Have you worked with a client that is in the market for a greener, more sustainable home? You’re probably not alone if you answered “YES.”

Over half of REALTORS® recently surveyed in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) REALTORS® and Sustainability report say consumers have an interest in sustainability as it pertains to real estate – homes that have features intended to conserve natural resources (for example: solar panels). NorthstarMLS Matrix has energy efficiency fields, such as Green Certification and HERS Score, and several energy-efficient features that might appeal to your “green” buyer.

NAR recently surveyed its members pertaining to sustainability issues facing their industry. Here are some key findings:

  • Forty-three percent of respondents report their MLS has green data fields.
  • Seventy-one percent said that energy efficiency promotion in listings was very or somewhat valuable.
  • Fifty-six percent of respondents find clients are at least somewhat interested in sustainability.
  • Sixty-one percent of respondents are comfortable answering clients’ questions about home performance.
  • Eighty percent said that solar panels are available in their market. Forty-two percentsaid solar panels increased the perceived property value.
  • Twenty-seven percent of agents and brokers were involved with 1 to 5 propertiesthat had green features in the last 12 months.

You can read the full REALTORS® and Sustainability report from NAR here.

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Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff sold home for much less than Zestimate

If you’re an agent, you’ve probably worked with a buyer or seller that has found the “Zestimate” on Zillow of the property they’re selling or interested in buying. It can work as a good conversation starter with the client. But until they realize the Zestimate isn’t as accurate as they thought, it can quickly make a disgruntled client.

Earlier this year, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff sold his Seattle home for $1.05, 40 percent less than the Zestimate of $1.75 million shown on its property detail page a day later. Zillow readily acknowledges that Zestimates can be inaccurate, but consumers can still take them at face value, causing headaches for agents.

The next time your clients handcuff themselves to the Zestimate they’ve seen on Zillow, have them take a look at this recent Inman News article. It should give them second thoughts.

Click here to read the Inman article

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TrustFunds has “simplified the way we do real estate today,” says Jeremy Cudd, broker from Property Executives Realty in Hudson, Wis. Agents are busy and don’t always have time to try new tools/products that can help make their business more efficient. But Jeremy has found that many of his agents don’t want to go back to the old way of collecting earnest money checks (usually entails a drive to the bank at the very least) after using TrustFunds.

Watch Jeremy talk about the advantages of using TrustFunds for all his Earnest Money transactions.

To get started, select TrustFunds from the Matrix Home tab menu. Click here to learn more.

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NorthstarMLS Podcast – Lynn Leegard of TrustFunds

As we recently announced, TrustFunds is now available through NorthstarMLS. TrustFunds is a secure and convenient web-based service that allows buyers to simply and securely make their earnest money payment online and easily verify the status at anytime. We had the opportunity to sit down with Lynn Leegard, co-founder of TrustFunds, for our first-ever episode of the NorthstarMLS Real Estate Podcast. Give it a listen!

Hit the Play botton below to listen to the NorthstarMLS Podcast

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Real Estate Rush Hour – “Traffic Jam”

If you’ve ever called to schedule a showing only to find that the property is pending, or needed to complete a CMA but potential comparables haven’t been closed, then you probably understand the importance of timely system updates. Enter any status change (cancellation, pending sale, closed sale, change in price, TNAS) as soon as possible, but always within 2 business days.

In our latest edition of Real Estate Rush Hour, Sheriff Polaris and Deputy Flicker explain the importance of status changes on listings to a few local woodland agent and appraiser characters. Take a look!

Real Estate Rush Hour Comic Strips As we recently announced, we created a comic strip — Rush Hour Real Estate — to add an element of fun to the dry subject of NorthstarMLS rules & regulations education. Follow along with the adventures of our woodland characters as they navigate their own version of a world of MLS rules. See them all here.

Real Estate Rush Hour Animated Video In addition to Real Estate Rush Hour comic strips, we created an animated cartoon for your viewing pleasure. Watch the adventures of our woodland characters, Polaris and Flicker — don’t forget to turn your volume up! Watch it here.

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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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Introducing: Real Estate Rush Hour! We created this comic strip to add an element of fun to the dry subject of NorthstarMLS rules & regulations education. Follow along with the adventures of our woodland characters as they navigate their own version of a world of MLS rules. We will periodically publish new strips — keep an eye out on the Matrix News Screen, or on the NorthstarMLS Blog & Archive. We’ll be posting our first comic in the series very soon — stay tuned!

In the meantime, click here to meet the main characters, Sheriff Polaris & Deputy Flicker

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