Sunday, December 26, 2010

Saying Good Bye to 2010

Merry Christmas to all of OKCMAR and all blog readers. The year's end is always a time for thought and reflection. This year's inaugural celebration, in my mind, can be described with one word "Poignant". This was echoed by comments in the follow up survey. One member spoke of how touched she was that the REALTOR® leadership and award recipients were so proud of this industry and how much OKCMAR has meant to them. The event, held at the Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club, was filled to capacity! We apologize to those who attempted to register but missed the opportunity as there were no longer seats available... please register early next year.

2010 was a year of tenacity, housing sales trends were akin to a rollercoaster track. We saw many of our past leaders face health issues, we saw the passing of OKCMAR legends, we saw the youth and promise of our industry rise to leadership positions an embrace the philosophy of OKCMAR with the Green Resource Council, GenNext Network, and LT 7 programs all taking center stage of OKCMAR activity. This was all reflected in the inaugural itself. I personally felt a gratitude for this industry that has served us all so well. To see highlights of the acceptance speeches watch the videos by clicking here and please join us next year.

Friday, December 3, 2010

And Here's the Rest of the Story....RPR

I am always a little taken aback when members express shock and awe about a board decision. I think where have you been? The board has been writing articles about this, doing surveys, blogging, hosting informational sessions, having task force review, blasting you weekly and asking for your feedback and then... there it is.... I never heard about this, why is the board being secretive, what did it gain in this decision. FIRST- you the member are the board so if there are any gains they are for you!

No greater care or length was taken than in the RPR decision; in fact this was before the board for over a year. We started with blogs, articles on the web and facebook. In March at the Spring Conference we had an objective leader in analyzing REALTOR® technologies, Brian Boero of 1000 watt consulting, do a 90 minute session on RPR- I believe they were over 100 members in attendance. We asked for feedback on the conference and started facebooking and tweeting about RPR in hopes to get more member input. Then in June we hosted another session at the Management Conference- we asked members to attend, blogged and blasted about it a lot, Board of Directors urged their associates to attend- this session was led by Ohan Antebien of RPR- we collected opinions through a survey that we asked everyone to fill out before they left. Again the overwhelming response was no. Again the board did not make a decision wanting more member input. We blogged about it some more and featured the session and links to RPR in over 20 separate eblasts throughout the year. We got virtually no feedback from the members through our online efforts. So the board put the issue before the large R&D advisory group who recommended not going forward with RPR.

There were several key issues- why do we need this our MLS offers all this already, I don't want to learn a new system, we are fearful NAR will charge us for our own data in the future as they did with REALTOR® .com, and why all the NAR secrecy about how it will be run? Although RPR says their product is free (which it is) MLS's would have to bear the development and integration costs from the MLS vendor (ours is core logic). Corelogic told the board they did not even yet have any technical requirements yet from RPR and could not even quote us in how much it would cost to develop and API for RPR.

We signed a different agreement with Corelogic which doesn't offer members a product but does use our data, no chance of reselling to our members because there is no product/service. Perhaps because we waited so long Corelogic gave us many incentives to sign with them and also because we indicated we would not sign unless we received member incentives. Corelogic has a similar dashboard that will be available for free as an upgrade to Tempo 5. They also significantly reduced the price of our public sided website which allowed the MLS to keep running it next year with no increase in fees to the member. They also kept out Tempo 5 software at the same price for the next three years so that we would not have to increase MLS fees. There is potential that MLSOK could receive revenue from Corelogic in years to come, meaning that as the cost of doing business goes up there should be revenue from Corelogic to offset those increases which in turn would allow us to keep our MLS fees the low $40.50 monthly and Lockbox Keys the low $20.50 per month (assumes pre-pay discount).

Always remember that the key offering of RPR is integrated tax data- something both Tulsa and OKCMAR members already receive through their MLS vendor. Many did not see the value of spending money to integrate with RPR and maintain their system with support staff for a tool we already enjoy. I look forward to your questions on this blog. And always remember, you the member are the board, so if the "board" realizes any gains through contract negotiation those gains are for you!