New ShowingTime Feature

ShowingTime has added a new, frequently requested enhancement:

Out of Office Message: During the holidays or other times when no one is available to follow up on appointment requests, office administrators can now set an “Out of Office” message to easily communicate to the requesting agents. See how to set this up (for those who have office admin access).

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Distracted Driving Awareness – Hand-Free Options

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month with a push by law enforcement to remind all drivers to keep their minds on the road and drive focused. In our continuing effort to raise awareness and help put an end to distracted driving, we’ve partnered with the Minnesota Safety Council to bring you three short educational webinars on distracted driving tailored specifically to agents and appraisers. All three are available now and linked below.

Today we spotlight Part Three: Distracted Driver – What Can I Do? (17:52). What are the current distracted driving laws? What can you do manage your distractions? If you must, there’s a number of hand-free options, such as Bluetooth that you can use while driving. This webinar discusses them all.

Also available:
End Distractions – Focus on Driving (14:27)

Distracted Driver – Am I the Problem? (12:55)

Take the pledge to #DriveFocused at DriveFocused.NorthstarMLS.com.

 

 

Posted in Drive Focused, Videos Tagged with: ,

Tip of the Week for 4/24

Tip of the Week: Don’t Forget About the Attic! 

“Could you please tell me more about the attic?” Likely not a question on most buyers’ minds. Right? For the average buyer, the bedroom(s), bathroom(s), kitchen, and other livable square footage areas attract them to homes they’re interested in. While it’s not the selling point, once there is an offer on the property, an important part of the home inspection is looking at the attic.

For Buyers
Many expensive problems or safety upgrade recommendations could be missed, especially on older homes, if it’s not inspected. Always remind the inspector to have the attic checked out while you’re accompanying your clients during the home inspection. If you’re not accompanying your clients for the home inspection, be sure to remind them to have it looked at.

For Sellers
An attic can be a challenge to enter, whether it’s climbing or crawling to reach it. But as of last August, the new Inspection Contingency form now says, “Seller will provide access to attic(s) and crawlspace(s).” Give your seller a simple reminder to make sure their attic is accessible for home inspectors prior to the inspection. It will frustrate everyone involved and possibly complicate the closing if the attic cannot be reached and the home inspection can’t be completed.

Check out this article that recently appeared in the Star Tribune that talks about the importance getting the attic inspected, while making sure inspectors have a clear path to access it.

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Distracted Driving Awareness

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month with a push by law enforcement to remind all drivers to keep their minds on the road and drive focused. In our continuing effort to raise awareness and help put an end to distracted driving, we’ve partnered with the Minnesota Safety Council to bring you three short educational webinars on distracted driving tailored specifically to agents and appraisers. All three are available now and linked below.

Today we spotlight Part Two: Distracted Driver – Am I the Problem? (12:55). In the real estate business, your vehicle can feel like your office. Driving to showings, closings and more while trying to keeping up with client emails, texts and phone calls is not easy. But resisting the temptation to take your eyes off the road to check your phone may save a life. This video talks about resisting those distractions.

Also available:
End Distractions – Focus on Driving (14:27)

Distracted Driver – What Can I Do? (17:52)

Take the pledge to #DriveFocused at DriveFocused.NorthstarMLS.com.

 

 

Posted in Drive Focused Tagged with:

Did You Know?

Have you worked with a client that is in the market for a greener, more sustainable home? You’re probably not alone if you answered “YES.”

Over half of REALTORS® recently surveyed in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) REALTORS® and Sustainability report say consumers have an interest in sustainability as it pertains to real estate – homes that have features intended to conserve natural resources (for example: solar panels). NorthstarMLS Matrix has energy efficiency fields, such as Green Certification and HERS Score, and several energy-efficient features that might appeal to your “green” buyer.

NAR recently surveyed its members pertaining to sustainability issues facing their industry. Here are some key findings:

  • Forty-three percent of respondents report their MLS has green data fields.
  • Seventy-one percent said that energy efficiency promotion in listings was very or somewhat valuable.
  • Fifty-six percent of respondents find clients are at least somewhat interested in sustainability.
  • Sixty-one percent of respondents are comfortable answering clients’ questions about home performance.
  • Eighty percent said that solar panels are available in their market. Forty-two percentsaid solar panels increased the perceived property value.
  • Twenty-seven percent of agents and brokers were involved with 1 to 5 propertiesthat had green features in the last 12 months.

You can read the full REALTORS® and Sustainability report from NAR here.

