Guide to RMLS Committees (Part 2)

Guide to RMLS Committees (Part 2)

In the first installment of this series we examined our Rules and Regulations Committee and Hearings Committee. In this edition, we’ll look at our Technology, Forms, and Service Advisory Committees.

As mentioned in our previous article, committees are led by a chairman who is a member of the Board of Directors, and the remaining committee members are subscribers who volunteer to participate.

Technology Committee

The Technology Committee’s purpose is to review software and services that may be of use to RMLS subscribers. Products and services are either suggested by RMLS staff or subscribers, or a representative of those products and services has directly approached RMLS about gaining access to a data feed of all RMLS listings, which requires approval by this committee and the Board of Directors.

The Technology Committee, which also acts as a quality assurance resource, makes recommendations to the Board of Directors based on:

  • Compatibility with RMLS systems
  • Whether the solution a product or service offers fits a distinct subscriber need
  • Affordability for RMLS and subscribers
  • Ensuring that the service does not create an unreasonable drain on RMLS support services

The work of the Technology Committee is responsible for making services such as Remine, ShowingTime, and Cloud CMA available to the RMLS community.

Forms Committee

Listing forms are the lifeblood of property listings, describing the features and attributes that define the property. Our Forms Committee, which typically meets a few times per year to review hundreds of potential listing form changes, is responsible for researching, defining, and recommending forms changes to our Board of Directors for approval.

Potential forms changes can come about because of:

  • A need within the marketplace
  • Legal changes
  • Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) compatibility
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Fair Housing Act considerations

‘Main’ listing forms cover the features and attributes of all property listings, while ‘supplemental’ listing forms are available for specific niche cases (e.g., Auction Supplement, Condo Supplement). A forms change may affect the attribute name, description, or number of characters / photos / features / attachments, or it may involve the creation of an entirely new supplemental form.

RMLS focuses on staying in compliance with the Fair Housing Act with terminology choices, and we will not implement any form change that violates a RESO standard. Additionally, brand or product names are not used for forms descriptions. Examples of forms changes include changing “Master Bedroom” to “Primary Bedroom” and creating a Condo Supplement form.

RMLS staff compile and review forms change suggestions on a monthly basis, preparing them for the Forms Committee. After the Forms Committee, or a designated sub-committee, researches and decides to recommend a change or addition, any necessary changes are reviewed by our lawyer to ensure legal compliance before being submitted to the Board of Directors for review and approval. After Board approval, the forms change package is sent to the RMLS Software Development team, which focuses on implementation.

When the forms changes are ready for release, RMLS creates redline documentation (redline example) showcasing the changes for subscribers along with notification articles on RMLSweb. We also offer “RMLSweb Updates” classes for a limited time after a release to help subscribers adjust to the forms changes.

Any subscriber that wants to suggest forms changes, products or services for inclusion with RMLS can send their ideas to suggestions@rmls.com.

Service Advisory Committee

The Service Advisory Committee (SAC) provides representation for subscribers who belong to REALTOR® associations that are not shareholders in RMLS, which includes the Portland Metro Association of REALTORS®East Metro Association of REALTORS®, and Clark County Association of REALTORS®.

The Service Advisory Committee holds two seats on the RMLS Board of Directors. The Current Chairman of the Service Advisory Committee is Hector Garcia, who represents the Mid-Valley Association of REALTORS® in Marion County, and the second seat on the board is currently filled by Lori Palermo, representing the Springfield Board of REALTORS® in Lane County.

Subscribers belonging to these non-shareholder association can bring their concerns, questions, and feedback regarding RMLS to their SAC representative.

Guide to RMLS Committees (Part 1)

Guide to RMLS Committees (Part 1)

Ever wonder what role committees play in shaping how RMLS functions?

We have five committees that serve an integral role in developing the technology, standards, rules, and judicial functions of our MLS subscriber community.

Each year the RMLS Chairman of the Board selects a committee chair for each group drawn from a member of the Board of Directors, who are then confirmed by the other board members. Aside from the Service Advisory Committee, the committees are filled by volunteers from the RMLS subscriber community. 

Rules and Regulations Committee

The Rules and Regulations Committee has two main functions. The first is that they meet monthly to review formal complaints of alleged rules violations. They are empowered to impose sanctions. 

 When a formal violation is received, an emailed letter is sent to the subscriber accused of the violation, asking them to reply to the allegation. After the reply has been received, the complaint and response are presented to the Rules Committee to review and then determine the sanction if deemed necessary.

