Updated Home Sales Reports Now On RMLSweb!

A new User Interface and updated reports are now available

The previous Home Sales Report feature on RMLSweb was known to be slow and sometimes inefficient. Therefore, in February 2011, the RMLS™ Board of Directors voted to approve a project for 2011 that would involve rewriting the Home Sales Report feature. This rewrite included redesigning the User Interface, as well as the generated reports themselves.

Now, the updated Home Sales Reports, in addition to the new User Interface, are available for subscribers’ use!  To access the Home Sales Reports, go to the RMLSweb Desktop page. Next, locate the “Statistics” menu at the top of the screen and select “Home Sales Report” from the menu options. The new Home Sales Report feature utilizes dropdown and multiple-select fields to allow for a quicker and easier user experience. View our new tutorial, Utilizing Home Sales Reports to learn more.

Here is an example of the new User Interface for the Home Sales Report feature (feel free to click on it for a larger view):


Notice the four new report options under the Generate Report column. Part of our redesign included adding the option of viewing four separate reports for the following:

  • New Residential (Year Built Description is New, Proposed or Under Construction)
  • Existing Residential (Year Built Description is not New, not Proposed or not Under Construction)
  • Total Residential (Total of New and Existing listings)
  • Active/Pending Residential (Pending Calculation is New!)

NOTE: For reports prior to July 2011, you will not be able to view the four different report options. All reports through June 2011 will stay in the old one-page format.

The new User Interface allows for a maximum of 35 area reports to be selected. Also, users can select multiple regions or reports by using the Ctrl or Shift keys.

In addition to the new User Interface and additional report options, we also revised the generated reports to more closely resemble data collected by the National Association of Realtors®. For example, we added additional price classes to better portray the market (this change will only affect the newly created reports from July 2011 on). The highest price class that the old reports offered was for listings that were “Over 500,000” (in dollars). With the new report, we have added the following options for Type Price Class:

  • $500,000 to 749,999
  • $750,000 to 999,999
  • $1 million to 1,249,999
  • $1.25 million to 1,499,999
  • $1.5 million to 1,999,999
  • $2 million to 2,999,999
  • $3 million and over

View our brand new tutorial, Utilizing Home Sales Reports, to learn more about the new functionality and report options.

Still need help? Feel free to call the RMLS™ Help Desk at 503-872-8002 or toll-free at 877-256-2169.

Spotlight on Supplements: Additional Structures and Farm & Ranches

Learn more about these two new Supplement forms!

Five new Supplement forms became available for subscribers on August 3rd. These new forms allow subscribers to share even more details about their listings. Read about the Additional Structures Supplement form and the Farm and Ranches Supplement form below!

Additional Structures Supplement:

The new Additional Structures Supplement allows listing agents to describe buildings or structures on the property other than the main building itself. For example, do you have a client who is selling a home with a chicken coop? Or, perhaps your client’s home has a particularly lovely gazebo. You can use this form to describe these additional structures that add to the listing’s attraction.

You can describe up to six additional structures using this form. Other types of structures you can describe are garages, barns and second residences! You can also specify whether or not a Conditional Use Permit is required for the second residence.

The form allows you to enter in information about the additional building’s dimensions, approximate square footage, numbers of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the year it was built.

Remember to use the Supplement Public Remarks field to provide even more details about the additional structure(s)!

Click here to view the Additional Structures Supplement.

Farm and Ranches Supplement:

The Farm and Ranches Supplement form contains fields that already existed for the former Farm (FRM) category. But, with the new Supplement form for Farm and Ranches listings, you have even more options for describing the property.

New options available are:

  • Certified Organic Yes/No field
  • New value option for CRANBOG (Cranberry Bog) in Currently Usable field
  • Extended the Approx. # of Acres field to offer options for nursery, orchard or vineyard

This Supplement form has a Public Remarks field as well for you to further describe the property.

Click here to view the Farm and Ranches Supplement.

Want to know more about Supplement forms? View the Utilizing Supplement Forms tutorial, it’s a visual learning experience!

To see the other Supplement forms and to see other changes that were released with the Forms Change, view the Listing Forms Change Summary document.

Questions? Contact the RMLS™ Help Desk at 503-872-8002 or toll-free at 877-256-2169.

Spotlight on Supplements: Condo and Amenities

Learn more about these two new Supplement forms!

On August 3rd, our Forms Change was released, which made five new Supplement forms available for subscribers to use to share even more information about their listings. In this blog post, we are highlighting the Condo and Amenities Supplement forms. Later, we will highlight the other new Supplement forms.

Condo Supplement:

The new Condo Supplement includes fields that offer the ability for Listing Agents to describe the condo building beyond just the unit for sale. For example, there is a field for Condo Conversion Yes/No, and a field for the number of condo units in the complex.

