Which Technology Devices Do You Use?

Technology: impossible is nothing.

In late June, ARMLS sent out a training and technology survey to all Subscribers.  A big thanks to those who participated! According to our Subscribers, the top devices they use on a daily or weekly basis are:

TV Remote Control 86%
Desktop Computer / PC 79%
Laptop 74%
Smartphone 73%
Vehicle Keyless Entry 64%
DVR / TiVo 38%
DVD Player 37%
iPad or Netbook 20%
iPod 18%
Blu-Ray Player 16%
Kindle/Nook/e-Reader 13%
MP3 Player 8%


Important MARS Rule Update

The following message, by AAR, is an update about the MARS Rule. Please direct all questions back to AAR.

“The Federal Trade Commission has announced that it will not enforce most MARS Rule provisions against Short Sale Brokers and will transfer MARS rule making authority to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on July 21, 2011.

Today the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it will not enforce most of the provisions of the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (“MARS”) Rule against Short Sale Brokers. (See, FTC Press Release: 07/15/2011 at

The FTC MARS Enforcement Policy states:

Until further notice, the Commission will forbear from taking any enforcement action for violation of the MARS Rule with the exception of the Rule’s prohibition against misrepresentations in Section 322.3(b) against a real estate professional who provides “any service, plan, or program, offered or provided to the consumer in exchange for consideration, that is represented, expressly or by implication, to assist or attempt to assist the consumer [in] . . . [n]egotiating, [o]btaining or [a]rranging . . . [a] short sale of a dwelling.”(footnote omitted)

Notably, the FTC Enforcement Policy also states:
Additionally, on July 21, 2011, the Commission’s rulemaking authority with respect to the MARS Rule will transfer to the (CFPB) (footnote omitted). Thus, the CFPB will have the authority to determine whether any modification of the MARS Rule is warranted with respect to real estate professionals who assist a consumer in negotiating or obtaining a short sale.

To read the entire Enforcement Policy, go to

What does this mean?  It means that the MARS Rule has not yet been revised or repealed.  The FTC is stating that it will not enforce the MARS Rule disclosure and advance fee provisions against brokers assisting a seller in a short sale transaction at this time.

Short sale brokers still must comply with Arizona state law, which prohibits a real estate licensee from receiving additional compensation for negotiating a short sale, unless the real estate licensee is also licensed as a loan originator by the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions (“DFI”).

There may be more changes to come, so agents should be advised to check with their brokers about their firm’s short sale policy.”

Trulia Crime Maps Launches

Today, Trulia launched a nationwide interactive crime map. The new map is being met with mixed reviews as the data displayed only goes back two weeks in most markets, among other reasons. We’re interested to see what our Subscribers think, does this help or hurt the consumer?


Trulia Crime Map Blog Posts Around the Net:

“It’s remarkable how much better—or worse—it can make you feel about where you live.” (technology blog)

“A month ago, they launched a price reductions map to let you see how housing prices were changing. Now you can see what crime is like in that area you’re thinking about living in with Crime Map.” (data aggregation blog)

“What’s wrong with this picture? It displays the number of incidents per block per year. Therefore, all else being equal, densely populated areas get penalized because they have more people per block and are therefore more likely to have crime. More people = more victims = more criminals = more crime.” (regional blog)

New Subscriber Confidence Index Shows Continued Optimism

The ARMLS Subscriber Confidence Index has been published on The index measures how Subscribers feel about the real estate market now and where they think it will be in six months. In the past, the SCI has been published every 60 days but now results will be published monthly. The SCI has risen steadily since it inception in December 2010 with a score of 48 to a present day score of 74. This is proof that sentiment in the real estate industry has changed for the better in the last six months.

Learn more about the Subscriber Confidence Index.

Searching for What You Want to Read #2

Well it’s been another month on the ARMLS Blog. Here’s some more popular searches preformed on our blog. Missed last month’s installment of this series? Searching for What You Want to Read #1.


flexmls login-box

“flex password reset” / “lost password”
This is not a surprise as we received many calls about lost passwords last month. Luckily, a flexmls password can be reset by clicking the “If Your Password Is Not Working ” link on the flexmls login screen.

“digital signatures” / “digital ink”
ARMLS doesn’t offer digital signature services directly. Digital Ink is an  AAR member benefit by zipLogix, the maker of ZipForms. DocuSign is an alternative but  requires a monthly fee.

“goomzee” / “mobile apps”
At TECHNOPALOOZA, ARMLS introduced Goomzee a mobile MLS search application that utilizes GPS and other features. Some of the finer details are being hammered out before Goomzee is available to all ARMLS Subscribers.

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: 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: An alternative form has been provided for those who have trouble with the facebook based form:

Subscriber Confidence Index vs Consumer Confidence Index

Subscriber Confidence Index PDF

SCI on

The most recent ARMLS Subscriber Confidence Index (SCI) posted on 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.

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