Commentary by Ray Gronowski
Over the past two years, I have been leading the Broker Outreach Initiative at Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®). During that time, I have spoken with hundreds of real estate professionals in order to present RPR’s value proposition to REALTORS®, as well as the specific benefits to brokers and managers. As a 24-year veteran of the real estate industry, I have seen firsthand the evolution of real estate technology. I also understand that the amount of information that must be processed by a broker, manager and agent is tremendous, especially when it comes to technology. With that in mind, I would like to address what the RPR database can do, not only for the individual agent and real estate organizations, but also for the industry as a whole. I’d like to clarify the RPR core mission and explain, in a nutshell, what’s in it for the broker/owner.
What is REALTORS Property Resource®?
RPR is a wholly owned subsidiary corporation of NAR. It was created as part of NAR’s Second Century Initiatives in 2008. RPR launched its technology platform in September 2010 and is currently partnered with more than 420 MLSs representing more than 65 percent of all NAR REALTOR® members across the country. RPR offers no consumer or public access, meaning brokers and agents control the delivery of RPR reports to their consumers. RPR is not a publicly traded company and has no third-party partnerships or investors. RPR is owned by you, the REALTOR®.
What is our focus?
RPR has created the largest comprehensive database of parcel-centric property information in the industry, aggregating hundreds of datasets on more than 147 million properties. This single-source database designed by REALTORS®, for REALTORS®, is designed to remove the necessity for agents to search for property data from the same multiple sources as their consumers are using. As with any technology system, brokers and agents need to understand how to use this resource to create market-level advantages for their businesses and their company.
Additionally, RPR has focused on creating the gold standard in automated property valuations under the REALTOR® brand with the Realtors Valuation Model® (RVM®) . The RVM has the potential to remove friction in the marketplace, improve the quality and speed of the transaction, and provide REALTORS® with a more accurate valuation to help combat the prevalence of inaccurate, third-party AVMs available to consumers.
What are the benefits to the broker/owner?
RPR can provide huge benefits to the real estate practitioner, but what does RPR offer brokerage firms in terms of market-level tools that have the ability to enhance existing systems and potentially reduce costs? The key is to make sure your agents know how to interpret the data and articulate this information to their clients. In order to offer extensive support, training and communication systems for your agents, we have developed the RPR Broker Tool Sets (BTS). These include:
1. Company Branding – We have built in the ability to brand at each level of your organization—from corporate to franchise and even at the office level. As agents access the RPR application, generate reports and send RPR-generated emails, they’ll be branded back to your brokerage.
2. Affiliated Service Support – Allows companies to easily display modules of your affiliated or core services companies—such as mortgage, title, home warranty, insurance and concierge—to your agents, which allows brokers to stay top of mind when their agents are using RPR.
3. Data Analysis Tool – This provides business intelligence overlay to the entire database, which allows management the ability to use this data for trending, marketing and business planning, along with marketshare reports, over multiple MLS areas. The reports and graphics can be generated by geography, branch office or the entire company. This, by itself, is a huge benefit.
4. Chart Service – Also included in the BTS is the ability for a broker to extract (import) specific charts as images that can be embedded in internal marketing materials, including their company.
The RPR Broker Tool Sets were developed specifically to support real estate firms and meet the unique needs of brokers and managers, and to leverage RPR’s database of property information and report capabilities, helping brokers provide valuable services to their agents. These tools are designed to work in tandem with a broker’s existing technologies and branding.
Finally, RPR is not a listing syndicator, a public facing website, nor a national MLS. We offer technology features that complement and extend the existing systems—whether delivering in conjunction with the MLS through deep linking or working with a broker to make his or her companies more efficient—while enforcing the brand you work so hard to promote. RPR is a dues-funded member benefit provided by NAR to its REALTOR® members. All features, including the Broker Tool Sets described above, are no-charge offerings to all REALTORS®, their associations, MLSs and companies.
Ray Gronowski is vice president, Broker & Specialty Services, Realtors Property Resource®.
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