Flexmls

Updates to the Listing Rules and Policies

We’ve had some recent changes to the listing rules and policies. While most of the new updates are pretty innocuous, there is a major rule change you should review.

Photos / Media
Previously, photos were restricted to the property, either the view from the property or the property itself. Now, photos can be used to express additional benefits of the property or lifestyle amenities.

blog Rules

Other Updates 
In addition to a new photo policy, we’ve fixed typos, formally added CCBS to existing documents, added pending status to the IDX dataset and cleaned up definitions per NAR.

Redline Documents
To see all changes verbatim, we have drafting documents that show where changes have been made. Please note that these documents are the rough drafts, the final official documents can be found on the ARMLS.com/Rules.

http://www.armls.com/docs/data-integrity/rules-3-29-2016-redlines.pdf

http://www.armls.com/docs/data-integrity/penalty-policy-3-29-2016-redlines.pdf

http://www.armls.com/docs/data-integrity/short-sale-policy-3-25-2016-redlines.pdf

http://www.armls.com/docs/idx/idx-policy-3-29-2016-redlines.pdf

Flexmls Portal Changes 2016 Explained

The MLS has undergone a few changes this year. To make it easier, we’ve summed up some of the biggest (and most beneficial) changes in a quick video tutorial. Now, both you and your clients can edit their user name (email address), password and change their dashboards. You can also see a client-eye-view of changes to the subscriptions and portal pages. Note: click the full screen icon on the video player to make the video bigger.

New Opt-In Status Report

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Want to know your client’s Opt-In status in Flexmls? Subscribers can now view subscription statuses for all contacts in one clean, real-time, easy-to-read report: the Opt-In Status Report. The report can be run directly from Flexmls Web and allows you to:

  • • See contacts with a Pending status and provide a link to resend the opt-in email request
  • • See email addresses flagged as Undeliverable and jump to a contact’s record in order to edit their email address and ensure their opt-in email can get through
  • • See when Confirmed email addresses will lapse
  • • See who has Opted-Out of receiving emails in order to follow up with them personally

Get Started
To access the Opt-In Status Report, go to the Contacts Menu and click Opt-In Status.

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The report has five tabs to help you manage your subscriptions: Pending Opt-In, Undeliverable, Confirmed, Opted Out, and Inactive. Each tab is explained in detail below. Each tab displays 25 contacts at once. If you have more than 25 contacts within a particular status, click on the page number found in the report’s right corner to view more contacts.

Pending Opt-In 
The Pending Opt-In tab shows contacts who have been sent an opt-in request. The opt-in request includes a link to confirm their email address and to indicate that they want listing update emails. Until the contact clicks the link, listing updates will not be sent. The Pending status indicates that, although they have received the opt-in request email, they have not yet clicked to confirm their email address.

The Days Pending Column indicates how many days have gone by since the opt-in email request was sent to them. If you would like to manually resend the opt-in email, click the Resend Request link.

OI Status Report

Note: You can only resend the link once, so it would be appropriate to contact the user personally before clicking the Resend Request option. Click on a contact’s name to view their full contact information including all phone numbers and email addresses you have associated with the contact in Flexmls.

Undeliverable
The Undeliverable tab shows contacts with email addresses that have been flagged as undeliverable. Contacts shown on this tab are unable to receive opt-in requests or listing updates via email. The Days Undeliverable column shows how long the email address has been marked as undeliverable, and the Reason column indicates the reason why email is not being sent to the address.

A contact’s email address may be flagged as undeliverable in the following situations:

  • The address doesn’t exist – The email address, as listed, may be incorrect. The suggested course of action is to contact the individual personally and verify their email address.
  • Considered spam – Either the contact or their email provider has marked your message as spam. The suggested course of action is for the contact to search their spam folder, find the email, and mark the sender as Not Spam. Once they have done so, you can resend the opt-in email.
  • Unknown technical error – This indicates that contact’s email provider had a technical issue with the delivery.
  • Recipient mailbox full – The contact’s mailbox is full and cannot accept incoming email. The suggested course of action is to contact the individual and allow them to clear out their Inbox so they can receive incoming email. Once they have done so, you can resend the opt-in email.

OI Status Report 2

Confirmed
The Confirmed tab shows all of your contacts who have confirmed that they have a valid email address and would like to receive listing updates via email. The Days Until Lapsed column indicates how many days must pass with no activity before the contact’s email address lapses and it is marked as Inactive. A contact’s email address status will stay Confirmed, and they will receive listing updates indefinitely, as long as they click any listing link in their subscription email at least once every 13 months.

The Last Click in Subscription Email column indicates the last time the contact clicked a link to view listings from their subscription email.

