The magazine of My Florida Regional MLS Nov/Dec 2012 Volume 2, Issue 2
Tis’ the Season to Connect with Clients (Survey Results) page 14 Also
We’re Back! page 2 What’s “The Word?” page 13 ListHub Update! page 22
Recent MFRMLS News page 3
My Florida ReSource Magazine November/December 2012 Volume 2, Issue 2
My Florida Regional MLS (MFRMLS) 555 Winderley Place, Suite 320 Maitland, FL 32751
In this issue...
Tel: (407) 960-5300 Toll-Free: (800) 686-7451 Fax: (407) 960-5450
13 What’s “The Word?” We want to know from you! 13 My email changed...now what? 14 Tis’ the Season to Connect with Clients (Survey Results)
15 Relationship Management: 7 Ways to Keep In-Touch with Past Clients Featured 20 Realtor.com: Do you know your options? 22 ListHub Update! 23 MLS most used online resource among homebuyers
In every issue... 3 Recent MFRMLS News! 5 Training & Tips — Recent My Tips of the Week — Have you been to MFRMLS University?
9 Compliance Corner — Compliance Update — New Rule and Fines for Unauthorized Postings of Lisitings
27 The Focus — Team Member: Sean Robinson, Technical Support Representative — Product and Services: Property Panorama
31 Commercial Real Estate News (presented by MFCRE) — RPR Commercial Now Available for MFCRE Members! — New MFCRE LinkedIn Group!
33 Around the House (an article for current and future homeowners) — 10 Ways to Prepare for Homeownership
34 MFR Off-Property — Your consumer site (MyFloridaHomesMLS.com) continues to work for you!
About MFRMLS My Florida Regional MLS is Florida’s largest multiple listing service with over 32,000 subscribers. Owned by 15 Shareholder REALTOR® Boards and Associations in Central and Southwest Florida, MFRMLS offers a comprehensive suite of productivity and marketing tools to professionals in the real estate industry. Positioning Statement My Florida Regional MLS is the only real estate information resource that helps our members deliver quality service to their customers by providing the tools and opportunity to succeed in their profession. 2012-2013 MFRMLS Officers Melody Hall, President Steve Amburgey, President-Elect Joe Perez, Vice President Michael Bindman, Treasurer Bill Dryburgh, Immediate Past President MFRMLS Executives Merri Jo Cowen, CEO Jay Markell, CFO, COO Deanna Rogers, Senior VP of MLS Jennifer Thompson-Kersting, VP of Member Relations Editorial Staff Natashia Ford, Editor Doug Wise, Editor, Creative Director
! k c a b e r ’ e W
We took a mini hiatus, but we are back and have hit the ground running with this issue! Going forward, we will publish My Florida ReSource on a bi-monthly schedule, so you can expect your next issue in early February 2013. During the magazine’s “off” time, you can expect to see the Consolidated Communicator, or what we like to call CC, come across your email. CC, launched in August of this year, is a roundup of some of the most recent or upcoming MFR communications conveniently bundled into one email. Speaking of email, if your email has recently changed, we recommend you take the time to read the article in this issue (on page 13) appropriately titled, “My email changed…now what?”
Recent MFRMLS News Click on the article titles to go to the respective article on MFRMLS.com.
presented by Next issue of CC is early January.
IDX Property Search App for Facebook Now Available for MFRMLS Members MFR Call Center has Arrived New MFR Member Savings - Cloud CMA RPR & MFR Listing Data Important Note about Upgrading to Windows 8 and IE10 Property Panorama has arrived! Instanet Solutions Launches Fannie Mae Forms - completion and signing of Forms now approved! Quarterly MLS Changes (Oct. 16) New Fannie Mae Short Sale Servicer Guidelines
NEWS 3 | My Florida ReSource | Nov/Dec 2012
Volume 2, Issue 2
How does RatePlug help Agents in today’s market?
RatePlug provides your prospective homebuyers with valuable payment information specific to each property they view. MFRMLS PROPERTY REPORT & LINK Online, interactive housing payments & lending info displayed side-by-side with property information on a new Consumer Report Keeps customers on listings longer You choose the lender to display Interactive mortgage tool allows homebuyers to play ‘what if’ scenarios to address their financing needs
Provides marketing material for your Open House functions or general display. PROPERTY FLYER PROGRAM The system creates detailed flyers with property listing information and acurate mortgage payment information Created with one mouse click Can be emailed or printed Promotes both the Agent and chosen Loan Officer
FREE to MFRMLS Members!
Visit www.rateplug.com/mfrmls to enroll
*Participating lenders pay a license fee.
Nov/Dec 2012 | My Florida ReSource | 4
Recent My Tips of the Week
of the WEEK For all My Tips of the Week, in chronological order, please visit www.mfrmls.com/resources/education-and-training/my-tip-of-the-week
of the WEEK
Did you know you can now upload 25 photos per listing in the MLS?
As a result of the most recent quarterly changes to the MLS system, MFRMLS Members can now upload as many as 25 photos per listing. Additionally, larger file sizes for images are now accommodated (from 512x400 to 800x600 and 400x512 to 600x800). For more information on the MLS quarterly changes that took effect on October 16, please click on the following link: http://www.mfrmls.com/ news/665-quarterly-mls-changes-tuesday-oct-16
of the WEEK
Did you know the tools provided through Down Payment Resource are completely FREE?