Want to provide information about the condo association? The Condo Supplement makes this possible. There are fields for Condo Association Name, Condo Association Contact, Condo Association URL and Condo Association Phone.

There is also a field for Pending HOA Litigation Yes/No. Keep in mind that the condo association information and pending litigation fields are kept private and can only be viewed by subscribers, meaning that they are not included in client reports.

Note: We moved the Upper Condo Level field from the address line of the main Listing Load page to the Condo Supplement form. The visibility of the field stays the same (the field will only be visible when the “Condo Unit Location” is set as UPPER).

Click here to view the Condo Supplement.

Amenities Supplement:

Is your client an avid public bus commuter? Does your client have a child who rides the public school bus? Or perhaps your client has a pet that needs frequent trips to the park? The Amenities Supplement allows Listing Agents to describe the distance from the property to different public features, such as parks, bus stops and shopping areas.

The Amenities Supplement also provides a field for Easement Information and a field for Walk Score! Many consumers are familiar with the Walk Score website, which rates neighborhoods for distance to walkable amenities, like shops, restaurants, transportation, etc. Visit walkscore.com for more information. The Walk Score field in the Amenities Supplement allows for the actual number of the walk score to be entered.

Click here to view the Amenities Supplement.

General Information:

On a general note, we want to mention that all of the new Supplement forms (except for Auction, which isn’t new) provide a Public Remarks field to further describe the property for that supplement.

Want to know more about Supplement forms? View the Utilizing Supplement Forms tutorial, it’s a visual learning experience!

To see the other Supplement forms and to see other changes that were released with the Forms Change, view the Listing Forms Change Summary document.

Questions? Contact the RMLS™ Help Desk at 503-872-8002 or toll-free at 877-256-2169.

Year Built Description Now Required for Residential Listings

Brush up on Year Built Description terms!

This year’s Forms Change went into effect on August 3rd, 2011. One of the important changes this year is that the Year Built Description field is now required for Residential listings only. The addition of this requirement will help us report on new home sales versus existing home sales statistics.

With the different options available to select for the Year Built Description field, we thought a refresher on what the different terms mean may be beneficial to subscribers. Here is a list of the available terms and their meaning:

APPROX: Approximately – Year Built indicates the approximate year in which the home was built.

FIXER: Fixer – Needs Repair.

NEW: New – Construction completed, but home has never been occupied.

PROPOSD: Proposed – Not yet under construction.

REGHIST: Home is on the Register of Historic Homes.

REMOD: Remodeled – Some or all of the home has been remodeled.

RESALE: Resale – Existing home for sale.

RESTORD: Restored – Homes restored to original condition.

UNDERCON: Under Construction – Ground broken and construction actually under way.

UNKNOWN: Unknown due to loss of county records.

Want more information about the Forms Change? Read the Listing Forms Change Summary document. Or, watch our new tutorial, Utilizing Supplement Forms.

With the new changes to the Listing Input Forms on RMLSweb, it may be a good idea for subscribers to attend an RMLS Updates class taught by our Training Department. Offices can also contact our Training Department to schedule a visit to get personalized instruction on the new changes. Contact RMLS Training at 503-236-7657 or access the RMLS Training calendar on RMLSweb under the Toolkit option.

Questions? Contact  the RMLS™ Help Desk at 503-872-8002 or toll-free at 877-256-2169.

Coming August 3rd: Listing Forms Change

Includes New Supplement Forms!

Each year, the RMLS™ Forms Committee, which is comprised of volunteer Realtor® subscribers, recommends changes to the Listing Input Forms to be approved by the Board of Directors. The annual Forms Change will be released on August 3rd, 2011 from the suggestions made in 2010.

Click here to view the Listing Forms Change Summary document.

Click here to watch the Utilizing Supplement Forms tutorial!

Extended Outage: The upcoming changes to Listing Load will require some additional time to update the website. As a result, RMLSweb will be in maintenance mode from 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 2 to 7 a.m. Wednesday, August 3. Please plan your work schedule around this outage.

Five New Supplement Forms Available On RMLSweb: We are adding new Supplement forms for Additional Structure(s), Amenities, Condo, Farms & Ranches and Water Rights.