OI Status Report 3

Opted Out
The Opted Out tab shows contacts who have clicked the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of a listing updates email and opted out. These contacts have manually clicked to opt out of receiving listing updates via email. The Days Opted Out column shows how many days have passed since each contact opted out of receiving subscription emails. The Last Click in Subscription Email column indicates the last time the contact clicked a link to view listings from their subscription email.

If you would like to manually resend the opt-in email request, click the Resend Request link (not pictured above).

OI Status report 4

Remember: The contact has already manually opted out of receiving listing updates via email, so you should only resend the opt-in request if they have contacted you and indicated that they would like to start receiving listing updates again. If you believe they have opted out by mistake, please contact them before resending the opt-in email. Click on a contact’s name to view their full contact information including all phone numbers and email addresses you have associated with the contact in Flexmls.

Inactive
The Inactive tab shows all contacts who have been marked as Inactive due to the contact not clicking a link in their subscription email for 13 months. No listing updates are sent to inactive email addresses. If you would like to invite the contact to subscribe to listing updates, you can manually resend the opt-in email by clicking the Resend Request link.

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Note: You can only resend the link once, so before sending it, we recommend reaching out to the user to see if it was received. To resend, click on the Resend Request option. Click on the contact’s name to view their full contact information including all phone numbers and email addresses you have associated with the contact in Flexmls. If you need to send the request a second time, please contact our Helpdesk at 480-303-7249.

Subdivisions- Draw or Enter?

Draw-Better

When searching for a specific subdivision in Flexmls, Subscribers can enter the name of the subdivision or draw a map. But out of these two methods, which one returns the most accurate results? We’ve researched this question and have found a definitive winner. For the cleanest, most accurate results, draw a map.

Subdivisions are entered when the listing is created, which means that field is completely dependent on the Subscriber. But unlike other fields, like number of bedrooms and listing price, subdivisions can be trickier to get right. These are the top reasons why entering the name is less accurate than drawing a map.

  1. Typos
    • When you search by the name of the subdivision, Flexmls will only retrieve exact matches. So searching for “Copeland Hill” won’t bring up all those listings entered as “Copeland Hills” or “Copeland Hlll“. It’s an innocent mistake, but one that can hamper your search.
  2. Accidents
    • Entering what you think is correct rather than what you know is correct can lead to your listing getting crossed off a search.
  3. On Purposes
    • There’s also the Subscriber who knowingly enters the incorrect subdivision on a listing. This usually occurs when a home is bordering a highly desirable subdivision that has the ability to increase the asking price and decrease the DOM.

Remember that incorrectly entering the subdivision, whether accidentally or purposefully, is a violation of the Rules and Regulations Section 8.5 and can result in fines.

Listing Gadget Improved and Flexmls App Renamed

Flexmls has undergone a few small new changes. Here’s what’s different.

CCBS and UCB Added in Custom My Listings Gadget
The “My Listings” gadget has now been updated to display an agent’s CCBS and UCB listings. The CCBS and UCB lines are not available on the Classic dashboard. CCBS and UCB are sub-statuses of Active but the gadget now separates them.

My-Listings

Flexmls App Renamed
Flexmls-Pro
The mobile “Flexmls by FBS” app has been renamed as “Flexmls Pro” in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. If you already have the app, there is no action to take.

 

Opt-In Updates

We’re happy to announce two new Flexmls updates that will allow Subscribers to take more control of their client’s experience. Beginning today, Subscribers will be able to manually send the opt-in email to their clients before the 1st subscription event is triggered. Alternatively, clients will be able to send the opt-in themselves from their portal.

Manual Opt-Ins
Once a Subscriber sets up a new contact, they will see the option to Send confirmation email, which will immediately trigger an opt-in request to the client, as opposed to waiting for the first Subscription event.
opt in

Be aware that Subscribers can only send this opt-in request manually one time.

If the first confirmation email gets lost in a client’s spam/junk folder, bounces back, or isn’t received, the Subscriber will not be able to resend it. If this does happen, the Helpdesk can resend the confirmation email.

Client Opt-Ins
Using the My Account button in the upper right hand corner, and then selecting Email Settings, a client can trigger their own confirmation email.

client optin 1

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HOA Addendum / Documents in Flexmls

update

The Arizona Association of Realtors has created a new HOA Addendum document for buyers and sellers to complete before closing. The Arizona Association of REALTORS® Form Workgroup Chair explains the motivation behind this new form:

“Parties were often surprised at close of escrow by previously undisclosed HOA fees that neither the buyer nor seller had agreed to pay. In an effort to avoid this scenario, an AAR forms workgroup created a revised HOA Addendum that promotes a greater level of disclosure of the various fees that are payable upon close of escrow. This greater level of disclosure should allow for fewer surprises, happier clients and successful closings.”

