Tip of the Week for 8/29

Tip of the Week — Google Street View

NorthstarMLS Matrix lets you see the Google Street View of many listings in the system. The video below explains how to use this feature in Matrix in less than 90 seconds!


Want to check out older Tip of the Week topics? Click here to view an archive of previous Tip of the Week entries.


Submit Your Own Tip! Do you have a question that you would like to see featured a Tip of the Week? Or maybe you have your own tip you would like to share with other NorthstarMLS users. Send your question or idea to tips@northstarmls.com. We will use one submission each month and the winner will receive a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card!


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Posted in NorthstarMLS Matrix, Tip of the Week, Videos Tagged with: ,

NorthstarMLS Pumps Up Reliability & Security

Most of us take for granted that the systems we rely on are always available—until they’re not. At NorthstarMLS, we’re always thinking about and strategizing ways to better ensure ours are up and running 24/7. We know this reliability and security are critical to your success.

Toward that goal, we switched our single sign-on database server hosting to its vendor, Clareity Security. What are the benefits?

  • Fully redundant systems. If one goes down, another immediately takes its place. We regularly test its reliability.
  • No more single points of failure and other vulnerabilities that have caused downtime in the past.
  • Clareity’s proven expertise and track record in system reliability and security.
  • The newest and most powerful security technology to keep your data safe.

The switch has already happened seamlessly with no downtime. Can we guarantee our systems will never unexpectedly go down? No, unfortunately no technology company can make that promise. But we are in a much better position to greatly reduce downtime and get back up fast in the event it does happen. And we will always look for ways to keep improving!


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Posted in NorthstarMLS Matrix Tagged with: , ,

Rules Roundup: Listing Photos

Last quarter, the NorthstarMLS Rules and Regs department issued over 320 notices for listings with a photo missing – the most since Q2 of 2014. It’s a NorthstarMLS rule that a property photo must be uploaded within two business days of entering a listing. This goes for all property types except Lots and Land and properties listed with a status of Under Construction.

Ideally, a photo will be added at the time of the entry of the listing, but NorthstarMLS rules allow two business days in the event that is not possible.

First Impressions
It’s no secret that photos will greatly enhance the value of a listing to buyers and other agents. Often, a decision on whether to set up a showing is dependent on the property photos a potential buyer first looks at when house hunting.

Also, the nearly 5,000 broker and agent websites displaying the listing data are depending on the photo to make their site appear more professional and complete.

Other Reminders About Your Listing Photos:

  • No text (regardless of message) allowed. Use photo captions for messages and photo descriptions.
  • Unless you have permission from another MLS subscriber, don’t copy listing photos for your own use
  • The photo may not be digitally altered (“Photoshopped”) to the point it no longer accurately reflects the property
  • No broker/agent/builder signs, banners, marketing or any other type of promotional material is allowed in the photo.
  • ICYMI: You can now upload 24 photos per listing with improved photo resolution.

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Posted in MLS Listing Photography, MLS Rules, Rules Roundup Tagged with: , ,

Tip of the Week for 8/22

Tip of the Week — RPR eBooks and More to Learn-As-You-Go

Want to learn more about Realtors Property Resource (a NorthstarMLS core service) so you can incorporate it into your business? Maybe you’re already using RPR and want to learn more, or are new to RPR all together. RPR has a great source of online learning materials to help you take your RPR knowledge to the next level.

You can choose from eBooks, videos or online workshops that will show you how to apply RPR’s data tools and reports to every aspect of your real estate business. Simply choose the format best suited to your learning style, interest and schedule.

Check out the available material below:

Getting Started with RPR
eBook | Online Workshop | Video Learning

The RPR Guide to Working With Buyers
eBook | Online Workshop | Video Learning

The RPR Guide to a Successful Listing Presentation
eBook | Online Workshop | Video Learning

The RPR Guide to Geographic Farming
eBook | Online Workshop | Video Learning

The RPR Guide to a Successful Open House
eBook | Online Workshop | Video Learning


Want to check out older Tip of the Week topics? Click here to view an archive of previous Tip of the Week entries.


Submit Your Own Tip! Do you have a question that you would like to see featured a Tip of the Week? Or maybe you have your own tip you would like to share with other NorthstarMLS users. Send your question or idea to tips@northstarmls.com. We will use one submission each month and the winner will receive a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card!


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Posted in Realtors Property Resource, Tip of the Week Tagged with: ,

Interview with John Smaby

In May, Minnesota Realtor John Smaby was named the First Vice President of the National Association of REALTORS® for 2017. He’ll be President-Elect for 2018 and President for 2019. Smaby is only the second Minnesotan to hold the position. His father, Philip, was the first. He was NAR’s president in 1976.

John has 45 years of experience in the real estate industry, with many leadership positions (including our own NorthstarMLS Board of Directors). His stint with NAR begins this November.

John was recently interviewed by Jim Buchta of the Star Tribune. You can read the entire interview here.


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Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: ,

Tip of the Week for 8/15

Tip of the Week — Market Watch and Hot Sheets in Matrix

NorthstarMLS Matrix offers two handy search tools on your Matrix Home Screen for quick access to local market information — Market Watch and Hot Sheets.

Market Watch shows a detailed view of changes in the local market. These changes include new listings, canceled listings, price changes and more. Hot Sheets provide you with changes to the daily or weekly market activity that you can save as a saved search for easy access. More about each of these tools below.