Thatâ€™s right! The entire DPR toolset is offered as a core member service through My Florida Regional MLS. Thereâ€™s no additional cost to agents or consumers in markets where DPR is available. Once DPR became integrated with MFRMLS, the core service and all additional features, like IDX integration and the Personal Marketing Tool, are provided in your DPR portal at no additional cost. Visit http://www.workforce-resource.com/ to learn more about these free services offered to you! 5 | My Florida ReSource | Nov/Dec 2012
Volume 2, Issue 2
of the WEEK
Are you an office assistant, office manager or on a real estate team? Did you know that you can invite other MFRMLS members in your office to log in and work for you on your behalf in MLXchange? 1. Click on the “Signed in as ‘Your Name’” link at the top of the MLXchange screen.
2. Click on the “create new shared identity” link in the bottom left corner of the “Sign-in as...” box.
3. Type the first and/or last name in the member look up box, click the “Find” button, highlight the name and then, click the “OK” button. 4. Then, in order to have the member work on your behalf in MLXchange, have the member click on the “Signed in as ‘Your Name’” link at the top of the MLXchange screen, highlight your name in the top box and click the “OK” button. The member will now be able to work on your behalf in MLXchange. The member can click on the “Signed in as ‘Your Name’” link and choose “myself ” to switch back to their MLXchange identity. To see a video tutorial on the MFRMLS University YouTube channel, please click on the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c67eWr3qjC0 www.MFRMLS.com
Nov/Dec 2012 | My Florida ReSource | 6
Class is Now in Session!
" U " g i B o G Have you been to MFRMLS University? This training portal will connect you to the many courses available to you as an MFR Member. Online, or in person, weâ€™ve got a class for you. Looking to learn in your pajamas? With easy registration and no waiting, you can bring our trainers into your home through live and recorded webinars. Available online, you can save gas and you can save time. Best of all, the courses are free. Need face time? No problem. MFRMLS University also connects you to live courses taught at your association/board by MFRMLS instructors. With interactive sessions in a classroom setting, youâ€™ll be an expert in no time. In-person or online, MFRMLS University can help you boost ered with your membership. Log on today to learn more!
7 | My Florida ReSource | Nov/Dec 2012
Volume 2, Issue 2
Have you been to MFRMLS University? By MFRMLS Staff Have you been to MFRMLS University? Although we often refer to MFRMLS University as any training and education provided by MFRMLS, there is an actual, online MFRMLS University: www.MFRMLSUniversity.com What does MFRMLSUniversity.com have to offer? You can complete the required MLS Basic course (as well as a couple other courses), find education documents, as well as navigate to the MFRMLS University YouTube channel (in order to view recorded webinars). To get started with MFRMLSUniversity.com, check out the below video.
Nov/Dec 2012 | My Florida ReSource | 8
Thank you. MFRMLS prides itself on accurate data, and one of our goals is to maintain a listing service that is successful for everyone. With that said, we want to thank all of our members who comply with our rules and regulations.
Top five violations for November: 1. Expected Closing Date – When a closing date has been changed, the “Expected Closing Date” must be updated to reflect the correct date. Failure to update after one business day warning notice will result in a fine based on the progressive fine schedule. 2. Short Sale – For short sale listings, “Short Sale” must be added as the first two words in the Public and Realtor Remarks. 3. Photo with Signage – Photos may not contain any contact information, text, etc., and may not feature the listing signage in the foreground. 4. Contact Info in Public Remarks Field – The Public Remarks shall not include contact, personal, or professional information about the Participant or Subscriber. 5. Driving Directions – Driving directions are required and must be narrative directions that include full street names, beginning and ending points and use standard directional designations. Reference to online electronic mapping isn’t allowed (e.g. Mapquest, Google, GPS is not acceptable.)
Looking for the MFRMLS Ruls & Regs? Visit http://mfrmls.myismart.com
9 | My Florida ReSource | Nov/Dec 2012
Volume 2, Issue 2
Compliance Update New Hearing Appeals Panel Policy By Jennifer Thompson-Kersting, Vice President of Member Relations As 2012 is coming to a close, change is on the horizon.
Rest assured, the hearing process will be conducted in accordance with the NAR “Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual,” as it relates to notifications, documentation, the hearing process and decisions. The basis of decisions will be based on the MLS Rules and Regulations and Policies of MFRMLS. Code of Ethics violations, or arbitration requests, will be referred to the appropriate REALTOR® Association/Board. So that you don’t have to read every detail in the above mentioned policy, here are the nuts and bolts. • If you are assessed a late/reactivation fee or a compliance penalty, you may request a waiver of the fee assessed. The request must be submitted in writing (via USPS, fax or email delivery) within 20 days of email notification of the fee or compliance penalty. • All requests will be considered by the Compliance Audit Review Team (CART) who will either approve or deny the request. • If the fee is not waived by the CART, you will have the opportunity to request a hearing for consideration by a MLS Panel. The decision of the MLS Panel will be final unless an appeal is requested. • Appeals will be heard by members of the MFRMLS Board of Directors Executive Committee. The decision of the Executive Committee Appeal Panel will be final.
As MFRMLS continues to grow and the MLS industry changes, it became apparent that it was time to review how MFRMLS handles member requests for fine and fee waivers. MFRMLS worked with your local Association Executives, in addition to the Policy Committee, to craft a Hearing and Appeals Panel Policy that has been approved by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). A complete copy of the policy may be found by clicking here.