Sanctions are recorded anonymously within our monthly Rules Roundup article series

The second function of the Rules and Regulations Committee is to discuss subscriber-submitted requests for rules changes, making recommendations to the Board of Directors.

Hearings Committee

The Hearings Committee exists in case the recipient of a sanction requests a hearing to appeal the decision of the Rules and Regulations Committee. Hearings are conducted in accordance with the procedures applicable to REALTOR® Professional Standards hearings.

The Hearings Committee is composed of the Committee Chair and volunteers from the various committees at local associations who have undergone professional standards training.

Hearings are relatively rare but when they do occur both the complainant and respondent are asked to attend the formal hearing. After each side has had an opportunity to present their case, the Hearings Committee will decide on whether to uphold the original Rules and Regulations Committee decision. This decision cannot be influenced by other violations and will not result in any increase of sanctions beyond the original amount that was imposed.

In the second installment of this series, we’ll look at our Technology and Forms Committees.

RMLS By the Numbers 2021

RMLS By the Numbers 2021

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

Let’s start 2022 by looking back at 2021! As we mark another year serving our subscribers across Oregon and Southwest Washington, here’s a look back at our annual statistical breakdown. These numbers showcase how much RMLS supported real estate activity throughout 2021. 

Compare the numbers with prior years here.

RMLSweb
Number of times subscribers logged in to RMLSweb: 1,895,260
Photos uploaded to listings: 2,096,845
Number of new prospect profiles created: 73,871
All residential properties listed for sale: 76,741
All residential properties sold: 66,357
Median sold price of homes listed: $460,000
Total dollar volume of homes sold: $34,331,746.00
Reports viewed: 11,596,678

RMLS Subscribers
RMLS subscribers as of December 2021: 15,830
New RMLS subscribers (compared to December 2020): +936
Increase in subscribers, above: +6.28%
Subscribers who attended training: 7,506 Attended Classes / 180 One-on-Ones
Number of calls to the RMLS Help Desk: 52,380

Number of Bug Reports: 8,395
Number of Help Desk chats: 4,990
Number of incidents reported using the “Report Issue” button: 5,463
CE hours distributed by RMLS at no cost to subscribers: 848.50

Social Media
RMLS followers on Facebook (as of December 31): 6,108
RMLS followers on Twitter (as of December 31): 2,712
RMLS subscribers on YouTube (as of December 31): 201
RMLS followers on LinkedIn (as of December 31): 1,319

RMLS regularly compiles plenty of other numbers as well! In addition to publishing Market Action each month, we have statistical summaries available on RMLSweb with information dating back several years. We love numbers here at RMLS, and hope you find this data as interesting as we do.

Changes to RMLS Rules and Regulations Effective January 6, 2022

Changes to RMLS Rules and Regulations Effective January 6, 2022

Acting on recommendations from the RMLS Rules Committee, the RMLS Board of Directors has approved changes to the RMLS Rules and Regulations. These changes affect Availability for Showing (Rule 3.27), Consideration of Alleged Violations (Rule 4.1), and Sanctions (Rule 5.1) and will be effective as of January 6, 2022.

To review the upcoming changes, you can review the redline version of the updated RMLS Rules and Regulations here, or refer to the highlight summary below.

Availability for Showing

The changes to Rule 3.27 add an exception to the requirement that all active listings be available for showing immediately upon entry into the RMLS system by excluding situations involving uncooperative tenants:

For listings that are tenant occupied and where the tenant is uncooperative and will not grant access to the property, the Participant shall submit within the RMLS system the Uncooperative Tenant Unavailable for Showings form or equivalent document signed by the owner or an asset manager for REO listing to RMLS within 24 hours after all necessary signatures have been obtained.

The “Uncooperative Tenant – Unavailable for Showings Form” (Document 1265) is a new form that allows the Seller’s Agent to acquire a written statement from the owner or asset manager for REO listings to state that there is an uncooperative tenant who is not allowing showings.

Consideration of Alleged Violations

As a REALTOR®-owned MLS, RMLS strives to align with the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) MLS Model Rules. Language within Rule 4.1 has been updated to reflect that alignment:

The Rules and Regulations Committee of the RMLS Board of Directors shall give consideration to all written complaints from Participants, Subscribers, and RMLS Staff alleging violations of the Rules and Regulations. By becoming and remaining a Participant or subscriber in this MLS, each Participant and subscriber agrees to be subject to these rules and regulations and any other MLS governance provision, the enforcement of which are determined by RMLS staff, Rules and Regulations Committee, and the RMLS Board of Directors.

