Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

RPR was not on my bingo card

Remember back when the industry freaked out about RPR and how it could be NAR’s play to become a national MLS? I found this article from 2009, that captures the spirt of the day.

Skeptics of RPR Database Voice Worries

“Some skeptics at the conference have even referred to the Realtors® Property Resource database (RPR), as “Reaper” — as in the Grim Reaper — fearing its potential to harm their business.

Because it will not include offers of cooperation and compensation and will only be accessible to NAR members, the database won’t function as a national MLS, NAR says. Not all are ready to take NAR’s word for it.”


Emphasis mine. Sure you would have to be a member of NAR but in a day and age where many people are questioning what being an “MLS” even means … who knows what could happen?

Somewhere Marty Frame is laughing his ass off.

RPR lays off 10% of staff

Dynamic changes on horizon for Realtors Property Resources®

“NAR CEO Bob Goldberg established a clear vision for the Association and RPR moving forward,” said Young. “RPR’s core mission is clear, ensure that REALTORS® remain essential to the transaction through access to tools, features connected to nationwide parcel-centric data and reports. RPR’s growth in the future will be driven by programs which refocus the RPR team to develop a deeper understanding of the daily life and business of agents and brokers.”

Over the course of several months, RPR conducted internal assessments of its technical processes, organizational structures and strategic initiatives. As a result, the platform will reduce its overall staff count by 10%, allowing it to meet its 2019 budget directives, while reimagining its market level communications and support programs with its network of broker, MLS and association partners.

Whistleblower claims RPR’s code is “very fragile” and “garbage”

Andrea Brambila writing for Inman News

Former contractor launches crowdfund campaign to sue RPR

“He worked on RPR’s core platform — the property database — not Upstream, but chuckled upon hearing that one reason RPR was chosen as the vendor for Upstream was because the company planned to build on its existing technology to create Upstream.

“They had to start from scratch because they couldn’t use a lot of the code from RPR because it was so bad,” Komar said, noting that that was likely a reason for Upstream’s delayed launch.

RPR’s technology is “very fragile” due to its “poorly architected system” and “poorly written” and “non-optimized” code, according to Komar.

In his opinion, RPR would have no chance of selling the platform. “Anyone who did their due diligence would give them a failing grade,” he said.”

I tell you who’s not “chuckling”, NAR members. Over 230 million dollars later, RPR and Upstream have both crossed over and have become Greek Tragedies at this point. Somebody should write a book.

Marty Frame leaving RPR

Word on the street is Marty Frame, CTO President of RPR, is leaving the company before the end of the month.

RPR shakeup. Dale Ross out, Jeff Young takes top spot.

I’ve been on the road for about 11 days and have lots to catch up on. NAR issued a press release yesterday announcing some signifigant changes at RPR.

Realtors Property Resource® Announces Retirement of CEO, Appointment of New Leader

“Realtors Property Resource® LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Association of Realtors®, announced that its founding CEO Dale Ross will be retiring as of May 1, 2018. RPR’s Jeff Young has been named chief operating officer/general manager and will assume responsibility for all RPR activities, reporting directly to NAR CEO Bob Goldberg.”

I continue to be impressed with NAR’s new CEO, Bob Goldberg. With the shut down of AMP we could see this coming. It was only a matter of time, and how high the cuts would go.

Let’s face it, when RPR first launched it didn’t sit well with the MLS community. Hubris, revenue share issues, “national MLS” fears (AMP), usage rates, and questionable tactics to force MLS providers to sign up contributed to that rift. There may have been some rational reasons for some of those choices but there wasn’t a lot of love left on both sides.

To me it’s water under the bridge. There is a new sheriff in town.

I’ve gotten to know Jeff Young over the years and he has always been straight with me. I find him pragmatic, level headed and most importantly (at least in my line of work), he can take a joke. I think he is the perfect choice for this next chapter in RPR’s life.

Jeff has a tough job ahead of him. But with Marty Frame and Karen France as part of his executive team, they have a new opportunity to re-focus what RPR is all about and how it engages with its partners.
I wish them nothing but success.

Goldberg takes a stand

More details on NAR’s decision to shut down AMP.

Realtors Property Resource® Suspends AMP Program, Announces Multiyear Funding Cuts

“The decision to cut funding for AMP, an open architecture platform that provides customized back-end technology services for small- to mid-size multiple listing services, was made by NAR CEO Bob Goldberg, and endorsed by NAR’s Leadership Team and RPR’s senior management, as part of an organizational review of NAR and its subsidiaries, including RPR. NAR recently announced an organizational realignment to become a radically member-centric organization.

