John Mosey, President of NorthstarMLS, was recently interviewed by John Peretz, Real Estate Technology Writer. Mosey has spent a good portion of his professional career in real estate, logging more than 30 years in the MLS industry as an executive with a major MLS vendor, technology company CEO and President of a leading regional Multiple Listing Service.

In the interview, Mosey touches on industry topics including:

  • The state of the Minnesota and Twin Cities housing market
  • What’s happening at NorthstarMLS from a technology perspective
  • How NorthstarMLS has incorporated Instanet Solutions into the MLS
  • Future of real estate technology in Minnesota

Click here to read the full interview on the Instanet Blog. The interview also appeared on RE Technology, Inc.

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Have you ever wondered if you can embed a YouTube video in your NorthstarMLS listing? Unfortunately, this is not allowed. All video tours must be only of the property and cannot link out to any other websites (which YouTube does). The tour must also be free from any contact information, broker or agent branding, and third party promotions.

NorthstarMLS makes the tour available to nearly 4,000 NorthstarMLS agent and broker websites. Those other sites should feel confident that your tour won’t take their clients away from their site or direct them back to the listing agent or other entity.

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As we continue to celebrate our 25th anniversary, we will share a series of interviews with individuals who are a part of RMLS’s past and present.

In this installment, we sat down with St. Paul Area Association of Realtors’ Senior Vice President, Tracey Douglas. She recalls her first memories of RMLS and how local realtors reacted when RMLS was formed.

Watch Part 1 of Tracey Douglas Interview:
Click here to watch Part 1.
(Switch picture quality setting to 720p or 1080p for HD quality video)

Have you missed any of the previous 25th anniversary celebration videos? Watch them all here on the NorthstarMLS YouTube channel.

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Back Door to Instanet Forms

Do you know that you can get into Instanet Forms even if NorthstarMLS Matrix is unavailable?  You have your own password into Instanet separate from NorthstarMLS.  The key is to find out what that password is and have it available when you need it.

Here’s how:

1. Open Instanet from the link in Matrix.

2. If you are on Instanet Lite (blue icons), switch over to Pro (orange icons) by clicking the orange Pro icon in the upper right corner of the screen.

3. Click the Settings tab.

4. Click the blue “Continue” button under “My Preferences” in the upper left portion of the screen.

5. Click the “Password Management” link on the left side of the screen.

6. Click the link “If you do not know your TransactionDesk password, please click here to have us send the password to your email address on record.” (Note that on this screen you can change your password to whatever you want.  When you get your password, we recommend that you do this to make it memorable for when you need it.)

7. An email will automatically go to your email address (that you have on record with NorthstarMLS) with your password.

After receiving your password by email, here is how to log on to Instanet outside of Matrix:

1. Go to the website http://www.instanetsolutions.com/.

2. There is a “Customer Login” section in the upper right of the screen.  Select “Minnesota Association of Realtors” from the drop-down list.  It’s important that you select the Minnesota Association, NOT NorthstarMLS.

3. Enter your first name and last name (as they appear in the Matrix agent roster) and the password you received by email.

4. Click the Login button, and you are in Instanet, ready to go!

Click here for the PDF version of this tip.

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Customize Contact Categories

Did you know that you can organize your contacts by category? When you add or edit a Contact, click the drop down box next to “Category” to choose Buyer, Seller, Friend or Prospect. These are the four standard categories.

You can also create your own custom category by selecting the “Customize” option. Once you’ve selected it, enter your new customized contact category and click the “Save” button to add it.
If you have a lot of contacts to manage, this feature can help you better organize them.

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As we continue to celebrate our 25th anniversary, we will share a series of interviews with individuals who are a part of RMLS’s past and present.

Real estate has run heavily in the Diffley family for over 30 years now. Tom (Dad), Kathy (Mom) and Jim Diffley (Son), all work for Edina Realty in the Twin Cities. In this third and final installment, the trio shares how RMLS has helped their business grow and what MLS tools they rely on and use the most. Jim also shares how RMLS has improved over the years.

