Work on Behalf of a Contact Explained

While looking at properties in flexmls® Web, you suddenly see the perfect house for a client.  It is a little further out than they originally wanted, but you believe they might be open to looking at it.  You eagerly want to place it in their portal. This was once only possible to achieve through Contact Management, but now you may apply Favorites, Possibilities, Rejects, and Agent Recommended listings for your Portal customers from any search results page with the Work on behalf of a contact feature.

Click on Work on behalf of a contact, choose the contact’s name, and your search results page will change to display the contact’s name in the top left. You will now be able to mark it with an Agent Recommendation and it will land in their portal in the Agent Recommendation listing cart, without having to do anything more. Next thing you know, your client is moving in to that house a little further out.

Subscriber Confidence Index vs Consumer Confidence Index

Subscriber Confidence Index PDF

SCI on ARMLS.com

The most recent ARMLS Subscriber Confidence Index (SCI) posted on ARMLS.com shows that Subscribers are feeling better about the real estate market, business conditions, employment conditions and their own family income. The SCI rose 9 points to 57%.  The Present Confidence rose 11 points to 45% and the Expectation Index rose 7 points to 65.4%.  These are all good signs.

The methodology for calculating the SCI follows that of the Conference Board which publishes the national Consumer Confidence Index (CCI), which rose in February to 70.4, up from 64.8 in January.  The CCI is now at a three year high.  The gains for the ARMLS SCI, Present Confidence and Expectation Index, while all positive, are not as high as the national Index.

This difference may be explained by the real estate centric focus of the ARMLS Index.  A Subscriber Confidence Survey is sent to a random selection of Subscribers who have done at least one transaction in the last twelve months, whereas the Conference Board sends their survey to a random selection of 5,000 US households.  Also the Conference Board asks five questions.  The ARMLS Survey asks seven questions, two of which relate directly to confidence about current and future real estate conditions.

Nationally, the CCI is a leading economic indicator that measures the optimism that consumers feel about the state of the economy and their personal finances, which in turn influences their spending activity. Likewise, the optimism that Subscribers feel will drive their real estate activities and investment in their businesses. Subscribers and consumers in general are influenced by the strong stock market and falling unemployment.  Optimism begets positive things, which in turn begets more optimism, fueling an upward spiral in a healthy direction for the market and for Subscribers.

Introducing: STAT Plus

stat-plus-logo-chartToday, ARMLS launched STAT Plus, a quarterly statistical companion to the monthly STAT newsletter and the Pending Price Index (PPI). While STAT provides monthly DOM and MSI for the entire market as a barometer for market health, STAT+ gives insight into inherent differences between price ranges. The goal of STAT+ is to dive deeper into market supply for the benefit of your Buyers and Sellers.

The first issue, which is available now, looks at Q4 2010 and displays Solds, Actives, DOM, and MSI from a floor of $30,000 to over $3,000,000. As with most ARMLS publications, STAT+ may be reprinted with proper attribution. So, is STAT+ another tool for your real estate tool-chest?

COVE 2011 Survey Results

Selected ARMLS staff, Directors and Brokers recently attended the COVE Conference in Orlando, a meeting of representatives from twenty-two of the largest MLS’s, who represent 413,984 Brokers and Agents and 89,904 offices.  Prior to the meeting, COVE conducted a survey of 63,139 Broker members of the various MLSs and received input from 6,476 Brokers.

Among the key findings are:

  • Respondents are supportive (73%) of listing syndication with those from large firms (>1,000 agents and/or more than 30 offices) as supportive as small firms.
  • Respondents are supportive of an MLS operating a consumer facing website (74%) with respondents from larger firms less supportive (54-62%)
  • Respondents are split fairly evenly about including sold and/or off market data on MLS operated consumer facing websites (37% support and 41% oppose).
  • While a majority of respondents (55%) support or strongly support RPR™, they are uncertain if they favor the use of the content to create the Realtor Valuation Model (RVM)
  • Most respondents are satisfied with the pace of MLS consolidation and/or data sharing, but would like to continue to see further consolidation over the next few years.

Associated Press Misquote of ARMLS Data

Yesterday, two writers from the Associated Press put out a story that said that 70% of the homes in Phoenix are at risk of foreclosures. By the end of the day the story had gone viral on the Internet and was picked up by multiple large media, including the Wall Street Journal.  Of course, the information is flat out wrong, and unfortunately, it was attributed to ARMLS. We are reaching out to the original writers and others who re-circulated it to get the information corrected.

The statement was a result of the writers’ misinterpretation of the correct information put out in the February issue of STAT.  In that issue we stated that distressed properties accounted for 70.2% of total sales.

ARMLS is reaching out to our Subscribers to make sure they understand the error, and do not inadvertently re-circulate the wrong information in their blogs and on their social media platforms. Click here to read the February issue of STAT.

Data Share: Tucson & Rocky Point

Puerto Penasco MLS is now live inside flexmls.

The switch has been flipped, as ARMLS has started data sharing with the Tucson Association of REALTORS® and Puerto Penasco Chapter 51 (Rocky Point) inside flexmls. Keep in mind, that there is not a unilateral offer of compensation and Subscribers are encouraged to work within their area of expertise. With that said, the real power of data sharing comes from giving and receiving referrals plus additional market intelligence. Now you can offer clients, who are looking for a second home in Tucson, a sound referral to an agent who is working in their new area of interest. Or you can provide your clients, who are considering purchasing in Rocky Point, real market data to help them make a decision.

