The more I hear and read from RPR spokespeople, the more I wonder. Is making our local MLS data available to 1.1 million Realtors all over the world a good idea, as they claim it is. Okay, so maybe your average east coast Realtor wouldn't want to invade our market and sell our houses, but certainly the big national bank based in his home city would! They cal call up Joyce or Joe Blow and get into the purportedly Realtors-only RPR website on the same day. Joe Blow will let them in. All the bankers need is our sold data in order to cut out local appraisers and Realtors and put up a Corporate FSBO sign with a toll free number to their trained sales team members.
At the other end of the line in the big city are salespeople who are employees of the bank. They don't need a license, let alone a NAR membership to market and sell products that belong to their corporation. Like employers of home building firms, they are trained and directed to sell the corporate product. The more they sell, the higher they rise in the firm and the more commissions they generate. If there's a problem with the product, their job is to obfuscate it. If there's an objection, they are trained by management to overcome it. Unlike those who espouse our Realtor Code of Ethics, the employee-salesperson can lie with impunity. And remember, they're in the Bay Area or New York City making a commission on real estate in your home town. If this sounds like your job, it is. So get to work why don't you!
As a former field rep for subsidiaries of large firms including Westinghouse, IBM and Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, I can state categorically that a lot of products are sold to people who would have been better off without making the purchase in the first place, by corporate-trained sales force whose job it is to sell the product despite its flaws or risk losing their job. That sort of thing went on in the construction industry leading up to the bursting of the real estate bubble. Shoddy tract housing in the outlying areas around our cities has suffered the worst decline in values. Lots of Realtors saw how porrly some of these houses were built but turned their buyers over to the builder's salespeople just the same in return for a percent of the sale. These are poorer products in poorer locations that were sold to poorer people with stars in their eyes, often with the aid of Realtors looking for an easy buck.
Now RPR is being sold hard to us by NAR's well-trained, professional corporate salespeople in the same way Our local MLS data is valuable consideration, yet Board after Board of Directors of MLSs all around the country is giving it to NAR in return for a flawed product. Our local data IS valuable consideration. The product that looks good on the surfaceit has one major hidden flaw. Consider the impossibility of making such a large site with so many logins and passwords secure against intrusion by corporations and individuals who want the information. You can't sell your services in evaluating and marketing property in your area if all the info you currently use is publicly available online. Even NAR can't sell a product if it's already publicly available. If this sounds bad for your business and mine (and NAR's), it is bad. FSBOs are bad for business. Big bank FSBOs would be much worse! They own a large share of our national housing stock and they would love to cut you and me out of the deal. Will they need you or me once they have our MLS data?