Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Devolution of the NAR National Database...

NAR announced that it has chosen Move, Inc. for development of the application that will become "the artist formerly named TREC/REAL" now going by the name RPR (Realtor's Property Resource). Sounds like a shady character that takes on many aliases to mask their activites. Several people have already commented on the fact that this selection did not seem to involve any type of RFP process. Nothing like no-bid contracts to build confidence in a membership organization.

In the initial stages the national database concept had some very altruistic goals: mainly to become a shared resource of true property information. Making this data available free to its members in many different formats and feed types would solidify NAR's place as an extremely beneficial service for its members. Instead, it seems there are comments from people close to the project that "We don't know how the model is going to work, yet," when discussing the revenue model.

Move, Inc. has been successful building online brands, not backend data aggregation systems. I have to believe that there is a website in the works here. One where agents are upcharged to claim recent sales and active properties, leads are captured and sold to the highest bidder... rinse, repeat.

What should the RPR be?
A massive centralization of data into a property database with the goal of turning the data into a commodity... equitable, uniform, and accurate... universally. Then allow the innovators to develop products and services to address every niche of implementation. With the vision of the consumer finding every qualified property when they search, no matter what search tool they use.

Where is the RPR heading?
A centralized, single interface that will attempt to become a national MLS that will not fairly display (nor distribute) its consolidated database. Instead, they will sell their influence to the highest bidder. This will do one thing... discourage innovation.