Would you like to work together with RMLS™ to find solutions to your challenges in RMLSweb? RMLS™ is gathering individuals who want to play an active role in our new direction—and I, Beth Raimer, am the Product Manager who will be the intermediary between subscribers and our website developers.
You may already know me from listening to Real Talk with RMLS™, the podcast I’ve been hosting for RMLS™ since May 2017. My time at RMLS™ began in Spring 2015 when I was hired to be a customer service representative at the front desk in the Portland office. In 2017 I was promoted to training where I taught RMLSweb classes, then I became Product Manager last October.
Prior to RMLS™ I sold properties in south Florida for seven years, closing 317 townhomes and 676 condos. (I cherished helping individuals find their dream home!) Before real estate I worked at a software development company for eight years, facilitating enhancements.
As RMLS™ Product Manager I have been able to travel around the entire RMLS™ region—Oregon and Washington—to host focus groups and user group sessions. At these sessions I’ve been gathering feedback and listening to subscribers’ wants and needs. Each geographic area I’ve visited has had specific requests for usability changes—sometimes quite unique to their county or town! Although playing this role is challenging, I am passionate about understanding the needs of each group and bringing those desires back to the RMLS™ staff and board.
RMLS™ has a specific enhancements process, which may remind you of a certain song from the 1970s. We’ve written about the enhancements process in the past, but it’s worth repeating.
What’s an enhancement? Think of it as any noteworthy change or improvement to RMLSweb. Examples could range from adding a map layer to changing the color of a button to make it more visible to users.
Enhancements and additions to RMLSweb are decided on by your Board of Directors, all of who are working brokers just like you. RMLS™ staff does not make these decisions. Requests from subscribers are gathered by RMLS™ staff year-round. We have a monthly meeting to discuss and categorize enhancement requests, separating out bugs to get them fixed in short order. Anything that is deemed to be an enhancement request is kept on the list. We also gather a lot of enhancement requests from the annual subscriber survey that we conduct each September.
In December/January, we take all the requests we’ve received from subscribers throughout the year—including those items from the subscriber survey—and create packages of projects for our annual board retreat that occurs in February. These projects are made up of like-minded enhancement requests combined into a larger project, such as “CMA enhancements,” or “prospecting improvements.” The projects are based on the volume of requests we receive through the year.
The packages with all associated enhancements are then printed on boards, so you may hear staff or board members referring to these projects as “voting boards.” Leading up to the annual retreat the voting board projects are also rated by our board’s technology committee, which adds or removes additional requirements to the projects before they are finalized.
Finally at the annual board retreat our directors discuss each voting board project, ultimately voting for projects they think should be the highest priorities for RMLS™ over the next year.
Once projects are board-approved and development work begins, I will set up focus groups with subscribers to make sure our internal project plans match what brokers are expecting. Whenever enhancements are released, I’ll also sit with the RMLS™ Help Desk staff to learn about challenges subscribers are experiencing with each release.
If you’re interested in being the first to know about what’s on tap for RMLSweb you should check in regularly with Document #1040, RMLS™ Future Enhancements. We’ve also got Document #1030, RMLSweb Deployment History, which documents what we’ve changed on RMLSweb and when.
Would you like to be a part of one of our focus groups? Contact me via email at email@example.com or via phone at (503) 872-8065. I welcome feedback from subscribers through these channels as well. I would love to meet with as many users as possible as we move forward with the next phase of RMLSweb. I look forward to identifying RMLS™ subscribers’ wants and needs and to make sure the developed solutions meet subscribers’ expectations.
Changes are happening now on RMLSweb—I invite you to be an active part of our new direction!