Tech Tip – Forms Common Questions

When we post our weekly Tech Tips, our goal is to answer the top questions heard by our Technical Support department. In the past, we have tried to answer common questions with Listing Input, Property Searches, Auto Hotsheets, and Client Connections. In this Tech Tip, we will try to give a few tips for our Forms section.

Tip #1: Create the entire form packet with all of your forms

When creating your Form Packet, you want to fill all of the necessary forms at once, instead of filling each form separately. To do this, click on Forms, then Create New. Then, scroll through the list of forms and click on the orange Add button next to each form that you wish to put into the packet (circled in red below). Once you have added all of the forms, click on Create Packet (circled in blue below).  Continue reading

An Update on the Zillow / Trulia Agreement

Your listing data is your most valuable asset and you have charged us with keeping it accurate, safe, and proprietary. Which is why we are taking the time that is necessary to negotiate an MLS wide agreement with the Zillow Group that includes our broker’s data ownership rights.

At the end of the day, the listing agreement between the Zillow Group and ListHub will officially terminate. This means that listings that were sent to them via ListHub will be taken down within 5 days and listings will no longer be sent through ListHub to either Zillow or Trulia.

We have received a few phone calls or emails from brokers who are asking why we haven’t come to an agreement yet with the Zillow group to provide a direct opt-in only feed from the MLS with the deadline looming. The simple answer is, because we feel that we can negotiate a better contract with more protections on our data than what has been presented so far. We do not have an exact date on when a contract will be in place, but it could take a few weeks. Thank you for your patience in this process.

In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to give us a call with questions and concerns.

Edit and Note: The negotiation with the Zillow group is for an opt-in only feed. The only listing data that would be sent by the MLS to Zillow and Trulia would by broker request.

UtahRealEstate.com names Brad Bjelke as President and CEO

Utah’s largest MLS taps well known industry veteran as its new leader

SANDY, UT (April 7, 2015) – UtahRealEstate.com – the largest Multiple Listing Service in Utah that serves over 11,000 subscribers – has named Brad Bjelke as its new president and chief executive officer.

With over 10 years in the industry, Bjelke comes to UtahRealEstate.com from California Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (CRMLS), the largest MLS in the nation with over 75,000 subscribers where he served as vice president and general counsel.

Bjelke is nationally recognized as an expert in matters relating to MLS rules, public policy, MLS and Association regionalization, compliance, data licensing, and governance. He has been an integral part of regionalization efforts for MLSs, and he has been involved in helping shape many of the MLS policies at both the local and national levels.

With a reputation as one of the top MLSs in the country, UtahRealEstate.com’s CEO search brought in close to 100 well qualified candidates.

“We saw some of the top talent in the industry apply to be our next CEO. We needed to be certain that person not only had the proper experience, but would also have the best interest of our subscribers in mind. We took the time to carefully examine each resume, conduct exhaustive interviews, and narrow the candidates down to a few finalists. It became clear that Brad’s expertise and vast experience would take UtahRealEstate.com to an even higher level than where we are now. We are thrilled to have someone as qualified as Brad lead our team,” said Ryan Kirkham, chair of the UtahRealEstate.com board of directors.

 All of UtahRealEstate.com’s multiple listing software is developed by an in house team. This includes software for its separate property rental listing service, PropertyPond.com. Kirkham noted that, “the ideal candidate would not only understand the real estate industry, but the software development industry as well.” Prior to CRMLS, Bjelke served as an executive for one of the largest MLS software companies in the United States, where he gained extensive experience with software development, quality assurance testing, and project management.

“I’m excited to be a part of UtahRealEstate.com as we continue to implement cutting edge technologies and services. I look forward to working closely with UtahRealEstate.com’s shareholder associations and brokers to ensure that their needs are met, while also working hard to increase the visibility of both UtahRealEstate.com and PropertyPond.com,” Bjelke said.