Posted in Did You Know, NorthstarMLS Matrix Tagged with: , , , , ,

Distracted Driving Awareness

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month with a push by law enforcement to remind all drivers to keep their minds on the road and drive focused. In our continuing effort to raise awareness and help put an end to distracted driving, we’ve partnered with the Minnesota Safety Council to bring you three short educational webinars on distracted driving tailored specifically to agents and appraisers. All three are available now and linked below.

Today we spotlight Part OneEnd Distractions – Focus on Driving (14:27). This video highlights some alarming national and local distracted driving stats, and breaks down three types of distractions – visual, manual and cognitive.

Also available:

Distracted Driver – Am I the Problem? (12:55)

Distracted Driver – What Can I Do? (17:52)

Take the pledge to #DriveFocused at DriveFocused.NorthstarMLS.com.

 

 

Posted in Drive Focused, Videos, Webinars Tagged with: ,

Did You Know?

Infosparks Metric Spotlight: Months’ Supply of Inventory

Months’ Supply of Inventory (MSI) is a calculation that quantifies the relationship between supply and demand in a housing market. If new homes stopped entering the market, how many months would it take to burn through all of the homes currently available for sale? MSI answers this question.

Typically, MSI is calculated by dividing the current month’s inventory figure by a rolling 12-month calculation of pending sales. It’s also possible to use monthly pending sales, monthly closed sales or rolling 12-month closed sales, but Infosparks (a NorthstarMLS core service) uses the rolling 12-month pending sales figure to adjust for seasonality and to retain the forward-looking, predictive nature of pending sales rather than the past-oriented closed sales figure.

Often, MSI is mistaken for an inventory-only related metric. MSI is related to inventory but is not solely impacted by inventory. It speaks to the relationship between inventory and buyer activity.

Generally, a balanced market will have an MSI between 4.0 and 6.0 months. If MSI is displayed as less than 4.0, sellers have gained asking power. If MSI gets above 6.0, buyers have gained negotiation power.


Did You Know Archive Want to check out older Did You Know articles? Click here to view the archive of previous Did You Know articles on the NorthstarMLS Blog & Archive.

Posted in Did You Know, Infosparks, NorthstarMLS Matrix Tagged with: , , ,

Star Tribune Coverage

To kickoff Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the Star Tribune recently ran a story about the NorthstarMLS Drive Focused campaign and website we launched to raise awareness on distracted driving in honor of our Rules & Regulations Administrator, Hubert “Hugh” Skanes-Cady (Trimble), who tragically lost his life in July of 2016 as the result of a motor vehicle crash when he was rear ended while riding his motorcycle.

It was the top-read story of the day on StarTribune.com on Sunday (4/2) after it was posted. Click here to read the article. Share it on social media and help spread the word to #DriveFocused this month!

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month nationwide, so it’s very likely you’ll see more stuff than normal on this topic via your social media feeds, TV, radio or other outlets.

If you haven’t already, take 30 seconds and fill out the pledge form below to Drive Focused.

Posted in Drive Focused Tagged with: , ,

Tip of the Week for 4/3

Tip of the Week: ShowingTime Notes for Sellers

Have you had to reschedule an inspection because you (or your office) did not share the inspection notes for the appointment with your seller? It can be very frustrating for everyone involved.

In the spirit of cooperation, whenever you approve a request for any type of Inspection, please be sure to check for any special notes in the request and forward those to your seller (easiest to do if you are both using the ShowingTime app).

Showing notes from the inspector could include (click here to see a screen shot):

  • Have all occupants of the home out during the inspection
  • Electrical panel must be accessible
  • Attic must be accessible
  • Leave the water on
  • Furnace, water heater and AC must be operational
  • Seal home for specified time to prepare for radon test

If you do not notify the seller of the instructions and they are not followed, it can could delay the inspection contingency time frame and jeopardize the sale of the home.

When in doubt (or any questions), take a moment to call the inspection company. It will benefit everyone involved if the inspection process goes as smooth as possible.


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!


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

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

‘Secret Word’ Security Feature in TrustFunds

TrustFunds (a NorthstarMLS core service) continues to beef up its security with a new feature for you and your clients called, “Secret Word.” It’s a one-step process that will help make your electronic earnest money transaction more secure.

When you prepare your earnest money request to your buyer, you will enter the Secret Word as part of the Buyer Payment Information section. The Secret Word that you choose will add an additional level of security for you and the buyer(s).

Setting up you and your client’s Secret Word in TrustFunds is quick and easy. Click here to see how.


TrustFunds Archive Want to check out older TrustFunds content? Click here to view the archive of previous TrustFunds news from the Matrix News Screen.

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