Category : NAR

Copyright Data Licensing IDX (Internet Data Exchange) MLS (Multiple Listing Service) NAR

Competition in Residential Real Estate

In  2018 the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) organized a panel discussion about the challenges and opportunities to increase competition in the real estate industry through technological innovation.

Participating in the panel were lawyers from NAR, the FTC, and the DOJ, as well as Brian Larson counsel for CMLS. The only non-lawyer in the group was Ben Clark, former broker for eRealty and noted data expert in the real estate industry. It is interesting to hear the broker’s perspective, so we will highlight some of those discussions.

Video of the 90 minute session is available here.  

One of the key points  from Ben Clark was the need for MLSs to remove any barriers to MLS participants and subscribers receiving access to relevant MLS listing data. This is based on the fact that real estate professionals have the following fiduciary duty under the NAR Code of Ethics Standard of Practice 11-1,  “When REALTORS® prepare opinions of real property value or price they must

  • be knowledgeable about the type of property being valued;
  • have access to the information and resources necessary to formulate an accurate opinion, and
  • be familiar with the area where the subject property is located UNLESS lack of any of these is disclosed to the party requesting the opinion in advance.”

You can find some of Ben Clark’s remarks at the following times of the video:

  • 5:55 to 8:08;
  • 35:40 to 39:50;
  • 46:30 to 49:42;
  • 1:03:40 to 1:06:50.
    There is also a discussion on MLS Copyright at 1:11:25 to 1:14:05, with a supplemental blog post by Mitch Skinner Click Here

Finally, for an excellent summary of the history of MLS from Brian Larson, go to the video at 27:00 to 32:30

This November marks the expiry date of  the Consent Decree in the NAR/DOJ lawsuit 10 years ago. Mark your calendar for June 5, 2018 when the FTC and DOJ will hold a relevant joint Workshop to discuss “What’s New in Residential Real Estate Brokerage Competition” – Click Here

Here is the entire panel discussion from the June 5, 2018 Workshop:

Part 1 —


Part 2 –


Part 3 –

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Domain Names Dot REALTOR NAR Uncategorized

Dot Brands hit the market

Several recent articles have focused on the increase use of the new Top-level Domains by brands, referred to as Dot Brands.

A multi-million dollar brand name that should be noted is the Dot REALTOR Top-Level Domain. Last month NAR made the switch to away from   Check it out.

Tony Kirsch, head of professional services at Neustar, in an article discussing the progress of Dot Brands, “2016: The Year That Was in .brands TLDs”, wrote:

“While some astonishing progress has been made in 2016, the .brand movement is by no means complete. I personally am thrilled to be heading into 2017 with such momentum behind us and I’m optimistic about the continued growth of the .brands space in the New Year.

Already this year we’ve been surprised by the creative approaches many brands have taken and we’re looking forward to seeing which companies will use 2017 to take .brands to places we haven’t considered before.

Perhaps 2017 will be the year in which mainstream advertising strategies adopt .brands as a unique, memorable call-to-action and the marketers of the world find significant value in creating more direct, meaningful customer relationships through smarter digital marketing.

With almost all .brands now added to the Internet, the game is on. Which brands will emerge as frontrunners and truly revolutionize the way we look at digital?

I don’t know the answer, but I sure am excited to find out.”

Some major launches noted were:

Google – consolidating news and updates from over 19 of Google’s corporate and product blogs, ‘The Keyword’ was launched at  in October, joining the internet giant’s retail domain name sales play at

Canon – one of a handful of ‘full transitions’ to .brands, the company’s global site is now at , with the existing domain redirecting to this awesome new site.

As well as: Dell, Deloitte, Chanel, Microsoft, Audi, Cisco, Fage, Orange, Komatsu, Shell, Mini, Lidl, Linde, Bradesco, Hotmail, NTT, UOL, Pictet, Windows, Bloomberg, Sky, Fox, Emerck, Weir and BNP Paribas are just a handful of the other organizations with live .brand websites.

According to another article  “Brand Top-Level Domain and Brand Value” by Guiillaume Pahud,

“Brands are an asset and have a value for organizations, as they generate revenue: Customers are happy to pay a premium for a brand they love. They will show a preference and be loyal to a brand they trust.

Some brands have decided, in 2012, that their name should actually also become the global name for all of the digital assets, and registered their brand name as a Top-Level Domain. Google, for instance, located their new blog platform, where they post news and information, on the domain That is a typical example of a branded top-level domain.”

Realtors can acquire their own Dot Realtor TLD by going online to — the first year is free. If ordering multiple domains or years, use the word discount as the promo code for a 10% saving.