MFRMLS values all members and has worked diligently to ensure that a fair and unbiased policy has been created. – Jennifer ThompsonKersting, VP of Member Relations
• All actions of the CART and the MLS Panel will be reviewed and amended or affirmed by the MFRMLS Board of Directors. MFRMLS values all members and has worked diligently to ensure that a fair and unbiased policy has been created. Please feel free to review the entire policy by clicking here. As always, you may obtain a current version of the MFRMLS Rules and Regulations, by visiting: http://mfrmls.myismart.com.
Nov/Dec 2012 | My Florida ReSource | 10
New Rule and Fines for Unauthorized Postings of Listings Craigslist scams offer a good reminder to protect your listings By MFRMLS Staff Did you know that MFRMLS Policies and Rules have been updated to include an automatic fine for advertising listings of another agent/broker without permission from the listing broker, outside of authorized IDX use? The first offense will carry an automatic $500 penalty; the second offense will result in an automatic penalty of $5,000; further violations may lead to additional fines and possible suspension of membership. MFR encourages all brokers and agents to ask for permission before posting another brokerâ€™s listing without permission. Although most of these Craigslist scams are being conducted by third parties, now is a good time to remember this rule, ensuring every effort is being made to control listing content. What steps can you take to monitor your listing content? Sometimes even a simple Google search of your listing address can ensure it isnâ€™t popping up on some unauthorized website. Or, better yet, you can set up a Google Alert to notify you anytime your listing address or other listing information pops up on the web. To set up an alert, visit www.google.com/alerts Looking for an example of a Craigslist scam? Here is an example, that recently occurred in the Orlando area: http://www.myfoxorlando.com/story/18934776/ homeless-man-rents-out-vacant-house
You can set up a Google Alert to notify you anytime your listing address or other listing information pops up on the web. To set up an alert, visit www.google. com/alerts
In general, here are some safety tips from Craigslist about avoiding scams on Craigslist: http://www.craigslist.org/about/scams Margy Grant, Vice President of Law & Policy and General Counsel for Florida Realtors, gives some advice for marketing your listings on Craigslist.
11 | My Florida ReSource | Nov/Dec 2012
Volume 2, Issue 2
MLS Data Co-op
an MFRMLS Member Benefit* Have you used Data Co-op™? Data Co-op is a My Florida Regional MLS (MFRMLS) member benefit that provides you with new tools, new reports, and a new way to access MLS listings. Best of all, there’s no additional fee to use Data Co-op, so be sure to take advantage of this valuable tool. Here are some Data Co-op highlights:
MLS Data Co
—Enhanced mapping and parcel boundaries
MLS Data Without Bord
The MLS Data Co-op™ by Cor couldn’t access before and ma
—Price and days on market analysis —Nearby comparable sales
Access MLS listing
—Community demographic charts
Whether you have a client who can tap into the MLS data you public-facing sites, it’s the age listings, neighborhood, and m
—Neighborhood demographic report —School information —Real estate trends
Market your prope
—Foreclosure map overlays (pre-default, auction, and bank-owned/REO)
Your MLS has always been the It’s also a great way to get your county who may have clients r properties. Unlike public sites professional benefit, MLS Data in other markets.
—RealAVM™ report (MLS Enhanced Property Value Report) —LAMAR™ report (Listing and Market Activity Report)
How can you access Data Co-op? You can access Data Co-op directly within MLXchange (by clicking on the link in the SmartLinks section of the Home page). *Access to Data Co-op based on Association/Board membership.
For more information
Visit the Data Co-op Member Benefits page on MFRMLS.com www.mfrmls.com/member-benefits/mlxchange-benefits/data-co-op
Nov/Dec 2012 | My Florida ReSource | 12
What’s “The Word?” We want to know from you!
By MFRMLS Staff We’re always looking for feedback from our members, as member feedback helps us gauge product interest and make improvements when possible. So, without further ado, we’re happy to announce “The Word.” What’s The Word? We’re hoping you can help us with that. In the Member Benefits section of MFRMLS.com, you will find a drop down menu of your products and services. When you scroll over a particular product or service, you will now find a webpage called the “The Word.” On that webpage you will find a brief survey, giving you the opportunity to give your input on that product or service. As mentioned, your feedback is appreciated, because it helps us make more informed decisions about the products and services (i.e. Member Benefits) that are offered through your MFRMLS subscription. So, what’s the word? Thank you, in advance, for your feedback.
My email changed…now what? By MFRMLS Staff We receive quite a few requests from Members to update their email address in our system. However, our records pull from your local Association’s records. So…in order to update your email address with MFR, you must update it with your Association. From there, you are all set. Our records will update with the new email address.
13 | My Florida ReSource | Nov/Dec 2012
In the Member Benefits section of MFRMLS.com, you will find a drop down menu of your products and services. When you scroll over a particular product or service, you will now find a webpage called the “The Word.”
