Posts by: ARMLS

Where Not to Place a Lockbox

Listing #41254685, now Temp Off Market (see item #2)

Listing #41254685, now Temp Off Market (see item #2)

Loyal blog reader Randy H. had a great question for us on social media, “Does ARMLS have rules on lockbox placement?” In short, we don’t dictate in our rules where a lockbox must be placed on a listing. We do, however, have some advice.

1. Supra iBox lockboxes are designed to be placed on door knobs.

2. Many cities and utility providers have ordinances or rules against attaching any item (including lockboxes) on gas, water and electric meters or lines. Placing a lockbox on a gas meter or other utility is a safety concern. There is also a possibility of damage to the property in doing so.

Overcoming difficult door knobs
Did you know the shackle can be completely detached in the field to accommodate unusual door knobs? Here’s how:


1. With the ActiveKey or eKey, release the shackle.

2. With the shackle released, start the shackle release  process a second time.

2. With the shackle released, start the shackle release process a second time.

3. When the shackle is being released the second time, apply upward pressure to remove the shackle entirely.

3. When the shackle is being released, apply upward pressure to remove the shackle entirely.

What Home Searchers Could Learn from The Beatles

Okay, we’re not really going to talk about The Beatles in this post, but we wanted to make a point – coming up with unique real estate blog content is hard. The post idea came from Portent’s content idea generator based on keywords we entered. Real estate search tactics based on The Beatles could be a fantastic idea for the right Subscriber. Possible headings / points could be:

1. Living on Penny Lane – choosing the right neighborhood.
2. I Want to Hold Your Hand – using a portal vs. Google for home searches.
3. Financing Help! – because we all need somebody.

Here’s the URL to the Content Idea Generator:


Facebook Enacts 20% Text Rule

This cover photo example is comprised of  more than 20% text of its area.

This cover photo example has more than 20% text, which is now against the rules on Facebook for Pages.

If you’re using a Timeline Cover photo, ads or sponsored stories on Facebook, you’ll want to take note of these new Facebook rules (Rule 1 III. B. and Rule 2 III. D.).

Rule 1: Covers may not include: i. images with more than 20% text;

Rule 2: Ads and sponsored stories for News Feed that originate from Pages may not include images with more than 20% text (effective January 15th, 2013)

Rule 1 only applies to those who have Facebook Pages, not Facebook Profiles. Don’t know the difference? Read this. Since Pages and Profiles can now both run ads, Rule 2 applies to both.

While most Subscribers are not using Facebook Ads, many have created Timeline Cover photos that resemble their business cards. Text may not cover more than 20% of the image, measured programmatically by Facebook on a grid system. Facebook uses an algorithm that lays a grid of 25 blocks over an image, if the image has text in 6 or more blocks, it fails and Facebook rejects the image. Poor Jessica has 15 blocks or 60% of her image is considered text.


You could say – “I’m not a graphic designer and/or I don’t have time to count blocks”
You’d be right and Facebook is in the process of releasing a tool to help businesses measure the text percentage of Cover photos and ads. Until then, here’s a great resource on how to measure the text in your Timeline Covers and Ads.

Mobile is Here

Over the past few years, we’ve seen Subscribers use mobile devices more and PCs less. In fact, we’re in the process of creating a new comprehensive mobile strategy to better serve our Subscribers. In that effort, we’d like to share some mobile data that was released recently about consumers. If you weren’t convinced before, mobile is here now. Related post: Like infographics? Make your own


Get More Shares by Sharing

social-sharingSubscribers who blog or create video often struggle with gaining the exposure they need to sustain their efforts. In the video below, Rand Fishkin talks about how you can help people you know and in-turn how they will help you spread your content. If you’re creating video for real estate, check out the Best of Real Estate Video Google+ community moderated by Subscriber John Wake.

Where Can I Get Help with zipForm?

WebzipForm, often called zipForms or Zip Form, is an AAR product. While ARMLS does have a webinar and class on zipForm, AAR provides support for that product.

The ARMLS Helpdesk cannot answer questions about zipForm, please call AAR Support at (480) 304-8930. The following information is from AAR:


Never had a zipForm® account before?
Registration for 1st Time Users

Need to reinstall zipForm® to a new computer?
Download zipForm® 6 Standard (desktop)

Can’t remember username and/or password?
Call AAR Support:
Direct: (480) 304-8930 | Toll Free: (866) 833-7357
Email AAR Support





The Digital House Hunt Study

Google and NAR have teamed up to bring a detailed study on how consumers search for real estate online. The goal was to “better understand the evolving role of digital media in the consumer home search process.” The study is embedded below but can be found via Scribd: The Digital House Hunt.

Study Digital House Hunt 2013 01

What’s Inside? One interesting topic addressed is how home buyers use video in their home searches.


Break Into Me!

Like Santa, criminals want to sneak into your chimney.  ©Getty

Like Santa, criminals want to sneak into your chimney. ©Getty

This post is by ARMLS Trainer Candace Wren, like Santa, she makes (office) house calls.

‘Tis the season to think twice about what you place in Public Remarks. The Public Remarks field should only contain things that market the property. Placing information about when a house is vacant, when it shows or that it doesn’t have a deadbolt might lead to inadvertent safety hazards as well as being against ARMLS rules. Public fields are sent to sites like and Zillow, by Broker permission, not to mention IDX feeds on Agent websites. The last thing you want to do is alert someone that the home is unoccupied and ready to be robbed.

When Does Days On Market Reset? (CDOM & ADOM)

Cumulative Days On Market, also known as CDOM, resets 90+ days after a listing is canceled or expired. Listing on the 90th day won’t reset the CDOM but the 91st day will. ADOM, Agent Days On Market, is similar but the count will also reset if the listing is listed by a different Agent.


Average Days On Market by RBI region

Auto Emails in flexmls

An “Auto Email” or “Automatic Email” sends listings from flexmls based on saved searches once or twice a day (depending on your settings). Whether it is a new listing or price change, clients stay up to date. If nothing is new or changed, no email is sent. The video below shows step by step instructions on how to set them up.

This video requires a Flash-enabled device or computer. Reading via email? Click here if no video appears

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