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NAR double downs on RPR.

by Greg Robertson on May 22nd, 2014

burning_money
NAR will dip into reserves as RPR funding boosted to $22 million per year

Andrea Brambila for Inman News:

“Since 2009, NAR has spent $85 million on RPR, including $19 million in expenditures last year alone, according to NAR Finance Committee reports. By the end of 2014, the trade group will have spent $98.9 million on RPR, an amount that is projected to rise to $120.8 million by the end of 2015 and $142.7 million by the end of 2016.”

Almost 100 million dollars? What happens when you login to RPR, do you shit gold?

“RPR provides property information and data tools to all Realtors, but its business model originally assumed that the venture would become self-sustaining by 2012 by selling analytics products such as property valuations to lenders and government agencies. In the four years since its launch, RPR has struggled to make money, generating a total of $586,270 in revenue from analytics as of December 2013.”

$586,270 – $100,000,000 is a loss of -$994,137,730. Yup, sounds about right.

“The NAR Finance Committee approved net reductions to reserves in order to provide members with “exciting new and enhanced programming.”

Someone famous once said, if you are in a hole and want to get out, the first thing you do is stop digging.

“She said RPR will also use the funding “to add additional data sources, such as walkability scores, support the release of RPR’s mobile application for iPhone and Android (currently being tested), and enhance the RPR platform to include new user-requested features and advanced functionality.”

Just of the record, I pay less than $400 per month for Walkability scores in Cloud CMA. The fact they even mention this speaks volumes.

“NAR expects its 2015 operating budget will consist of $154.8 million in gross revenue and program expenses of $158.9 million. RPR is by far the program with the biggest budget.”

The National Association of REALTORS is not a technology company, but RPR has the biggest budget? Someone is getting rich here.

6 Comments
  1. Mike LePage permalink

    In Maine we are in conversation with RPR to see how they can make it viable in Maine. Historically the data has been laden with errors among other frustrations. We have a task force working with them to revisit what hasn’t worked. It frustrates me that many states also haven’t signed on for likely similar reasons and that our resources (NAR is our resources right?) continue to be used to enhance a product that has not been adopted in many MLS’s. Resources should be invested to solve this . . not enhance what isn’t working.

  2. Great reporting Tonto!

    It is amazing…and what is the adoption again? The true adoption? But maybe we are missing the point…maybe this is a project to prepare us for the future. NAR began this quest in the 1990s. RIN’s GeoData was what trying to be what RPR is trying to be today…and GeoData was the most expensive part of RIN, and for which there was really little being asked for from the membership, and no adoption (for a number of reasons, one being the project was discontinued) . The Data Dictionary is another idea from the 1990s, born again.

  3. Sunk costs are sunk costs. Unless I am missing something…shoot it.

  4. Danny Frank permalink

    I have had grave concerns about RPR since its birth. When we first where told about RPR, the membership was told it would be self sustaining and would make NAR money in the long run… Now we all know that will never happen don’t we?

    There comes a time in every business that the powers that be must make some hard discussions. And as they say in my part of the woods, it’s time to fish or cut bait! I am not sure which we should do yet, but I do think we, the membership should be given the facts so that we can help in the right decision.

    We, the membership, need to know the hard numbers. How many unique visitors do you have per month and what is the total numbers of Realtors that have ran reports? Are the number of unique visitors growing month over month? How many total reports on average per month per unique visitors? What is the value per report per unique visitor?

    After some of these questions are answered, then and only then can we make a decision as to if it is worth our dues to sustain RPR or not… But I for one, am growing tied of NAR throwing our dues money around haphazardly and without regard to if it is a good investment or not!

  5. It would be nice if our board shared some of the infomation/work they are doing. How about talking to some of the companies who feel their money with NAR is being wasted?

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