Volume 2, Issue 2
Tis’ the Season to Connect with Clients (Survey Results) By MFRMLS Staff The holidays: a time of year when we connect with family, friends, and … clients! After all, given the cheer and traditions of the holiday season (whatever holiday you celebrate), this time of year provides great opportunities to connect with past and current clients – and maybe even connect with some future clients along the way! So, given the holiday season, we recently posted a survey to the Message of the Day in the MLS system, asking MFRMLS members how they connect with clients. We received many great responses, and wish we could have published them all. More than anything, thank you to all who responded! Overall, here is our assessment of the survey, based on the responses: • Facebook is becoming a mainstream way to connect with clients. 57% of respondents said they use Facebook to connect with clients. • Find what works best for you. There are many ways to connect with clients. Find a way that works best for you – and fits your personality (keeping in mind a customer service mentality). • Schedule! A common theme among all the responses was the act of scheduling or time management. Many of the respondents schedule time, as part of a plan, to reach out to clients (i.e. spending 30 minutes
every morning to email past clients). • If at first you don’t succeed … there are always referrals. Many people responded that their communications and efforts to establish relationships with their clients often resulted in referrals (even if they didn’t result in success with the original client). Here is a summary of the results (from 217 total responses): Question: What method(s) do you use to stay connected with your clients (past and current clients)? (Check all that apply) Emails: 94.5%
– Face-to-face – Lowes REALTOR benefits program – “Plain old knocking on the door with a fresh batch of homemade cookies.” – Mailings (postcards, letters, promotional items, etc…)
Text Messages: 74.2%
– “I send out a monthly newsletter along with a short note that gives them info on real estate and other issues in life.”
Holiday and/or Special Occasion Cards (or Gifts): 53%
– Community service and volunteering
*Other Method(s): 34.1%
– Emailed CMAs
Networking and Other Events: 31.3%
– Annual party
Phone Calls: 91.2%
Twitter: 17.1% Google+: 12% Pinterest: 7.4% *For those who selected “Other Method(s),” they were asked to specify, and here are some of the responses:
Question: Do you have any particular strategy (or strategies) for connecting with clients (ex: “I spend 30 minutes each morning connecting with clients through Facebook)? (Please see “Connect” page 16) Nov/Dec 2012 | My Florida ReSource | 14
Relationship Management: 7 Ways to Keep In Touch With Past Clients Past clients are your lifeline to generating a steady stream of repeat business and referrals, but how do you keep in touch without becoming a nuisance? Real estate pros offer their best tips for keeping relationships alive past a transaction. By Melissa Dittmann Tracey In real estate, there’s a fine line in keeping in touch with your past clients and becoming that annoying pest who’s always calling, e-mailing, or mailing. So how do you make sure you aren’t annoying and stay within that helpful professional or friend zone? “It’s all about making it personal, making it magic, and making the experience unforgettable so that two or 10 years down the road they’ll remember to call you,” says real estate pro Cheryl Hanna with Keyes Co. in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and also a frequent blogger about customer service issues for Service Untitled. There are plenty of ways to keep in touch without them turning off, such as through memorable gifts and personalized cards, or even sneaky ways to get connected to their voice mail without risking interrupting them with a phone call. A lot of it comes down to intuitively judging what your clients want in a relationship with you after a transaction, Hanna says. For example, is your relationship more of a friendship or strictly professional? 15 | My Florida ReSource | Nov/Dec 2012
How do they prefer to be contacted—which of them are phone persons and which are e-mail types? Something else to keep in mind: They probably want you to stay connected. The odds appear in your favor that past clients will use you again. Eighty-four percent of sellers say they are likely to use the same agent again or recommend that agent to others, according to the 2010 National Association of Realtors®Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. But if you disappear into the shadows following a transaction, will they really call when they — or their family and friends — need you? Real estate professionals sent in some of their best ideas for keeping in touch with past clients. Find some inspiration from what they do and apply it to your own customer relationships. 1. Deliver some news they can use Clients won’t be so turned off when you provide them with useful information, such as the latest news of the community and the local housing market. “The real estate market is tense in a lot of areas of the country right now and many home owners are interested in information on the mortgage market, foreclosure information, or
the value of the home they have now,” Hanna says. “Everything you send out to a former client has to have some pertinent, valuable information to them,” otherwise they’ll disregard your messages completely. For example, Desiree DiDonato with Century 21 Rauh & Johns in Sewell, N.J., likes to send her past clients a “hello” e-mail that includes home sales in the area where they own. Or, she might call them with current rates on mortgages. (You can find the latest mortgage rates through Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey at freddiemac.com.) Or offer home maintenance reminders (e.g., changing out smoke detector batteries once a year), home design tips, or remodeling ideas (cite Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report) to show what remodeling projects offer the biggest return at resale). You also can find helpful articles — on everything from home maintenance to selling advice — to send to clients at HouseLogic.com. 2. Offer an unusual gift (Please see “Client” page 17) Volume 2, Issue 2
