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:




(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.

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.

Flexmls: Auto E-mails Now called Subscriptions

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.

As part of the switch to a permission-based email system, Flexmls will no longer use the term Auto E-mail. Instead, automatic notifications of new listings will be known as Subscriptions. All of the methods in which you could previously create Auto E-mails remain the same.


Flexmls: New Scheduling Options for Subscriptions (formerly Auto E-mails)

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.

When adding or editing a Subscription, there is now a new option to send the emails ASAP – in other words, as soon as possible. If ASAP is selected, the Subscription will be sent to the selected contact(s) within minutes after a listing is added or changed in the system. Unlike daily or monthly Subscriptions, where the email contains multiple listings that match the search criteria, separate ASAP emails are sent for each listing that matches the search criteria associated with the auto Subscription event. ASAP emails will be delivered in the same format as daily Subscription emails, but will be for a single listing.


Flexmls: Enhanced Listing Emails – Now Featuring Photos

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.

Now, Subscription emails (formerly Auto E-mails) will be updated to reflect a more modern look. They will also include previews of the listings that are new / changed to encourage clients to click the link and view the properties. If an agent copy of the email has been requested, it will include a yellow banner stating which search generated the listing and which contact(s) it is attached to. The new emails are also more mobile friendly.

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Flexmls: Subscription Emails (formerly Auto E-mails) Have New Expiration Rules

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.

If a client is actively clicking and viewing a Subscription, it will never expire. If a client does not click to view any Subscription email for 90 days, they will expire and their email address will show as Inactive. If an email address is actively viewing at least one of their Subscriptions, the email address will not expire/go Inactive.

The statuses of email addresses appear in Flexmls as:

Confirmed: client who actively opted-in
Opted-out: client who purposely opted-out
Inactive: client who was opted out by the system for not clicking any Subscriptions in 90 days
Pending: client who was sent the opt-in but has not yet chosen to click the link

Flexmls: Introducing the News Feed for Portals

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.

Listing updates will now be put in a News Feed specific to each client. The News Feed contains all listings that have been sent to a contact via Subscriptions. The news feed is accessed as the default screen when following a generic link to the portal or when a client clicks the View Listing link from an ASAP scheduled email. The new feed is bypassed when a client clicks a link tied to a daily / weekly / monthly email.

News Feed

When viewing the News Feed:

news-feed2All updates are in one place.
The News Feed shows all new and changed listings, across all Subscriptions / Auto E-mails.

Read/Unread listings.
Seen / Unseen listing changes are denoted.

The News Feed creates a record of all the listings that have been sent to the customer over time, even listings that no longer match search criteria.

The list view will show exactly what change prompted the listing to be sent as part of the Subscription.

Pro Tip: When looking at a client’s Portal by clicking “View Portal” under Contacts -> Contact Management, the view is not an exact replica of what the client sees. For an agent, the branding menu on the left hand side is collapsible, so the full screen is available to work in. When a client logs into the Portal, the agent’s contact information and branding is always expanded on the left hand side of the screen.

Flexmls Email System Clean-Up

FBS, the vendor that provides our MLS system, performed emergency maintenance on the email system in Flexmls. Any contact that had not clicked a link in an auto-email in more than 45 days was opted-out of receiving emails through Flexmls. This one time clean-up was due to Flexmls emails being blocked by major email providers.

We regret that we did not alert Subscribers ahead of this event and know that this may have caused an inconvenience for some of our Subscribers. ARMLS has made clear to FBS that such actions cannot occur without warning in the future.

How to see if any of your contacts were opted-out and how to opt them in:

Contacts > Contact Summary > ‘Opt In’ link in the second to last column.

If a contact shows as “Out” in the Opt column, they have been opted-out. Simply click “Opt In” to allow them to receive emails again.

Rotate Photos in Flexmls

Sideways. That’s one way to describe some photos in Flexmls. There is an easy fix if a photo appears sideways on your listing, use the rotation icons in the photo editor. Follow the steps below:

1. On the Change Listing screen click Photos

2. Click the rotate icons on the desired photo until the photo is in the correct orientation:

Google Calendar & Facebook Dashboard Gadgets

Flexmls has phased out the Google Calendar & Facebook gadgets for custom dashboards. If you’ve added either or both of these gadgets to a custom dashboard, they will still appear but no longer function. To remove them, click on the down arrow and click Remove.


Exterior Stories & Interior Levels

Two required fields often give Subscribers trouble, Exterior Stories & Interior Levels:


Exterior Stories = 6
The Exterior Stories field under General Property Description should include the entire building the unit resides.

Interior Levels = 2
the Interior Levels field reflects the number of stories of the unit itself, not of all units.

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