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.
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.