Continued from page 14 “I get up early every morning and email at least one client that I have not made a connection with in the last month.” — Tammy Smith, Coldwell Banker “I go on Facebook at least once a day and send out eCards to sphere of influence.” — Karlene Grimes, Prudential Results Realty “Walking my dog thru the neighborhood works wonders!” — Susan Thompson, Keller Williams Suncoast Realty “First thing in the morning and the last thing at night: I do a search and recap of emails, phone messages, and a hot sheet.” — Karen Govorchin, Margaret Adorjan & Associates “I always send birthday, anniversary, and other event cards to clients.” — Jennifer Crone, RE/MAX Metro “I spend 15-20 minutes on Facebook and LinkedIn everyday. Best times to post are 11am-1pm, 5pm-6:30pm, and late nights, 10pm-midnight. I do a flash reading of other people’s postings. I don’t waste time reading everything. Focusing on contacting others to generate leads is the main focus for my business in social media.” — Javier Moret, One Stop Realty of Sarasota, LLC “I connect with clients every Monday morning. I also have a blog they can go to.” — Cheryl Morris-Velasco, Coldwell Banker Sunstar-Morris Realty “The Lowe’s 10% discount card – I send it twice a year. It not only reminds them about me, but could benefit them with 10% next time they go to Lowe’s.” — Milena Valle, Global Real Estate “I connect on homeownership anniversaries and Christmas with a card.” — Julie Weeks, Watson Realty Corp “I designate one day a month to contact past clients.” — Standeline Thomas Weichert, Realtors- Hallmark Properties “New leads I contact once a week for eight weeks. After closing, I alternate contact methods, once a month for 12 months (1st month: face to face; 2nd month: phone call; 3rd month: card; 4th month: face to face again; etc…)” — David Betz, Keller Williams at The Parks “I spend 20 minutes in the morning calling old clients with children I know are grown, and need a house (either getting married, out of college, etc…)” — Giuseppina Mottolese, Venosa Realty, LLC “I email my entire contact list once a month. I always get at least 5 or 6 replies.” — Rick McBride, McBride Realty Group, LLC “…Keeping in touch regularly during holidays and birthdays.” — Jackie Cortes, Homeward Real Estate (Please see “Strategies” page 18)
Nov/Dec 2012 | My Florida ReSource | 16
Continued from page 15 Shelley Tinnel with Boulder Bay Realty Group in Valparaiso, Ind., likes to make gifts memorable. She’ll send past clients an odd gift usually at the beginning of every year. Last year, she sent “dirty/clean” magnets for the dishwasher. Or she has mailed rival sports team schedules so they can root for the other team, or once she sent bags of popcorn with stickers that say “Real estate is popping; give me a call.“ “Mostly they call to laugh, but they remember me,” Tinnel says. “I love to get a smile or a kick out of people, and little odd items do the trick.” Need more ideas? See 10 Cheap Prospecting Giveaways or get some do-it-yourself gift ideas, from homemade cookies to becoming a handy helper for the day. 3. Make your cards memorable and personal Remembering important events in your clients’ lives and sending a card in the mail or a simple e-mail message can go a long way in building memorable relationships. Hanna isn’t big into popular holiday cards because she says they get mixed up with everyone else’s cards and are quickly forgotten. Instead, to stand out, she likes to send off-season cards, such as “Welcome to Spring” or Thanksgiving cards. Here are some more ideas: • Birthday cards with an extra touch: Vincent Prestileo Jr. with RE/MAX Hometown in Media, Pa., sends a birthday card each year to his clients that includes a $1 scratch-off ticket. And don’t forget Fido: Pet birthdays count too, adds 17 | My Florida ReSource | Nov/Dec 2012
Donna Mikesh with Century 21 Pro Service, Realtors®, in Johnson City, Tenn. • Home anniversary cards: Send out cards each year celebrating the anniversary of closing on the clients’ home. • Congratulatory cards: Remember graduations, wedding anniversaries, or a new baby in the family. • Important date reminders: Consider card reminders about daylight savings time or upcoming deadlines for home energyefficiency tax credits. Every month, Vicci Hall with ERA Real Estate Professionals in Ridgeland, Miss., will select 50 past clients with whom she has a close relationship and send them a special letter, which she calls a “Letter From My Heart.” She’ll handwrite the envelopes to add a personal touch, and the letters will include inspirational stories or focus on a special holiday or event. For example, she recently used breast cancer awareness envelopes and stamps and pink stationery for a letter to past clients to show them she also supports a cause that is near and dear to them. “I’ve gotten a tremendous amount of positive comments and feedback from this letter,” she says. “This contact with past clients ensures that they don’t forget me and also reminds them to refer me to friends and family.” 4. Give them a call Sabena Branche with Pulte Homes in Newburgh, N.Y., likes to follow up with her clients with a phone call a few days after they move in to check
on how the move went and offer her assistance if needed. Phone calls for past clients’ birthdays or special days also can make a great personal touch. But how about if your client isn’t really a phone person, but you still want that personal touch a voice offers? Phone services such as SlyDial allow you to connect directly to someone’s mobile voice mail to leave them a message without disrupting them with your call. You simply call the SlyDial number (267-759-3425) and then at the voice prompt, enter the mobile phone number you want to reach. You’ll be directly connected to that person’s voice mail to leave a message. 5. Follow up with a survey Hanna always uses customer feedback surveys following a transaction. It’s a way to not only make contact with your past clients but also show them you care about finding ways to better serve them in the future. Experts recommend sending customer-satisfaction surveys two to three weeks after closing. Keep the surveys brief, asking your customers what services they liked and what needs improvement, Hanna suggests. You can easily build customer feedback surveys online, such as through SurveyMonkey.com, KeySurvey, FreeOnlineSurveys.com, or Zoomerang. 6. Make a social networking connection Social networking sites online can make it easy to keep in touch with past clients on an informal and more friend-type basis. (Please see “7 Ways” page 21)
