Lockbox Woes, Listing Load Refresh: Ask Technical Terry

Ask Technical Terry is a series RMLS™ aims to offer once a month. RMLS™ subscribers will drive the content—submit any question about RMLS™ to Technical Terry in the comments or by emailing communications@rmls.com. Don’t be shy—we won’t identify you by name.

Dear TT:

I’m curious why RMLS™ is changing its lockboxes. I have had great success with the current lockbox and can’t imagine the newer version has enough new features that it’s worth the hassle of a conversion. Can you convince me it’s worth all the trouble?

Frustrated in Fairview

Dear FF:

I totally understand the short-term disruption presented by changing out your lockboxes. While the lockbox companies are quite skilled in organizing their events to minimize disruption it is still a hassle for you, and for that I apologize.

The RMLS™ Board of Directors thought long and hard when the opportunity to upgrade became an option with the release of the SentriLock Bluetooth lockboxes. The decision is difficult in general terms because most of the board members actively sell real estate—just like you. They fully realize the disruption conversion events create. That taken into account, they agreed that the benefits of the Bluetooth lockbox were significant enough to embark on the conversion.

Here are just a few of the benefits the new Bluetooth lockbox provides to subscribers:

SentriSmart™ will have more capabilities! Here are the benefits RMLS™ is excited to bring subscribers:

  • Open the key compartment directly from the app. Currently, users must enter a mobile access code AND have cellular coverage—no cell coverage is required with the new Bluetooth lockbox!
  • Release the lockbox shackle using the app.
  • Take ownership of a lockbox through SentriSmart™.
  • Dual-licensed REALTORS® can change their lockbox region for use in Oregon or Washington right from within SentriSmart™!
  • Virtually all lockbox settings that currently require a time-consuming process of updating your SentriCard® and using it to transfer changes to the lockbox will be able to be taken care of through the SentriSmart™ app.

SentriConnect is a new app available with the RMLS™ upgrade to Bluetooth lockboxes. SentriConnect controls lockbox access by non-SentriLock users at a  much higher level than previously:

  • Listing agents may temporarily grant lockbox access for contractors, appraisers, out-of-area REALTORS®, or locked-out homeowners.
  • Greater flexibility to define the time window for this access.
  • Immediate notifications of access code use—since the access is provided via an app the notifications are much faster.

That’s just a fraction of the benefits the RMLS™ Board of Directors saw when they determined the upgrade to Bluetooth was worth the short-term disruption. If the above improvements aren’t enough to convince you, consider that you’ll be swapping out an older piece of technology with a brand new lockbox…for free.

One more thing—have you ever had to check out the “power paddle” from your local RMLS™ office, in an attempt to restore power to a dead lockbox? This process was not super easy and didn’t always work. SentriLock Bluetooth lockboxes feature a port on the outside of the lockbox that can receive a jump from a battery jumper pack (available for $15 at any RMLS™ office). The jump will open the lockbox, then the batteries inside can be used to switch out with the dead ones inside! Then just replace the batteries in the jumper pack and you’ll be ready to go whenever you have a dead lockbox again.

TT

 

Hello Technical Terry:

It certainly came as a surprise when I navigated to RMLSweb in August and found the login screen and desktop page with a completely different look. At a recent office meeting I heard that RMLS™ is working on giving Listing Load a treatment next. What can you tell me about that?

Curious in Clatskanie

Hello Curious:

It’s true! RMLS™ does have a refreshed version of Listing Load in the works. Don’t get too antsy though—RMLS™ is taking the time to get plenty of input from different stakeholders and users to make sure details can be worked out before it goes live. We did a similar process in advance of the login screen/desktop page refresh, but we’ve got an additional resource this time around.

What additional resource is that? It’s our new RMLS™ Product Manager Beth Raimer! Beth has been studying subscriber comments, talking with RMLS™ subscribers, and holding focus groups around the RMLS™ region. If you’d like to participate in one of Beth’s focus groups in the upcoming weeks, contact her via email. Multiple listing services are all about cooperation between participating REALTORS®, so your input will be most welcome as we seek to make the RMLSweb of the future the best it can be for our very diverse subscribership.




Dual-ing Logins, Annual Survey: Ask Technical Terry

Ask Technical Terry is a series RMLS™ aims to offer once a month. RMLS™ subscribers will drive the content—submit any question about RMLS™ to Technical Terry in the comments or by emailing communications@rmls.com. Don’t be shy—we won’t identify you by name.