Bjelke will be taking over from Joseph Szurgyi, who has served as interim CEO of UtahRealEstate.com since the departure of Rebecca Jensen at the beginning of the year. “The UtahRealEstate.com board of directors would like to extend our appreciation to Joseph for his outstanding leadership during this transition and for his diligent service to us as the Director of Operations at UtahRealEstate.com.”

About UtahRealEstate.com

Founded in 1994, UtahRealEstate.com is the leading provider of real estate technology in Utah. UtahRealEstate.com is the top-ranked real estate website in Utah and serves over 11,000 REALTORS®, more than 1,500 Brokers, and over 12 million consumers every year.

UtahRealEstate.com’s mission is to connect real estate professionals and add value to its members through information. UtahRealEstate.com is operated on behalf of Utah’s Professional REALTORS®, providing the most complete and current property information for the Utah market. Over 92% of REALTORS® in Utah subscribe to its services in order to help their clients list their properties for sale or to help their clients find their new home.

 

April MLS Sales Meeting Message

April’s MLS News and Updates slides are now available for your next meeting!

April MLS Sales Meeting Message (.pptx) >>
April MLS Sales Meeting Message (.pdf) >>

Or via Google Drive at https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B8knoOWsgnVsRVhDMy0xVDNiZ1k&usp=sharing

MLS Sales Meeting Message Highlights:

  • A Bit of Realtor® Humor
  • New Developments: Lifestyle Data for Apple Mobile
  • New Developments: Environment Certifications Now Showing to the Public
  • MLS Quick Tip: Is Your Listing Appearing in the Wrong State?
  • Tech Tip: Troubleshooting Client Connections
  • Property Pond Update: Join Us at the UAA Tradeshow
  • NAR Mid-Year Reception Dinner
  • Educational (C.E.) Class Dates and Locations
  • Ongoing User Group Information

If there is anything that you would like addressed in future messages, please let me know! I’d love to hear from you: kat@utahrealestate.com (801-676-5408).

Thank you for your participation, I hope you find these short messages useful.

Note: You can access past messages through the “Sales Meeting Messages” category in MLS news.

Broker Semi-Annual Billing Tomorrow

It’s that time again! This is a friendly reminder that the broker semi-annual billing reconcile will be happening tomorrow.

Brokers, we kindly ask that you check the balance on your MLS broker account for any outstanding payments that could result in a service disruption. If you find that you have an outstanding balance, please give us a call at 801-676-5400.

If you see any agents that should not be on your roster, it is important that you remove them as soon as possible so that you do not accrue any outstanding MLS required payments for them. Please take note that when an agent stops paying their monthly MLS fees, this DOES NOT automatically inactivate them from your roster.

Do you have agents that you need to remove? Please contact the three entities below and complete the required paperwork for each organization:

1.     The Utah Division of Real Estate

2.     Your local REALTOR® board

3.     UtahRealEstate.com MLS (801-676-5400)

To remove an agent from your roster on the MLS please complete one of the following:

  1. Submit a WFRMLS Subscriber Form signed by you (the broker) to the UtahRealEstate.com office by email at memberservices@utahrealestate.com or fax at 801-676-5401.
  2. Notify the UtahRealEstate.com office that the agent’s license is showing an inactive status with the Utah Division of Real Estate, or that their license is held in a different brokerage.
  3. Please note that you may need to provide proof of the date of inactivation with the Division of Real Estate to waive any past due fees with the MLS.

If you need to make a payment, you can do so online by logging into your MLS account or by bringing a check to the Utahrealestate.com office located at:

Utah Real Estate
230 West Towne Ridge Parkway #400
Sandy, UT 84070

If you have any questions about this please contact Member Services at 801-676-5400, or by email at memberservices@utahrealestate.com.

 

Tech Tip – Troubleshooting Client Connections

From time to time, we see problems connecting with clients. Here is a guide to help you troubleshoot the connection, and to help your client establish a client account on UtahRealEstate.com.

We have written a guide about the connection process, and the reasons why you would want to connect with your clients on UtahRealEstate.com. It can be viewed here: Tech Tip – Client Connections

Here are the top 5 problems, and their solutions, for client connections.

