RPR and Parcel Based MLS Systems: Is Change Good for REALTORS & NAR?

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Great discussions are happening about RPR and the transition to enhanced data or parcel-based MLS systems.

Aggregators are looking for ways to integrate the myriad of information around a specific property record and present this to their end users; whether that is the REALTOR, consumer, service providers or a combination thereof.

An associate of mine (Thanks, Jon) pointed out that the big argument is whether real estate professionals are in the SERVICE business or the INFORMATION CONTROL business. I don't however think that the debate should really be about whether the REALTOR is in the Service business or the Data business.

The Real Estate Professional is *absolutely* in the service side of the transaction business.

In fact, the value added by a Broker/Agent is that of a trusted advisor - a more accurate description might be that of a transactional facilitation consultant. On the data or information side of the discussion, it's not the REALTOR that is at the center. That would be NAR and outside organizations. In the discussion of parcel-based MLS systems, at the end of the day the essential role of the REALTOR does not change. What may change is the access to readily avaialble information.

If you think about it, this is consistent with the 'normal' progression of the industry and technology over time. Think back to when we had the option to add the 'Agent Simple' product from REALTOR.com for example. What did this do for the REALTOR? For the Consumer? At the time there were doomsayers crying on every corner 'disintermediation is near!!', but what actually occured was a natural evolotion of the industry:

  • The consumer matured
  • Access to information increased - for all parties (this is the natural course of technology, business, and free society)
  • The REALTOR's ability to more effectively and efficiently facilitate transactions increased
  • Our relationship to the buyer / seller did not change

Rather than being 'put out' of the deal, the REALTOR instead found that they could more effectively measure, manage and close their pipeline of business - often increasing the number of clients and transactions they were able to handle at once.

This is what technology, information, and business tools can, and should, do for your business.

On the flip side, we also saw that with an increasingly informed consumer, the Real Estate Professional had to step up their game. Indeed the information was now available on every property, every REALTOR, every market - and there was an expectation which drove us all to get better at what we do.

Instead of debating the 'whether or nots' from a position of fear or nervousness, I encourage each of us to embrace the change for what it is - Simply stated: the next step in the ever-changing landscape of the Real Estate Business.

The good news is this: We all get to choose not only what we do, but also how we do it. Will you leverage the change to advance your business to new levels of service and reach? That is, as always, entirely up to you.

The great thing about the National Association of REALTORS is that they are working for us all regardless of those individual choices - to ensure that our position of Consumer Service and Trusted Advisor / Consulting remains strong and viable. . . both today and in the future of Real Estate. I for one am excited about the future!

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Tim Mancuso is a musician, public speaker and the former VP Sales & Marketing for Social Media startup ViewMyLife. He is focused on training and coaching business owners and entrepreneurs on leveraging traditional and new media to Stay in Touch with their clients, prospects, and key influencers. Follow On Twitter @TimMancuso or connect on Linkedin.com and Facebook.com

Comments (3)

Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

Tim, I'm VERY torn about RPR and it is not about disintermediation - but about integrity of data.

I will tell a PERFECT STORY about why an RPR is gonna be 'off' during critical times . . .

I received a note from a prospect - why does this property have such a low PPSF compared to the rest? And what's the difference between your listing and this other one with the SAME ADDRESS?

WELL, the reason is that the property was a TEARDOWN - was sold in February with numerous code violations and structural issues . . . structure demolished and is now relisted as vacant land . . .

The prospect saw the old listing on Zillow. Still listed as active with the improvements!

There is NO WAY an RPR, County records or even an agent unfamiliar with the area could have known that. Yet. By the time it is updated in the County and title company records drawn from, it will be sold again . . .



May 26, 2010 05:10 AM
Tim Mancuso
Independent Coach, Trainer & Consultant - Gilbert, AZ
Elite Sales Coach - GROW SMART


I do not disagree with you on the integrity and/or interpretation of the data. You are correct in that being a very big issue.

What I will point out is that the case for the REALTOR as consultant is strengthened by the challenges with this (data / integrity / interpretation).

I agree it will absolutely be necessary to engage the services of a local real estate professional to navigate through the information without getting burned.

Thank you for the insightful comment!


May 26, 2010 09:14 AM
David Dion
HomeSmart - Gilbert, AZ

RPR is the best and one of the most underultized tools available to the REALTOR community.  I have put compiled a lot of videos, am promoting the use of RPR within the REALTOR community, and will be adding content on how I use the products available in my own business.  Here is a link to the video site - http://www.solutionsrealestateacademy.com/courses/rpr-realtors-property-resource   < ------  just copy and paste...  I will be making this the goto place for everything RPR, with as many best practices from around the country as possible.

Apr 01, 2015 11:36 AM