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.

 




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




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




Getting Up to Speed on RMLSweb News: 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,

My-oh-MY is the market abuzz about the upcoming Coming Soon-No Showing status and the changes to Authorization to Exclude! I think I’ve also heard rumor of a forms change rollout and a new showing scheduler being added to RMLSweb. I’m really concerned that much of what I’m hearing is just rumor. Can you guide me to where I can get more info on these important changes?

Concerned Clarice in Clackamas

 

Hi CCC-

Why, yes I can! Your perspective that the market is “abuzz” about the upcoming changes is spot on.

RMLS™ communicates information in a variety of ways. We understand that some subscribers rely on the RMLSweb desktop page for information, others rely on the RMLS™ Weekly Report, sent on Monday mornings, and others still really like subscribing to our blog on RMLScentral for information.

For example: on the day I’m writing this, the RMLSweb desktop page has links to an array of useful information about the projects you mention:

We send out the RMLS™ Weekly Report at 6 AM every Monday morning. In it you will find much of the same information shown on the RMLSweb desktop. The email address we use to send RWR is the address you provide to us in the User Preferences section of RMLSweb, shown here:

(If you’re not receiving the email, it could be that your email account filters the email to your junk or spam folder. Check there!)

Last, but certainly not least, is the RMLScentral blog. You can find articles on the blog that cover the same topics and others, with the added benefit of visible subscriber feedback and questions. Access the blog from the RMLSweb desktop page by clicking on the appropriate link in the Links section, seen here:

I sure hope this information helps, Clarice. We realize that your days are very busy, and as such we try to provide information in a variety of channels/formats, hoping one or more will work well for you.

TT

 

Hey, Technical Terry!

Clarice is my team member and while she may have plenty of time in the office to subscribe to the RMLS™ blog and read news as soon as it’s released, I am in my car all the time. Showings, trips to the RMLS™ office, picking up closing gifts—it seems the hours I spend in traffic every day take me away from RMLS™ communications. Any suggestions there, smartypants?

Cody Clark, Clarice’s Coworker in Clackamas

 

Hey…CCCCC!

First things first: don’t read this (or anything else from RMLS™) while driving!

That said, I do indeed have the very thing for you: Real Talk with RMLS™, our podcast! We unveiled our first episode just about a year ago, and our audience has been growing steadily ever since. Episodes are offered regularly, and listeners can expect that big projects like the ones Clarice was interested in will be covered in an episode very soon.

Real Talk with RMLS™ is available on iTunes and Google Play. We hope you will pass some of your time sitting in traffic by learning about RMLS™ projects this way!

Technical Terry




Bluetooth Lockboxes, Best Practices for REALTORS®: 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’m a recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest. I was also a REALTOR® back in Atlanta and our MLS often gave us good, common sense tips about being a REALTOR®. Does RMLS™ do anything like that? As I’ve been reading some local chatter online, it seems like there is a real need for something like this!

Ethical Earlene in Estacada

Dear Earlene-

Your timing couldn’t be better—RMLS™ just released a new document called Best Practices, Courteousness, and Great Tips for REALTORS®!

I hope you will find the new document helpful in your day-to-day activities as a REALTOR® in our market. While reading through the document you may find that some of the items are common sense or we’ve listed things you think every REALTOR® should already know. What I know from watching our industry for many years is that things that are logical to you or me may not be to others.

RMLS™ has always believed that education is the best way to create a predictable and ethical working environment for our subscribers, and we’re hopeful that the new document will assist in doing that.

Technical Terry

 

Dear TT:

One of my coworkers claims that RMLS™ is going to be converting to a SentriLock lockbox that uses Bluetooth. When I asked him when it would happen, he didn’t know. Can you tell me about this? And why would we be swapping out our SentriLock lockboxes already—didn’t we just get these?

Imin U. Gene

Dear IUG:

The reason your coworker cannot give you a date is this: there isn’t one to give! The RMLS™ Board of Directors has discussed the possibility of doing a conversion to SentriLock’s Bluetooth lockboxes but nothing firm has been decided yet. Your view that we “just” transitioned to SentriLock NXT lockboxes is only partly true—it has been 4.5 years since we did our most recent conversion!

In fact, here are a few fun facts about SentriLock at RMLS™:

  • Lockboxes currently in distribution at RMLS™: 56,450
  • RMLS™ lockboxes per active/pending listing: 3.64 per listing
  • Lockboxes per active RMLS™ subscriber: 4.04 per subscriber

That being said, the new SentriLock Bluetooth lockboxes really do offer a lot compared with the NXT lockbox. Two of the biggest benefits are that the lockbox can be opened via the SentriSmart™ app on your smartphone even when you’re out of cell range, as it uses Bluetooth instead of cellular; and many of the lockbox programming functions can be performed using SentriSmart™ instead of your SentriCard®. (If you haven’t started using SentriSmart™ yet, get it on the Apple App Store or Google Play!)

If you have a lockbox that has suffered battery failure, you can simply plug in a “battery jumper pack” into the side of the Bluetooth lockbox to provide the power for it to open. If you’ve ever needed to use the Power Paddle to get an NXT lockbox open after its batteries have died, you’ll realize what a benefit this is!

If this project moves forward, we’ll surely inform RMLS™ subscribers through the RMLSweb desktop page, the RMLS™ Weekly Report, and our blog on RMLScentral. Keep your eyes toward us!