 

Dear Ask Technical Terry:

I’m confused! I’m a dual licensed REALTOR® and since the RMLSweb facelift how I log in has changed. Can you please explain in layman’s terms how the process works? What is the best way to access my two unique accounts on RMLSweb?

Login-challenged Loretta

Hi Loretta:

Of course! The RMLS™ Help Desk has told me that our recent changes to RMLSweb have created some uncertainty among subscribers so let me demystify the new process.

There are three basic scenarios that come in to play when logging in to RMLSweb.

Once you are logged in to RMLSweb with either of your options, you can change to the other login (state) by clicking on the Help menu and choosing “Switch License,” as seen below.

If you need to set or change either password for RMLSweb just log in to the account in question, then go to User Preferences/My Account Information to edit.

 

Dear ATT:

Over the past few weeks I’ve been getting emails from RMLS™ about some survey. It seems like I’ve gotten one for the last few years since I joined RMLS™. Why do you keep sending me these?

Demotivated Dana

Dear DD:

Indeed! RMLS™ conducts one big survey per year of all RMLS™ subscribers—the RMLS™ Subscriber Satisfaction Survey—usually in September. We aim to hear from 20% of you, which is a pretty big response rate—but that’s because the survey is pretty important to RMLS™.

You may have read about how the enhancements process works. It is a process, and the Subscriber Satisfaction Survey is a large part of that. We are asking our members to give us feedback about specific projects that RMLS™ may be undertaking in the next calendar year, but we also use the opportunity to get feedback about nearly every aspect of RMLS™.

Every single comment collected in the survey is read by a RMLS™ staff member. The data is also used in aggregate by the RMLS™ Board of Directors to steer the ship, so to speak. Even so, if you’re reluctant to take the survey anymore because RMLS™ just won’t add “Clown Car Parking” to the Advanced Search options (even though you’ve suggested it 27 times!), keep in mind that you may be the only person requesting that particular change.

Why do we keep sending you emails about taking the survey, then? We really do want to hear from you! Our response rate has also been a little low so far and we’re aiming for that 20% before we close things up for the year.

ATT

PS: If that doesn’t convince you, perhaps this will!

 




New RMLSweb Interface Woes: Ask Technical Terry

Ask Technical Terry is a series RMLS™ aims to offer once a month. RMLS™ subscribers will drive the content—submit any question about RMLS™ to Technical Terry in the comments or by emailing communications@rmls.com. Don’t be shy—we won’t identify you by name.

 

Dear Ask Technical Terry:

What a shock—I logged in to RMLSweb this morning, and the website has completely changed! Where’s Listing Load? Where did everything go? I can’t find anything!

Al K. Seltzer

Dear Al:

Yikes! I’m sorry to hear that the update to the login screen, RMLSweb desktop, and navigation bar has stirred you up. We haven’t completely changed the site yet, just those three components. We understand why it made a big splash with our subscribers though.

Be assured that little to no content got dropped when RMLSweb rolled out the new desktop page. We did make the desktop page less text-heavy, added graphics, and relied on layout to do some of the heavy lifting. There are some links and other components that moved, but they’re still there.

Listing Load, for example, is accessible via a button on the very top of the RMLSweb desktop page, along with our prospecting module, CMA, map search, and advanced search. These are the most commonly used components of RMLSweb so we put them front and center.

If you’re having a tough time finding your favorite part of RMLSweb, contact the RMLS™ Help Desk. They’d be happy to guide you to the new home of the feature you find indispensable!

Technical T. Terry

 

Hello Ask Technical Terry:

Wow, RMLSweb looks so different! I think I’m starting to adjusted to some of the changes, but there’s one I haven’t quite figured out yet. How do you log out?

Ammon from White Salmon

Dear Ammon:

Thanks for writing in—lots of things changed when we debuted the new look on RMLSweb, didn’t it? It’s easy to understand why it might be difficult to find where the option to log out lives when the entire interface is new to your eyes. Now when you’re done with RMLSweb, look under the Help menu in the navigation bar—the link to log off is on the lower left.

Ask Technical Terry from the Internet

 

Greetings, ATT:

I was in the process of writing The Great American Novel—focused on real estate, of course—on my RMLSweb notepad. Where’d it go?

