RIN, a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS, had a private side and a public side. The public side of RIN was Realtor.com and for that asset, RIN had a buyer waiting. The buyer, Richard Janssen (RealSelect/HomeSelect) with the help of others, went public as HOMS, which was later changed to MOVE. The primary asset of this company when going public was its exclusive contract with NAR as the Operator of Realtor.com.
The Private Side of RIN, the RIN Network Desktop (RND), had no users and it had no buyer…but it did have “Association/MLS creditors.” Many associations had pre-purchased boxes of The RND Access Software from RIN.
You might ask: “What? wasn’t the application for access free?” No. Business networks had costs, and the new thing everyone was talking about, the Internet and the Web, was not secure. There was also a charge for the usage ($8.00 per hour…YIKES!). The RIN Network was described as a “closed network,” privacy being a concern and the RND being a component of the technology package of the tech savvy REALTOR…at least that was the idea.
Back to the Private Side…How would the expectations of the many local associations that had purchased the RIN Network Desktop (which was going away) be met? RIN did not have the cash to pay them all back. What were these MLSs and associations going to tell their members? Many had spent tens of thousands of dollars. This is what had to be decided by the Directors prior at their Special Meeting in August of 1996.
Enter Jack, “The Man behind the curtain”…You don’t know Jack!/? You should.
The Florida Association of REALTORS had been working on a member site, the metaphor of which was a high-rise building. Each “Floor” offered something. I recall a “Coffee Shop.”
One Realtor Place
With the aid of Jack Harper, the shell of the Florida Association “One Realtor Place” was demonstrated to the Directors at the Special Meeting in August of 1996. Jack can elaborate, but I think the vacancy factor in that high-rise was very high.
At least that is how I remember it.