Ask Technical Terry: Orientation, Mapping Changes

Ask Technical Terry: Orientation, Mapping Changes

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 sent one of my new REALTORS® down to RMLS™ in Eugene to join up. They came back and said there’s a new mandatory orientation class that takes four hours to complete! She said there were quizzes and everything! What is up with that? Don’t you realize we REALTORS® are super busy? Why would RMLS™ make us take that much time out of our busy day to attend a stupid orientation class?

Curious in Cottage Grove

Dear CCG,

Great question! RMLS™ complies with the National Association of REALTORS® model rules for MLS operations. Included in those model rules is a carveout of up to eight mandatory training hours for orientation training. That language has been in the RMLS™ Rules and Regulations since its inception. Given the ever-evolving complexity of the real estate world—and frankly, keeping a close eye on the social behavior of our industry—prompted RMLS™ to take a more aggressive role with orientation. The new orientation format is four hours of training content, including some quizzes intended to really galvanize an agent to understand that content. While it may seem like a lot of time for orientation training, I’m confident our new subscribers will realize the benefit many times over.

Technical Terry

 

Hey TT-

What in the world did you guys do to the RMLSweb mapping system? I logged in one morning and it had totally changed with absolutely NO warning. And now one of the best pieces of the old system is missing, the birds eye view. Why did you mess with it?

Manic Over Mapping

Hey MOM-

The earlier version of maps on RMLSweb was based on a version of Bing map layers and controls that Microsoft announced they would be retiring by the end of June 2017. Microsoft made this announcement in March 2017! That compressed time frame created a challenge for anyone using that version of Bing in their system.

The RMLS™ development team was already knee deep in the forms change project when the announcement was made. They scrambled to come up with a functional replacement in a very short period of time, and that’s what you’re seeing today on RMLSweb.

As for the birds eye view, there is some functionality from the old version of Bing that has yet to be released for the new version. That doesn’t mean it won’t return, it simply means our developers need some additional time to rebuild it for the maps on RMLSweb.

We did try to provide RMLS™ subscribers as much advance notice as we possibly could. We had an overview video available through an article on the RMLSweb desktop a week prior to the switch, as well as an overview on our blog that was featured in the RMLS™ Weekly Report before the switch. We’re sorry to hear these didn’t reach your eyes in time, but we’re confident that the new tools provided by Microsoft will result in a better mapping experience in the near future.

TT

Ask Technical Terry: Orientation, Mapping Changes

Real Talk with RMLS, Episode 6: New Mapping on RMLSweb

Real Talk with RMLS
Real Talk with RMLS
Real Talk with RMLS, Episode 6: New Mapping on RMLSweb
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Beth Raimer hosts Real Talk with RMLS™, a podcast designed for REALTOR® subscribers to get the scoop about all things RMLS™.

This week, Ryan Jacobsen returns to talk about the recent changes to the mapping interface on RMLSweb.

 

Music: “The Major Trend” by AG Music (via MelodyLoops.com)

Ask Technical Terry: Orientation, Mapping Changes

Ask Technical Terry: Dueling Logins, Map Coordinates, Trade Fair Tips

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 am SO frustrated just getting logged in to RMLSweb. Why, for gosh sakes, are there two login buttons on the login screen? Which one should I be using?

Frustrated in Fairview

Dear FF-

Understood completely! Let me explain the concept behind the two unique login options and how they will eventually transition to a single login for RMLSweb.

As you may be aware, last year RMLS™ transitioned into a new customer relationship system. This is how RMLS™ manages your subscriber information. An important part of the project was replacing Internet Member Services (IMS) with My.RMLS.com—the website where subscribers paid RMLS™ dues.

This transition required a more stringent password system for access due to the new system being PCI-compliant. RMLS™ built up a single sign-on process so that subscribers would be able to access both RMLSweb and My.RMLS.com with one set of login credentials.

Our new vendor needs to prove their uptime meets our strict requirements before RMLS™ will rely solely on the new login option. We’re still running analytics on the vendor’s uptime and once we’re confident they can match or exceed our expectations we will eliminate the dueling logins and subscribers will transition to a single login using their email address and password to log in to both RMLSweb and My.RMLS.com.

In the meantime RMLS™ provides both options: the Public/Private ID which provides access to RMLSweb, and the email address/password which provides access to both RMLSweb and My.RMLS.com.

It may sound like a lot of work just to transition to a new payment website. If that was the only benefit I might agree, but the new system offers more billing and payment options, a single login for REALTORS® with dual licenses, and other features we’ll be rolling out as time goes on.

Imagine, for example, a central location for downloading CE certificates from RMLS™ education events, so you’d no longer need to chase down paperwork when it’s time for license renewal. The new system has a more robust registration process for training classes and events, including confirmations, reminders, and wait list management.

While the transition period may be frustrating as RMLS™ works out the details, the net gain to RMLS™ subscribers like yourself will be worth the wait!

Technical Terry

 

Dear Technical Terry:

My Thomas Guide is always at the ready, but I’ve been increasingly finding listings on RMLSweb without Thomas Guide coordinates. Why would REALTORS® fail to include such a key piece of information?

Lloyd Multnomah

Dear Lloyd:

It’s great that you still have your Thomas Guide for fast reference, but not everyone has easy access to this useful tool anymore. Rand McNally (owner of Thomas Guide) ceased publishing any street guides for Portland or Oregon, and you may recall in 2013 RMLS™ halted the map coordinates requirement for new listings.

There’s more news than that though, Lloyd.

Do you have any saved searches on RMLSweb that search using map coordinates? If so, an important change is on the horizon: RMLS™ will be eliminating map coordinates fields with the RMLSweb forms change coming this spring. This means that any saved searches you have that utilize map coordinates through Thomas Guide (or Pittmon Maps) will need to be updated with a map shape to replace this geographic component of each of your saved searches.