N. Onymus

Greetings, N.:

The Scratch Notes feature of RMLSweb, which used to be on the right sidebar, now lives under the Help menu in the navigation bar.

In your case, however, I read your novel and thought it was the finest piece of literature I had ever read, so I’m currently working on shopping it around to New York publishers to get you the best advance. You’re welcome!

A.

 




A Fresh Look is Coming to RMLSweb

RMLS™ is excited to give subscribers a first look at the fresh look coming this week to RMLSweb. Visitors will see a completely new look to the site starting August 14th: a home base that’s less text-heavy, more responsive to mobile devices, and prioritizes what users need most.

The new RMLSweb desktop page introduces a home menu where subscribers can easily access the most-used components of the site: Prospecting, Listing Load, CMA, Map Search, and Advanced Search, topped by the simple search bar which is already a key component of RMLSweb. Use the Home menu from anywhere in the site to access any of these six areas of RMLSweb.

We know that RMLS™ subscribers like easy access to other RMLSweb components, so the site navigation menus have absorbed some of the information previously featured on the desktop page. The Help menu, for example, has absorbed the user’s notepad, links, user preferences, and live chat buttons. No tools have been removed from the site.

Be aware that unveiling the new look to these site components is just the beginning—RMLS™ plans to roll out similar redesigns to other parts of the site to better meet the needs of today’s RMLS™ subscribers.

This new approach to RMLSweb is the result of input from RMLS™ subscribers, local associations, staff, and plenty of other stakeholders. RMLS™ partnered with a user experience design professional to make the new approach to RMLSweb the best it could possibly be for a wide-ranging user base.

Once the redesign is live, RMLS™ is happy to help subscribers find anything that may have moved elsewhere from the desktop page. Users have suggested a site redesign for years, and we hope that the result will be more user friendly and navigable for RMLS™ subscribers.

 




Your CSN and Authorization to Exclude Questions, Answered

Coming Soon Real Estate Sign

As our subscribers are no doubt aware by now, RMLS™ released a new listing status—Coming Soon-No Showing (CSN) back in early May, along with making related changes to the Authorization to Exclude from MLS Addendum.

The changes we made had a notable impact. In the last three months, over 1,600 CSN listings have been added to RMLSweb! On average, listings have stayed in CSN status for six days before being changed to Active (ACT) status. Prior to the changes, the number of Authorization to Exclude from MLS Addendums submitted to RMLS™ was in the hundreds per month. Since the change, just 59 forms have been submitted.

These changes are still relatively new, and RMLS™ continues to get questions about how the new system works. Here are some of the most common questions we receive about the CSN changes, answered:

I am about to list a property in CSN status. What do I need to do in Listing Load to ensure that it is published as a CSN status?

Before publishing the listing in Listing Load, you should check two things. First, make sure the checkbox for “Publish as Coming Soon-No Showing (CSN):” is checked. Second, make sure you’ve filled in “Date Marketing to Begin.” This is the list date—a date greater than today, but not more than 21 days in the future. These two things will ensure that the listing is published as CSN in RMLSweb.

My seller wants their property published as a CSN for just ten days, not the full 21 days. Is this possible?

Yes it is! You and your seller can have a listing published on RMLSweb as CSN for as little as one day or as many as 21 days, but not more than 21 days.

I have a CSN listing that is supposed to be in CSN status for ten days. Today is the ninth day and the seller has decided that they need five more days to prepare the property. What should I do?

Edit the listing in Listing Load and change the “Date Marketing to Begin” field to reflect the new date. For example if you originally made August 1st the date marketing to begin and your seller needed five additional days, you would change it to August 6th. Save the changes and you are good to go. The listing will convert to Active (ACT) status on August 6th.

Caveat: if adding five days takes you over that 21 day limit, you’ll need to withdraw the listing until it is ready for market.

My CSN listing changed to Active (ACT) status by itself. I didn’t change it. How did this happen?

Once the date you’ve set as the “Date Marketing to Begin” hits, the system will automatically convert the listing status from CSN to ACT.

My sellers and I agreed to list their property as a CSN listing in RMLSweb for 18 days. Today’s the eleventh day and they’ve decided that they are ready to put the property on the market. Can I change the CSN status to ACT?

Yes you can. Anytime during the period when a property is in CSN status, the Seller’s Agent (that’s you!) can change the status to Active (ACT) or Withdrawn (WTH).

