The national CNBC Website recently picked up a press release on the new NorthstarMLS core service True Lifestyle Cost (TLC). The release describes how transportation costs can impact homebuyers’ total cost of ownership. TLC gives agents the tools to estimate these and other lifestyle costs to help their clients decide which home is their best deal.

Read the story on CNBC here.

For more information on TLC, check out our Matrix news screen postings.

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Now that True Lifestyle Cost (TLC) has been available in Matrix for a couple months, we are also making it available to agents and brokers to add to their public-facing websites.

Benefits of adding TLC search to your website:

  • Consumers cannot get TLC from third party portals, only agent/broker sites.
  • Consumers must enter their email address in order to use TLC. This goes to you as a potential lead.
  • Further advances your expertise by allowing you to offer information on total costs of home ownership.

The TLC search widget is easy to add to your site by inserting a simple programming code. This is a core service of NorthstarMLS available at no additional cost. To get started, view these instructions. To add TLC to your site, broker approval is required.

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Big Data

How NorthstarMLS puts powerful information in your hands

“Big Data” is a popular buzz term. But it has been around for years and, more recently, with practical applications for real estate. NorthstarMLS’s latest core service, True Lifestyle Cost, is a powerful example in which data on utilities, commutes, taxes and more combine to give true cost of ownership estimates.

To learn more about Big Data—what it is and how it can help you via NorthstarMLS’s True Lifestyle Cost— check out our brief article, “Understanding Big Data”.

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Last week’s Star Tribune featured an article on NorthstarMLS’ newest core service offering, True Lifestyle Cost (TLC). The article describes how agents can use TLC to help their home-buying clients make better decisions and discover the true cost of home ownership.

Click here to read the article


Need help getting started with TLC? Check out this recorded webinar.

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Hopefully you have had a chance to check out the new NorthstarMLS core service, True Lifestyle Cost (TLC). For single-family residential properties, this new tool – exclusively available from real estate agents and brokers – helps you show clients the true cost of homeownership with adjustable expenses for many factors, including commuting expenses, average utility bills, daycare cost, the number of people in the household and more.

We have both recorded and live webinar options to help you get started. You can view the recorded webinar at your convenience on our YouTube channel. The webinar runs just over 40 minutes. (Click the cog icon at the lower right of the YouTube player and select 1080p for the best viewing experience.)

We also have two live webinars scheduled where you can submit questions to the presenter during the webinar. Register below. These are free of charge and run approximately 40 minutes (up to an hour depending on questions).

  1. Wednesday, December 17, 10:00 a.m. Click here to register.
  2. Wednesday, January 7, 10:00 a.m. Click here to register.

To access TLC, select “True Lifestyle Cost” from the Home tab drop down menu, or in External Links box on the home screen. You can also click the “True Lifestyle Cost” link below the main photo on any Property Full Display. This will take you to the TLC info and calculator for that specific property. Watch for TLC to be available on the Matrix Client Portal in January, as well as a free TLC widget you can add to your Agent IDX website!

NorthstarMLS’s new core service offering True Lifestyle Cost (TLC) continues to get media coverage. The weekend’s Pioneer Press features an interview with NorthstarMLS President John Mosey and Board Chair Claire Killen. In this Q&A format article, John and Claire describe how agents can use TLC to leverage “big data” and help their clients discover the true cost of home ownership. Read the article.

The story was also picked up nationally by Bloomberg Businessweek!

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Total Lifestyle Cost (TLC), NorthstarMLS’ newly added core service, is making national news sites. So far we have been picked up by Bloomberg/BusinessweekYahoo! FinanceSpoke and Morningstar News.

We encourage you to share this news on your social media and in your blogs. You can use it as an opportunity to offer a free report to potential clients on total home costs!

Watch for more TLC Webinars to be scheduled soon.

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Tip of the Week – Getting Started with True Lifestyle Cost (TLC)

This week’s tip shows you how to get started with the new NorthstarMLS service, True Lifestyle Cost (TLC). For single-family residential properties, this new tool – exclusively available from real estate agents and brokers – helps you show clients the true cost of homeownership with adjustable expenses for many factors, including commuting expenses, average utility bills, daycare cost, the number of people in the household and more.

TLC has prepared an under 4-minute video showing how to get the True Lifestyle Cost of a single family listing from within Matrix. It also shows how you can search for your client on the monthly True Lifestyle Cost.

Take a few minutes to watch the video here, and check out last week’s announcement of the TLC launch. Also, be sure to check out our schedule of more in-depth TLC live webinars to help get you started.


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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As recently announced, the new NorthstarMLS core service Total Lifestyle Cost (TLC)  helps you show clients the true cost of homeownership with adjustable expenses for many factors, including commuting expenses, average utility bills, daycare cost, the number of people in the household and more.

TLC is offering an introductory webinar, free of charge, to help get you started. Choose from one of the dates and times listed below. The Webinar is approximately 30-40 minutes, plus time at the end for you to ask questions. Space is limited, so register today!


Tuesday, November 11, 3:30pm. Click here to register.

Friday, November 14, 10:00am. Click here to register.

Friday, November 14, 2:30pm. Click here to register.

Monday, November 17, 9:00am. Click here to register.

Monday, November 17, 2:00pm. Click here to register.

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Financial expert Suze Orman notes that a mortgage is only a portion of one’s total housing costs. How would you like to be the best source where homebuyers can discover the true costs of homeownership in your local markets?

NorthstarMLS is pleased to announce “True Lifestyle Cost” (TLC) as a core service at no extra charge to you. For single-family residential properties, this new tool – exclusively available from real estate agents and brokers – helps you show clients the true cost of homeownership with adjustable expenses for many factors, including commuting expenses, average utility bills, daycare cost, the number of people in the household and more.

You can access TLC in one of several ways:

  • Click the “True Lifestyle Cost” link/icon below the main photo on any property full display in the Single Family Property type.
  • Hover over the Matrix “Home” tab and select “True Lifestyle Cost” from the dropdown menu.
  • Click “True Lifestyle Cost” link in the External Links box on the Matrix home screen.

In the coming weeks, we are making a variety of resources available to help guide you through using TLC. Watch for webinars to be announced soon. In the meantime, check out these resources:

  • The TLC YouTube channel. Watch a series of short demo videos (3 minutes or less) describing the benefits of TLC and how to use it.
  • Take the quick TLC Tour: After opening TLC, click the “Start Tour” link in the upper right corner of the screen. This self guided 9-step tour will show you how to use the TLC interface.
  • The TLC User Guide

Please take just a couple of minutes to explore this new valuable tool as in the coming weeks, buyers and sellers may be asking you about TLC. Stay tuned for more information!