Nearly a dozen Michigan-based REALTOR® Associations are working together to remove barriers between users and information—the only group of its kind in the Midwestern United States and one of two such collaborations in the United States.
The consortium, known since 2015 as MichRIC®, LLC (Michigan Regional Information Center®), utilizes collective buying power to provide data, forms, and services to 7,400 members who cover 22 counties in the Great Lakes State, which includes access to one another’s listings. Those 11 Associations, plus seven additional MLSs, also have access to shared data through RPR View™, a unique service offered by Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®).
Through a set of permissions, RPR View™ allows MLS partners to choose which statuses to share for on- and off-market listings and with whom. Ultimately, Brokers engage a wider audience for their listings, notably in contiguous markets or among MLSs with reciprocal agreements. RPR View™ is offered at no cost.
MichRIC Chief Executive Officer Anton Letica says RPR View™ allows his organization to better serve the needs of its members. “All anyone talks about is wanting to see one another’s data,” says Anton. “RPR View™ is a secure and cost-free way to share that data.”
“Our members like RPR for its diversity of data: listings and public records, market data, demographics, reports, and so much more,” adds Anton. “It’s a great place to find additional information outside of the MLS.”
Gary Walter was at the forefront of MichRIC’s launch in 1996, then known as SWMRIC, and served as the group’s CEO until he retired in 2019.
Asked how the MichRIC model differs from an MLS, Gary replied, “A regional database provides offers of compensation and cooperation, similar to an MLS, but we don’t have engagement rules. Each Association has its own rules and regulations, such as when to report sales or enter a listing.”
MichRIC also provides members with technology products such as electronic forms from Ziplogix and Dotloop; ShowingTime, and free IDX websites, in addition to RPR access.
Gary also served a key role in the RPR View agreement with MichRIC in June 2018.
“We had issues with who was accessing our system,” says Gary. “RPR can lock a system down to members only through a unique name and password. It can also turn on cooperation to the MLSs and can deny access to anyone who is no longer a REALTOR®. Those are control features we didn’t have in our data share.”
Plus, through RPR, MichRIC provides its members with single sign on (SSO), and deep links to property listings and school reports, which may account for strong RPR usage among its members.
Anton closes, “Our REALTORS® want access to data, which is the driving force of our organization… and we intend to do everything we can to service them.”