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Domain Names Dot REALTOR NAR Uncategorized

Centennial Celebration of REALTOR® Brand

NAR Centennial celebration of the REALTOR® brand – www.100years.REALTOR

As part of the 100th anniversary of the REALTOR® trademark, NAR has produced an informative short video that covers the history of the brand and reviews the rules governing members’ use of the trademark. See

In addition, NAR has created a special website in honor of “100 years of distinction” for the REALTOR® brand. Very fitting that NAR makes use of its recently-acquired Top-level domain to direct traffic to www.100years.REALTOR  . I’m sure they could have used the URL but I think having the message to the left of the dot and the brand to the right of the dot is more memorable. From a branding perspective, having the brand appear at the end is preferable to having it end with .org or .com

You’ll find another video and screenshots of some of the early advertisements of the REALTOR® name at – as well as a friendly reminder that the word is properly pronounced in two syllables with emphasis on the first; that is, REAL-TOR (and not REEL-I-TER, or RE-AL-I-TER).

There is an “Add Your Story” section that encourages REALTORS® to contribute a personal story as to what they’ve done in terms of community service and going the extra mile for consumers. At , “…we want you to tell us what you’re doing in your communities. Do you repair dilapidated homes? Volunteer at a local shelter? Maybe your passion is serving veterans, tutoring students, or organizing pledge drives. Take a picture of the charitable endeavor you’re proud of and tell us about it. Your submission will be part of an online project that will show who REALTORS® are and what you’re made of.”
See all Stories –

Congratulations NAR on the Centennial celebration of the REALTOR® brand.

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Domain Names Dot REALTOR NAR Personal Branding - Domain Names Uncategorized

New gTLDs: Just A Passing Fad?

It is hard to believe  30 years have elapsed since the first top level domains appeared as an integral part of the Internet search process. Back then, there were only a few extensions to choose from – such as .com; .org; .net. The early adopters grabbed the most attractive domain names, while many others hesitated to act, some of them voicing their concern that this Internet naming convention was just a “passing fad.”

Fast forward to today and we are hearing the same “passing fad” commentary with respect to the recent release of hundreds of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs).  Is it just a fad? Well, we don’t think so. We believe that everyone must be ready to evolve their digital strategy over the next few years and recognize that the Internet is changing. This is just the beginning. A new generation of the Internet. It’s the biggest paradigm shift since the Internet began.

The question of a “passing fad” was raised during a most interesting session at the 2015 NAR Conference & Expo entitled “The New Internet: What You Need To Know,” moderated by NAR VP Ken Burlington. The three expert panelists agreed that this new internet was not a passing fad. It is here to stay and those concerned with their brand and permanent Internet presence need to take action today.


Sarah Langstone, Director of Strategic Accounts, Verisign, noted that history is filled with many examples of communication mediums that start off with a few choices, such as the original limited number of TV stations that then exploded into hundreds of channels and networks. According to Sarah, what is happening in the domain name world is just a natural extension of what happened to other communication methods within the world.

Kurt Pritz, former Chief Strategy Officer for ICANN and the original architect of the new generic Top-level Domains (gTLDs) felt that we are still in the “build-up stage” with the gTLDs and that there is still much to be done to create awareness of the TLDs before it can even reach a level to say it is a fad. And he says this despite the fact that in a relatively short period there are now nearly 10 million registered new top-level domains.

The remaining panelist, Alan Bush, Director of SEO, Ignite Visibility sees the new TLDs as an opportunity to reinforce one’s name and brand on the Internet. He encouraged the audience to “own more web real estate,” whether as a primary domain or a supplemental domain that points to the main site. Create multiple footprints.  If someone has a well-established domain and website, the new TLD can be used to reinforce the brand by perhaps pointing it to one’s blog or profile on Facebook, LinkedIn or broker page.

All the panelists complimented NAR on establishing the .REALTOR and .realestate TLDs and leading the pack of Dot Brands and setting trends in how the Internet is being used in the future.


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Dot REALTOR In the Top Ten

It’s been nine months since NAR launched its new Top-level Domain .REALTOR and then watched it climb to the Top Ten most active of the new TLDs with over 102,000 domains claimed according to NAR leadership must be pleased with the adoption rate so far, especially with the fact most of those REALTORS® claiming their domain are actually using it as a web address or an email address rather than simply “parking” the domain.

In a recent podcast from NAR’s Center for REALTOR® Technology, Chad Curry invited Ken Burlington, VP of Marketing at NAR and F. Matthew Embrescia, President of Second Generation to discuss the advantages of the .REALTOR Top-level domain for members, brokerages, and associations. They discussed the process of how NAR obtained the domain and what it means for REALTORS® and where the domain is going in the future. It was a tedious process for anyone seeking their TLD but NAR hung in there for eight years and in the first round was able to secure .REALTOR as well as .realestate .