Market Watch
If you’re looking to keep up with what’s happening in a certain area of the market, use Market Watch. Use the dropdown (left side) to select your search type — Single Family, Multi-Family, Farm, etc (as seen in screen shot below). The number of listings available for each search type is in parenthesis.

You can see what’s happened in the entire market in the last 24 hours, or adjust it for different time frames – using the dropdown (right side). Use the information with your clients or for growing your own knowledge of the market.

You can also use the “Customize” button to narrow it down to a certain area or price range — add Additional Fields using the Add/Remove tool. Click on “Reset” to restore your settings to default.

Hot Sheets
Hot Sheets offer quick access to information about your market, and they make it easy for you to check in on various market segments whenever you log into Matrix. To access the Hot Sheets click one of the Property Type links on the Hot Sheets tool as shown below:

NorthstarMLS Matrix provides 6 default Hot Sheets — one for each search type. You have the ability to customize up to 10 Hot Sheet searches.

Unlike the Market Watch, you won’t see the number of new listings next to the search. You will need to click the link of the Hot Sheet you want to view each time you want to see a report of the changes and updates of a particular search.

Give them a try next time you’re using NorthstarMLS Matrix!


Want to check out older Tip of the Week topics? Click here to view an archive of previous Tip of the Week entries.


Submit Your Own Tip! Do you have a question that you would like to see featured a Tip of the Week? Or maybe you have your own tip you would like to share with other NorthstarMLS users. Send your question or idea to tips@northstarmls.com. We will use one submission each month and the winner will receive a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card!


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Posted in NorthstarMLS Matrix, Tip of the Week Tagged with: , , , ,

WCCO Life Story of Hugh

WCCO News recently ran a feature on our own Hugh Trimble (Cady) in its “Life Story” segment. The video includes testimonial to Hugh’s strong ties to the real estate community through his position here at NorthstarMLS as Rules & Regulations Administrator. It is a well done tribute to Hugh who passed away from a motorcycle accident last month.

Watch the under 3-minute video on the WCCO website.


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Posted in MLS Rules Tagged with:

Tip of the Week for 8/8

Tip of the Week — Using Max in Infosparks

Meet Max. Max goes back a loooong way. Like as far back as there is reliable data. Infosparks defaults to a 3-year historical view of the market, because most answers can be obtained by looking at fairly current data.

But if you want to see a longer trend line, than select Max (as seen in the screen shot below).

Here are two examples using Homes for Sale (click for screen shot) and Median Sales Price (click for screen shot) in the Twin Cities. In each case, the trend line for a three-year view only scratches the surface of what Max can offer. Utilize Max (click for screen shot) to set buyer and seller expectations.

Click here for a printable PDF of this Tip with large screen shots.


Want to check out older Tip of the Week topics? Click here to view an archive of previous Tip of the Week entries.


Submit Your Own Tip! Do you have a question that you would like to see featured a Tip of the Week? Or maybe you have your own tip you would like to share with other NorthstarMLS users. Send your question or idea to tips@northstarmls.com. We will use one submission each month and the winner will receive a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card!


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Posted in Infosparks, Tip of the Week Tagged with: , , ,

Realtor Day at the MN State Fair

Show your REALTOR® pride at the first annual REALTOR® Day at the Minnesota State Fair. Bring your friends, family, and colleagues and represent your industry in front of thousands of fair-goers on Monday, August 29. Join your local and state associations at the Horton Pavillions at Hefron Park for a FREE t-shirt, and special events exclusively for REALTORS®.

Register online at statefairrealtorday.eventbrite.com. Registration does not include admission to the fair.

This event is brought to you by the Minnesota Association of REALTORS®, Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS® and Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®


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Posted in Uncategorized Tagged with: ,

Showing Etiquette

It’s a nice hot summer Saturday afternoon, but you’re hard at it – a full day showing your clients home to potential buyers. But 3PM has passed, and you’ve just had another scheduled showing bail on you with no warning. Annoying and unprofessional, right?

Last month, we posted this infographic that illustrates some showing etiquette tips. Home showings and open house etiquette is for the most part common sense. Having respect for sellers and the real estate agents involved in the process will go a long way to helping ensure an enjoyable house hunting experience for everyone involved.

The situations below were recently reported to the NorthstarMLS Rules and Regs Department:

  • Early is good in some cases – like showing up to a job interview. But early is not always good for home showings. While a lot of homes are vacant during the selling process, it’s not always the case. Many sellers still live in the home they are selling, so arriving to the showing at the time scheduled is very important. An early arrival at a showing could make for an uncomfortable situation for everyone.
  • The home smelled like gas, but it wasn’t reported to the home owner/seller’s agent until the next day. Always report suspicious smells like gas or any other activity that might seem out of the ordinary.
  • Five showings in one day were canceled and the showing agent did not receive any cancellation message from the buyer’s agent. Always contact the showing agent/listing agent if you can’t make the scheduled appointment! Things come up. Even if you need to cancel last minute, a phone call, text message or email is common courtesy and won’t leave your colleagues wasting valuable time.

Questions? Our rules & regs staff is here to help! Contact us at help@northstarmls.com or 651-251-3210.


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Posted in MLS Rules, Real Estate, Showings, ShowingTime Tagged with: , , , , ,

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