Goodbye Compliance Department

Hello, Data Integrity Department. The ARMLS Compliance Department is now the Data Integrity Department. Expect more latitude and less attitude as we roll out changes in the upcoming weeks and months. The change has already been reflected on ARMLS.com and featured in the latest ARMLS This Week video:

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Searching for What You Want to Read

Clever Cat Reading BookWhat type of content do you want to read? Many of our readers have preformed searches via our blog search box, which we’ve complied into a list. These search terms suggest content our readers desire. Our blog search box doesn’t track who performed the search, just which terms were entered. Below we’ve taken a stab at responding to some of our most recurring searches.

“Android” / “Android Tablet” / “Droid”Galaxy Tab
In the wake of  increased flexmls/iPad compatibility, Android hasn’t received much due attention on this blog. So here it goes: Android phones play a dominate role in the Valley as the market share leader. There are two new Android tablets worth mentioning, the Galaxy Tab and Motorola Xoom, yet unsupported by FBS (our MLS vendor) for flexmls compatibility issues (iPad isn’t supported as well, although FBS is making progress).

“Initial Training” / “Required Class”
ARMLS doesn’t require any initial training, although it is highly recommend. The best way to jump start your mastery of the MLS is with an Orientation and Searches class. But, Subscribers who accumulate a 4th infraction of the ARMLS Rules & Regulations are required to attend a Rules class.

“Zip Forms” / “MLS Connect”
Starting with ZipForm, which is an AAR supported product, don’t expect much as AAR covers the topic extensively on their blog (http://blog.aaronline.com). MLS Connect is the function which pulls data from flexmls into ZipForm.

Let us know what you would like us to talk about on the ARMLS Blog.

Not Your Mother’s MLS

Martha Washington, CRB, ABR

The Subscribers Satisfaction Survey which ARMLS sent out late last fall is playing a significant role in driving ARMLS’s direction in 2011.  A Big THANK YOU to all who gave us input!  One theme still resurfaces:  ARMLS should stick to data aggregation and stop getting involved in anything else.

While the core role of MLS remains aggregation of property data with the unilateral offer of cooperation and compensation, it now serves a New Consumer and a New Subscriber.

This New Consumer has emerged fueled by unprecedented access to information. His voracious appetite for information is very different from 1975 when computerized MLS was formed.

A New Subscriber has also surfaced, and is far more technology enabled.  She looks for technologies to maximize all of her resources.  Plus she relishes the balance and down time that technology offers.

MLS, which began as a property data aggregator, is now compelled to expand its influence and relevance.  Anyone doubting the mandate for a more expansive MLS role need only to look at the tools and services available today, none of which would have been possible had MLS rigidly clung to its original role.  Applications, such as mapping, customer relationship managers (CRMs), real time consumer access to market data, the availability of MLS data on smart phones,  QR codes for listings, etc., all serve to create an informed, educated Consumer poised to make better decisions, and a Subscriber who can meet Consumer needs better than ever before.

ARMLS’s role in the broadest sense is as a business collaborator with its Subscribers, helping to increase their bottom line, enhancing their ability to attract customers and enabling them through technology to provide services in the most efficient, cost effective way possible.

STAT Newsletter Library Scavenger Hunt

It’s Friday, time for a little fun. This week ARMLS published the latest STAT and Pending Price Index™ statistical newsletters.  If you missed them, they can always be found inside the STAT Newsletter Library (found at:  http://www.armls.com/statistics/stat-library.aspx). Past issues of STAT, PPI and the new STAT PLUS can be downloaded with ease and that is the basis for our scavenger hunt today.

Using the STAT Library, post a blog comment below with your answers to the following 5 questions. The FIRST person to answer all 5 correctly will win a $25 Shell Gas Card.  One entry per person, ARMLS Subscribers only, Facebook comments don’t count this time. Hint: A March STAT newsletter will have February numbers.

1. According to STAT: What was total inventory in September 2010?
2. According to STAT: What was the MSI for June 2010?
3. According to STAT: What was the median sales price for February 2011?
4. According to STAT: What was the total number of sales in November 2010?
5. According to STAT Plus: What was the average MSI for homes 3,000,001 and up in Q4 2010?

A 5K Without-All-The-Running Contest

ARMLS 5K: No Running Required

Keep those new running shoes in the box, as this 5K is a race for 5,000 ARMLS Facebook Fans. Two randomly selected ARMLS Facebook fans, new or existing, will win a year of FREE ARMLS Subscriber fees. The 5,000th Fan will also win a year of FREE ARMLS Subscriber fees. The winners will be drawn when we hit that 5,000th fan, so keep an eye on that fan count widget on the right-hand side of the page. Keep in mind this contest is open to existing fans, but you still must fill out an entry form to enter.

To enter visit the Official ARMLS Facebook Page at: https://www.facebook.com/ARMLS. An alternative form has been provided for those who have trouble with the facebook based form: http://www.armlsblog.com/facebook/5k-contest/

iPad Compatibility Improves Inside flexmls

ipad flexmls“We’ve released an update today for flexmls® Web that significantly improves compatibility on the iPad,” starts a blog post by Michael Wurzer, the creator of flexmls. So what is working better? Scrolling and orientation seems to be the biggest improvements and a large milestone. While there are still areas to be improved, Flash charts and touch controls on mapping to name two, the basic functionality is there.

It seems as though the iPad is moving closer to legitimacy in the business world as there is evidence that the product is stealing sales away from the laptop product category. Meanwhile, it is encouraging that FBS has taken steps to ensure that ARMLS Subscribers can utilize the latest technology when searching flexmls. For the whole scoop, read: FBS Confessions: iPad support and why I love web developer interns

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.
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