  • There are Supplement form navigation links at the top of the “Listing Load: Edit Listing” page and also in between the individual form sections. These links will take the user to the Supplement form section at the bottom of the page.
  • To add an Amenities, Additional Structures or Water Rights Supplement form, the user must check the “include” box on the far right side of the Supplement section bar in order to see the Supplement fields and to input information into them. The Supplement forms for Auction, Farm and Condo cannot be selected or unselected with a check box. These will be included as required by selecting an Auction price type, a Property Type of Condo or a Property Type of Farm (or Farm/Forest).
  • When viewing a report within RMLSweb, users will have the option to “Show/Print Supplements” at the top of the page.
Below are some of the significant changes to the forms:

Year Built Description Field: Starting on August 3rd, this field will become required for all Residential listings. We will backfill this field (fill in the Year Built Description for you according to certain criteria), but suggest that if you have ACT, BMP, PEN or WTH listings that are Residential, to select the Year Built Description before August 3. We are also adding a RESALE option to this field. The criteria we are using for our backfill process is as follows:
  • If the Year Built Description is blank and Occupied By is Proposed or Under Construction, then the Year Built Description will become Proposed or Under Construction.
  • If the Year Built Description is blank and the List Date is within the last 5 years, then Year Built Description becomes UNKNOWN.
  • If the Year Built Description is blank and the List Date is older than 5 years and Status is ACT, BMP, PEN or WTH, then the Year Built Description becomes UNKNOWN.

Farms and Ranches: Due to the addition of the Farms and Ranches Supplement form, we will be converting Farm listings to either Residential (RES) or Lots and Land (LND) categories, according to specific criteria. The conversion of Farm listings to either RES or LND is based on the following criteria:

  • If Habitable Residence is Yes, then the listing will be converted to RES
  • If Habitable Residence is No, then the listing will be converted to LND
  • If Habitable Residence is blank (meaning it was a pre-RMLS listing), and the number of bathrooms is greater than zero, then the listing will be converted to RES, otherwise it will convert to LND.

Want to know more about the changes? Attend one of our RMLSweb updates classes at your local RMLS™ office. See the Training Calendar to find a class near you.

Questions? Contact the RMLS™ Help Desk at 503-872-8002 or toll-free at 877-256-2169.

Survey Says: 39% Have Added Captions to Photos

41% of respondents have not used the new photo caption feature

Recently, we posted a one-question survey on the RMLSweb desktop for RMLS™ subscribers. With the new ability for subscribers to add captions to their photos (using the new Photo Manager), we wanted to gain some insight into use of the captions. Posting of the survey also had another purpose – to inform those who might not be aware that the caption feature exists.

We had 2,137 subscribers respond to this question, which is roughly 20% of our subscribership. As you can see from the responses, 41% of those who responded to the survey said they have not added captions to their listing’s photos. While we have seen the number of photos with captions steadily increase since the release of the new feature, this percentage shows us that there is still room for more growth. If you combine the two “Yes” answers, you can see that 39% of respondents have added captions to photos. 11% said they have added captions to ALL of their listing’s photos!

Also interesting to note, 12% of the 2,137 respondents said they don’t have any listings, and 8% didn’t know there was a photo caption feature.

For more information on the new Photo Manager feature, view Document #1726: How to Upload Photos Using Photo Manager or watch our tutorial: Adding Photos To Your Listing. If you have any questions, feel free to call the RMLS™ Help Desk at 503-872-8002 or toll-free at 877-256-2169.

New Photo Manager Available on RMLSweb

You can now upload multiple photos at one time and add captions to photos! 

The new, transformed Photo Manager is now available in Listing Load on RMLSweb! Feedback from subscribers in the 2010 Subscriber Satisfaction Survey, as well as other channels, showed a need for RMLS™ to update our photo loading functions. Due to this interest, we have released a new Photo Manager, which enables users to upload multiple photos at one time, add captions to photos, and provides users with added functionality to make uploading and maintaining photos much more efficient.

Here are some exciting things you can do with the new Photo Manager:

Upload multiple photos at one time. When locating photos to upload, you can now select multiple photos and upload them all together. The new photo upload feature also displays thumbnail previews of the photos, as well as status and progress information, so you can track the uploading process. Note: To use this feature, you will need to install the free Microsoft Silverlight plugin on your computer, which can be downloaded here. For users who don’t want to download Silverlight, the previous functionality of uploading photos individually will still be available via a link on the Silverlight installation prompt screen.

Add captions to your photos. You can now add captions and sub-captions to your photos from a list of provided captions. If you don’t see a caption that fits your desired description, please email the desired caption to rules@rmls.com. The captions will only appear within RMLSweb and not in data feeds at this time. Note: you cannot assign a caption to the first photo.

Drag and drop your photos to reorder. The new Photo Manager allows you to drag and drop your photos to reorder them, making it easier than ever to manage all of your photos! To rearrange, simply click on the photo you would like to reorder, and drag that photo to the location you would like it to appear. Once the photos are in the desired order, you must click “Save the Order” before continuing for the changes to be saved. 

Auto resizing. No more stretched photos! One of the reasons the new Photo Manager will be more efficient than ever is that it now resizes photos for you! Silverlight allows you to select any sized photo and will resize it prior to upload. It will resize the photo to the size of 640 x 480. This makes uploading faster! For best results, we recommend using landscape photos. However, the Photo Manager now recognizes the orientation of the photo (whether landscape or portrait) and will now add padding (white space) to portrait photos to make them into a landscape-oriented photo. Therefore, portrait photos are now accepted and will be resized (with padding/white space) to prevent distortion and stretching.

