Tip of the Week – NorthstarMLS Core Services

Did you know that there are over 20 NorthstarMLS Core Services? These are the applications and services that are included with your MLS fees at no additional charge — which include Matrix, Realist, BookAShowing, Add/Edit, Infosparks and more.

You can view all NorthstarMLS Core Services here

Additional Tools & Services
NorthstarMLS® contracts with a number of 3rd party vendors who provide additional value-add services to NorthstarMLS users. NorthstarMLS provides a data feed to these vendors. They incorporate the data into their products and market them to NorthstarMLS users for an additional fee. Click here to see a list of all the vendors who currently have a data feed.

Please Note: NorthstarMLS does not endorse any of these products/services, nor do we provide technical support for them. We enable their use in our market through the MLS data feed. Purchase of any of these additional tools is your business decision. Contact them directly to learn more about and purchase their products.

Need a little Extra Guidance of the NorthstarMLS System?
Check out the NorthstarMLS YouTube Channel! You can go online quickly learn how to use some of the NorthstarMLS® core services, and even learn some tips and tricks for them.


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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Tip of the Week – BAS Calendar Sync

Want to sync your Google Calendar with your showing appointments in BookAShowing? Once you have it set up in BookAShowing settings — which takes just a few clicks/taps, you will have all of your appointments in one place and a Google Maps route each appointment. You won’t get lost trying to find a listing appointment again!

Here’s How:
Google –  Go to your “Settings” tab in BookAShowing. Click the “Sync Calendar” box/mark. Copy the link. Now open your Google Calendar. On the left you will see “My Calendars” and “Other Calendars” — click the “Add” button. Select “Add by URL”. Paste the URL you copied in there. Save your settings. Your Google Calendar is now synced. This also works for Outlook, Apple iCal and Mozilla Sunbird.

Mobile – Login (northstar.bookashowing.com) and click on Calendar. There will be a “Subscribe (ICS)” link at the bottom. Click it and save your settings. Your Google Calendar is now synced with your appointments in BookAShowing.

**Note** You may not see an appointment sync to your calendar for a few minutes or even a few hours as Google controls on its end when they feed appointment updates to Google Calendars. Only appointments for buyer’s agents can be synced to a calendar — including any upcoming appointments. Past appointments will be removed after a couple days.

Thanks to Cotty Lowry of Keller Williams Integrity for his recommendation of this week’s Tip of the Week. He will be receiving a $30 Caribou Coffee gift card.


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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Tip of the Week – Eliminate Duplicate Feedback Forms

We recently posted a reminder of the importance of showing feedback. There was good discussion via social media/NorthstarMLS Blog that included a couple more suggestions. Check them out below. Remember — showing feedback doesn’t have to be a painful experience!

Listing photos & MLS # Displayed on BAS Feedback Requests
This past June we announced three BookAShowing enhancements – including the MLS number and primary photo that are now linked to the listing in Matrix. Click to open the Matrix property full display in a new tab/window. These links are available in BAS on the scheduling screen, showings calendar, feedback forms and feedback emails. The screen shot below shows the BAS feedback request with the MLS # and photo that are now clickable.

(Click the image to open a larger version of it)

Turn off Multiple Feedback Requests
Some brokerages have their own automated showing feedback forms, as does Centralized Showing Service (CSS). We often hear from Showing Agents that they are more likely to respond to your feedback form if you request it through just one system. If your brokerage has its own feedback form (or uses CSS), disable either the brokerage/CSS feedback form, or the BookAShowing feedback form (you may want to check with your broker to see if they have a preference/policy). To turn BAS feedback forms off or on, select Settings from the menu bar and then scroll down to the Feedback Defaults section. Contact your broker or CSS if you need help disabling their feedback forms.


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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Have a showing recently? Did you and your buyer client submit feedback following the showing? Hopefully you answered “yes” to both of those (if you’re a buyer’s agent). In 2015, NorthstarMLS users have a 75% feedback rate (YTD), but there is always room for improvement.

Leaving feedback on a listing may seem like a small thing, but it is not. Buyer feedback is essential. Listing agents/home sellers rely on the feedback of other professional realtors and their clients to position their listing(s) for a successful sale. Without it, home sellers won’t know what they are doing right and what could be improved upon.

Showing feedback doesn’t have to be a painful experience. If you’re using BookAShowing, a NorthstarMLS core service, for showing appointments/feedback, you can easily fill out one of the integrated feedback forms.


Showing Etiquette This infographic illustrates some showing etiquette tips that we’ve received from agents, along with some plain common sense to help ensure a pleasant house hunting experience for everyone involved.


Questions? Our rules & regs staff is here to help! If you have questions about NorthstarMLS rules and regs, contact us at help@northstarmls.com or call 651-251-3210.

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We are pleased to announce three BookAShowing enhancements resulting from frequent user requests.

Open Matrix listing from BookAShowing
This is the one most of you have been waiting for. The MLS number and primary photo are now linked to the listing in Matrix. Click to open the Matrix property full display in a new tab/window. These links are available on the scheduling screen, showings calendar, feedback forms and feedback emails.

Schedule multiple appointments on Mobile
If you are using the full version of Matrix on your phone (not Matrix Mobile), select up to 20 listings and click the BookAShowing button, all of those listings are now sent together to BookAShowing Mobile for scheduling.