Volume 2, Issue 2
Continued from page 16 “I check my daily Listing Book to see what views my clients have gone thru, and comment on their picks.” — Tina Wagner, Wilson Realty “I like to send post cards that include recipes that are connected to the particular season/holiday. “ — Marion Rayburn, Rayburn Realty
Question: Any particular success story or other story, in regards to staying connected with your past and current clients? “One summer I bought a load of watermelons, and delivered one to each person that had bought in the neighborhood. It was a hit!” — Marianne Lilly, RE/MAX Harbor Realty “Calling a lead five weeks after they came to my open house, because I thought I’d lost their sign-in sheet. I dialed, thinking there’s no way they haven’t found a Realtor yet, but sure enough, they’d been waiting for my call!” — David Betz, Keller Williams at The Parks “I just sent all my clients a box of ‘fairytale brownies’ and reminded them that I was just looking for ‘brownie points’. I received immediate response!” — Kiersten Walker, Axel Real Estate, Inc. “Nothing terribly unique, but it is wonderful that a very nice gal (from Germany), who bought a house from me about 12 years ago has connected me with her daughter and her fiance’ to buy a house in the same area. The daughter was in elementary school when we first met. I do hope, however, that I am retired by the time her children are ready to buy their first
home! But this is how we build our businesses: one family, one contact at a time – and do your very best each time.” — Sandy Streit, Sandy Rae Realty “Every time I send an email for a holiday, I always get at least one referral. Always!” — Elizabeth Menendez, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, LLC “Auto notifications and being on the MLS often can mean the difference between snagging a listing and missing out. This summer this happened to me. Client was looking for particular neighborhood, and we were looking online together (we had looked at another property they did not like), and a listing just came up. Listing agent listed 4:00pm Sunday; 4:15pm I called seller; 5:00pm we were viewing property; 6:30pm writing offer – and we were accepted because of being very quick to show the property.” — Carri Schoeller, Charles Rutenberg Realty “Two particular deals this year from Facebook, which came totally unexpected.” — James Feeney, Key Realty
Have you seen this icon? We like to call it the “House in the Hand” and it’s the icon for Down Payment Resource. It could help your client get a down payment for his or her home. For more information please visit http://www.mfrmls.com/ member-benefits/down-payment-resource/dpr-in-mlxchange
“I have a past client who referred me to two new clients. I closed with those two new clients, and each of them referred me one client who I ended up working for and successfully closing those two sales. Love Referrals!” — Javier Moret, One Stop Realty of Sarasota, LLC
Nov/Dec 2012 | My Florida ReSource | 18
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Global display of properties within the Proxio network, to partner sites and to Facebook.
Opportunity to obtain leads from global web portals, and buyer referrals from agents
Marketing tools to help you capture more listings
Subscribe today. Free registration and basic access included with your MFRMLS subscription! *Upgrades available back of this flyer for options) 30-day FREE Trial!(see Visit the below link to sign up!
www.Proxio.com/MFRMLS Connect. Communicate. Sell. TM
19 | My Florida ReSource | Nov/Dec 2012
Volume 2, Issue 2
Realtor.com: Do you know your options? By MFRMLS Staff Did you know there are three main options for listing display on Realtor.com? As long as you opt in through the MLS to have your listings syndicated to Realtor.com (utilizing the Internet Y/N field when entering a new listing), your listings will appear on Realtor.com.
—Links to office or agent website —Can call listing contact from mobile phone
However, what happens when they’re syndicated? When your listings are syndicated to Realtor.com, they now automatically appear as a “Connection” listing. Previously, when your listings were syndicated to Realtor.com they appeared as a “Basic” listing. So, what’s the difference between a “Basic” and a “Connection” listing? OPTION 1: “Connection” (Free, default option where listings are automatically syndicated) With the default “Connection” option, the following appears on the Realtor.com listing page: —Up to 25 listing photos —Complete listing information —Broker Name —Broker Phone Number —Inquiry form (see screenshot top right) that goes to a qualified Buyer’s Agent within the same MLS (Buyer’s Agent pays for the lead) Don’t want an inquiry form? If brokers/agents don’t want an inquiry form placed on the listing page, brokers/agents can opt out of the “Connection” option by contacting the Realtor.com Customer Care Center at 1-877-799-2863. www.MFRMLS.com
—Purchased display upgrade If you wish to opt out of the “Connection” option , here are your other two options: OPTION 2: “Basic” (Free, alternative option to “Connection”) With the “Basic” option, the following appears on the Realtor.com listing page: —Up to 4 listing photos —Complete listing information —Broker Name —Broker Phone Number —NO inquiry form appears OPTION 3: “Showcase” (Paid upgrade) With the “Showcase” option, the following appears on the Realtor.com listing page: —Up to 25 listing photos —Broker and agent branding —Added custom text
Want more info on these three options? Click on the following link to download some slides, explaining the differences between “Connection,” “Basic,” and “Showcase” listings: www. mfrmls.com/resources/document-library/doc_download/628-realtorcomoptions Want to upgrade to “Showcase” or view more products at Realtor.com? Visit the Realtor.com Solution Center at http://marketing.realtor.com/solutioncenter/ Want more info about how to market yourself through Realtor.com? Visit http://support.realtor.com/ to learn more about Realtor.com and how you can include Realtor.com in your marketing.
Did you know? You can now upload up to 25 listing photos in the MLS system.