Continue reading

Announcement on ListHub / Zillow Group

On April 7, 2015, ListHub operator Move Inc. will stop syndicating listings to both Zillow and Trulia. Currently, UtahRealEstate.com Brokers are only able to send listings to Zillow through ListHub. For Trulia, Brokers have the option of sending their listings directly from the MLS using a Broker opt-in data feed.

Representatives of Zillow have contacted many of our Brokers in recent weeks encouraging them to sign a Listing Feed Agreement to ensure that the MLS continues to send their listings to Zillow after April 7th.

UtahRealEstate.com is negotiating a Broker opt-in only data feed with Zillow representatives and is working diligently to reach an agreement that allows for Zillow syndication and protects our Brokers’ data. An opt-in data feed will provide those Brokers who would like to send their listings to Zillow and Trulia with a way to do so when the ListHub agreement terminates on April 7th. The new Zillow agreement will include terms that protect the intellectual property rights of our Brokers’ listings. These terms may include:

  • Prominent Listing Agent placement on all listings supplied to Zillow.
  • Indemnification for Brokers in the event any claims are made against Zillow or its use of UtahRealEstate.com sourced information infringes any intellectual property rights of any third party.
  • Zillow will comply with applicable laws and will not display information in a manner that causes UtahRealEstate.com or its brokerages to become non-complaint with any statutes.
  • Listing data provided by UtahRealEstate.com will not be redistributed, reused, or re-syndicated to any non-Zillow Group entity without written permission of the Broker (with the exception of Yahoo! Real Estate).
  • Listings data cannot be used for IDX or VOW purposes without the written consent of the brokerage firm and UtahRealEstate.com.
  • Brokerage and UtahRealEstate.com data and any roster information provided will not be used for marketing purposes except as expressly agreed to by each brokerage firm and UtahRealEstate.com.
  • A license to use UtahRealEstate.com trademarks solely to identify listings and use in public relations with approval from the MLS. There will be no transfer of ownership or intellectual property rights to Zillow.
  • UtahRealEstate.com will ask that syndication remarks which may contain listing agent contact information be included in the listing information along with public remarks (see the following example).

UtahRealEstate.com asks for your patience while we continue our discussions with Zillow and we will update our membership when an agreement has been reached. We would also like to encourage our Brokers to review the information on Syndication available at syndication.utahrealestate.com. It includes valuable resources and PDF downloads for both Brokers and Agents so that they may make informed decisions on syndication and discuss the topic with their clients. You can also watch the recent Broker Panel discussion on Best Practices in Listing Syndication at utahrealestate.com/tools/listing.synd.panel.

Please contact Joseph Szurgyi by phone at (801) 676-5425 or via email at joseph@utahrealestate.com with any questions or concerns you may have.

Tech Tip – Add an Office Assistant

When you hire an Office Assistant, you do not want to give your login and password to the office assistant, and ask them to log into your account on the MLS. Password Sharing is a fineable offense, and we have provided tools so that your assistants can have access to the MLS without violating the password sharing policy.

Each office is given one free Office Assistant account, and another free assistant account for every 20 active agents in the office. Additional assistants are charged a membership fee of $10 per month (with discounts if 6 or 12 months are paid in advance).

To add an Office Assistant to your office roster, fill out the WFRMLS Letter of Authorization. This form can be found in the Forms section, under WFRMLS. (To find this, click on Forms, then Create New. Scroll down to the bottom of the list on the left, and look for the Letter of Authorization near the bottom.)

Fill out the top portion of the form, making sure to put a good email address in the Email field. Print this form, and ask the Principal Broker in the office to sign the form. Then, email this form to our Member Services department at memberservices@utahrealestate.com or fax it to 801-676-5401.

When we add the Office Assistant, we will assign them a username, and send the membership information to the email address provided on the form.