I want to install a sign with flyers on the property of my CSN listing. Are there requirements regarding the sign and flyer that I should know about?

Yes. The sign and/or flyers must contain the label “Coming Soon.” This will let folks know that that they can expect to see the property on the market soon.

Okay, I have published a listing as CSN in RMLSweb and posted a sign at the property that says “Coming Soon.” Can I email or share details about this property with my clients?

No you may not. If one of your clients ask about this property, let them know the date when it will be active on the market—you can follow up with them at that time.

Can CSN listings be published on internet sites outside of RMLSweb, such as Realtor.com or Zillow?

No, they cannot. While a listing is in CSN status, it can only be published on RMLSweb.

My seller has opted to exclude their property from the MLS. I have a signed listing contract noting this decision. Is there anything else I need to do?

Since the seller has chosen to exclude their property from the MLS, Document #1260, Authorization to Exclude from MLS Addendum or an equivalent form will need to be filled out and signed by the seller(s), Seller’s Agent, and the Principal/Designated Broker. The form must then be submitted to RMLS™ within 72 hours. You can submit this directly within RMLSweb by going to Back Office -> Submit Excluded Listing. Click “+Add a PDF” and follow the instructions. Information on the form will not be made available to other subscribers—just you, your Participant/Designated Broker, and RMLS™.

My seller wants to exclude the property from RMLSweb for 30 days and then include it. Our listing contract is effective for three months though. Is it possible to do what they are requesting?

No, it is not. When a seller elects to exclude the property from RMLSweb, they do so for the life of that listing contract. In this case, all three months.

My sellers excluded their listing from RMLSweb and the listing contract expired. Now the sellers want to list the property. How soon can I publish it?

You will need to wait for 30 days after the listing contract has expired. Once those 30 days are up, you can publish the listing in RMLSweb. At the time that the seller excluded the property from the MLS they filled out, signed, and agreed to Authorization to Exclude from MLS Addendum, which states the “Broker’s Firm shall not enter this property into the MLS until 30 days past the Expiration Date” (Page 2).

I have a client who wants to sell a property but it needs major work. The work won’t be completed for 45 days. CSN is not an option, because they need more than 21 days. What can I do?

Fill out the listing contact and choose the first option: “AN ACTIVE LISTING (ACT).” Since no marketing will occur while work is being completed, set “Date Marketing to Begin” to the 45th day out. For example, if today is August 1, 2018, you would set “Date Marketing to Begin” for September 14, 2018. You have secured the listing contact and the sellers will have the time they need to prep the property for the market. Once the work is complete, then publish the listing on RMLSweb on September 14, 2018 and begin your marketing efforts.

Read More:

What’s Coming to RMLSweb: Coming Soon-No Showing Details
What’s Date Marketing to Begin? Ask Technical Terry




RMLS™ Announces Fee Simplification, Increase and Service Upgrades (Updated July 31, 2018)

RMLS™ will be simplifying its subscriber fee structure—which will mean an increase for individual subscribers—beginning in the fourth quarter of 2018. Subscribers will see the fee change reflected on their invoice for the fourth quarter, which should be available September 1st.

Subscribers who previously paid either $105 per quarter or $135 per quarter will now both pay $141 per quarter, simplifying the overall RMLS™ fee structure. Offices that previously paid a quarterly access fee will no longer pay that fee. Administrative users and personal assistants will still be charged $25 per quarter for each user.

RMLS™ subscribers will see a fee increase of either $6 per quarter or $36 per quarter. Office access fees will be eliminated. Administrative users and personal assistant fees will remain unchanged. SentriLock key fees will not change.

The RMLS™ Board of Directors approved these changes at their June 2018 meeting, the result of ongoing discussions about serving subscribers as robustly as possible and the future of the organization. The board, comprised of working REALTORS® from around the RMLS™ service area, oversees the direction of RMLS™ as an organization and deemed these changes necessary in consideration of future projects.

These future projects include:

  • Creation of a new mobile app, slated for release in Summer 2018.
  • Hiring additional staff including a new product manager, UI/UX designer, and additional programmers that will enable RMLS™ to release more projects, more quickly.
  • The “Report Issue” button will be updated to use a CoreLogic Listing Data Checker dashboard. Subscribers will be able to see what inquiries they have submitted and what has been reported on their own listings.
  • The RMLSweb login page, desktop page, and menu bar will be updated with a more modern look and feel. It will be more user- and mobile device-friendly. This is just the beginning of a fresh look that will eventually find its way to all areas of RMLSweb.
  • A SentriLock Bluetooth lockbox upgrade slated for Fall 2018. NXT lockboxes will be exchanged, for free, for a new Bluetooth lockbox.

