By popular request, the new NorthstarMLS default setting for ShowingTime overlapping appointments is to continue to allow them, but no longer reveal the appointment blocks/overlaps to the showing agent that other agents have scheduled.

List agents may change this setting on some or all of their listings if they choose. The other options are to allow overlapping appointments and show the other appointments/overlaps, or to not allow overlapping appointments at all.

If you want to change this setting for any of your listings, here are the instructions.

For more detailed instructions on changing this and other ShowingTime settings for your listings, check out this ShowingTime help page.

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Do you list Condos? Frustrated at finding what is included with the Association Fee, the name of the management company and its phone number? NorthstarMLS has launched a project to help determine and standardize the values for these fields.

Now when you auto-fill a condo listing from the tax record, we will also auto-fill the fields Association Fee Includes, Association Management Company Name, and Association Management Company Phone Number.

Where does NorthstarMLS get this information? We have reviewed condo listings from the past three years. We applied a formula to each condo building that factors most commonly and most recently reported data to determine what we auto-fill.

This is a work in progress, and we need everyone’s help to make it successful. As with auto-fill from the tax records, the List Agent is still responsible to check the accuracy of all data fields, including the Association information. If you find that anything we are auto-filling for these fields is not correct for a particular development, please report it to our Help Desk at, and we will make the change.

Our goal is to ensure that over time, the data for these Association fields is as accurate and consistent as possible for the benefit of all agents and their clients.

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Rules Roundup – Strangers at Showings

These three things recently happened to a NorthstarMLS agent while showing homes, and the lessons learned.

Unknown Buyer Wanders In
When showing a home recently, the agent left the front door half open (the glass storm door was closed). He was showing the property to his clients when they heard a noise. An unknown buyer had entered – the individual had arrived before their agent arrived on location and walked right in. It was awkward getting the people out.

Not an Open House
At another recent showing, the agent led his client inside and the client proceeded through the house for glimpse of the backyard. The agent shut the door and was turning on the lights. The client came inside to tour the rest of the home, but had left the backdoor entrance unlocked.

While they were in the family room, three unknown people came in the room. It wasn’t clear who they were, so the showing agent asked all of them who their agent was. One of them said he was an agent, and said he “thought it was an Open House.”

Odd, but True
The agent had just entered the property with his clients and were taking off their shoes when a strange person opened the door behind them and asked if he could use the bathroom. The agent told the man “no” and he seemed surprised and disgruntled. The agent told the man this is a private showing and asked him to leave the premises.

The Bottom Line
When showing a property, always lock the door immediately after entering and inform your clients of the importance of doing the same. Bring the key and lock box cover (if any) inside with you. This could help resolve the problems above and others potentially more serious.

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.

Questions? Our rules & regs staff is here to help! Contact us at or 651-251-3210.

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 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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Video Tip of the Week
Reverse Prospecting for Listing Agents


If you’re a listing agent, Reverse Prospecting allows you to run a search to find agents with Auto Emails that match your listing. We created this short video that walks you through how to use the Reverse Prospecting feature as a Listing Agent:

Click here to watch the video on Reverse Prospecting
(Video Duration = 2 mins 42 seconds)

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 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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