My response to RPR's response

On Friday, I wrote a post in which I offered my analysis of a deal RPR cut with LPS wherein MLS data is used to alert lenders when properties on which they hold a loan are listed for sale.

RPR CEO Dale Ross published a response to it yesterday.

I am going to respond to that response here.

To do that, I’ll address the key parts of Dale’s response in turn. Here goes:

Ross begins:

“On Friday, a short post appeared on 1000watt.net under the provocative title, ‘WTF RPR?’ that misconstrued a press release that was issued earlier in the week.”

If “misconstrued” means I pointed out a potential consequence of this deal, and offered my opinion on that, then I need to restate the obvious: I am not on the RPR PR team.

Ross continues:

“The author of the blog appears to have assumed that the intent of the product is really to market new loans to homeowners, and thereby undercut a business that many brokerage firms have a vested interest in.”

Here, again, is what I wrote (emphasis added in bold):

“What can happen here, in consequence if not intent, is that broker listings are enabling lenders to capture mortgage business “upstream” from brokers’ own mortgage operations.”

I also want to note that the LPS press release on this deal states the following:

The solution can also help servicers retain their customers by giving their lending departments a heads-up when current borrowers have listed their properties.

I am not sure what I am missing here.

Ross continues:

“Any reading of this press release does not support the conclusions of the blogger. Nevertheless, we are aware that the post has garnered some discussion, particularly among brokerage firm owners. We believe it is important to invite a comparison of the two articles in order to make sure the facts are clear.”

I second the invitation to compare the articles. And no matter what Dale Ross says, you, like me, are free to form your own conclusions.

Ross continues:

“Expediting short sales benefits everyone and the housing market. Marketing to homeowners is prohibited by RPR’s MLS license agreements, and from a common sense perspective, is just simply inconsistent with RPR’s mission to support the business of REALTORS® and their firms. In fact, RPR has built tools now in use by more than 300 brokerage firms that are specifically designed to promote and drive the capture rate of brokerage owned and affiliated core services.

This sounds great. But these assertions have nothing to do with the concern I raised.

Ross concludes:

“While we can wish that bloggers would check their facts or frame their assumptions more carefully as opinions, we are aware that sometimes this does not happen. We know that sometimes, other interests are in play.”

This is really high-minded. But I did frame this as my opinion. Here’s what I said:

“What’s not so cool, in my opinion, is that the brokers who own the listings that power this deal can potentially get hosed.

But then there’s the “other interests” part. That part suggests something vaguely nefarious.

In reality, the only other “interest at play” is my own point of view, and my desire to share it here.

That is something no amount of spin can erase.

If you would like to read more about RPR – How it was initially pitched, what it has cost, what it has earned, and what sort of usage it is seeing from rank and file NAR members – take a few minutes to read this recent article from Inman News.

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