Realtors Property Resource v1.5 has a new look and feel in its top-level navigation, with a cleaner and easier-to-use tab navigation and improved co-branding for MLSs that co-brand the RPR site. It also includes a new Broker Tools Set (BTS) for beta testing by 10 companies nationally that will be participating in the initial program. Broker Tools will be rolled out more broadly later in 2011.
Version 1.5 includes these new or enhanced features:
Enhanced website header and tab navigation. The RPR website has an updated and enhanced design and site-wide tab navigation. The navigation is simpler and more prominent. A side benefit of the new design is better support for branding framework and elements (for co-brands), as well as contextual navigation that will display only to authorized Broker users who are administrators of the Broker tools.
Improved Reports. Design, usability and content changes were made throughout the RPR Reports—primarily the Property Report and the Seller’s Report—unifying the framework that underlies them, refactoring the design and presentation elements, and fine-tuning pagination and the order in which the modules display. The report generation page of the website was also modified to make it clearer to the user how to manage the inclusion or exclusion of different modules in the reports as they are customized and administer the retention of the reports.
Fine-tuned charts. The charts that display on the website and in Reports are more readable, better organized and more visually appealing. Nearly every chart on the site was touched, and we will continue to refine and add to the charts in future releases.
Changes to search and maps. RPR users in different locations can face unique, local challenges when searching locations—generally smaller towns—that are not available in the geographic boundary data sets we license from various parties. We identified a technique for locating these places and creating our own search boundaries for them. We tested this technique against the place names that users identified to us previously and are pleased with the performance of these searches. We have also implemented searching on ZIP codes associated with Post Office boxes, which we previously filtered from our search engine. This was a feature requested by a number of users, who wanted to search in proximity to Post Offices.
Broker management. (BTS) Extensive back-office infrastructure has been added to support the Broker Tools, providing for the administration of new functions, such as the creation and management of accounts for MLS staff, Broker staff and others. New Broker and branch office profile pages and administration will facilitate management of Broker Tools feature setup and customization, and administration of Broker service modules, including mortgage rates and rate administration, title, insurance, home warranty, concierge, and other modules. A new customer portal will allow broker mortgage companies to administer their own rate information and provide a framework for Broker self-service of all Broker Tools following the beta testing period.
Broker mortgage rate feed service. (BTS) We have developed an automated rate feed service that supplies updated mortgage rates via an XML interface. This interface utilizes the same format and schema as the rate feed services that support mortgage rate aggregation by other products online, so it will be familiar and easy to implement by Broker mortgage companies that already have rate feeds set up with these products.
RPR Chart Service. (BTS) We have developed a chart delivery service that allows a Broker to specify any geography of interest, and obtain any one of more than 16 available graphics on trends in that area. These charts are produced from the rolled-up summaries in RPR, updated weekly. The charts are very similar to the trend analysis and graphs that display on the RPR website but are designed to be easily inserted in a Broker or MLS website, CMA or other print product. The charts are watermarked, and we have developed a security model that allows us to authorize chart generation to firms participating in the Broker program, as well as the MLS’s that have partnered with RPR.
We addressed approximately 90 enhancement requests suggested by users, including some relating to how property addresses are displayed in the RPR reports, as well as in the display of price information for recent sales. During development, our team also identified a number of performance optimizations that provide some nice improvements in a variety of operations on the site.