Don’t worry, Matrix is not going anywhere! We are simply adding more choices for your MLS front-end system that will contain the exact same listings data and connection to core services as Matrix. Industry-leading Paragon from Black Knight will be available to you as a replacement for Matrix at no additional cost, or as an add-on to Matrix for a small fee. Watch for more details coming soon, including introductory webinars and a free-trial period.

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Host LIVE Showings From Your Phone!

ShowingTime LIVE Video equips agents with a solution to conduct LIVE video showings directly from the ShowingTime mobile app with the tap of a button, enabling their clients to participate in showings from the comfort of their homes. It simplifies the process by giving agents and your clients one common platform for LIVE video showings to promote interaction, while also giving you complete control over participant settings.

While ShowingTime LIVE Video is available at no additional cost until September 1st, it will become an add-on subscription cost after that. ShowingTime has not set that cost yet but they expect it to be $10/month or less.

Want to try it out free until September 1st? Click here to download the ShowingTime LIVE Video Quick Start Guide. Or check out this recorded webinar that walks you through how to use this ShowingTime feature. 

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As you’re likely well aware, Minnesota is currently in the “Stay Safe” phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Any businesses planning to reopen their doors are required to adopt a Preparedness Plan and follow the published guidelines from DEED, MDH, CDC and OSHA by June 29, 2020

The Preparedness Plan must contain certain items that you will need to incorporate site-specific best practices for your particular business operations surrounding health and wellness, social distancing, cleaning, sanitation and protection, and operations and communications with your sales associates, clients, and visitors in mind. Adapting your plan and policies to accommodate showings and open houses will be important in helping Minnesotans stay safe. 

Minnesota Realtors® recently released this handy guide of suggestions and considerations as we keep moving forward during this pandemic. If you missed any NorthstarMLS COVID-19 news, click here

Get the latest updates on The Wisconsin Department of Health Services gradual process of reopening, called the Badger Bounce Back, here

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All Square Footage Fields to be Required

(Open this announcement in PDF format for printing)

Starting August 4, the following square footage fields will become required entries for all listings in the property types Single Family Residential, Multi-Family Residential and Farm.

  • Above Ground Total Square Feet
    (The total of any upper plus main floor square feet. Bonus room above garage included only if accessible from interior of house.)
  • Below Ground Total Square Feet
    (The total of all lower square feet. Do not include tuckunder garage.)
  • Main Floor Total Square Feet
    (Total square feet on the main floor only. For a 1, 1.5, or 2-story, or split, include foundation size plus any overhang. Do not include 3-season porches, or any outside amenities, even if covered—porches, decks, patios, etc. For a split level, include the entry/foyer area.)
  • Garage Square Feet (not required for Condominium styles)
    (Total square feet of the entire garage. Do not include add-on portions, such as loft or upper level. The purpose is to help buyers determine the number and size of vehicles/items that will fit.)

These “Total” square footage fields count both finished and unfinished square footage.

A reminder on already required square footage fields:

  • Above Ground Finished Square Footage: Total finished square footage measured at and above ground level; ground level as it appears from the front view of the building. Includes all floors and levels above this line.
  • Below Ground Finished Square Footage: Total finished square footage measured below ground level. For appraisers, that’s any area below ground, even if it’s only one wall, means the whole level is below ground. Finished area must have flooring, wall covering (trimmed) and ceiling.

Appraiser TIP When you describe above/below, look at where your feet are at any place in a level – if your feet are below the ground outside the wall (at ANY place in that level), the level is regarded as being below grade (i.e., basement).

Why is NorthstarMLS going to start requiring these fields?
The new requirement to complete these fields is based on continued feedback that we need to provide the most accurate information about currently finished areas as well as possible expansion of living areas. It helps to sell the house if buyers know how much additional space could be finished.

What should be included in the unfinished portion of the Total Square Footage?
Any unfinished portion that has the potential to be finished should be included. Do not include crawl spaces, cellars or other similar spaces that could not be made livable. Areas with mechanicals (furnace, a/c, laundry, etc.) may be included.

Where can I find these square footages?
Depending on the County, they may be available in the public tax record (available here through Realist or the County website). Please note that quality and accuracy can vary by County or even within a County. Your best bet is to conduct your own measurements.

How do I measure square footages?

  • NorthstarMLS has a couple popular measuring videos featuring a local appraiser. These are a webinar on The Basics of Measuring, a measuring demo of a 1920s bungalow, and a measuring demo of a 4-level split.
  • Review how-to guides from Standards organizations such as ANSI and AMS.
  • Hire a licensed appraiser to do the measurements. Many experienced appraisers offer this service and can save you the trouble and uncertainty.
  • Monitor your Association’s course offerings in case square footage measurement courses are offered.

