Inman reported earlier this week that there was a big discrepancy in stakeholders’ expectations of Upstream, the tech platform conceived to give agents and brokers more control over property data, which is 18 months behind its original schedule.

Several board members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) told Inman that they believed Upstream availability would be exclusive to only dues-paying Realtors, whereas a NAR spokesperson and leadership of Upstream said it was always made apparent from Upstream’s inception that it would be available to non-Realtor brokers and agents as well.

Today, NAR CEO Bob Goldberg sent an email out to NAR members unequivocally stating that Upstream has “since the very beginning” included “both a member and non-member pricing approach.” Goldberg also calls Inman’s reporting into question, saying Inman’s “article is clearly written toward a specific point of view and positioned to benefit the interests of some of the MLSs versus those of our members.”

We stand by our reporting. Inman has obtained a copy of Goldberg’s letter from a reliable source and is publishing it in full below:

Some of you have read Inman’s latest article, which questions whether Upstream should be available to brokers who are not REALTORS®, as well as our NAR membership. 

Since the very beginning, the Upstream contract outlined both a member and non-member pricing approach.  That has never changed, and many products and services in this industry follow the same model. 

NAR offers products to both REALTORS® and non-members and gives NAR members preferred pricing.  Multiple listing services are also an example of a service that is available to both REALTORS® and non-members.

This approach can incentivize non-members to join the association to get more attractive pricing. 

I think it would also be useful to clarify here that RPR is a vendor for Upstream RE, LLC; Upstream is independent from NAR. Upstream’s approach is driven by the large brokers on Upstream’s Board.   

Effective January 1, 2019, Upstream RE, LLC will be responsible for 100% of all operation costs, with some dollars coming back to NAR. 

I would caution everyone here to consider the context behind and genesis of stories like these. This particular article is clearly written toward a specific point of view and positioned to benefit the interests of some of the MLSs versus those of our members, who ultimately own this listing and intellectual property data. 


Email Carl Franzen

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