So how do you do it? To see listings outside of the ARMLS coverage area, select either “Tucson Association of Realtors” or  “Puerto Penasco” in a Full Search or Quick Search (Example: Phil Sexton’s  Screencast video). You may notice not all fields will be available as not all fields are shared. Use caution when cross-searching multiple MLSs as units and values may not match, an example being square feet and square meters.

If the ability to search outside the ARMLS service area doesn’t appeal to you, ponder this: there may be a bigger thing happening here as data sharing allows us to “dip our toes in the pool” of what a statewide MLS might feel like. So how did that first data share search go?

Twitter Strategy for RE Professionals

There are many instructors teaching Agents how to use Twitter, but few teaching Agents how to develop social media strategy in the Valley. Lady Gaga has over 8 million followers on Twitter, but unless you are willing to pick up a microphone and write Grammy-worthy tunes, you will need some solid social media strategy to pick up followers. We like to see our Subscriber succeed, so here are some great Twitter strategy pointers:

@ARMLS Follower Mosaic

1. It’s not the number of followers you have but the quality of those followers that matters. Often times you will gain followers who just want to be followed back, they don’t care about your messages but are playing the “numbers game”. Adjust your content to attract the right crowd. It is better to have 250 followers who read your messages than 1,000 who just ignore them.

2. Pick a niche. Are you the green homes agent? Higley home expert? Phoenix property manager extraordinaire? Surprise Short Sale specialist? Chances are you work a segment of the market, own that segment on Twitter as well.

3. Be interesting. Interesting tweets get ReTweeted and spread much further into the Twittersphere. This is the best way to gain new followers. Tweet breaking news, interesting home ownership stats, staging articles, and other interesting bits that attract potential homeowners.

4. Follow and develop a relationship with fellow Real Estate tweeters. Having others help spread your messages (and vice versa) will give you credibility and extend your reach.

5. Treat Twitter as a community, not just a place to syndicate listings. Engage in conversation directly, example: “@homebuyer I have a few listings I would like to show you, if you are still searching for your dream home.”

Take these strategy points and expand them to your area of expertise. Don’t forget to follow @ARMLS while you’re at it! Feel free to share your own Twitter tips in the comments below.

Broker Security Essentials Workshop

Are you aware that a computer security breach can cost your company big money and harm your brand? Send your IT staff, vendors and consultants to a free day of security essentials learning at the ARMLS® Training Facility in Tempe. NAR and ARMLS are pleased to offer this workshop on March 7, from 10:00am until 3:30pm. This workshop will focus on critical information system security issues and is the same workshop given at the NAR national conference without the $300 price tag. Find out more information or register now.

[map id=”map1″ z=”13″ address=”120 S. Priest Dr. 85281″ w=”425″ h=”175″ marker=”yes” infowindow=”ARMLS Training Facility
120 S. Priest Drive
Tempe, AZ 85281″]

STAT, PPI and the Truth

Recently a Subscriber expressed dissatisfaction with ARMLS for publishing STAT and the Pending Price Index.  He made the point that things were bad enough out there, without  ARMLS broadcasting it. His logic was that the media creates the market by what they report, and that the negative pricing trend in the PPI would encourage Buyers to make even lower offer prices.  No one, not even ARMLS, can argue that potential Buyers are not susceptible to what they read in the media. But, by the same token Sellers are influenced in a similar manner to price more competitively when they know what the market is really doing.

The real underlying cause of our downward pricing trend is out- of- balance supply and demand, dysfunctionally influenced by distressed properties, and perpetuated by high unemployment, painfully slow job growth and almost no net migration into the Valley. The media does not figure in as a cause in that equation.

When ARMLS decided to publish a monthly statistical newsletter, it made the commitment to always tell the truth. ARMLS reasoned that if it were to have any credibility with Subscribers, consumers or the media, it has to always say what is so, whether the news is good or bad.  ARMLS could not make a decision to only report good news, and remain silent on the bad news.  That kind of reporting has gotten the National Association of REALTORS® in trouble in the past.  Brokers and Agents make strategic decisions on which direction to take their business based on reliable market intelligence.  Only the absolute truth should serve as the lodestone by which Brokers and Agents navigate the market.

Welcome to the ARMLS Blog

ARMLSBLOG.com is powered by WordPress There are many blogs out in cyberspace, but now only one dedicated to ARMLS Subscribers. Take a moment to look around, this blog was designed to provide the best user experience possible. Here’s how we did it:

  • We used WordPress because we know you’re used to reading other WordPress blogs.
  • There is a search box on every page because we want you to be able to find things quickly, time is money after all.
  • The Registration and Login process couldn’t be simpler because blog commenting shouldn’t be like pulling teeth.
  • Links open in the same window because we trust you will come back and read this blog again.

Take a look around. Our @ARMLS Tweets and Facebook fans made it onto the page through magical “widgets”. This is day 1 of our new blog, so there isn’t much content yet but leave a comment, check out our Blogroll for other awesome user-submitted blogs and come back soon. Here’s an old post about an ARMLS Blog that existed at one point.

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