Adjusting your search may sound difficult, but RMLS™ will help subscribers effected by this change as much as possible. Look for a video in the coming weeks about how to replace map coordinates in a saved search with a drawn shape on a map.

You may be wondering why RMLS™ is eliminating these fields from RMLSweb. Usage of these fields has been steadily declining. Brokers who search using these fields are missing active properties on RMLSweb—a big problem in markets with low inventory! The RMLS™ Forms Committee recommended removal as part of its annual set of RMLSweb forms changes.

Sorry to break the bad news to you Lloyd, but we’ll be doing our best to make the transition as smooth as possible for you.

Sincerely Yours,

Technical Terry

 

Hey Technical Terry—

This is the first year I’ll be able to attend the RMLS™ Education Summit and Trade Fair. I’m making the drive from The Dalles to take the SentriLock class. Really looking forward to it. Do you have any tips you’d recommend for someone who has never been to this event?

It’s Gorge-ous in the Dalles

Hey Gorge-ous:

What a great question! It’s great that you’re making the trek from The Dalles to attend the event. Even if you weren’t taking the SentriLock class, there’s still plenty of aspects of this annual event that will make the trip worth your time.

Top tips for a first-timer:

• Bring plenty of business cards. Business cards will not only be useful when you’re chatting with industry vendors and networking with other REALTORS®, but they’re also your key to prize drawings! This year RMLS™ has 50 door prizes lined up valued at nearly $6,000.

Waitlisted? Show up! Class registration may be full, but not everyone makes it the day of the event. If you’re on the wait list, we can’t get you into a class if you’re not there! Show up for class and there’s a good chance we’ll have a spot for you.

Sign in AND sign out for classes. If you’re going to a class, make sure to sign in when you arrive AND sign out when you leave. Without a signature, time-in, and time-out, you will not receive a CE certificate after the event.

Parking advice. If you’ve parked inside the DoubleTree parking structure, check in at the RMLS™ info desk for a $3 parking voucher. If you don’t have a voucher, your parking will be more than $3. There’s also a parking pay station located inside the DoubleTree event space, if you want to pay before heading back to your car.

If that’s not enough, I’d also keep your eyes peeled for the basketball tournament happening inside the trade fair hall. REALTORS® will be shooting hoops all day, and the winner will receive a free quarter of RMLS™ dues!

We hope to see you at the event, Gorge-ous! Be sure to stop by the RMLS™ info desk and say hello.

 

 

Ask Technical Terry: Orientation, Mapping Changes

Improved Mapping on RMLSweb Coming Thursday, December 3rd

NewRMLSwebmaps

Big changes are on the road ahead for RMLSweb maps! A new mapping interface is coming to the system the morning of Thursday, December 3rd. This change, announced in July, is the first step to a better mapping experience for RMLS™ subscribers. As soon as the initial switch is made, RMLS™ developers will start planning for further improvements.

WHAT’S IN STORE
RMLS™ subscribers will notice a new look and feel to all maps on RMLSweb. The new system will still use Bing Maps as a base, but the overall user interface has been enhanced.

Here are a few features we think RMLS™ subscribers will appreciate:
Map layers that will include neighborhoods, city boundaries, flood zones, traffic, and more. These layers will not only be accessible on the map for an individual listing, but on Advanced Search and Map Search. Access the layers by opening the Tool Box sidebar on each map, shown above.
Shapes on the map can be larger than before. Up to 10 shapes can be present on the map at one time, and those can represent areas to exclude in a search. Click on the shape for a prompt to delete or exclude the area. Custom shapes can have a maximum of 50 points, and closing a custom shape will be easier as well.
Centering your map on a specific address will be easier than ever. Just type an address in the search bar inside the map, and a pin will appear on the requested address.
Customizable, printable driving directions will be available by using the Map Checked feature of RMLSweb! Select the properties you wish to visit and select the Map Checked button. Select Driving Directions on the pop-up screen. Click and drag the properties in the right sidebar to rearrange the order, then hit Calculate to generate driving directions below the map. Print these directions and the map by selecting the Print button.

RMLSwebDrivingDirectionsMap

Although the new map system will sport some changes, plenty of features related to mapping will remain the same or similar. Users entering listings on Listing Load, for example, will find the process of placing a map pin for a property to be very similar to the current system. Setting a map pin for a CMA will be similar as well.

Once this new interface is live, RMLSweb developers will start optimizing the features. Moving forward, expect further fine-tuning based on subscriber feedback and map layers that include demographic information.

NEED ASSISTANCE?
RMLS™ hopes that subscribers will find this new mapping system easier to use and more useful for helping clients. Contact the RMLS™ Help Desk at (503) 872-8002 or (877) 256-2169 with any questions or for more information.

MLS Insight: New Mapping in the Forecast for RMLSweb

MLS Insight: New Mapping in the Forecast for RMLSweb

map imageMLS Insight is a series about how things work at RMLS™.

At their June meeting, the RMLS™ Board of Directors voted to replace the current GeoJet mapping for RMLSweb with a new solution. We will continue to utilize Bing Maps, but will include layers for parcels, zip codes, schools, counties, etc. from Digital Map Products. Neighborhood boundaries will be a new addition.

Our contract with GeoJet ends at the end of this year, so it was an opportune time to review that part of the system. Bottom line pricing for the two solutions is very similar, but we are looking to reap benefits of increased functionality and reliability. Developers will be working on integration of the replacement solution during the later months of this year.

The next post will focus on our Training Department. If you have questions on any RMLS™-related topic that you would like to have answered, I encourage you to post a comment.