Watch the Diffley’s Part 3 Interview:
Click here to watch part 3 of the Diffley interview.
(Switch picture quality setting to 720p or 1080p for HD quality video)

Missed parts 2 & 3 of the Diffley’s, or missed any of the previous 25th anniversary celebration videos? Watch them all here on the NorthstarMLS YouTube channel.

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When can I enter a Comp Sold Listing?

If you represent the buyer in a transaction and the seller has not signed a listing contract with a NorthstarMLS participant, you may (with the buyer’s signature on an Input form) record the sale on NorthstarMLS as a Comp Sold. A Comp Sold is a property sold by an MLS participant when the property was never available for sale on NorthstarMLS. A Comp Sold will not have a listing agent as there was no listing contract under NorthstarMLS.

A Comp Sold cannot be entered as an actual listing and then changed to sold because it never has active status, so it should not show MLS Market Time.

Comp Sold listings do count towards broker market share, and will be available to other agents and appraisers for CMAs and appraisals. There are fewer required fields on a Comp Sold listing, but we encourage you to enter all fields as they are valuable for those CMAs and appraisals.

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Continuing our 25th anniversary celebration, we share a series of interviews with individuals who are a part of RMLS’s past and present.

In part 2 of our 3 part series with a local family of Realtors, the Diffley family, Tom (Dad), Kathy (Mom) and Jim Diffley (Son), take us back to the early days of the MLS.

Watch the Diffley’s Part 2 Interview:
Click here to watch part 2 of the Diffley interview.
(Switch picture quality setting to 720p or 1080p for HD quality video)

Missed part 1 of the interview?  Click here.

Didn’t catch any of the previous 25th anniversary celebration videos? Check them out here on our YouTube page.

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Create a Speed Bar Shortcut

Most of us have saved a search as a regular Saved Search or Auto Email.  But have you ever saved one as a Speed Bar Shortcut?  By saving a Speed Bar Shortcut, you can rerun a complex search or recreate a drawn map search area with just a few quick keystrokes.

Let’s say you have a specific area you like to search with a map shape that does not correspond to a municipality, Zip code, or school district.

  1. On the Map tab of a search, draw your shape (radius, rectangle or polygon).
  2. Select any other parameters you frequently use, such as Active status or single family houses.
  3. Select the Save button bar and then click the “New Speed Bar Shortcut” button.
  4. In the “Speed Bar Shortcut” box, type in a name for your shortcut.  You want to keep it as short as possible, because this is what you will type in each time you run the search.  The system automatically places a forward slash “/” as the first character.  This is required.  For example, if I drew an area around Lake Como, I may want to name it /como.
  5. Click the Save button.

Now anytime I want to start a search with my custom Lake Como area, all I need to do is type /como into the Speed Bar and hit the Enter key on my keyboard (or click the magnifying glass icon in the speedbar).  I can do this from any screen within Matrix.  The Speed Bar is located just below the tabs:

After executing the search, I can click the Criteria tab and enter any other criteria for my client.

By creating this shortcut, I no longer have to redraw my custom area around Lake Como every time I want to search it.  This works for any shortcut you want to create, not just map shapes.

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When using the Instanet Forms application, there are two version options: Lite and Pro.  If you are new to Instanet and not ready to get into the more advanced features, we recommend that you use the Lite version.  It is more streamlined and gives you access to all the basics, including Authentisign e-signatures.

After launching Instanet, it’s very easy to tell whether you are in the Lite or Pro version and to switch.  In Lite, the icons are all blue and the upper left of your screen says “Transaction Desk Lite”:

In Pro, the icons are all orange and the upper left of your screen says “Transaction Desk Pro”:

If you are in the Pro version and want to switch over to Lite, click the Lite/arrow icon in the upper right corner:

As long as you stay in the Lite version, it will come up automatically each time you launch Instanet.  When you become more familiar with the basics and want to explore more advanced features, Pro will always be there for you to try.

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