Sanctions

Several changes, including a formal cycle of discipline and increased sanction amounts, were made to Rule 5.1 in order to assist enforcement of MLS regulations. These changes include:

      • Language was added to denote the type of discipline that can be imposed by the RMLS Rules and Regulations Committee / Hearing Committee in accordance with the NAR MLS Model Rules.
      • The individual sanctions list, with an updated format for readability, now outlines the allowable discipline for rules violations and other MLS governance provisions:

RMLS may, through the administrative and hearing procedures established in these rules, impose discipline for violations of the rules and other MLS governance provisions. Discipline that may be imposed may only consist of one or more of the following:

        • letter of warning
        • letter of reprimand
        • attendance at MLS orientation or other appropriate courses or seminars which the Participant or subscriber can reasonably attend taking into consideration cost, location, and duration
        • appropriate, reasonable fine not to exceed $15,000
        • suspension of MLS rights, privileges, and services for not less than thirty (30) days nor more than six (6) months, except suspensions for failure to pay appropriate dues, fees, or charges
        • expulsion from MLS and termination of MLS rights, privileges, and services with no right to reapply for a specified period not to exceed one (1) year.
  • Individual sanction amounts were reviewed and adjusted, with all sanctions now being at least $100. The most significant changes are:
      • Lockbox Access sanction – maximum fine has increased from $2,500 to $15,000
      • Password sanction – maximum fine increased from $2,500 to $15,000
      • Marketing of Listing Prior to RMLS Publication – maximum fine has increased from $1,000 to $2,500
      • Showing a Property in Coming Soon-No Showing Status – maximum fine has increased from $1,000 to $2,500
      • Marketing of Coming Soon-No Showing – maximum fine has increased from $1,000 to $2,500

If you have any questions about these changes, please contact the RMLS Data Accuracy department at dataaccuracy@rmls.com or 503.395.1916.

Ask Technical Terry: How Do I Adjust Listings for ShowingTime?

Ask Technical Terry: How Do I Adjust Listings for ShowingTime?

Ask Technical Terry Silhouette

Dear Technical Terry,

I’m so frustrated! While I realize that software that allows me to control showings of their listings should be beneficial, I have such a hard time with ShowingTime! It seems like it should be such a time saver, but I get confused as to how to set it up. It seems like you should be able to either turn it off for all listings or select specific listings to turn it off for. 

I’ve also heard that there might be another tool coming online at some point down the road for showing control – is that true and what can you tell me about it?

-Challenged in Camas

Hi CC,

I hear you! You CAN control the use of ShowingTime for your listings, either individually or collectively (meaning all of them). This question is common at the Help Desk so please don’t feel like you’re alone in your challenges. We have a great guide (document #1783) available on RMLSweb that covers how to turn off ShowingTime in either scenario mentioned above. 

If you find you still have questions after reviewing the doc, give our Help Desk a call at 503.872.8002 or toll free at 877.256.2169.

As far as future plans for showing software, you may have read this announcement a few months back:

MLS Aligned, a partnership of five forward-thinking Multiple Listing Services that includes RMLS, has announced the acquisition of Agent Inbox technology and intellectual property. MLS Aligned will build upon Agent Inbox in order to offer an integrated tool for messaging and scheduling showings to agents and brokers.

MLS Aligned believes that the Agent Inbox system “will bring tremendous benefits to consumers due to the platform’s speed and enhanced showing system capabilities.” MLS Aligned plans to integrate Agent Inbox capabilities into their respective MLS systems, including RMLSweb, to “provide for seamless agent-to-agent and agent-to-client communications.”

Kurt von Wasmuth, President and CEO of RMLS, said, “With Agent Inbox’s ability to seamlessly integrate into our existing MLS, the communication and showing features will provide an enticing enhancement to our current list of features.”

Read the Full Press Release

Here’s the MLS Aligned website if you’re interested in learning more: https://www.mlsaligned.com/ 

In closing I’d like to point out the very tangible benefits of belonging to RMLS that is in this group of five MLSs. The opportunity to share concepts, programming costs, and other economies of scale is a huge benefit, and one that RMLS is proud to participant with. 

Thanks for writing in CC, hope this info is helpful!

-TT