Technical Terry

 

 




Everything You Wanted to Know About Prospecting/Auto Emails but Were Afraid to Ask: 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 hoping you can clear up some questions I have about Prospecting/Auto Email. First, I have a hard time understanding the difference between the two terms. Can you help with that? It seems like they’re used interchangeably and they can’t both mean the same thing! (Can they?) Second, I suspect I’m not setting up my clients correctly because they never seem to get the first set of listings that match the criteria I’ve set up for them. What should I do?

Struggling in Stayton

Dear SS-

I’m happy to help! And I hear you about those two terms being used interchangeably. Let’s start with the term “prospecting.” Prospecting is simply a set of search criteria you’ve saved in RMLSweb in the Prospecting Profile module. In most cases you will name the saved criteria something related to a specific client.

Remember to NOT use your client’s full name here, because if you allow Reverse Prospecting (I know, another confusing term) and your client’s search criteria matches the descriptive elements of a listing being reversed prospected, the subscriber running the reverse prospecting search would be able to see your client’s entire name! Just their name, nothing else, but still probably not a good idea!

Are we good here with that the term “prospecting” means in RMLSweb? Let’s move on.

Now how do I use this set of saved search criteria going forward? In most cases you will associate this Prospecting Profile with a contact in your saved contacts on RMLSweb, and then set up Auto Email, the process whereby RMLSweb searches and automatically sends out listing matches to your client. (Note that you can associate up to five unique contacts per Prospecting Profile!) You could add the client info in Contact Manager (Toolkit->Contact Manager) before or after creating the Prospecting profile—whichever works for you.

Once you’ve chosen a saved contact or created a new contact to add to the Prospecting Profile you can then set up the Auto Email variables. You have a lot of choices here: frequency of delivery, type of client report, whether to CC yourself, customization of the subject line, and so on.

Here’s a key piece of information for you, SS: only new matches will be sent to your client(s) on the day(s) chosen in the Auto Email setup. The initial matches must be selected manually and sent in a separate email message!

Once you have this process set up and running automatically, RMLSweb will alert you of new matches by illuminating the New Prospect Matches button in the upper left corner of the RMLSweb desktop page. You may also be receiving the emails if you chose to CC yourself when setting up the Auto Email. If you did not choose to be copied on the emails you can still view the email history by navigating to Prospecting Profiles, finding the contact name, and clicking “History” in the contact record.

I sure hope this info helps. Remember that we have a variety of documents in RMLSweb covering all of this. The following are particularly excellent resources for your question:

Document 1737: How to Use the Auto Email Feature
Document 1772: Reverse Prospecting
Put RMLSweb to Work for You

Technical Terry




Simple Stats, SentriLock 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 Technical Terry,

My clients just asked me for some market statistics. The statistics module on RMLSweb and Market Action are crazy good, but I just need some simple, easy to understand stats. Any ideas?

Simple Statistics in Stayton

Dear SS,

Of course I have some ideas! There are two really easy places to see and/or print some stats that your clients may find compelling.

One: when you run a search and scroll down to the “Detail View” tab in your search results. At the bottom of each section is a nice synopsis of the properties contained within the section, with the sections separated by listing status. Here’s what that section looks like:

Simple Stats on RMLSweb Search

Quick and easy—but not easy to print.

If you want to print a simple, yet statistically effective report for your clients choose the “Summary Only” report from your list of report options. Here’s what that simple yet effective report looks like:

Summary Only Report on RMLSweb

The report gives you and your clients great info on some of the basic stats we talk about all the time. Solds, if they are part of your search, even have sale price to list price ratio.

If neither of these options are good for your needs, have a look at the Statistics menu on the main navigation bar. It gives you many options to compile statistics you and your client may find useful, including the statistical summaries documents which compile years worth of Market Action data for each published area within the RMLS™ region.

Technical Terry

 

Technical Terry!

Do you keep up on the news? It seems REALTORS® are being accosted when performing showings! There seems to be more and more of it happening. I heard that SentriSmart™, the SentriLock app, has a feature for agent safety. What the heck is that, and how does it work?

Terrified in Troutdale

TT!

In fact I do keep up on the news stories about REALTOR® safety issues around the country. While there are many best practices to use to help your safety as a REALTOR®, SentriSmart™ does provide a resource that may provide you confidence in showing vacant homes or homes to new clients.

To access and set up the agent safety feature in SentriSmart™, follow these steps:

  • Log in to SentriSmart™ on either your iPhone or Android.
  • Go to the Settings option in the app.
  • Tap on Agent Safety and enter your PIN.
  • From the Agent Safety page, add your emergency contacts by clicking on the blue + sign. The app will access the contacts stored on your phone and allow you to pick one or more contacts to be included in the list of people the app will contact.
  • Enable “Automated Safety Check.” Once enabled, SentriSmart™ will send you an alert approximately 90 seconds after you have opened the lockbox key container. If you do not acknowledge the first alert, a second alert will be sent after approximately 60 seconds. If you do not acknowledge the second alert, an email and text message will be sent to the contact(s) you’ve added to your contacts list in the app. If you have several contacts in that list, the app will alert all of them simultaneously about the potential safety concern.
  • Tap on Accept to agree to the Release Agreement, then enter your PIN for verification.

Here are samples of the texts you and your list of contacts will receive if you don’t respond to the two notifications.

Hope that this SentriSmart™ feature can help you feel less terrified, Terrified in Troutdale! It’s great that you’re thinking ahead to prepare for safety issues before they occur.

Technical Terry