Interviewed in a recent RISMedia article, Bob Goldberg, NAR SVP of Marketing, Business Development and Member Benefits said, “This is not just NAR dabbling in something.  TLDs are key to how the Internet is being used — we feel it’s an obligation to help our brokers and REALTORS®.   We feel we have a responsibility to do something to make sure the industry is protected.  We did it as an offensive move as much as a defensive move.  Think about if an interloper got .REALTOR or .realestate?  We need to make sure that when people think real estate, there’s someone trusted behind it.  Consumers know our brand and we needed to leverage that with a top-level domain.”

Goldberg went on to explain that “a .REALTOR Web address is an opportunity to tell consumers that if someone has a .REALTOR domain, they are a member in good standing who abides by the Code of Ethics of the NAR or CREA.  Consumers over time will know that if they’re on a .REALTOR domain, they’re working with a REALTOR, a trusted real estate resource.”

So, is NAR going it alone with its commitment to the new Top-level Domains? Far from it. Almost 1,000 applicants for TLDs have been approved and will soon be launching their domains. 30% of the original applicants fit into what is called the Dot Brand class (brands that already have a level of trust) – this includes NAR’s .REALTOR and .realestate.  Among other Dot Brands are .BANK and .INSURANCE, as well as familiar names .AMEX, .NIKE, .GOOGLE, .AMAZON, .WALMART, and .FedEx.

Examples of prossible second level domains abound: Ship.FedEx, Travel.AMEX, Running.NIKE, Scores.NFL, Service.BMW. Recognize that .REALTOR does not have to take the lead in persuading consumers as to the value of the TLD –  that consumer awareness program will be at the top of the list of every major brand that has invested millions into this evolution of the Internet.

NAR also plans to roll out the .realestate TLD to members later this year.  “There were 1,800-plus applicants for TLDs just in this last round,” says Goldberg.  “We feel extremely fortunate that we were able to secure the .REALTOR and .realestate TLDs.  We will launch .realestate later this year.  We will give our members the first opportunity at getting .realestate when it’s ready.  Those members who have purchased a .REALTOR domain will receive priority registration for .realestate when it becomes available.”  Possible example:

“If this were a money grab, we’d sell domains to whomever, with no rules in place,” says Goldberg.  “But we want consumers to know there’s a trusted, valued resource behind this.  It’s all about the consumer at the end of the day.  If the consumer builds trust with this, then it will be the place where they will go.”

NAR leadership strongly supports the .REALTOR Top-level domain. NAR President Chris Polychron said that “Early adoption of new technology is a vital part of how REALTORS® conduct business, and NAR is committed to staying on the forefront of the latest online tools.  We hope associations and brokerages can take advantage of the .REALTOR domain to create an online space where homebuyers, sellers and investors, as well as REALTORS®, can go to find the most trustworthy, reliable real estate services and resources.”

For more information on .REALTOR, go to www.About.REALTOR; and to claim your domain, go to www.Claim.REALTOR  When purchasing your domain, you can receive a 10% discount if you use the following Promo Code: discount

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MLS (Multiple Listing Service) NAR

The Evolution of Upstream/AMP – Dale Ross, RPR CEO

At the May NAR Legislative Meetings in Washington D.C., a partnership was announced between NAR and UpstreamRE, LLC to leverage the RPR technology platform to develop a new data management service for Brokers known as Project Upstream. The announcement culminated several months of discussions between the leaders of many of the nation’s largest brokerages and franchise networks and NAR, and represents a significant opportunity to leverage RPR’s five-year investment in data and technology on behalf of the industry.

Project Upstream will be built on RPR’s Advanced Multi-list Platform™ (AMP™). AMP provides a new technology foundation for MLSs to serve brokers and agents. This unified platform will have two distinct servicing components:

Upstream is a single point of listing entry, management, and distribution for brokerages.
AMP is parcel-centric database to power MLS services.
While a great deal has already been reported about the NAR/UpstreamRE partnership, I’d like to outline how the projects came together over the previous months, beginning in 2013.

• June 2013-RPR was approached by Rob Hahn of 7DS Consulting to assess the current and future technology options being considered by MLSs.

• October 2013-Craig Cheatham, CEO of The Realty Alliance addressed a CMLS Conference in Boise ID, with a list of Realty Alliance concerns related to MLS technology. This begins the discussion of a potential broker-centric technology project.

• November 2013-Clareity Consulting publishes a list of broker concerns. RPR is approached at the NAR Annual Convention in San Francisco about its interest in submitting a response to the coming Project Upstream Request For Proposals (RFP).

