Don’t Risk a Copyright Lawsuit!

Rules Roundup — Don’t Risk a Copyright Lawsuit!

When you submit a photograph to the NorthstarMLS database, MLS rules require that you have the authority for the Service to include the content in MLS Compilation, in any statistical report, on comparables, IDX or Broker Reciprocity data feeds, RETS data feeds, listing syndication, and any other form of licensing permitted under MLS rules and authorized by NorthstarMLS.

Who owns the photo or who has rights to use it can be confusing, but it’s important to ensure you have the rights to use every photo you load on NorthstarMLS. If you did not take the photos yourself, the National Association of REALTORS® offers three sample agreements (see below) between an agent and a photographer. A copyright lawsuit could cost you thousands, even if it was unintentional – here’s a recent example.

The agreements do not constitute legal advice, or substitute for specific legal advice or opinions. The user of a sample document should not use it without consulting with the broker and legal counsel. The use should be modified to address the specific legal needs of the user.

Work for Hire Agreement: The commissioned photographs are a “Work for Hire”, which means the commissioning party is the automatic owner of the photographs from their creation. Read more…

Assignment Agreement: The photographer assigns all right, title and interest in the photographs to the broker. Read more…

Exclusive License Agreement: The photographer grants to the broker an exclusive license to display and distribute the photographs in connection with the real estate industry. Read more…


Submit Your Own Rules Roundup Question or Topic! Do you have a question or topic that you would like to see featured as a Rules Roundup article? We’ll supply the answers. Just send your idea to tips@northstarmls.com. We will use one submission each month and the winner will receive a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card!


Rules Roundup On Demand Want to check out older Rules Roundup topics? Click here to view an archive of previous Rules Roundup entries.


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

Edit Your Listings with HomeSpotter

Every agent has been there. An offer is accepted on your listing but you’re out in the field and can’t update the status until you get back to your computer. The HomeSpotter app has you covered!

Make quick edits to your listings on the go including: status, contingency, price, public remarks, agent remarks and expiration date. (Note: Whatever edit permissions your broker has assigned you in NorthstarMLS Add/Edit carry over into HomeSpotter.)

To edit, simply go to My Listings in the new HomeSpotter app, bring up a listing and tap Edit Listing under the Integrations section of the Highlights tab.

How do you get started with HomeSpotter?
You can download HomeSpotter here or search “HomeSpotter” the App Store for iOS and Google Play store for Android for the free mobile app. Sign in with your MLS credentials to get started and access agent only information.

HomeSpotter holds free training webinars every Tuesday at 1:30pm for agents.
Sign up here for the Intro to HomeSpotter webinar.

See the updated HomeSpotter app in action! Check out a short video here!


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Posted in Homespotter, NorthstarMLS Mobile App Tagged with:

Pledge to Drive Focused in 2017

Many of us start the year with new year resolutions. Whether you’ve already made yours, or are still compiling them, help put an end to distracted driving. Please take a few seconds to fill out the form below and pledge to Drive Focused.

Together, we can help avoid injury and even loss of life.


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Posted in Drive Focused

HomeSpotter Webinars

Over 4,700 NorthstarMLS subscribers have downloaded the HomeSpotter app (formerly known as the “NorthstarMLS app”) since it was introduced last November. Based on agent feedback, the HomeSpotter app was re-designed from the ground up to be faster and more reliable.

If you need some help getting started with the new HomeSpotter app, check out the webinar sessions that are offered on a weekly basis: Brand and Share webinar & HomeSpotter 101 webinar.

In the Brand and Share webinar, you’ll learn how to share your branded app by email, text, on your personal website and how to share online to popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and more.

Register for Brand and Share – Tuesdays @ 9am

Register for Brand and Share – Thursdays @ 2pm

Before you jump right into sharing your app, sign up for HomeSpotter 101 and get the basics of the app down first.

HomeSpotter 101 – Tuesdays @ 1:30pm


How do you get started with HomeSpotter?
You can download HomeSpotter here or search “HomeSpotter” the App Store for iOS and Google Play store for Android for the free mobile app. Sign in with your MLS credentials to get started and access agent only information.

See it in action! Check out a short video here!


HomeSpotter Archive Want to check out older HomeSpotter content? Click here to view the archive of previous HomeSpotternews, articles and other content on the NorthstarMLS Blog & Archive.


