Tip of the Week for 4/23

Have you worked with a client that is in the market for energy-efficient features in a home? You’re probably not alone if you answered “yes.” Consumers want to live in homes that are friendly to the environment and their wallet at the same time.

Energy features play a key role in making a home an enjoyable and affordable place to live. Homes that are drafty, cold in the winter, hot in the summer, and expensive to run leave occupants struggling to choose between staying comfortable and paying their utility bills.

Since 2013, NorthstarMLS has had energy efficiency fields, such as Green Certification and HERS Score. But did you know there are also several energy-efficient features in the MLS that might grab the interest of your “Green” buyers? Below is a look at current Active listings in the MLS with Energy-Efficient Features.

  • Heat: Geothermal – 111
  • A/C: Geothermal – 83
  • Fuel: Solar – 12
  • Parking Characteristics: Insulated Garages – 2,787
  • Amenities-Unit: Skylight – 604
  • Amenities-Unit: Ceiling Fan(s) – 5,293
  • Amenities-Unit: In-ground Sprinkler – 3,070
  • Appliances: Tankless Water Heater – 122
  • Appliances: Electronic Air Filter – 326
  • Appliances: Air-To-Air Exchanger – 3,053
  • Green Certification: Certified – 32
  • Green Certification: Pending – 1
  • Green Certification: Tested – 19
  • HERS Score – 701

Note: Near the bottom left of the Search page, you will see “Additional Fields” with the option to Add or Remove from a list them. Click on the “Add/Remove” to view a list of “Available Fields” like the ones above. (You will not see the option to Remove a field unless you have already added a new field.)

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Fresh Look for Add/Edit

 

NorthstarMLS is rolling out a redesign of its Add/Edit system, starting tonight with Open Houses. This is the first of a phase-in of the redesign that will be followed in the coming months by Media Uploads (photos, supplements and virtual tours), the listing input screens, and more.

There may be up to a 1-hour Add/Edit outage tonight (at approximately 11:00pm) as we rollout the Open Houses input redesign.

For a preview of how it will look, check out our new Open Houses quick guide.

We are very excited for you to see and use the entire Add/Edit redesign in the coming months. It’s easy to use, and boasts a modern design that automatically adapts to your device (desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone).

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NorthstarMLS Survey Results

“Achieving excellence is good. Sustaining excellence is great,” – Anonymous

Late last year, we conducted our annual customer satisfaction survey, open to all NorthstarMLS subscribers who wanted to make their voice heard about what is working, what needs adjustment, and suggestions for future improvements (such as this one).

Survey Responses & Results
We received 4,190 responses – 24% of our total subscribers. That’s a 29% increase over 2016 and included more than 2,700 written comments to help us with our 2018 planning. Our overall satisfaction score went up by over 24% from 2016! Thanks to all that took the survey. Watch for our 2018 survey this Fall and for enhancements throughout the year based on your feedback.

For a closer look at the 2017 survey results, check out this 90 second video. As always, we welcome your feedback throughout the year to help@northstarmls.com.

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Update Your Matrix Bookmark

IMPORTANT: Adjust Your Browser Bookmark/Favorite for Matrix

Recently, the Matrix vendor switched to a secure protocol called HTTPS. With this update, all communication between you and the Matrix system is now encrypted. This is especially important when using Matrix through a public wireless connection where a hacker could potentially “listen in on” what you enter. HTTPS prevents this and improves overall security for the MLS system.

What Now?
The web address for Matrix is the same except that it now starts with https instead of just http. If you’ve bookmarked the old Matrix URL in any of your web browsers without the secured https, it will automatically redirect to the correct address, but only for the next 60 days. After that time, it will return an error message. To avoid that, update the web address on your bookmark now.

Bookmark this URL to get to Matrix: https://matrix.northstarmls.com

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New Feature in the Client Portals

Graphiq “data visualizations” are now available to view in the Matrix client portal. You and your clients will find them on the property detail screens on the right side, just below the property map.

The added data and knowledge from these visualizations include:

  • Walk IQ/Drive IQ: Scores the walkability and drivability of the location compared to other homes across the country.
  • Schools: public and private schools in the area, including ratings for public schools and student:teacher ratios or private schools.
  • Real Estate Market Trends Overview: Market health score and home price index.
  • Home Ownership Overview: Rent vs Own, fuel costs, costs of ownership.

Source of the data: For details on where the data comes from for each of these, click the “Show details” link at the bottom of the data visualization box.

