RealSelect: Our Online Future

January 1, 1997

The agreement forged by the REALTORS Information NetworkTM --a wholly owned subsidiary of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®--to create RealSelect is one that should make us all proud and excited. First, let me give you the bottom line:

The agreement puts you where you need to be--at the center of the real estate transaction.

That has always been our driving purpose in establishing an information system to serve the REALTOR® community.

RealSelect is a company formed by RIN and a group of investors to operate the public side of our REALTOR.COM Internet site and provide free, basic real property ads for REALTORS® that will be accessible to consumers. Our new partners bring with them workable business strategies, sound investment practices, successful marketing skills, and experience and flexibility in dealing with the ever-changing world of the Internet. To assist us in our negotiations, we formulated eight guiding principles that had to be fulfilled in order for this venture to be successful. I'm proud to say our final agreement was totally responsive to those principles. I'd like to share them with you, because they illustrate what you can expect from this new venture. The agreement allows us to

  1. Maintain control and ownership of both the REALTOR® trademark and the Internet address for our Web site at REALTOR.COM
  2. Limit future risk for both RIN and NAR
  3. Focus on the need to be in the member services business instead of a profit-making business
  4. Continue to maintain and enhance the Real Property Ad (RPA) program while retaining adequate safeguards, including the use of content and the information derived from content provided by members
  5. Provide assurance that all members have the opportunity to participate in the RPA program by exposing all their listings in the form of an ad, in a basic level format, on the Internet at no cost to the member
  6. Provide for a means that will enable RIN to reach a fair and equitable settlement of all its debts
  7. Provide for a revenue-sharing plan offering data content providers the opportunity to share in the success of RealSelect
  8. Balance the need for RealSelect to be a viable commercial entity with maintaining adequate safeguards to meet our members' business needs

The new relationship with RealSelect signals a bright future for REALTORS®.

Russell K. Booth was 1997 president of the National Association of REALTORS®.

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