Back in the March/April 2010 issue of Commonwealth, we told you all about NAR’s potential-game-changing initiative: the Realtors Property Resource. NAR hoped it would become the most comprehensive data source on all the nation’s properties — it included databases giving a huge amount of regional and neighborhood information, plus (thanks to agreements with MLS providers) about individual properties.

The one MLS holdout, though, was MRIS — the major player in Virginia. Here’s what we had to say in the article:

On January 27, MRIS, the largest MLS in the country — and one that serves a significant number of Virginia Realtors® — announced that, for now, it was not going to participate in RPR.

In an open letter, Realtor® Adam Cockey, chairman of the MRIS board of directors, explained that the MRIS board was concerned about two aspects of the proposed contract: How the data it provided would be used, and why there was no provision for sharing potential revenues with the MLSs.

“RPR … would not place limitations on the uses of the information collected and the types of products that would be developed,” Cockey pointed out, and while MRIS could simply “yank the feed and not renew the contract,” the MRIS board was not comfortable with that.

“RPR says ‘give us your data, we’ll tell you what we’re going to do with it’,” said Jonathan Hill, MRIS’s vice president of business development. “That kind of leaves the brokers out in the cold.” He gave the example of RPR’s telling lenders whether a particular property was being sold by its owner: “That tells them there may be trouble, it certainly tells them that [the owner] is moving, and it gives them a marketing opportunity. And brokers are concerned that their customers may not be aware that his information is being shared this way.”

But today RPR announced it had reached an agreement with MRIS and would now be integrating its data — a boon to Realtors in MRIS’s service area, which includes almost 50 counties in Maryland and Virginia, plus Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.

Why is it a boon? Go forth and read the article.