Example:

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Tip of the Week for 4/2

Find Lots Located ‘On Golf Course’

There are plenty of gorgeous golf courses scattered throughout the NorthstarMLS territory. Currently, there are nearly 150 active listings available in Matrix with the lot description classified as, “On Golf Course.” If you have a client who wants to be on or near a golf course, you can identify these properties and include the information in the next report you send them. Here’s how:

  1. Using the Add/Remove widget in the Additional Fields box, add the “Lot Description” field.
  2. Scroll down until you find the “On Golf Course” option and select it (as seen in the screen shot below).
  3. If a listing is on or near a golf course, that information is going to be found in the General Property Information section of the Property Report.

You can (and should) also include property information relating to golf courses of your listing in the Public Remarks field. Example: Located on Hazeltine National Golf Club – home of the 2016 & 2028 Ryder Cup.


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.

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Great New Add/Edit Enhancement!

Upload Photos and Supplements Before You Save Your Listing As Active!

We are happy to report that one of our most requested Add/Edit features is now a reality. You may upload your listing photos, supplements, virtual tours and open houses to your listing before you save it as Active. You can also upload them to a listing while it’s in Withhold status as you and your seller prepare the home to go Active on the MLS.

How does it work?
Whenever you save a listing as Incomplete or Withheld, the system will automatically assign it an MLS number. Having this MLS Number is what will allow you to upload all your photos, supplements, etc. before you save the listing live and Active to the MLS.

For instructions and more detail on how everything works, check out our Quick Guide.

Questions? Contact our Help Desk at help@northstarmls.com or 651-251-5456 (1-877-251-5455) M-F, 8:00 to 5:00.

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Tip of the Week for 3/26

Tip of the Week – Adding Access Details On The Go For Listings​

Want to manage details – such as property access information, when confirming appointments on your listings? Listing agents can easily review and update their listing’s access details (access codes, alarm disarm codes, etc.) and showing instructions when confirming appointments, ensuring showing agents have the latest details for their upcoming showings. A good way to eliminate any last minute showing frustrations!

This can be done in either the ShowingTime desktop version or the mobile app by going to the “Showings” tab or section and choosing the option “On My Listings”. From there, a specific appointment can be edited and the showing instructions can be modified before confirming the request.

NOTE: ShowingTime receives automatic updates every 15 minutes from the MLS, so it won’t take long for showing agents to see any updates the listing agent makes. Click here for a screen shot example.        


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

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Your Support Matters

Minnesota is closer to joining 15 other states where it is illegal for drivers to use phones without hands-free capability while driving. The House Public Safety and Security Policy Committee voted March 13 to advance the bill. It has other committees to clear at the Capitol before final votes. Gov. Mark Dayton said he would sign it.

Minnesota lawmakers (both Republican and Democrat) and supporters rallied at the State Capitol a few weeks ago in favor of the bill. Representatives from NorthstarMLS were there in honor of longtime rules and regulations administrator, Hubert “Hugh” Skanes-Cady (Trimble). We believe passing this law will save lives.

There’s still time to take action! If you are in support, contact your representative today and urge them to also support this important legislation.
Visithttps://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/districtfinder to easily find your representative.

If you have 5 minutes, please watch the video below that includes highlights and interviews from the Hands-Free Rally.

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RatePlug for NorthstarMLS Agents

RatePlug connects your trusted mortgage originators to your MLS listings. You spend less time researching special financing options, help the buyer better understand whether they can afford a home, and get better qualified buyers.

Last year, nearly 2,000 new accounts were activated by NorthstarMLS subscribers that are now using this mortgage tool to help educate clients on what mortgage they may be able to afford. RatePlug is included at no extra charge as part of your MLS subscription.

Click here to learn more or to enroll

Qualify Buyers Faster
With RatePlug connected to your listings, buyers better understand affordability. When you invite originators to display their rates on your MLS listings, the result is the 2 bedroom/1.5 bath home isn’t only $225,000, it’s $1,375.87 per month including principal, interest, taxes and HOA. When home buyers understand monthly cost, they are more likely to apply for a loan for which they are qualified.

RatePlug’s Agent Dashboard
• Request a flyer from your lender – RatePlug’s property flyer system is included at no charge
• Post your listings with mortgage information on social media
• View special financing options available for your properties

Need help with your Agent Dashboard or getting started with RatePlug? Contact RatePlug support at 1-877-710-0808, or fill out their online contact form.

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