Posts by: ARMLS

Syndication Options in flexmls

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Syndication

There has been much talk recently regarding the syndication options ARMLS provides within flexmls. While some new options have been added in the past few months, the practice of how listings are distributed via these settings has not changed.

Whether or not ARMLS provides listings to these syndication destinations (publishers like AZcentral, Realtor.com, Homes.com, and Trulia) is always the broker’s decision. If a broker has not opted in to a particular publisher, ARMLS does not make their listing data available to that publisher.

When ARMLS enters into an agreement for a publisher to be added to the syndication options in flexmls, we are simply facilitating the transfer of listing data as directed by each broker.

As with any business decision, brokers must weigh the pros and cons of sending their listings to each destination. If the benefits of sending their listings to a publisher outweigh concerns they have, they will send the listings. If their concerns are too great, we would suggest the broker voice those concerns to the publisher, and if not satisfied with the outcome cease to send their listings there.

YouTube and The MLS

YouTube Player

YouTube Player

Embedded YouTube videos are not allowed in the video field of the MLS for two reasons: 1. The embedded YouTube allows a user to contact the video uploader, in many cases this is the Listing Agent.

Rule 8.23 says “Media may not be used to advertise or promote an agent, broker or a real estate brokerage or any other individual or entity, except that the Media producing enterprise may have its name, address and logo on or in the Media, so long as the name, address or logo does not include any hyperlinks that lead back to the Listing Subscriber or their Participant or other entities other than the Media producing enterprise.”

There is a trick being spread that when embedding videos, the YouTube branding can be removed, this does not remove the backlink to YouTube or the uploader! We’ve demonstrated that in this animated GIF:

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A YouTube video embedded in the MLS.

2. The backlink from the embedded YouTube player contains advertising and related videos to other real estate entities and/or things not related to the property in question. This is also outlined in Rule 8.23, see above.

The problem extends beyond YouTube – Photobucket and other free services will also include a link back to the uploader, the traffic back is part of keeping those services free.

The Top 10 Violations of 2013

Earlier this week we started a buzz with a Tweet we sent out:

The tweet was from research we did for an upcoming SEVRAR Magazine article due out next week. It generated some calls, emails and forum discussions for our Data Integrity department. Therefore, we decided to release the Top 10 Violations of 2013 a little early. Not much has changed since we did this last year. You can read up on each rule on this page: http://www.armls.com/rules/rules-and-regulations

Rank Violation Name Violation Type
1 Self Reported Non-Penalty
2 Access Codes Found in Wrong Field* Penalty
3 No Exterior Photo of the Front of Dwelling* Penalty
4 Sold/Leased Price Incorrect Penalty
5 Contact Information on a Photo Penalty
6 Contact Info in a Public Field Penalty
7 Incorrect in Closed Status (False Sale) Penalty
8 Open House info in Public Field Penalty
9 Dwelling Type Incorrect Non-Penalty
10 Special Listing Conditions Non-Penalty
* These violations are system detected  by our monitoring compliance software.

What People Think I Do

A popular Web meme, also known as a Web trend, explores how different groups of people view what they do for a living, it’s uncleverly called the “What people think I do” meme. From the good to the bad, myths about the real estate profession remain. Below are popular examples of the trend made by real estate agents about themselves. Here’s a link to make your own: http://uthinkido.com

real-estate-sales

property-manager

Blur Photos Quickly

In our recent blog post, Blurred Signs – A Photo Blog, we explained that Subscribers can’t post photos with contact information. One of the fastest ways to correct a photo with contact information is to simply blur the sign. You don’t need to run out and buy a copy of Photoshop, there is a free online photo editor call Pixlr Editor that can do the job. Here are the steps:

1. Visit http://pixlr.com/editor/
2. Select Open Image From Computer
3. Browse to where the photo is stored on your computer and click Open
4. With the image open, click the marquee tool, it looks like this: marquee-tool
5. Click, hold and drag on the photo to select the information you want to blur – release your mouse
6. Go to Filter > Gaussian Blur
7. Drag the slider to the right until the contact information in the photo is completely obscured.
8. To Save, click File > Save.