Visit the AAR HOA Info page to find more information about the HOA addendum, as well as to view a sample addendum. You may be prompted for a password when accessing the page.

As a reminder, new documents in Flexmls are Private by default when uploaded for ARMLS Subscribers. A document description selector is also available to aid Subscribers in choosing the correct document visibility setting.

Documents-Animation

Before posting a document as Public, check out the ARMLS Rules & Regulations and Inappropriate Language Policy to check what can be displayed publicly.

 

New Flexmls Email System and Intro to the News Feed

The Flexmls system will undergo an overhaul of the email and portal system on September 29. Flexmls will now utilize a permission-based email system, introduce a Subscriptions management component to Auto E-mails, allow instant listing notifications via email and introduce a listing News Feed view in Portals. This blog series explains the new email and portal system in Flexmls.

Read the series in parts or as a PDF:

Permission-Based Email System, New Client Opt-In and Why the Email System Needed Fixing

Auto E-mails Now Called Subscriptions

New Scheduling Options For Subscriptions (formerly Auto E-mails)

Enhanced Listing Emails Now Featuring Photos

Subscriptions Have New Expiration Rules

Introducing The News Feed for Portals

Flexmls: Permission-Based Email System, New Client Opt-in

This post is part of a series explaining the new email and portal system in Flexmls. To read the entire series, click here or you may view the PDF.

New clients must opt-in to receive listings from Flexmls. This change does not apply to manual emails through Flexmls, just automatic emails. A one-time confirmation email will be sent to each new client, prior to the client receiving their first auto email, to confirm that the message was received at a valid email address. This grants consent to send listing updates to the client via Flexmls moving forward. This change is consistent with industry best practices to reduce spam and increase email deliverability for all Subscribers. To read why this change was made, read this post: http://www.armlsblog.com/why-the-email-system-needed-fixing/

confirm-email

Existing clients in Flexmls who already receive emails will continue receiving notifications, there will be no additional action needed for them.

A new client will not receive email notifications of new listings unless they click to confirm their email address. After clicking to confirm, they will begin to receive automatic notifications of new listings that match their search criteria. If a new client does not opt-in via the confirmation email, an additional reminder can be sent. To do this, go to the Contact Management screen under the Contacts menu, select the contact, and click Send opt-in request.

re-send-request

Note: You can only send the reminder once per email address, so it would be appropriate to contact the user personally before re-sending the Opt-in request.

Why The Email System Needed Fixing

This post is part of a series explaining the new email and portal system in Flexmls. To read the entire series, click here or you may view the PDF.

In order to help clarify the new permission-based email system in Flexmls, let’s dive into some detail as to why this change was made.

The current system doesn’t validate the email addresses of your clients, which has led to poor deliverability for all Subscribers. Looking at reports of email deliverability for just one day and just four email providers, we can see that over 100,000 emails failed to deliver to clients.

Email Deliverability Through Flexmls by Email Provider:

yahoo

hotmail

verizon

outlook
(Flexmls Email Delivery Daily Report, 7/1/2015)

How does this happen?
When emails from Flexmls are sent continuously to email addresses that are not opening them, it causes those email providers to no longer allow Flexmls emails to be received at that domain. Many email spam filters keep a running average of open rates by the sender’s domain. Once a domain’s average open rate falls below a threshold, messages from that sender’s domain can be blocked, blacklisted or junked.

The email system is a shared resource; the actions of other Subscribers affect the deliverability for everyone. Frankly put, the current system is being abused by those who do not follow email marketing best practices.

The new opt-in only system will ensure that email addresses added to Flexmls Subscriptions are valid. This is an industry-wide best practice. We expect the deliverability numbers above to rise greatly under the opt-in system as Flexmls will reduce the volume of auto emails to bad email addresses.

Expiration
The 90-day email expiration rule is not new. In fact, it was introduced 5 years ago. The rule today allows a Subscriber to renew an Auto E-mail regardless of whether or not the person receiving the emails is opening or even receiving them. With an automatic expiration system, the benefit is two-fold. For one, if your clients are looking at a link in at least one of their Subscription emails every 90 days, you will never need to remember to go into the system and manually extend their automatic emails. Secondly, by opting out email addresses that have not clicked a Subscription in 90 days, it helps to ensure the security and deliverability of emails for Subscribers with clients that are utilizing their Subscriptions.

Please note the opt-in system only applies to automatic emails, manual emails through Flexmls do not require an opt-in.

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