of credit for the new blog.  It’s well-designed, the content is rich and detailed, and many of the tools I would expect from a professional social media engagement site are there.  So kudos to Reggie and the gang on the marketing side.  (Minor quibble: can you not use videos that can be embedded? Or provide more sharing tools, like WordPress, Posterous, and the like?  The goal of RPR blog isn’t to drive traffic, right, but to get the word out?)

Second, from the movie of a live demo of the software, it seems evident that the development team has not had a easy and relaxing holidays.  They’ve been hard at work, and what I saw on the demo (we’ll spill many pixels on this) is slick, polished, and truly excellent.  They too deserve immense credit for what they’ve managed to accomplish in such a short period of time.

Now, as you probably know, I’m on the skeptical side of things as far as RPR is concerned, having announced its death and all.  And the demo itself, as amazing as it is, doesn’t completely change my mind on that front.  However, from the start, I have had nothing but praise for the software itself, and I’d like to make that crystal clear:  The RPR software is by far the most impressive piece of design and web development I have seen in real estate since the launch of Trulia.  I have nothing bad to say about it as a piece of software.

In this part, I’d like to simply review the RPR based on the demo that was recently posted.  Since I haven’t driven it myself, I’m not clear on what I may be missing.  So keep that in mind as you read.

Let’s dive in.

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No More Drama and Hype: Known Facts on RPR

[UPDATED 11/20/09: More facts added.]

Earlier this week, Reggie Nicolay (@ReggieRPR), the Director of Social Media for the REALTORS Property Resource, LLC, wrote:

Reggie-Death-To-Drama

I happen to agree 100%.  Also, a commenter on one of my earlier posts by the name of Kris Goodfellow wrote:

Rob,
I’ve got to say, that there is much in the way of speculation and little in the way of “facts” here. DOA, really? That’s pure conjecture. Marty got a standing O today from the 2000 leaders from every state and local associations. In the big broker’s session, the comments included “WOW!” and RPR was compared to Neil Armstrong walking on the moon.
I might be just an old fashioned, ex-newspaper journalist, but I’ve got to say that a year this post is going to look as silly as the “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline. Tell the story, man, don’t try to be a fortune teller.

So let’s say I agree with both Reggie and Kris.

My take is that you kill drama and hype by showing the facts, not by calling questions and opinions “drama and hype”.  So in the interest of moving the conversation along, and also to emphasize once again that I am no opponent of RPR, I have put together all of the facts as I know them with sources, along with questions about what we do not know.  This way, anyone who is interested might be able to discern for himself what is real and what is drama.

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In Which I Announce the Death of RPR

RPR! We hardly knew ye!

RPR! We hardly knew ye!

Without a doubt, the topic of conversation at this year’s NAR National Convention has been the REALTOR Property Resource (Link: PDF) or RPR, the ambitious $20mm program rolled out with much fanfare by NAR.  You couldn’t avoid talking about RPR even if you tried.  And I wasn’t really trying that hard, because RPR is a fascinating product, an awesome user interface, and one where the team led by Marty Frame deserves a whole lot of credit for pulling such a great product together in such a short period of time (roughly 4 months).  Despite my concerns that RPR will trigger a civil war in the real estate industry, I thought (and continue to think) very highly of RPR.

However, it is now time to bury RPR.  It is dead on arrival in its current incarnation.

Suspicious Minds

Having presented at, and then having sat through the presentation of Dale Ross and Marty Frame on RPR, at the MLS Executives Meeting at NAR yesterday, I believe that the general mood of the MLS operators ranges between open hostility to cautious neutrality.  The larger MLS’s are biding their time, to see what some of the details are, possibly to see what is being offered by RPR for early adopters.  (Full disclosure: a large MLS, MRIS, is a client of 7DS, but I am writing this post, as I have every post on this topic, based on what I personally saw and heard, and public information, as opposed to anything discussed with them.)  The smaller MLS’s are worried what RPR could mean for them, and miffed that there is no revenue sharing arrangement for the sale of “their” data.

Brokerages are not bursting over with enthusiasm either.  They also wonder what’s in RPR for them, since they feel that the data that the MLS is supposed to provide RPR belongs to them.  The broker-owned MLS’s can’t make a decision without getting their shareholders on board, and the mood appears dark, to say the least.

The fatal flaw of RPR, I think, is the lack of revenue share.  Brokers, MLS executives, and Association executives might all look with favor or at least interest on a proposal that promised revenue streams that would allow them all to either make greater profits, or reduce the cost of service to their members.  Dale Ross made it crystal clear to the MLS executives that there is no revenue share for them; he urged them, in fact, to cooperate and collaborate with RPR for the good of the members because RPR will provide tools to help the members of MLS’s become better practitioners.  Ross’s concession that maybe five years down the line, after RPR’s revenues and profits are stabilized, he may consider revenue share did not, it seemed to me, to go over all that well with the audience.

Trouble is, those types of answers do not appear to assuage the suspicion on the part of MLS executives and brokerages that what NAR intends to do with RPR is to create a national MLS.

Into this environment of suspicion comes a critical piece of information.

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A Question: LPS, Marketing, and RPR

As many of you know, I wrote a wee little post the other day about REALTOR Property Resource or RPR.  That was the first post based on my impressions from a webinar held on November 6th.

With some further thought, and with the ability to review the actual webinar/webcast itself, I have some further questions.  And I’d like to keep each post to one question, so every post doesn’t end up being 3,000+ words.

So today’s question:  What else did LPS get besides $12mm to participate in RPR?

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The Coming Civil War in Real Estate: The RPR Saga Begins

On November 6th, at roughly 3:15PM Eastern Standard Time, the National Association of REALTORS declared war on the rest of the real estate industry.  To be fair, NAR probably did not realize that it did so.  Judging by the initial responses, it doesn’t appear to me that most people see what I saw.  But, probably because of my twisted nature and my penchant for focusing on the dark side of human nature, I am predicting nothing short of civil war in the real estate industry going forward unless REALTORS Property Resource (or RPR) in its current form is immediately scrapped.

What brings forth such hyperbole?

RPR, or REALTORS Property Resource, was a project shrouded in secrecy.  Brian Larson’s post of October 19th, 2009 is a pretty good pre-unveiling summary of the questions and concerns around RPR.  Brian Boero’s initial take is a very decent summary of the post-unveiling.  But since Brian is a much nicer, much sunnier, much more positive guy than I am, I believe what you’ll get from Brian is the “Glass Half Full” vision.

Strap in for the darker vision.

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