Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC is putting the muscle of its national franchise network behind the National Association of Realtors’ national property database, Realtors Property Resource, launching an internal campaign to promote RPR adoption by agents and encouraging its brokerages to get their multiple listing systems to share listings with the database if they’re not yet on board.
RPR is a parcel-based property database accessible to all NAR members. RPR collects national, regional and local data that allows users to access property and market trend information for more than 150 million U.S. properties. In markets where RPR has partnered with MLSs, users also have access to active and sold listing data through RPR that can be used to generate reports and property valuations.
A total of 550 MLSs, associations and commercial information exchanges representing 75 percent of Realtors have licensed their data to RPR to date. By the end of this year, NAR will have spent $76.5 million on RPR, despite generating little revenue, and the trade group has earmarked $18.5 million a year to the venture for the next three years.
“NAR has made a significant investment in RPR and that investment has come from Realtor member dues, and it’s our belief that, first and foremost, it just makes sense to leverage that investment,” Budge Huskey, president and chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC, told Inman News.
“Secondly, this is a resource that is available to every Realtor, but, in my opinion, like so much else in real estate, you can have agents or brokers in the same market with the same access to tools and they have radically different performances because at the end of the day it all boils down to adoption and execution.”
Coldwell Banker’s goal is to help its agents get up to speed on RPR’s capabilities and leverage the tools it offers “before others,” he added.
“We all know that information is power in our business, and more and more information is available to consumers from alternative sources than a Realtor — and shame on us as Realtors if we don’t use every single tool and information that we have available to us in counseling our customers,” Huskey said.
Coldwell Banker will celebrate its 107th anniversary this year, and Huskey said he believes it’s the franchisor’s responsibility to take a leadership role and “support this product as a national brand.” The partnership with Coldwell Banker is a free member benefit for its Realtor affiliates, RPR said.
RPR CEO Dale Ross said the NAR subsidiary is “very pleased that Coldwell Banker is the first national franchise to fully support RPR’s value proposition and how its features, products and reports can be beneficial to their companies, brokers and agents.”
Of Coldwell Banker’s more than 82,000 sales agents, about 79,000 — those who are Realtors affiliated with U.S. brokerages — have access to RPR. All U.S. brokerages affiliated with the Coldwell Banker franchise that belong to MLSs that have licensed their data to RPR have access to customized reports through RPR’s “Broker Tool Sets,” which can be branded with their local company logo and name as well as those of any affiliated businesses such as title and mortgage companies.
Including company branding in the reports to encourage usage was a “no-brainer,” said Ray Gronowski, RPR’s vice president of broker and specialty services. Gronowski said he “firmly believed” more franchisors would come on board because so much of their resources go to building their brands.
Coldwell Banker plans to roll out a learning program for its franchisees to help agents learn how to produce RPR’s neighborhood and market activity reports, and perform a “comps analysis” to help buyers and sellers to help them make decisions.
Huskey said in a statement that he will also encourage Coldwell Banker-affiliated brokers “to work with their MLS leadership if they are not yet participating in RPR.”
Gronowski said the RPR adoption rate among active Realtors is 20 percent overall with users visiting the database multiple times per month. Usage varies by market and depends on date of implementation, however, and could be in the single digits in some markets while up to 41 percent in, for instance, the Kansas City area’s Heartland MLS, he said.
“We’re seeing continual usage increasing as they become more familiar with the tool,” Gronowski added.
“Many of the younger, productive agents find great value in RPR.”
Most recently, Real Estate Information Network Inc. (REIN MLS) in Virginia with more than 3,900 Realtors and nine Mid-Florida Realtor associations representing nearly 24,000 Realtors have agreed to license their data to RPR. The nine associations are:
- Orlando Regional Realtor Association (ORRA)
- Greater Tampa Association of Realtors
- Sarasota Association of Realtors
- Manatee Association of Realtors
- Melbourne Area Association of Realtors
- Osceola County Association of Realtors
- Realtor Association of Lake and Sumter Counties Inc.
- West Volusia Association of Realtors
- Bartow Board of Realtors