Other highlights:

  • Bulk deletion – delete multiple photos at one time!
  • List & Preview/Grid View – two viewing options via a dropdown menu!
  • New arrow buttons – allows scrolling through photos using a “previous” and “next” method!
  • Pop-up Viewer – view and print larger photos!

For more details and information on the Photo Manager, take a look at Document #1726: How to Upload Photos Using Photo Manager. Or, watch our video tutorial: Adding Photos To Your Listing.

If you have any questions or need help with the Photo Manager, feel free to call Help Desk at 503-872-8002 or toll-free at 877-256-2169.

Adventures in Social Media

Stay current with the RMLS™ Twitter and Facebook accounts!

Sometime during the last decade, the term “social media” grew more fiercely than wildfire. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Foursquare and LinkedIn were created. To go even farther, we began to see social media in the form of blogging (WordPress, Blogspot), micro-blogging (Twitter), online reviewing (Yelp), photo-sharing (Flickr) and smart purchasing (Groupon).

It’s difficult trying to keep up with the constant flow of new social media applications, trends and products that come on the market each day. Due to the fact that social media has started to play a more key role in the real estate industy, RMLS™ is making an effort at “keeping up with the Joneses.”

Here’s how you can benefit from our efforts:

Did you know you can check up on our Twitter feed, Facebook page and RMLS™ Updates blog, without creating an account of your own? Say there is an RMLSweb outage (which is not something we like to think about, but it has happened before) and you want up-to-date information, here is what you can do: 

Twitter: Go to http://twitter.com/RMLSweb

This will take you to the RMLS™ Twitter account, where you can see all of our recent “tweets” and our Twitter profile (even if you don’t have a Twitter account of your own!). From here, you can choose to “follow” us if you have an account! We recommend you do so in order to stay current with our updates.

Facebook: Go to http://www.facebook.com/RMLSweb
Here, you will be directed to our Facebook page! A goal of ours for 2011 is to increase our fan base on our Facebook page. Since we’re on the hunt for new fans, make sure to “like” our page!

Blog: For those of you who may have stumbled upon a link to this blog, at any time you can access it by going to: http://rmlsweb.wordpress.com/ 

We plan on doing some cool contests and giveaways in the future for those following us on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to win some free stuff!  Also, don’t forget to tune in for these weekly events:

  • Tuesday Training Tip – Each Tuesday we post an interesting RMLSweb training tip to our Facebook and Twitter accounts regarding certain aspects of the RMLSweb system.
  • Friday Fun Fact – Each Friday we post a humorous fact on Twitter and Facebook about a fact of the day and how it coincides with a statistic from RMLSweb

Finally, if you are looking to become a more efficient social media user, check out tools such as Hootsuite and TweetDeck that allow you to view and post to your Twitter, Facebook and Blog feeds – all at once!

Happy social media adventures!

Listing Load Now Available in Firefox!

You can now use your Firefox browser to access Listing Load

One of the most common requests we have received in the past is to update Listing Load so that it is compatible with the Firefox browser. As a result, in early February the RMLS™ Board of Directors voted to make Listing Load enhancements and Firefox compatibility a top priority for projects to complete in 2011. Well, we are happy to announce the ability to use Listing Load with your Firefox browser is now available!

To clarify, this announcement is in regard to the compatibility of Firefox with Listing Load. While there are some features of RMLSweb that still are not functional in the Firefox browser, this release is a major step toward full compatibility. (For a list of the functions that are still not fully compatible outside of Internet Explorer, please see Document 1765.) We have tested and approved Listing Load with Firefox Version 3.6.16 and Version 4, and we have also tested it in the Firefox browser on both Windows and the Mac operating system!

Here are some items to keep in mind when using Listing Load in Firefox:

  • The look and feel of Listing Load will be slightly different in a new browser, so you may notice small changes in alignment, shape of fields, etc. Below is an example of different field shapes in Listing Load when using Firefox on a Mac. The fields that are more rectangular are the required fields, while the rounded (bubbled) fields are optional.
  • Spell Check does not work when accessing Listing Load through Firefox. However, the Firefox browser is equipped with its own Spell Check that you may use.
  • To print In-Progress listings from Firefox on a Mac, we recommend using Adobe Acrobat Reader instead of Macintosh’s preview viewer. Adobe Acrobat Reader has more configuration options than the default viewer, allowing users to adjust margins and page size as needed to ensure correct layout and formatting of the printed In-Progress input forms.

If you have any questions or run into any problems or issues, please feel free to call Help Desk at 503-872-8002 or toll-free at 877-256-2169 and mention that you are using Firefox.

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