Illinois REALTOR® Magazine  | October 2012
By Stephanie Sievers | Associate Editor
Realtors Property Resource® (RPR), an exclusive REALTOR® member benefit from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), is expanding its technology offering for agents and brokers to include the RPR Commercial Application, a single-source national database of searchable, commercial property information.
RPR Commercial is being tested by REALTORS® in seven select markets. Once the testing is completed, the goal is to launch the application nationwide by the end of the year, said Emily Line, director of commercial services for RPR. Chicago, and Illinois, will have access to RPR Commercial, but some agents there have been given a preview of the service.
Building on the core functionality of the RPR residential system, RPR Commercial will offer REALTORS® three major functions: searching for properties and details of those properties, analyzing a targeted market and creating custom reports that REALTORS® can share with clients and customers.
RPR’s goal is to be a one-stop source for comprehensive market information and analysis. RPR aggregates tax assessments, public records, stand-alone mortgages and liens, foreclosure data, demographics and census information on residential, commercial and vacant properties throughout the U.S.
RPR Commercial also expands on that set of core functions to offer features of particular interest to commercial practitioners including:
In areas where local Commercial Information Exchanges (CIE) or Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) have a data licensing agreement in place with RPR, the commercial agent or broker will also have access to view active, pending or sold property listings in their area.
Key to RPR’s mission is the idea of bringing the market information that an agent needs together in one easy-to-use place.
“In today’s market, a commercial practitioner may need to collect information from numerous sources in order to aggregate all the data needed for a client. This can include public records, demographics, consumer spending data or other property details for a particular area,” Line said.
“RPR Commercial aggregates multiple layers of data in one place to make it easier and to keep the REALTOR® at the center of the deal and to allow the agent or broker to create valuable reports for their consumers.”
Line offers an example of how a commercial agent or broker might use the RPR application. “Say an agent is working with a restaurateur who is looking to open a new restaurant in the Lakeview area of Chicago and wants to target high earning, 30-somethings. With RPR Commercial, the REALTOR® could do a search based on those attributes and using the consumer tapestry reports in RPR, find desirable property locations for a new restaurant,” Line said.
Two Illinois commercial REALTORS® who took part in demonstrations of the service said they can see how it could help them serve their clients.
“I think it has enormous possibilities and could be really useful,” said REALTOR® Laraine Spector, a broker with @properties in Chicago. “For an individual broker to do all this research would be so time consuming and cost prohibitive,” she said.
REALTOR® Wayne Caplan, a commercial broker and a director for Sperry Van Ness, Inc. in Chicago, said the commercial real estate industry is more fragmented than residential, both in terms of where commercial properties are listed and where practitioners get market data.
Public records and information that can be analyzed for market information are available, but from a variety of sources, he said. A REALTOR® might have to subscribe to multiple demographic services and order data such as merchant maps, traffic counts and other neighborhood information from a third party source.
“(RPR) is providing a tremendous suite of data that we don’t currently have through other services,” Caplan said. “To be able to get a lot of the data that we use for our site analysis from one place would be really helpful.”
Another benefit of RPR is the fact that because it is an exclusive NAR member benefit, only REALTORS® will have access to it. That will give REALTOR® members a distinct advantage over other real estate practitioners in their markets, Caplan said.
The current RPR residential system, which is now available to more than 640,000 REALTORS® who belong to MLSs that have data listing agreements with RPR, will also be rolled out nationally by the end of the year, giving all REALTORS® access.
The RPR Commercial test sites:
Fore more information to blog.narrpr.com/