• December 2013-RPR receives the first formal request to discuss an MLS technology project from Tim Dain CEO of Southern Illinois Regional MLS (SIRMLS). 7DS Consulting delivers a report outlining the opportunity for a front-end/back-end MLS concept.

• February/March 2014-The Upstream RFP is issued and the Upstream Technology Task Force is formed to assess RFP responses from multiple vendors.

• April-September 2014-RFP responses are assessed by Upstream. RPR engages Bob Bemis of Procuring Cause Consultants to begin to assess inquiries from multiple MLSs regarding an extension of the RPR Platform into an MLS “back-end” solution.

• October 2014-Upstream’s governance model is established, creating the UpstreamRE Board of Managers. UpstreamRE, LLC is incorporated. RPR receives additional formal letters of requests from MLSs interested in a front-end/back-end split and creates a project initiative named Advanced Multi-list Platform™ (AMP™).

• November 2014-RPR meets with several large brokerage and franchise CEOs to discuss AMP™, seeking to inform the Upstream participants of the parallel development and gain their input on RPR’s AMP™ project.

• January 2015-RPR reports to the NAR Leadership Team in Chicago, IL on the progress of AMP™. RPR’s Senior Management Team also participates in additional meetings with the leadership of Large Franchise companies, creating the first combined assessment of the Upstream/AMP™ unified development concept.

• February-April 2015-Numerous meetings occur between NAR Leadership and UpstreamRE, LLC, focused on leveraging the RPR asset to fulfill Project Upstream’s stated goals. As a result, RPR was requested to submit a revised technology proposal.

• May 2015-NAR Leadership, RPR and the UpstreamRE, LLC Board of Managers meet in Washington D.C. and execute a Letter of Intent, subject to the NAR Board of Directors approval. The NAR Board of Directors approves funding for the Upstream/AMP initiative.

While the concept moved very quickly during the NAR Legislative Conference, the discussion, deliberation and input received occurred over some 18 months prior to the formation of the NAR/UpstreamRE, LLC partnership. During the next few months UpstreamRE/NAR/RPR will be focusing on the completion of the final agreement and the beginning of the development process.

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Data Licensing NAR

RPR is the Reincarnation of Geo Data

1995 – RIN (REALTORS INFORMATION NETWORK) Network Desktop (RND). A major feature was something we called “GEO DATA:…Change RIN to RPR in this slide…is the slide still descriptive?RIN-Slide-2

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National Association of REALTORS (NAR) Membership Statistics

Members to date: 1,063,950 as of June 30, 2014

Number of local associations: 1,365 as of Dec. 31, 2013

Source: Monthly Membership Report and NAR Membership Statistics, 1908-present

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MLS (Multiple Listing Service) NAR

How did Brad Inman find this out? Who is the Mole? or was it "planted?"

Who spilled the beans?

This really eludes to the idea of a central national database, a back-end MLS capability. I first wrote about it in 2008 in MLS 5.0:

“Eco System of Innovation – envision, on a grand scale, future vendors developing valuable real estate applications without being required to source the data and develop complex aggregation and data interpretation algorithms. Through the use of Open APIs that provide access to listing data, support existing authentication, and facilitate authorization, applications that leverage existing data can be built very cost-effectively leading to a richer ecosystem of features that will benefit real estate professionals.”

But who spilled the beans? Who leaked this information to Brad? You have o wonder.

RPR’s pivot

Item No. 2: Speaking of RPR, the big data venture that has been costing NAR about $20 million a year is cooking up a new business model. RPR’s current mission: “The sole purpose is providing Realtors with the data they need to meet the demands of their clients. There are no third-party investors or silent partners.” Admirable.

But RPR’s revenue projections are not working out according to plan, say some insiders. So it is being forced to a make a pivot in its business model, which is common in the startup world. This is the alleged pivot: Encourage young, smart software developers to create lightweight front-end MLS tools to hook into the RPR data set and deliver a competitive alternative to the handful of MLS vendors who (some observers say) still operate with clunky 1990s software.

Now, like any worthwhile pivot, you must go back to your investors (in this case, NAR) and ask for another $6 million to make the switcheroo. Everyone could save face with this scenario, and NAR indirectly helps News Corp. fend off Zillow as the Seattle firm further sloshes around in the MLS pond.

Why is this important? If you are an agent or broker, you are paying the bills for all of these ventures one way or another.

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Domain Names Dot REALTOR NAR News

ICANN and New TLDs

Dot Bank – ICANN (International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is laying out the future, and it includes many new top level domains. Dot Com only has so many possibilities at the 63 character limit. ICANN could expand the character limit, but another way to expand address capability is to create new top level domains, especially new Restricted Domains. The restricted domains we have been most familiar with are Dot EDU and Dot GOV.…/aba-dot-bank-website…/

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