 3pixlr

MLS: Worldwide

Searching the Shiran MLS

Searching the Shiran MLS

In the United States there are hundreds of MLSs, a vast fragmented landscape. How does the rest of the world list property for sale online? Today, we’re taking you on a grande tour:

Canada (National) – CREA is Canada’s national MLS, yes national. They have more than 100,000 members over 100+ boards. Unlike in the U.S., the term “MLS” is a trademark in Canada as it pertains to real estate. CREA doesn’t have one MLS platform but many which vary by member board. For example, in Quebec they use the Centris platform.

Philippines (National) – RPMLX operated by the Philippine Association of Real Estate Boards (PAREB) has 61-member boards but just 3,600 members – that’s a mere 59 members per board. RPMLX uses it’s own homegrown MLS system and a platform called “MLS2005”. Founded in 1953.

Czech Republic (National coverage, international reach) – IMMO2 is a non-board/non-REALTOR® homegrown MLS system from the Czech Republic, though they are not limited by geography. Interestingly, they have online registration and membership terms of 3, 6 & 12 months with Basic and Standard level options.

Costa Rica (National) – CCCBR is operated by the Costa Rica Chamber of Real Estate Realtor Board and is the system authorized by the Costa Rican government. Founded in 1974.

Israel (regional) – Shiran is the Israeli Multiple Listing Service serving Jerusalem and surrounding areas. Interestingly, they have embraced public agency and agent ratings/rankings. Founded in 1990.

Photo Manipulation, Draw A Line

bad-house-photo

Click the image to make it bigger

Something isn’t right here! Can you spot what’s wrong in this front exterior photo? Is the photo acceptable to you, did they cross the line? Comment below if you’ve figured it out. If you’re stumped, click here for a video hint. We’ve explored a similar theme in a recent post called: Is the Grass Greener? Still don’t have it? It’s raining but the real estate agent has photoshopped out the sky and replaced it with a clear blue sky background. The rain pouring off the house remains.

It is often hard to know what the line is between beneficial editing and too much manipulation. For some it may mirror a quote by United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart when he was asked to define obscenity, he said “I know it when I see it…How do you define too much photo manipulation?

Chop, Copy, Dismantle and Reassemble

We produce a lot of numbers, stats and research at ARMLS – and we do it all for you! Really! Subscribers are welcome to take our statistical products and chop, copy, dismantle and then reassemble however they like. All we ask is that you credit us as the source of the data with a simple sentence of your choosing. It can be as simple as “Source: ARMLS.”

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STAT graph copied and then pasted into MS Paint

Smartphones: Avoid Going Vertical

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Taking a photo on your smartphone is different than on a regular camera as the aspect ratio, the relationship between the length and width of a photo, is not the same. Smartphone cameras are not best for portrait or vertical orientations. For example, a point-and-shoot camera uses an aspect ratio of 3:2 or 4:3, while a smartphone camera uses a widescreen ratio of 16:9.

People find it annoying! The problem extends beyond bad listing photos but to video home tours as well. Vertical Video Syndrome is a fictitious condition caused by watching online videos shot on smartphones in a vertical orientation. Simply put, your smartphone camera was designed to shoot photos and videos horizontally (also known as landscape) in widescreen or letterbox format.

Something to remember for video:
Vertical-Video-Syndrome-guide

What happens to DOM When a Listing is Temporarily Off Market?

Just remember DOM Cat.

Just remember DOM Cat when it comes to TOM.

When a listing is placed in Temporarily Off Market (TOM) status, the Days On Market (DOM) count is paused and will not accrue days. When the listing goes back to Active/UCB/CCBS, DOM will continue – the TOM days are not added on. Still confused? See the example below:

If a listing is Active/UCB/CCBS for 2 days, goes to TOM for 50 days and then is back to Actvie/UCB/CCBS for 1 day = 3 DOM.

Placing a listing in TOM status will trigger an email from the Data Integrity that says:
This notice is being sent to you as a courtesy to ensure that your listing noted above has properly had its status changed to Temporarily Off Market(TOM).(Note: Placing a Residential for sale or a Residential Rental listing to TOM does not preclude the requirements of a qualified photograph.) Many agents have been accidentally placing properties into TOM status instead of Cancelled status. TOM does stop the DOM from accumulating while the property is in TOM status. However, TOM status does not begin the 90 day count for relisting a property with zero days on market DOM). If your intention is to take the property off the market for 90 days to reset the DOM, you must cancel the listing or allow it to expire before the 90 days start to accrue. ARMLS will not back date the listing and change the status from TOM to Cancelled even if you have paperwork showing the listing should have been Cancelled.

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