—Visual highlights —Full contact information Nov/Dec 2012 | My Florida ReSource | 20
7 WAYS Continued from page 17 Deb Counts-Tabor with Oregon Realty in Portland, Ore., makes sure to connect with all of her past clients on Facebook. “I use it for everything, from knowing when a past client is having a baby to reminding folks to check basements during the first heavy rain of the year,” Counts-Tabor says. “I’ve only lost contact with two clients in four years — I count the rest as friends.” Tip: You can use Facebook’s friend lists feature to group your friends into customized lists (e.g. “first-time home buyers,” “past clients,” “industry contacts,” etc.) to better manage all your contacts on Facebook. (You can put friends into multiple lists.) By categorizing your friends on Facebook, you’ll then easily be able to view news feeds based on your contact lists or send messages to certain lists of contacts. Just be careful what you call your lists — some friend lists can be made public and even notify your contacts about it. Check your privacy settings. Also, to stay on top of what your clients are doing online and find excuses to connect again, you can use plug-ins to your e-mail systems to reveal what your contacts are doing online. For example, services such as Xobni and Rapportive create an address book of all your e-mail contacts and show you profiles of each contact, including their latest status updates on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. 7. Get creative! Special events or extra helpful touches also can go a long way in getting your past clients’ attention and set you apart. Here are three ideas: 21 | My Florida ReSource | Nov/Dec 2012
• Host a party: Counts-Tabor has created a Halloween tradition among her past clients. She invites them to her home on Halloween for a party; costumes are optional. The early part of the evening is kidfriendly with her clients’ children trick-or-treating; people at the party will take turns answering the door to hand out treats. About 75 past clients showed up last year. Also, in the past, Counts-Tabor rented a hotel suite on the fourth of July across from where the fireworks in the city would be set off and invite all of her clients to watch the fireworks from there. • Help them get organized: To help your clients better organize their housing paperwork or prepare for tax time, create a binder containing copies of paperwork generated during the transaction, such as appraisals, inspection reports, warranties, and settlement statements. For example, Mikesh of Century 21 Pro Service sends a letter and copy of her clients’ HUD form to them at the beginning of the year following their closing. “The HUD form is greatly appreciated because of tax preparation, the fact that they have moved recently, and — in most cases — they’ve misplaced their paperwork temporarily,” she says. • Come to the rescue: Consider what information your past clients may need to make home ownership happier for them and put yourself in the “save the day” role. For example, offer past clients a list of vendors — from handyman to electricians to plumbers — to help them with any home problem they may face. Or, many home owners, despite having a drop in market value of their homes, have had to face rising property taxes. You can
help point them to information on how to appeal their property taxes. (See “Time to Appeal That Tax Bill?”) Make Lasting Connections Regardless what you do to keep in touch, be consistent in your contact. Many real estate professionals use a customer relationship management solution, whether it’s an online or computer software program, to better manage all of their past contacts and set notifications to alert them to establish contact at certain times of the year. Hall manages all of her past clients in a database. She sends about 175 cards a month to people on her list, such as postcards for holidays or mailings that offers different types of advice like home maintenance tips. “I’ve been doing this for about six months, and it is truly paying off now,” she says. “I’m getting new business every few days, most of which are somehow related to this mailing list. People on my list are referring me to friends of theirs, which is the idea behind it.” Branche has a “Keep in Touch” program that goes into action immediately after closing for every client. It includes mailings and e-mail from her every holiday, birthday, and anniversary of their closing. “I have found being consistent with these actions opens the door to repeat business,” Branche says. “Also, it allows me to continue building my referral base, which has created much more business to come directly my way.” Copyright National Association of REALTORS®. Reprinted with permission. Click here for article link. Volume 2, Issue 2
ListHub adds new filters and publisher lookup.
By MFRMLS Staff This past April, ListHub rolled out new functionality to provide brokers and agents with more transparency in their online marketing options and an easy way to use filters to select websites for syndication based on criteria. Seven filters were included at launch: No Re-Syndication Posts Redirect Link Provides Error Reports Provides Metrics Shows Broker Contact Info www.MFRMLS.com
Timely Listing Removal
New Publisher Lookup
One of the Frequently Asked Questions by brokers, and agents is whether or not a certain website is part of the ListHub network. Because several of the primary publishers in the ListHub network power hundreds of smaller websites (for example: Homefinder, Trulia, and Zillow), brokers and agents needed a method to query a specific website URL and check to see whether it’s part of the overall network.
ListHub has added 3 NEW filters that are now available in your ListHub dashboard: • Refreshes Daily: The publisher posts new or updated listing information at least once per day • No FSBOs: The publisher does not display “For Sale By Owner” listings • Mobile App Available: The publisher powers a mobile application with the listing information
The new Publisher Lookup tool provides ListHub customers with just (Please see “Listhub” page 24) Nov/Dec 2012 | My Florida ReSource | 22
MLS most used online resource among homebuyers By MFRMLS Staff MLS websites were used by more homebuyers than any other online resource, including third-party websites and mobile apps, according to a 2012 homebuyer and seller survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®.
“Fifty-four percent of the homebuyers who used the Internet (90 percent of respondents) to help them find a home used their local MLS site, according to the survey, conducted in June 2012 and representing the 12 months spanning July 2011 to the end of June. All respondents had purchased a home in that time period.” As a reminder, MFRMLS operates a consumer MLS website, called MyFloridaHomesMLS.com, designed to provide more leads back to MFRMLS members. Additionally, MFRMLS members can use a MyFloridaHomesMLS.com Custom Link (a personal, unique URL), allowing their clients to search the MLS, while keeping members’ branding and contact info on every listing. For more information on MyFloridaHomesMLS.com, please visit: http://www.mfrmls.com/member-benefits/myfloridahomesmlscom For more information on the 2012 NAR survey of homebuyers and sellers, please see the Inman News article at: http://www.inman.com/news/2012/11/14/mls-most-used-internet-resourcehomebuyers
According to an Inman News article, which highlights the survey,
Fifty-four percent of the homebuyers who used the Internet (90 percent of respondents) to help them find a home used their local MLS site, according to the survey. – Inman News
23 | My Florida ReSource | Nov/Dec 2012
Volume 2, Issue 2
Continued from page 22 that - a simple tool that simplifies this task into a single search box. The Publisher Lookup tool is available in all user accounts, including broker, and agent. How you might use the new tool: If you find your listing on an unfamiliar site, the search tool gives you a quick way to determine whether the site is part of your distribution network with ListHub.
