Marty Frame, who served as President of RPR since 2009 and oversaw the creation of its signature initiative, Upstream — a shared database and online platform designed to be the originating point for residential property data from Realtors, brokers and agents around the country — is leaving the company after nearly a decade to become Chief Operating Officer (COO) of West, the real estate transaction-focused technology company owned by Williston Financial Group and Golden Gate Capital (full disclosure: West has worked with Inman before on Inman Pro, our parent company’s online learning program).
The news comes after Frame’s departure from RPR was first publicly rumored by Greg Robertson of Vendor Alley back in May.
“This is the perfect time to join the company and I’m excited by the incredible opportunity to create truly revolutionary products for the real estate industry leveraging the West platform,” Frame said in a press release announcing his move.
The timing of Frame’s move is notable because not only does it come a month after the launch of Upstream, but several other RPR-related changes. In February, RPR’s parent organization — the trade group National Association of Realtors (NAR) — cut funding for the subsidiary and also canceled its Advanced Multi-List Platform (AMP), a $12 million project to build a kind of back-end multiple listing service database for small and medium-sized MLSs. Though it was a separate project within Upstream, the two were supposed to aid one another.
In April, RPR announced the retirement of its founding CEO Dale Ross. Throughout it all, Frame remained one of Upstream’s most ardent public advocates and defenders.
In addition to Upsream, Frame has been involved in key roles with some of real estate’s biggest technology plays of the last few decades. He was the general manager of Cyberhomes.com, a promising but ultimately ill-fated Zillow competitor, and before that, was chief technology officer of News Corp subsidiary Move Inc. and its flagship website Realtor.com.
Frame overlapped with West President/Williston CEO Steve Ozanian when they both worked at Realtor.com, which both men alluded to in the announcement. “We are very excited to have Marty join our team,” Ozonian said. “It’s rare to find someone with such great perspective and knowledge about all things real estate, but Marty is that guy. His expertise will be critical in helping West accomplish its goals of creating a new direction for real estate technology.”
At West, Frame “will focus on strategic mergers and acquisitions, product development, project coordination and all general operational activities,” according to the release.
In a comment sent to Inman by e-mail, a NAR spokesperson said:
“NAR and RPR leadership are very proud of all Marty Frame and the RPR team accomplished together since 2009 to bring value and benefits to Realtors, and we wish him the best with his new venture. We are confident about RPR’s future and its continuing ability to help move members and the industry forward.”