In less than 7 months NAR’ new CEO, Bob Goldberg has reorganized the entire Associaiton and now making cuts to one of it’s most controversial initiatives. Less than 7 months people, this is not your old NAR.

“As part of its cost reduction efforts, RPR is also taking action to reduce its overall operating costs by at least 20 percent in 2019; those savings will be reallocated to help fund other higher priority NAR initiatives. NAR and RPR senior management will be working together closely over the coming months to conduct an in-depth review of RPR’s activities to identify and achieve those cost saving measures, as well as further optimizations and expense reductions over the coming years.”

20 percent is huge. You can’t get to that without some sort of staff reduction. How high? It’s anybody’s guess.

““I vowed a full review of the organization and its programs when I assumed the role of CEO to ensure we provide the best value to our members. Suspending funding for AMP will allow RPR to refocus its resources on delivering the best user experience to Realtors®,” said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg. “NAR will continue offering its full support to the MLS and MLS-vendor community as it moves toward an environment that fosters greater innovation and allows for faster and easier technology integration.”

There were many naysayers when Bob was announced as the new CEO. Not me. Bob, NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, and I suspect many other volunteers are not letting things stay the same.

It’s not about laying blame (in fact I love the way Bob mentioned the MLS community at the end of this quote), you got to move on, make the tough decisions, and follow through on what you promised.

That’s called leadership.

N.A.R. shuts down RPR’s AMP program

Looks like letters are being sent out this morning:

“At a meeting of the RPR Advisory Council this week, the future of AMP was discussed, and its relationship to its overall resource and funding levels supported by NAR. The result of this assessment is that NAR Leadership, with the full endorsement of RPR’s Senior Management, have concluded that continued funding of the AMP project is not within the 2018 strategic plan for RPR.

This will result in the reallocation of funds for the AMP program in 2018 to other, higher priority NAR initiatives. At the same time, this will allow RPR greater focus on both its core features and products, and to add resources to the Upstream project. The AMP program will be suspended and begin winding down its operations as of February 1, 2018.”


RPR love fest?

The carpet bombing campaign that Inman News and others are waging against RPR and Upstream has brought out a lot of RPR users that “love it”.

Just take a look at the comments of Brad Inman’s recent post, “It’s Time to Shut Down RPR

While there are some jumping on the “pull the plug” band wagon, many are professing RPR as an “amazing tool”, and “use it 4 to 7 times a week”.

In a recent Facebook post Brad Inman stated,

“I am listening intently. Many of my readers are telling me I got it all wrong about RPR.”


If you haven’t read Andrea Brambila’s trifecta of articles on Inman News you should. Here are the links.

What Does Upstream have to show for itself?
Timeline: NAR’s Project Upstream then and now
Who is Actually Building RPR’s Tech?

The last article just dropped yesterday evening, and its a doozy. The article points out the fact that RPR’s uses a lot of sub-contractors to build their tech.

“But who is building that technology? An Inman investigation has found that — for the most part, it’s not RPR. The company has 85 employees, about 20 of which are devoted to tech. But few of those people are software developers or engineers — the “coders” that bring RPR’s software into being. From their LinkedIn profiles, most appear to be project managers and analysts.

Inman has found that the developers who work for RPR are nearly all independent contractors. At least 19 contractors from four different consulting firms are currently working for RPR, according to our findings, and there are likely more.”

Which by itself might not be such an interesting fact. The fact that RPR is so defensive as to the number of contractors they employ is what’s so puzzling. Many vendors use outside contractors. Big deal.

But, outside contractors can be expensive, especially if your outside contractors are based in Irvine, not India.

Look, I get it. I understand RPR’s challenges. I own a software company. This industry is very transient. Adoption is hard. Designing software agents will actually use is hard. Getting the word out is hard. W+R Studios has markets where Cloud CMA is less than 12% adoption. Really, I get it. And, it doesn’t matter if you have some of the smartest and most talented people in the industry working for you (and RPR does). It’s a freaking grind.

Here’s the thing. If you are set up to make “60 million to 80 million in annual revenues”, then spending 24 million dollars a year make sense. But that world doesn’t exist. The current solution of having NAR members take on that cost (instead of $60M to $80M coming from Wall Street) seems to be in question.

Newly appointed NAR CEO Bob Goldberg has stated that he is, “working closely with Realtor leadership and staff to review all programs and how we provide the best value to our members.

NAR’s Finance Committee meets this week and the question they must ask themselves is this, “Is RPR providing enough value to the membership to justify the cost?”

Bob Hale resigns from RPR board of directors

Word on the street is that Bob Hale, CEO of the Houston Association of REALTORS, resigned last week from the board of directors of RPR. Developing….

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