Technology: RPR® Commercial Takes Stock of Offerings to Land Practitioners


by Laurie M. Brown, Marketing Communications Manager Realtors Property Resource®, LLC

Building on Land

RPR® is committed to meeting the needs of all real estate segments, including a focus on what got this industry started…land. The strength of this all-important sector is unmistakable. Last year, RPR recorded more than 450,000 on-market land listings in its database—across both residential and commercial segments. That’s a large enough number to command anyone’s attention, including RPR’s commercial team who decided to the start digging into how we serve this segment.

A Solid Bedrock

When you look at what RPR has to offer land practitioners, we see three major features that provide the building blocks for usage: Thematic Maps, Trade Area Reports, and Property Record Data.

1. Thematic Maps

As a real estate professional, you can search for land visually while layering key data such as street and overhead views, ZIP boundaries, heatmap layers such as flood zones and points of interest (POIs).

2. Commercial Trade Area Reports

With data compiled from Census Blocks up to Counties, in addition to projections and Esri Tapestry Segments – these Trade Area reports are a land developers dream.

3. Property Record Data

You’ll find a base of property information that begins with Public Records across the country. Comprehensive information – owner name, parcel number, and zoning – is just the beginning. From here RPR layes in CIE and/or MLS data where applicable. In addition, you can input additional information to any property for your own use. 

Moving Forward

Over the last six months we have spoken with a variety of REALTORS® involved in land transactions, from experts who work solely with dirt, to those who do only a few land transactions a year. Yet, no matter what their specialty or frequency, the same “room for growth” issues applied. Here’s what we found:

  1. Searching for a parcel of land without an address can be an exasperating and sometimes futile exercise. What if RPR offered one true method by building in the ability to search via section, township and range? Stay tuned. We’ll work on it.
  2. Viewing a picture of grass, dirt or trees does little to reveal the true characteristics of a property. RPR is looking at two ideas: first, allow agents to modify a map by adding borders, points of interest, etc., and second, allow agents to upload a video to RPR’s Property Details page.
  3. Limitations on land, based on soil composition, can be problematic as well. Although accessing the information is easy enough, sites like the USDA Web Soil Survey are not as user friendly according to end users. As a solution, we are looking at bringing pieces of the USDA Soil Data into RPR where ease of use will be a priority.

RPR, with strong support from the REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI), intends to study and pursue implementation of these suggestions where plausible. “Here at RLI, we’re committed to sharing expertise that could further enhance RPR technologies and provide additional benefits for REALTORS® who specialize in land deals,” said 2016 RLI National President Bob Turner.

Want to share your ideas? Tell us what tools you are using and what you like/don’t like about them. Email Nathan Graham at