RMLS™ looks forward to better serving RMLS™ subscribers through these improvements, some of which are in direct response to feedback received from subscribers over the course of several years.

Fee Simplification and Increase Overview
Fee Simplification and Increase FAQ

UPDATE (July 31):




The Importance of Property Type, Statistical Summaries: Ask Technical Terry

Ask Technical Terry is a series RMLS™ aims to offer once a month. RMLS™ subscribers will drive the content—submit any question about RMLS™ to Technical Terry in the comments or by emailing communications@rmls.com. Don’t be shy—we won’t identify you by name.

Dear Technical Terry:

I was recently working to pull some comparables in RMLSweb and I noticed there were several properties that were coded as the wrong property type.

I specialize in listing condominiums, and the condo I was working on is completely detached from the other units on the property. What I encountered while looking for price comparables was pretty slim. I found several more properties that had been entered as Detached Single Family units, but which were clearly still condos.

Are REALTORS® identifying condos this way because they think they’ll find a wider market in those looking for a single family home? Do they just not realize that detached condos exist? Incorrect identification complicates my job, and I know it creates more work for the appraiser and the Data Accuracy staff at RMLS™. What gives?

Minnie Kondo

Dear AA:

Understood! I’m confident that the misidentification of properties in RMLSweb is not done intentionally, and we do our best to quickly resolve any data inaccuracies that appear in live listing data.

RMLSweb does have a document, Residential Property Types, that users may refer to in order to discern which property type to use on RMLSweb. That said, properties in the scenario you describe should be entered as Property Type=Condo and Condo Unit Location=Detached.

I reached out to the City of Portland for some assistance on the finer points of property type information, and they referred to their list of residential structure types that start on Page 27 of their planning and zoning definitions. These descriptions are generic, and while they were produced by the City of Portland they can be used as a reference. Naturally you should contact your local government for clarification for your city.

I provide these examples in the hope they will help our REALTOR® subscribers in identifying the property type correctly. If confusion persists, I’d highly recommend contacting our Data Accuracy staff via email or by phoning (503) 236-7657 or (877) 256-2169. They are intimately familiar with RMLSweb and various parties using the data, so they’ll steer you in the right direction.

Technical Terry

 

Hey TT:

After a cool decade working in Hot-lanta, I moved to Portland last month and joined RMLS™. I’ve been hearing rumblings about the market has been cooling a little, and I want to find out more. I’ve really appreciated getting Market Action sent to me each month but is there somewhere where I can find historical data?

Sincerely Yours,

Penelope Peachtree

Hey PP:

Welcome to Oregon! I think you’ll find we’re pretty cool here too, although it certainly has been hot so far this July! At any rate, RMLS™ is somewhat unique in the amount of statistics it publishes—it’s a point of pride for the organization.

In addition to publishing 15 editions of Market Action each month, we also compile much of the published data in our statistical summaries documents, easily available on RMLSweb. Access the statistical summaries documents by hovering over the Statistics tab on the main navigation bar, then click on Statistical Summaries to pull up a list of links divided by sub-regions of the RMLS™ service area.

The statistical summaries documents aren’t the only place you can find statistics on RMLSweb, but it’s certainly enough to get you started. If you want to dive deeper into this topic, I highly recommend signing up for our statistics class. Contact RMLS™ Training at (503) 236-7657 or (877) 256-2169 to learn more or sign up for our next class!

Happy to Help,

Technical Terry




Clearing Confusion About ShowingTime

Showing Time Logo

Ever since ShowingTime went live on RMLSweb this spring, RMLS™ has been hearing some common confusions from subscribers. Perhaps you’ve received an email from ShowingTime and don’t understand why. Or maybe you want to opt out of ShowingTime but don’t know how to do so. We’re here to help, so here are some basics we hope will clear the confusion.

SHOWINGTIME BASICS

ShowingTime is an online scheduling tool that was introduced on RMLSweb in May. ShowingTime can reduce calls and phone tag by allowing users to schedule showing times online. Using ShowingTime is completely optional, although hundreds of RMLS™ subscribers are already using this convenient tool to schedule showings on their listings.