By default, assistants are not given rights to enter or edit listings on the MLS. The principal broker in the office can grant editing rights to each member in the office. They can also grant specific rights to allow assistants to edit listings (or photos, etc) for particular agent(s) in the office.

Assistants can also be granted access to Work As you. The Work As feature allows you to grant access to an assistant (or another agent in the office), so that they can access your Address Book, Hotsheets and Saved Searches, and CMAs. It will not grant them access to edit your listings, pay your bill, or edit your account settings.

To assign Work As rights, view our article here: Tech Tip – “Work As” Permissions.

You can find more information by viewing our training videos and guides here: “How To” Video Tutorials & FAQ’s, or by clicking on “How-To” Videos in the light gray bar at the top of Utah Real Estate. You can find more Tech Tips by clicking on the category on the right.

If you have any questions, please contact our Technical Support department at support@utahrealestate.com, or by calling 1-800-236-1462, between 8am and 5:30pm, Monday through Friday. Thanks!

 

Tech Tip – Add a Non MLS Sold Listing As a Comparable

Occasionally there are situations in which a property would make an excellent comparable for a CMA or appraisal, but the property was sold without having been Listed in the Utahrealestate.com MLS.  In such cases, these properties may be input after the sale, so they can be used for comparable purposes.

To add these Non-MLS Sold Listings to the MLS, follow these guidelines:

1. Obtain written permission from the buyer (current owner) of the property. You must also obtain the closing documents for the property for verification.

2. Complete a Utahrealestate.com Listing Input Form and have the current owner review it for accuracy.

3. When entering the Listing on the MLS, enter yourself as the Listing Agent.

4. Use the Listing Date as the date that the property went Under Contract. (You will use the same date as the Under Contract date).

5. In the Remarks section of the Listing, indicate that the listing is being entered “For comparable purposes only.”

6. After entering the Listing to the MLS, before marking the Listing as Under Contract/Sold, upload any photos that you have for the Listing. Photos cannot be uploaded after the Listing has been marked as Sold.

7. You must input the property and change the status to Sold in one sitting. Don’t enter it and allow it to reside on the Utahrealestate.com in Active or Under Contract status. Once the Listing is created, upload photos, then immediately change the status to Under Contract (using the correct Under Contract Date) and then change it to Sold (using the correct Sold date).

8. If you or another Utahrealestate.com subscriber did not bring the buyer, enter NONMLS as the selling agent.

9. If the listing was a New Construction, and you were represented either the Buyer or the Seller, you do not need to send documentation of the sale.

10. If the listing was not a new construction (or if you were not a party to the sale), you MUST send a copy of all relevant documentation for the closing of the sale of the property, including applicable HUD forms, appraisals, and other closing documents, along with a copy of the Agent Full Report of the sold listing that you have added as a comparable, to memberservices@utahrealestate.com, or fax it to 801-676-5401.

If you have any questions, please contact our Technical Support department at support@utahrealestate.com, or by calling 1-800-236-1462, between 8am and 5:30pm, Monday through Friday. Thanks!

March MLS Sales Meeting Message

March’s MLS News and Updates slides are now available for your next meeting!

March MLS Sales Meeting Message (.pptx) >>
March MLS Sales Meeting Message (.pdf) >>

Or via Google Drive at https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B8knoOWsgnVsRVhDMy0xVDNiZ1k&usp=sharing

MLS Sales Meeting Message Highlights:

  • A Bit of Realtor® Humor
  • New Developments: Utah County Tax Data Update
  • New Developments: New Android App
  • MLS Policies: Did You Know? (contact information policy)
  • Tech Tip: Spotting an Email Hoax
  • Property Pond Update: Rebecca Pearson
  • Educational (C.E.) Class dates and locations
  • Ongoing User Group Information

If there is anything that you would like addressed in future messages, please let me know! I’d love to hear from you: kat@utahrealestate.com (801-676-5408).

Thank you for your participation, I hope you find these short messages useful.

Note: You can access past messages through the “Sales Meeting Messages” category in MLS news.