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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.