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Posted in Homespotter, NorthstarMLS Mobile App, Webinars

ShowingTime Text Message Format

Have you set up ShowingTime so that you receive your notifications via text mesage? If so, you will notice a few changes starting this week. These updates include shorter messages with secure links to up-to-date showing instructions.

For more details, visit this web page.


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Posted in ShowingTime Tagged with:

Update Your Projected Close Dates!

Tip of the Week – Update Your Projected Close Dates!

Getting ready to head out to celebrate or take a vacation this holiday season? Take a few minutes and make sure the projected closed dates (PCD) on all your pending listings are updated. Currently, NorthstarMLS has over 2,300 listings that have a projected closed date between 12/19/16 and 1/2/17.

During this busy time of year it can be easy to forget to update listings.

We kindly ask that you double check your pending listings and remember to close the listing after the sale or update the projected close data if it doesn’t close. Make the holidays worry free and update your PCD!

Questions? Contact the NorthstarMLS Rules & Regs Department at 651-251-3210.


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

Happy Holidays from NorthstarMLS!

As we look back on 2016, we are very thankful for our MLS subscribers and partners, and the opportunity to support your efforts to serve your clients’ dreams of home ownership.

Again this season, we are donating to Second Harvest Heartland on behalf of NorthstarMLS subscribers and our Board of Directors. Second Harvest is the upper midwest’s largest hunger relief organization, collecting and distributing tens of millions of pounds of food every year to those in need. We’re proud to support the important work they do for our communities.

We wish you a joyous holiday season, and a happy and prosperous 2017!

The NorthstarMLS Team


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Posted in Uncategorized

Status Change for the Holidays

Rules Roundup – Status Change Over the Holidays

Are you working with a seller who would rather not schedule showings over the holidays? If the property is going to be unavailable for showing for more than 24 hours, the listing must be changed to TNAS (Temporary Not Available for Showing) Status. Those days won’t count toward the Days On Market and the listing can go back to Active Status when the seller wants to show it again.

Questions? Contact the NorthstarMLS Rules & Regs Department at 651-251-3210.


Rules Roundup Archive Want to check out older Rules Roundup topics? Click here to view an archive of previous Rules Roundup entries.


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Posted in MLS Rules, NorthstarMLS Matrix, Rules Roundup Tagged with: , , ,

Drive Focused for the Holidays

Take a glance in your rearview mirror and you’ve probably noticed by now that the holidays are fast approaching. For many, it’s one of the busiest, yet exciting times of the year. With holiday parties, gift shopping and just downright busier than normal schedules, distracted driving becomes an even greater problem during the holidays.

Drivers simply can’t do two things at once. It’s an activity that requires your full attention and focus in order to keep yourself and others safe. After losing one of our own this past summer in a crash involving a distracted driver, we’ve embarked our Drive Focused campaign to help raise awareness on distracted driving.

Please take a moment to take the pledge to #DriveFocused on our DriveFocused.NorthstarMLS.com website. Once you take the pledge, share and help us spread the word through your friends/contacts on social media! Together, our efforts could help avoid injury and even loss of life.

Have a happy and SAFE holiday season.


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Posted in Drive Focused Tagged with: ,

Find Neighborhood Information With HomeSpotter

All New Neighborhood Information – Including Property Lines!

There is so much more to than just the facts and features about a property that you and your clients are looking for. You’ve probably heard this from a client before: What are the property lines for this home? What’s nearby? How easy it is to get around in that area? How long it will take to get to the office from a new home, and what schools are in the neighborhood?

The new HomeSpotter app (formerly known as the “NorthstarMLS app”) has broken this information out to the Neighborhood Tab on property details in the app and this feature is available now. Check it out!


How do you get started with HomeSpotter?
You can download HomeSpotter here or search “HomeSpotter” the App Store for iOS and Google Play store for Android for the free mobile app.  Sign in with your MLS credentials to get started and access agent only information.

HomeSpotter holds free webinars every Wednesday and Friday for agents.
Sign up here.

See it in action! Check out a short video here!


HomeSpotter Archive Want to check out older HomeSpotter content? Click here to view the archive of previous HomeSpotternews, articles and other content on the NorthstarMLS Blog & Archive.


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Posted in Homespotter, NorthstarMLS Mobile App Tagged with: ,