By Peter Ricci
The Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) has joined the Realtors Property Resource as a partner, becoming just the latest member of the rapidly expanding listing service database.
An online real estate library, the Realtors Property Resource dates back to 2008, and was created by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to provide data on every property in the U.S. to NAR members.
Realtor Property Resource – Aggressive Expansion
In the ensuing four years, Realtor Property Resource has expanded its pool of data aggressively:
- According to Inman News, between MLSs and CIEs, there are 425 participating partners in the Realtor Property Resource initiative.
- Of those partners, there are now agreements that represent roughly 65 percent of NAR’s one million members.
- In addition to the HAR agreement, the St. Louis-based MLS Mid-America Regional Information Systems, Carolina MLS and Pinellas Realtor Organization (based in Florida) have signed on to Realtor Property Resource, and the San Diego-area MLS Sandicor signed on in the summer.
- The Realtor Property Resource is set to launch Nov. 1, but for NAR members whose MLSs have not signed on, they can only access public property records, and not historical listing data.
- That historical listing data, interestingly enough, will provide the Resource with its revenue stream, according to INMAN, as it will generate housing analytics and provide those to lenders, investors and government agencies.
HAR MLS – Big Fish
As the second largest Realtor association in the U.S., HAR certainly represents one of the biggest fishes yet to join the Realtor Property Resource.
Bob Hale, the CEO of HAR, said the association’s decision to join was based on the benefit it would provide to its members.
“We decided to offer Realtor Property Resource because we believe that the multiple sources of information provided by RPR on a national level can be of great benefit to the Realtors working in Houston and its numerous contiguous market areas serviced by HAR,” Hale said.
Danny Frank, the chairman-elect for HAR, told Houston Agent that because Realtor Property Resource is so broad, any agent can utilize its services for his or her real estate business, from its offerings in data research, to investor tools, to foreclosure data. Altogether, Frank called the Resource a “buffet of new tools” for HAR members.
Some of the other data HAR members will have access to will include: tax assessments; public property records; mortgage, lien and foreclosure records; school boundary data; flood maps; aerial/geocoded imagery; and demographic information.
The partnership, Frank said, was first approved by HAR’s executive committee and then its board of directors. Though he could not comment on the specifics, Frank also said that the association was actually slower to partner with the Resource than other associations, because initially, there were certain facets of Realtor Propert Resource that, in his words, didn’t seem like a “win-win” for both agents and NAR; now, though, he said the association is satisfied with its agreement and with what it provides for members.
Frank said the association is hoping to have its information up on the Resource by the late fourth quarter of 2012, though it could take until the first quarter of 2013 before all of its data is uploaded.