What about current listings where I have not completed these fields?
The fields will not become required until August 4, allowing you time to obtain or measure them for your existing listings. Starting August 4, you will not be able to make and save changes to existing listings until the new required fields are also completed.

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Remine Pro Feature Spotlight: Carts 

If you haven’t heard yet, Remine Pro is now included as part of your NorthstarMLS subscription (at no additional charge) – giving you many more features that connect you with clients and streamline your daily workflow. 

Carts is a centralized location for you to manage saved properties. With Remine Pro, you have the ability to share carts with your clients and track their feedback – similar to the Matrix Client Portal. 

The Carts export gives users the ability to download property data within a Cart to a CSV file. We’re providing agents with more data points by adding over 100 additional fields to the Carts export! You have the opportunity to choose to export all the columns or manually select the columns.

Watch the short video to learn more about how Remine Pro Carts work!

To access Remine, click the “Remine” link in the External Links box here on the Matrix home screen, or select “Remine” from the Home tab drop-down menu.

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We are thrilled to announce that the Northwest Minnesota Association of Realtors (NWMAR) has joined our Common Data Platform.

This means that, while they have not joined NorthstarMLS as a full-on client MLS, NWMAR members are now entering all their listings into our common database, using the NorthstarMLS Add/Edit system. They use their own separate front-end MLS interface, but their entire listing inventory is available to you here in Matrix. This includes offers of compensation as shown on each listing. Your listings (with offer of compensation) are also available to NWMAR agents. Another success at removing the artificial boundaries for you and your clients!

NWMAR is based in Bemidji and has listings in a large area of northwest Minnesota. Primarily the counties of Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Hubbard, Kittson, Koochiching, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake and Roseau.

We welcome NWMAR to our Common Data Platform and hope you enjoy this latest expansion and the increase in opportunities for Realtors to cooperate across the state.

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With your NorthstarMLS subscription, you have access to the best tools that simplify business for real estate professionals. 

Did you know that there are over 20 Core Services? These are the applications and services that are included with your MLS fees at no additional charge — which include Matrix, ShowingTime, Add/Edit, Homesnap, Realist, Remine, Infosparks and much more.

Take a look at the redesigned NorthstarMLS Core Services Page — it’s easy to navigate and see the tools that are available to you. 

Here’s a List of All the NorthstarMLS Core Services

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NorthstarMLS recently updated its lake and river names in Minnesota to the most recent from our data source: the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With this update, most changes were minor, with the DNR simply dropping the word “Lake” in some cases. For example, Lake Darling.

All NorthstarMLS listings in Minnesota with waterfront names were automatically updated where there was a change. Listings, saved searches, auto-emails and search controls have also been updated as needed.

Contact our Help Desk if you have questions or need help: help@northstarmls.com or 651-251-5456 (1-877-251-5455). Our business hours are M-F, 8:00 to 5:00.

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NorthstarMLS made two temporary policy changes to support agents and their clients during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic. As businesses are adjusting and State restrictions loosening, those temporary policies will expire effective July 1st as follows:

  1. SHOWINGS IN ACTIVE STATUS
    • Current temporary policy until July 1st: Showings may be suspended for any listing in Active Status as long as this is disclosed in the Public Remarks.
    • Return to regular policy effective July 1st: All Active status listings must be available for showings within 24 hours. If a property will be unavailable for showing for 24 hours or longer, it must be placed in Temporarily Not Available for Showing (TNAS) Status (or Pending if offer accepted and no longer showing).
       
  2. COMING SOON STATUS MAXIMUM LENGTH
    • Current temporary policy until July 1st: A listing may be placed in Coming Soon Status for up to 60 days.
    • Return to regular policy effective July 1st: A listing may be placed in Coming Soon Status for up to 21 days.
    • Transition: Any listing placed in Coming Soon Status before July 1st for more than 21 days will be allowed to stay in Coming Soon Status for the full length of time that you set. This will allow you to keep commitments made to your clients before the July 1st policy change.

Here is a handy reference flier of these changes.

We hope these temporary policy changes were helpful as you navigated new ways of doing business during the stay-at-home orders and ongoing health precautions.

If you need a refresher on Coming Soon Status, we have a resource section available on our website, including a quick chart that spells out the differences among Active, TNAS, Withheld and Coming Soon statuses.

Questions? Contact our Help Desk at help@northstarmls.com or 651-251-5456 (1-877-251-5455). We are available M-F, 8:00 to 5:00.

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