CEO Update – July 2017

Open Architecture: What it Really Means to Associations and MLSs

In keeping with RPR’s mission to inform and educate constituencies on the value the Advanced Multi-List Platform™ (AMP™), Bob Bemis, Vice President of RPR Business Development, has written an editorial, Open Architecture: What it Really Means to Associations and MLSs. The article addresses how an API (Application Program Interface) and the concept of “open architecture” will allow direct access to data by what could be hundreds or thousands of new programs and applications for the real estate industry in the future.

You may not be familiar with APIs, but technology companies and others . such as Facebook, Google Maps, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, and Pinterest all utilize open architecture APIs for various sharing features.

One of the factors driving API interest in the real estate space is the growing acceptance of RESO Web API standards (supported by RPR) and increased adoption of a standard approach toward data access. Fortunately, real estate, as one of the few remaining industries that still uses closed systems, is turning a corner. This is due in large part to the work of RESO and an array of innovative technology companies, including RPR.

While for years this move to API technology has been discussed conceptually, the speed with which it is being implemented is exciting, offering great potential for the future of real estate technology. To read more about the benefits of open architecture, visit the RPR blog.

RPR Data Strengthens Smart Growth Initiative

REALTORS® across the country are becoming increasingly more interested in sustainable community development, also known as Smart Growth. Their enthusiasm is driven by a desire to build and nurture healthy neighborhoods, towns, and cities that will attract families, businesses, and investors to those areas.

According to Nate Johnson, president of Real Estate Solutions and chair of NAR’s Smart Growth Advisory Board, “REALTORS® are uniquely positioned to create added value within our communities. They are responsible for making sure our neighborhoods are developing in ways that we want by working alongside elected officials, real estate developers, chambers of commerce, transportation and urban planning professionals, governors, and leaders in Washington, D.C., to improve everyday life for people across the country.”

Nate travels the country teaching communities about NAR’s Smart Growth program and the community development grants offered to REALTOR® Associations and Boards through the program. Nate’s goal is to help real estate professionals, elected officials, and local and civic leaders understand the challenges, needs and opportunities facing their changing communities, and how they can play a role in shaping its future.

Nate’s primary source of supporting data is the Neighborhood Report offered through RPR. The report presents an in-depth view of the people living in a target area, including key economic and quality of life indicators such as housing, demographics, job growth, unemployment, voting patterns, occupations, income, cost of living, market activity, commute times, and climate information, among other vital data sets. Read more about using RPR data to support Smart Growth initiatives.

Tech Insights – Lockbox of the Future

In considering the key tools and products which MLSs and Associations provide to their members, the MLS data, forms and lockboxes are at the top of the list. Looking specifically at lockbox technology, the evolution of the products REALTORS® use everyday is well documented. But where this sector of real estate tech is going is a topic of great interest, with a number of varying business models entering the marketplace.

Recently, REALTOR® Magazine explored current lockbox technology and how it may be affected by these new innovations to the marketplace. Much of the sector’s recent innovation is directly related to utilization of big data that provides valuable insights to agents. One example is SentriSmart, an app offered by SentriLock which integrates data from RPR, Homesnap, HomeSpotter, and other information sources.

SentriLock CEO Scott Fischer says his company is focused on ways to make the process of offering property information and market data seamless. “When the lockbox is accessed, the information for the property is pulled down automatically into SentriSmart,” said Scott. “There’s definitely value derived from instant access to data. The last thing agents want is to be distracted by pulling up information when they’re with clients.”

While companies like Sentrilock focus on expanding their value proposition for agents by resourcing them to provide valuable data to the consumer experience, others are setting their sights on the direct-to-consumer market. TOOR, a new company which allows users to connect to a key compartment using a mobile app, requires buyers to provide basic profile information and a copy of a photo ID. The seller can then set additional criteria for access. For example, buyers must have an agent present or the buyer must submit pre-approval information prior to a showing.

Technology innovations aside, the fundamental question revolves around whether or not homeowners are comfortable with this additional level of access. Comparing it to the way the public felt about Uber and Airbnb just a few years ago, TOOR Creator Junior Desinor remarked, “It may sound weird now but the idea will be commonplace and the norm of the future. Would college kids be getting into cars with random strangers at two in the morning? A million people are staying in someone else’s bed every night through Airbnb.”

While consumers will ultimately decide which business models suit their needs, the REALTOR® industry remains focused on agents providing professional service to increase both the safety and success for consumers in the home-buying and selling process.

RPR Summer Webinar Series

This summer RPR has received a terrific response to our summer webinar educational series. To date, nearly three thousand REALTORS® have registered for the series and the list continues to grow. RPR’s goal has been simple: to deliver fresh and creative ways REALTORS® can use RPR data to capture the attention of their clients, customers and prospects.

The series includes a new topic each month. In June, Claire Chesnoff, Broker/Owner at Claire Properties (New Jersey), shared her proven five-point plan for creating and cultivating a solid neighborhood farming strategy. In July, RPR introduced an easy to follow plan for sharing interesting facts about a local area using RPR data. Finally, this August, REALTORS® will learn tips and techniques to perform speciality searches in RPR. Topics include using keyword searches to pinpoint properties, uncover vacant lots and land, and identify properties for lease/rent in a market.

RPR also created accompanying resources for each topic including a how-to article and a downloadable Quick Start Guide.

REALTOR® Spotlight

This month’s REALTOR® spotlight comes from Clifton, New Jersey, where RPR was introduced to Audrey Porter Plummer, a REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker who focuses on old-fashioned professionalism, integrity, and top-notch service. Audrey understands that consumers have access to more real estate data than any other time in history, so it’s her job to have the right data at the right time. And for that, Audrey turns to RPR.

“Once I came to know the power of RPR and how it applies to every facet of my business, I started bringing an iPad to every showing so that I was always prepared to demonstrate my expertise to clients” said Audrey. “This way, I’m showing them the house both physically and virtually, giving them the entire backstory, and even showing them everything that’s available in the area, all on my iPad.”

Learn how Audrey’s buyers are responding; read her story on the RPR blog.


Dale L. Ross
Chief Executive Officer
Realtors Property Resource®, LLC
Chicago, IL

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