Realtors Property Resource LLC has revised the template it’s using as a starting point in discussions with multiple listing services to license their active and sold listings data, and posted the document online.

While there’s still no provision to share revenue with MLSs, the new proposed licensing agreement defines the analytic products, including "Realtor valuation model" property valuations, that RPR plans to sell to third parties in order to generate revenue.

The template also explicitly states that all members of participating MLSs will have access to the national property database RPR is building.

The proposed licensing agreements the National Association of Realtors’ subsidiary began sending out in January to further its goal of building a national property database for NAR members had been criticized by some for a lack of specificity.

The agreement offered to one MLS, attorney Brian Larson blogged after obtaining a copy, would have allowed "RPR to create almost any kind of product with the listing data" without promising "to do anything for the MLS or its subscribers" in return, he said.

RPR President Marty Frame said at the time that the one-year agreements were written with the intention of giving RPR flexibility to provide additional services to participants.

In his own post Monday on the RPR company blog, Frame thanked Larson for providing critics of the original licensing agreement "a place to speak behind the screen."

"While Brian may have been disappointed by the document, he has approached both the legal and business issues in good faith and with equanimity, and gave us a lot to chew on," Frame wrote. …CONTINUED

Frame said RPR has provided proposed licensing agreements to more than 150 MLSs, and that the feedback on technical, business and policy issues produced "enough consensus on many of them to merit a revision of our template."

Reversing RPR’s original policy to not make the licensing agreement public, Frame posted a new, 17-page licensing template that he said included changes in 20 areas, including:

  • The addition of express restrictions on any analytics product that could result in the sale of licensed content back to a Realtor, or the marketing of services to a Realtor consumer.
  • New language explicitly stating that all analytics work will be performed exclusively by RPR, and that licensed content will not be exported.
  • Provisions allowing MLSs or others licensing their listing data to open up or restrict their content differently than spelled out under user access policies.

"While ordinarily it might seem a bit strange to post revisions to a contract out in the open, it made sense to us given the level and tone of the debate over the past few weeks," Frame said. "We hope it is helpful both as a show of responsiveness and in terms of opening up the discussion even further, and we look forward to knowing your thoughts about these changes."

At the Real Estate Connect conference in New York City in January, Frame said RPR had set a goal of signing up half of the roughly 900 MLSs nationwide by the end of the year.

That goal has been complicated by announcements by First American Corp. and operator Move Inc. that they, too, want to license listing data from MLSs (see story).

A recent poll of 242 MLS executives by Clareity Consulting found that most are undecided about whether to participate in RPR.


What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor.

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