(BNL Note: This post comes from the CEO of a Medium/Large MLS. Like all posts of this kind, views expressed here are those of that author, not necessarily of our companies or our clients.)

Dale Ross has been discussing RPR for a few years now at national conferences, there never has been a real buy-in to the concept from my opinion.  Now that we have a contract in addition to a concept, things are still not clear to me.  Having seen the contract, and having legal representation review, I don’t think RPR is actually promising anything.  In our opinion, the silence is deafening when it comes to what they claim they will do in the contract language. 

Having seen the contract, I still do not understand how it correlates to what they are saying. 

Essentially, I understand they are providing us with ‘free’ tax or public record data.  This constitutes a whole plethora of additional questions that although I have asked them directly, there has been no response. 

·         Access to Free Public Record Data

o   That would be great if it contained as much as I am getting now from my current provider but it does not.

o   Free from RPR is one thing but I can guarantee you it will not be free to have my current vendor integrate that data into my MLS system. 

§  Which then brings up exactly how are they providing this free data to us?

·         API

·         Raw Data

o   Can they come close to matching the integration we currently have between our MLS and Public Records provided to us from our current vendor?

§  Again, silence

o   How often is this free data updated?

§  Assessment Data?

§  Deed Transactions?

o   I understand that their idea of Revenue Sharing is that they are giving us this data for free.

§  However, as stated above, is it really?

Here are some facts directly from the contract:

·          RPR intends to create, or have created on its behalf, business products, services and/or applications using the Licensed Content, and desires to access and to use Provider’s [MLS’s] Content as source material for the creation of such RPR offerings.

·         Provider [MLS] is willing to grant RPR the right to access and use the MLS Content contained in Provider’s Database for use in the RPR Offerings subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

o   Definitions:

§  Licensed Content:  means the content contained in the database that is to be provided or made available to RPR pursuant to this Agreement, including Active Listings, Pending Sales, Off-Market Listings and Participant/Subscriber Roster Information.

§  RPR Customers:  Means those Persons who are not NAR members and with whom RPR has contracted to provide the RPR Offerings.

§  RPR Offerings:  Means those business products, services and/or applications created and developed by RPR using the Licensed Content, including the RVM Product, the March and Append Products and other products as from time to time developed by RPR. 

§  Match & Append Products:  Means a list of properties created by the transmittal by an RPR Customer of a data set that includes property addresses to be matched by RPR against its database for the purpose of identifying those properties in the data set that are currently on the market for sale and the list price of such properties.

§  RVM Product:  Means automated property valuations generated by an analytical model.

·         Grant of License:

o   Subject to the terms and conditions of this agreement, Provider hereby grants to RPR during the term a limited, revocable, non-exclusive, non-transferrable License to access and use the Licensed Content for the purpose of (i) integrating the Licensed Content into the RPR Offerings, (ii) granting Authorized RPR Users access to the RPR Offerings via a password protected database, (iii) marketing and distributing RPR Offerings to RPR Customers, (iv) displaying to Authorized RPR Users all Active Listings in the Licensed Content and (v) displaying to Participants/Subscribers and such other Persons authorized by Provider all Pending Sales and Off Market Listings in the Licensed Content.

Does RPR Offerings and Match & Append really describe anything?

What a contract that allows them to create new uses for the Licensed Content without prior consent?  (…other products as from time to time developed by RPR…)

From what we have seen so far, there remains far more to be answered that has been done to date.  There is no question that the demo indicates a really neat web site but the fact that remains, does this really help our members?  If so and our Board direct us to participate, we will support that decision and participate willingly.  But I, for one, will compare side by side what features we gain vs. what we lose.  If it is a losing proposition, why would we place that burden on our members in an already difficult market?

Conferences just got a lot more interesting this year!

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Reading this caused me to also wonder if an MLS will get to retain any of the historical public record data that they integrated into their MLS if/when their agreement with RPR ends.

  2. Assuming no crystal ball, the historical data would quickly be too aged to be of any value. I also believe that the income derived from First American or other potential vendors would fall quite short of what we currently pay for tax data, making "free" extremely attractive.

  3. RPR is a currently, a complete WASTE of money…

    Once I was asked by a Realtor… "Who is paying for this".. I smiled and said… "You and the rest of our members are"..

    THAT.. is the truth….
    FOr many MLS operators, it has not taken months to correctly integrate tax data into the MLS sytems.. It has taken years….
    Yet, NAR seems to

  4. I am a Broker of small boutique firm (30 agents) and I am requesting my local MLS to partner with RPR as soon as possible.

    The benefits to my agents are obvious from the demo:
    1. the best property analytics to ever be assembled as one resource for Realtors
    2. expedite the data aggregation/curation process
    3. raise the bar on reports while simplifying the process

  5. Brian,

    I personally think when NAR decided to sell our collective data and products (AVM) to third parties they have crossed the line. NAR indirectly will be competing with its own members (especially appraisers) with their own intellectual data. I know that local associations and or private MLS’s will be drawn in initially by the money (revenue sharing), but I think this is a very

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