ShowingTime held a series of webinars for RMLS™ subscribers when the product was released—view a recorded walkthrough of ShowingTime Basics.

OPTED IN BY DEFAULT

All RMLSweb users were opted in to the service when ShowingTime was released. Whether you use the service is completely up to you though—ShowingTime can be turned off for one listing or all your listings (see below for instructions)! RMLSweb listings that feature the ShowingTime icon offer online scheduling, but if you prefer a good old conversation, you can contact the REALTOR® that way instead.

Subscribers who have not opted out may not realize that ShowingTime is still live on their listings. This means that you’ve received an email from ShowingTime with a showing request and you’re not sure why, you’ll want to get familiar with the service so you can accept or reschedule the showing.

CHANGE THE SETTINGS

Everyone was opted in to the service by default, but ShowingTime can be turned off for one of your listings, or all of your listings, as Ask Technical Terry outlined back in May.

GO DEEPER WITH SHOWINGTIME

We think that ShowingTime makes the business of scheduling showings far more convenient for RMLS™ subscribers. ShowingTime has great features that can save time, and we hope that you’ll explore which features may be able to make your day simpler. ShowingTime even offers a paid service for agents who want to go deeper with the product—it includes brokerage branding and special tools to use with clients.




What’s Date Marketing to Begin? and SentriSmart™ Agent Safety: Ask Technical Terry

Ask Technical Terry is a series RMLS™ aims to offer once a month. RMLS™ subscribers will drive the content—submit any question about RMLS™ to Technical Terry in the comments or by emailing communications@rmls.com. Don’t be shy—we won’t identify you by name.

Dear TT:

We recently had a RMLS™ trainer out to our office to discuss the new CSN status. During the presentation they mentioned the importance of the Date Marketing to Begin field. I asked about this new field only to find out that it’s been in the listing contract for years! While the trainer did a wonderful job of explaining the new status I’m still a little fuzzy about that field. When would I use that, and why?

Confused in Carver

Dear CC:

Honestly, you’re not the only RMLS™ subscriber surprised by the Date Marketing to Begin field. And I’m happy to review:

There are primarily two scenarios where this field can play a role…

In the first scenario, you are meeting with sellers who agree to use you to list their home but they need some repairs (or just some time) before they’re ready for the property to go live on RMLSweb. You, on the other hand, really want to get your listing contract signed that day to ensure you’ve got the sellers under contract.

In this scenario you would have the sellers sign the listing agreement but choose a date in the future (Date Marketing to Begin) when the repairs (or whatever) will be done and the home will be ready to market. You would publish the listing on RMLSweb on that date.

Here’s an example of this scenario highlighted in the listing contract:

 

In the second scenario, you are meeting with sellers who agree to use you to list their home but the sellers want to create some buzz about the home prior to it being active on RMLSweb. You again want to get that listing contract signed the same day.

In this case, using the new Coming Soon-No Showing (CSN) status may work well. Choosing CSN will give the sellers up to 21 days of exposure in RMLSweb prior to their listing converting to active (ACT). In this scenario you would have the sellers sign the listing agreement but choose a date in the future (Date Marketing to Begin) within 21 days in the Coming Soon-No Showing section of the listing contract.

You would publish the listing as CSN, which is accessible only to RMLS™ subscribers until RMLSweb converts the listing to ACT on the date specified on Date Marketing to Begin.

Here’s an example of this second scenario highlighted in the listing contract:

Of course you also have the option of excluding the listing from RMLSweb for the life of the listing contract plus 30 days by choosing the “Excluded from MLS” option in the listing contract:

Still got questions? We also recently made a short video about Date Marketing to Begin.

Hopefully walking through Date Marketing to Begin was helpful! Don’t forget, we are always happy to provide additional assistance as you need it. Simply contact the RMLS™ Help Desk at (503) 872-8002 or (877) 256-2169 and we can answer your questions until it’s crystal clear!

TT

 

Hello Technical Terry!

Ever since an incident I had a few years ago I’ve been more conscious about my safety in the field, and that’s why I’m curious about the new agent safety features of SentriSmart™. Can you tell me more about them?

Cautious in Coburg

Hello Cautious!