Notify Selling Agent of Inspections and Appraisals
You can now set automatic Selling agent notification of Inspection and Appraisal appointments. This is a helpful courtesy to keep the Selling agent in the loop as often the Inspector or Appraiser makes the appointment direct with the List Office.

To set this notification (as early as when a contingent offer is accepted), select Listings>Active from the BookAShowing top menu bar. Click the check mark under the Edit column for the Contingent or Pending listing you want to set. On the Edit screen, this is the Selling Notification portion of the Listing Details section:

If your listing is in Pending status, the Selling Agent’s name will automatically be filled. If the listing is in Active status with a Contingency, you will need to fill it in. Start typing the agent’s name or ID, and it will pop up for you to select. Set the Yes/No dropdown box to “Yes.” The Selling Agent will then get automatic notifications of Inspection and Appraisal appointments only. They will not be notified of any other appointment types.  When booking a specific appointment, you have the option to override whatever is set for the Listing. For example, if you have it set to No, you can set it to Yes in the appointment screen, and the Selling agent will be notified just for that appointment.

Note: If a listing goes from Pending back to Active status, or a Contingency is removed, BookAShowing automatically clears out the Selling agent information.

We hope you ejoy these enhancements. If you have questions, contact the NorthstarMLS Help Desk at 651-251-5456 (1-877-251-5455 toll free) or help@northstarmls.com, or contact BookAShowing support at support@bookashowing.com.

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Rules Roundup – Unauthorized Access to Listing Property

The temps are rising, the snow is melting and we recently entered Daylight Saving Time. The spring real estate market is about to be in full swing! Whether you represent the buyer or the seller, showing requests tend to increase as the temps climb. Remember to always arrange showings with the listing office before bringing clients out for showings even if the property is vacant. If a mistake occurs and you accidentally enter a property without an appointment, contact the listing agent immediately to let them know what happened. Respecting privacy and security is an important professional responsibility.

Entering any listed property without prior authorization is considered a Serious Violation and can come with a fine of $1,000. Continued repeat violations by the same agent can result in doubling of the last fine amount. An additional $1,000 fine can be assessed by your Association for a lockbox rule violation.

A recent comment from a NorthstarMLS user of this happening
“I have had a lot of this happening on my listings lately, and the agents do not think it is an issue, and nor do some of their brokers. Not only is it a violation of MLS and COE, but it is illegal and creates a huge liability for the agent if they or their client were to get hurt, etc.” 

Questions? Our rules & regs staff is here to help! If you have questions about NorthstarMLS rules and regs, contact us at help@northstarmls.com or call 651-251-3210.

Showing Etiquette This infographic illustrates some showing etiquette tips that we’ve received from agents, along with some plain common sense to help ensure a pleasant house hunting experience for everyone involved.


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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Agents, appraisers and inspectors must be licensed in the State where the property is located that they wish to show, appraise or inspect. When scheduling a showing through BookAShowing on a property located in a different state than you, there is a new question that you must answer.

For example, if I am an agent in Minnesota, and I want to schedule a showing (or appraisal, inspection or any other appointment type), for a listing in Wisconsin, I will be asked “Are you licensed by the state of WI?”  I must answer Yes or No. If I am licensed in Wisconsin and answer Yes, the showing request will be submitted. If I am not licensed in Wisconsin and answer No, the showing request will automatically be denied.

The same process will apply to Wisconsin agents scheduling appointments for listings located in Minnesota.

If you have questions regarding State licensing requirements, please contact your State Realtor Association. For help with BookAShowing, contact our Help Desk at help@northstarmls.com or 651-251-5456 (1-877-251-5455 toll free).

Tip of the Week – BookAShowing Appointment Trends

Did you know BookAShowing can provide you stats on showings for the entire NorthstarMLS system? Check out the ‘Reports’ section in BookAShowing, which lets you look at showing trends and other reports. The brief tutorial video below will guide you through in under 3 minutes!

Click here to watch the BAS Appointment Trends Video

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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Tip of the Week – Be Careful Responding to Showing Feedback

As a List Agent, it’s great to receive showing feedback emails from showing agents. Sometimes you may want to ask for more detail from the showing agent about a certain piece of feedback. When you get the feedback email through BookAShowing, it’s easy to hit the reply button and ask your question directly to the showing agent.

Be careful though. For your convenience, BookAShowing includes your seller information in the feedback email. When you hit reply and send to the showing agent, that showing agent will see your seller’s information unless you first delete it before sending the email. Take just a moment to review your reply email before sending so that you don’t inadvertently include information you don’t want the showing agent to see.


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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BookAShowing Feedback Forms

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We’re pleased to report that the BookAShowing feedback rate for 2013 is at 80%. This reflects that you understand the importance these feedback questionnaires are to you, other agents and their sellers.

For this week’s Tip of the Week, here are some recent enhancements and tips to make the process even easier:

  • The immediate feedback reminder email now has the listing’s primary photo included.
  • The listing photo and showing details now show on the feedback form in the mobile interface. This is a nice addition for agents that like to give feedback while they are at the property with clients.
  • If you for some reason did not show the property, you can click the “Did Not Show” link at the top of the feedback form and provide a reason for the listing agent, and the emails will stop.
  • Don’t want to answer specific feedback questions? Just click the “N/A” option (or for the text questions, just add a note “nothing further”) if the listing agent has made the questions required. (The form can’t be submitted until those questions have been answered and submitted correctly, otherwise, another request will be sent the following day.)

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!

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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