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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It’s a nice hot summer Saturday afternoon, but you’re hard at it – a full day showing your clients home to potential buyers. But 3PM has passed, and you’ve just had another scheduled showing bail on you with no warning. Annoying and unprofessional, right?

Last month, we posted this infographic that illustrates some showing etiquette tips. Home showings and open house etiquette is for the most part common sense. Having respect for sellers and the real estate agents involved in the process will go a long way to helping ensure an enjoyable house hunting experience for everyone involved.

The situations below were recently reported to the NorthstarMLS Rules and Regs Department:

  • Early is good in some cases – like showing up to a job interview. But early is not always good for home showings. While a lot of homes are vacant during the selling process, it’s not always the case. Many sellers still live in the home they are selling, so arriving to the showing at the time scheduled is very important. An early arrival at a showing could make for an uncomfortable situation for everyone.
  • The home smelled like gas, but it wasn’t reported to the home owner/seller’s agent until the next day. Always report suspicious smells like gas or any other activity that might seem out of the ordinary.
  • Five showings in one day were canceled and the showing agent did not receive any cancellation message from the buyer’s agent. Always contact the showing agent/listing agent if you can’t make the scheduled appointment! Things come up. Even if you need to cancel last minute, a phone call, text message or email is common courtesy and won’t leave your colleagues wasting valuable time.

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

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Below are some interesting statistical nuggets on a couple of NorthstarMLS Core Services that we pulled on NorthstarMLS subscribers.

Authentisign
So far in 2016, over 9,000 consumers/users have signed 266,622 documents. NOTE:  In 2015, Authentisign was used by 10,675 consumers to sign 613,619 documents.

ShowingTime
Since ShowingTime was launched on NorthstarMLS over a month ago (May 3), NorthstarMLS subscribers have scheduled 194,636 showings for their clients. ShowingTime has its own mobile app for phones and tablets — 4,219 agents and 4,804 clients have installed the ShowingTime mobile app.


Instanet Archive Want to check out older InstanetSolutions content? Click here to view the archive of previous Instanet news, articles and other content on the NorthstarMLS Blog & Archive.


ShowingTime Archive Want to check out older ShowingTime content? Click here to view the archive of previous ShowingTime news, articles, and other content on the NorthstarMLS Blog & Archive.

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Less than 2 weeks until we replace BookAShowing with ShowingTime.
Do you have questions?

We have posted a lot of information and resources for the May 3rd conversion from BookAShowing to ShowingTime. They are all collected in a single location on this web page. Check back as we continue to update it.

Our latest addition is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document. These are answers to questions that have been asked so far through webinars and office visits. Take a look–many of your questions are answered here, some you may not have thought of yet. Do you have a question that is not answered? Send it to our Help Desk at help@northstarmls.com. We will get back to you with an answer and add it to future updates of the FAQ document.

For a countdown to ShowingTime, check out our countdown clock on the Home Page of NorthstarMLS.com.

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BookAShowing has been the online showing scheduling solution for NorthstarMLS subscribers since 2009. It continues to be one of our highest rated services each year.

ShowingTime, the nation’s leading showing solutions company, has recently bought BookAShowing. Through the joining of these two companies, you will get the best showing and feedback management solutions in the residential real estate industry. We are also confident we will continue to have the same or better customer service level we are accustomed to with BookAShowing.

Over the next several months, products and services from the two companies will be combined with no disruption to your day-to-day operations. More capabilities will be added over time, but for now everything will remain exactly the same for you, with products and services working as you’ve come to expect.

You’ll have the same product and the same support. We will notify you when new features are added, including access to ShowingTime’s mobile platform.

Based in Chicago, ShowingTime has been in the showing scheduling business for over 15 years. They serve more than 150 MLS/Associations representing more than 800,000 members. They manage over 2.5 million showings every month. We will keep you posted with more details as they are available!

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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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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 help@northstarmls.com 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 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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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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