I’m really glad to hear that you take your safety seriously. Surely you’re aware of the high-profile case of Beverly Carter, but even on the local level RMLS™ regularly receives reports from agents receiving harassing phone calls or contact from “potential clients” that just don’t check out.

One tool that SentriLock has given to its users is on the SentriSmart™ app. The agent safety feature allows REALTORS® to alert selected contacts in the case of an unexpected or potentially dangerous situation when showing a listing.

When the feature is enabled, the agent safety feature will launch when SentriSmart™ is used to open a lockbox. The feature will automatically alert designated contacts when you do not confirm that you are safe.

Download the latest version of SentriSmart™ then enable the agent safety feature by selecting the Settings tab. Scroll down to Agent Safety, select, then enter your PIN to configure your agent safety settings. Next to Safety Notification Contacts, touch the plus sign and select yes to allow the app to have access to your contacts. Choose at least one contact from the list as your emergency contact, then select Enable Automated Safety Check. (SentriLock has a series of videos demonstrating how to set the feature up on a variety of devices.)

Once you’ve opened a lockbox, SentriSmart™ will ask if you want to use the agent safety feature. If you press the start button, note that you will need to keep checking the app every 90-120 seconds to confirm you are still safe.

If you don’t periodically confirm your safety, your emergency contacts will receive a message from SentriSmart™ and you’ll start receiving a flurry of phone calls and/or text messages from those contacts. (I mention this as RMLS™ has heard reports from users who learned this lesson the hard way.)

The agent safety feature also integrates with the facial recognition/Touch ID features that are part of the new SentriSmart™ update. If you haven’t updated the app for a while, be sure and do so! And if you haven’t started using SentriSmart™, it’s available through both the Apple App Store and Google Play, and well worth checking out.

Technical Terry




Help Me Turn ShowingTime Off! Help Me Get CE!: Ask Technical Terry

Ask Technical Terry is a series RMLS™ aims to offer once a month. RMLS™ subscribers will drive the content—submit any question about RMLS™ to Technical Terry in the comments or by emailing communications@rmls.com. Don’t be shy—we won’t identify you by name.

Dear TT,

I can’t thank RMLS™ enough for putting great tools into RMLSweb for us to use. In the case of ShowingTime, however, it feels like a layer of tech that I don’t need. I realize it is a great tool and that many folks will use it but in my case, I’m just too old for this! Is it possible to disable ShowingTime on my listings? I’d rather the REALTOR® just call or text me.

Frustrated in Fanno Creek

Dear FFC:

Understood completely. Having come over on the Mayflower, I also struggle with some newfangled technology. Whatever happened to the quill pen and parchment paper?

But back to ShowingTime. Yes, you can certainly disable the tool on either an individual listing or for all your listings. Here’s how.

Individual Listing

When logged in to RMLSweb, head to Listing Load. Click on the ShowingTime icon.

Select your preference for that specific listing by choosing Yes or No.

Don’t forget to save your changes…

All Listings

If you’d like to turn off ShowingTime for all your listings, click the same Listing Load ShowingTime icon as above, then turn your attention to the line that says “Allow Agents to Request Appointments Online?” Set your preference, and don’t forget to save your changes!

That’s all there is to it! As you can see it’s quite easy to control your use of ShowingTime, either on a per listing basis or globally.

TT

 

Hello Technical Terry!

Help! I’ve been so busy this year helping clients that my license renewal snuck up on me and I need to get some elective CE credit pronto. What am I going to do?

Ida in Felida

 

Hello Ida in Felida!

Ah yes, the clamor of REALTORS® in need of CE to renew their licenses—what a beautiful sound! Don’t worry, RMLS™ has some resources to help.

Of course the RMLS™ Education Summit and Trade Fair is a major event that RMLS™ holds each year to offer lots of free CE to subscribers. The event has passed for this year, but we also bring our Broker Education Series (BES) events to subscribers across the region. In fact, there’s a BES event happening in Lincoln City on May 22nd!

Aside from RMLS™ events, we also help industry organizations promote their classes and opportunities. Two great places to check for upcoming CE opportunities is on the RMLSweb desktop page and the RMLScentral events calendar (which has 12 event listings in May alone!).

So Ida, when you’re in need of some CE, check out our resources! And if you want to share a class or event with other industry professionals, send the details along to us and we’ll take care of the rest.

Technical Terry in RMLS™land