MFR ListHub Preferred Publishers MFR has established a list of Preferred Publisher Channels to help our Members choose the syndication options that exhibit best practices. These Preferred Publishers are: • AOL Real Estate • Homefinder.com
sending referrals or leads to MFRMLS members 3. Publisher site maintains significant internet traffic and consumer inquiries
Are YOU a Commercial
4. Publisher provides timely support 5. Publisher removes inactive listings daily 6. Publisher refreshes listings daily Publishers marked as MLS Preferred are in no way endorsed by MFRMLS, rather, these are recommendations based on the above criteria. Sidenote: If you are using both ListHub and Point 2 Agent as a syndication tool, you might want to double check that you are not duplicating your syndication.
• Homes.com • HotPads.com • Trulia • Zillow While it is not required to make your choices based on MLS Preferred, each broker and agent may log into ListHub and you may use the list to choose your syndication sites. How did MFR choose the MLS Preferred Publishers? “MLS Preferred Publishers” have met the following criteria established by MFRMLS: 1. Publisher does not resell products or services 2. Publisher participates in
www.MFCRE.com Where do your listings go? Click on the following link to download a document that explains: www.mfrmls. com/resources/ document-library/doc_ download/549-wherelisting-go-syndicationtool
For more information on becoming an MFCRE member, a Commercial Information Exchange (CIE), please call 1-800-686-7451 or email Info@mfcre.com
Nov/Dec 2012 | My Florida ReSource | 24
25 | My Florida ReSource | Nov/Dec 2012
Volume 2, Issue 2
a request Tuesday and had TWO calls from houses but she called the second time because I I call responsive! And she couldn’t have been -M. Hunt Altamonte Springs, FL
Eligibility Criteria http://loanlookup.fanniemae.com/loanlookup/ Real estate professional must be a member of a participating MLS. Real estate professional must be the listing agent for the property. Real estate professional must obtain a signed Borrower Authorization Form (BAF) from the homeowner(s) and submit it to the MLS; http://mfrmls.com/shortsale/docs/SSAD-BAF.pdf
Submission Guidelines issue by working through the servicer. Real estate professional may submit the case in the event the servicer has not provided: an initial response within 20 days,
or, if the real estate professional has received an approval from the servicer for your transaction, but either the mortgage insurer or second lien holder has imposed a closing condition that is not possible for the borrower to meet. Real estate professional must address all “actionable” requests from the servicer before submitting the issue. Where additional documentation is requested, servicer response time will be
5032 Goddard Avenue Orlando, FL 32804 shortsale.mfrmls.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Nov/Dec 2012 | My Florida ReSource | 26
The Focus MFR TEAM MEMBER FOCUS ON: Sean Robinson, Technical Support Representative In this section we spotlight MFR team members, in order to help distinguish the dedicated, hard-working, friendly faces we have on our MFR staff. We truly have an outstanding team of individuals. And, of course, this is no coincidence, as we look to provide our members with outstanding service. So, without further ado, we are pleased to spotlight (drum roll please) … Sean Robinson, Technical Support Representative and avid mountain biker! How long have you been working at MFR? Over four years. What aspect of your job do you enjoy the most? It’s always a different problem, and a new opportunity to improve someone’s day – and spread love in my own small way. Any hobbies outside of work? I’m an avid mountain bike rider, and love to discover new trails… mostly outside of Florida where there is more elevation and LESS SAND. I’m also a seasoned RC car veteran, owning cars ranging from 1/5 large scale, to mini and micro RC cars. I also collect Hot Wheels. (Stay away, the ones on my desk have Lo-Jack. I’m watching you.) I really enjoy cars, and have owned more than 17 in my life – some race cars, which get expensive (and I don’t make the money I used to). So the cost effectiveness of RC cars is attractive. I can still satisfy my need for speed/desire to wrench, and not have to break my piggy bank. Where were you born and where were you raised? I was born in Queens, NY, but raised in Brooklyn, NY. I moved to FL in my teens. If there’s one place in the world, all expenses-paid, you could visit tomorrow, where would that place be and why? Japan or Australia. I enjoy Japanese culture and architecture – and technology. But I have always wanted to go to Australia ever since I saw The Thorn Birds as a kid. There is an adventurer inside of me that would love to go on a safari and explore the unadulterated wild. I could totally live that life. Then again ... wait… you said ONE place, didn’t you. Hmm… Africa. Thank you, Sean, for your dedication, hard work, and taking the time to answer our questions!
The Focus MFR PRODUCT & SERVICE FOCUS ON: Property Panorama Check out the new view from Property Panorama! Better yet? As an MFRMLS Member, as long as you have at least five property photos uploaded for a respective listing, then Property Panorama will create a free virtual tour and video, using the first five photos for that listing. Looking for upgraded, enhanced options to showcase your listings through Property Panorama (beyond the first five property photos)? Then check out the various Property Panorama options below. InstaViewPro Virtual Tours ($7.99/ month or $79.99/year) These highly customizable, branded virtual tours with additional options and features include: customizable layout, theme and music; agent/brokerage branding options; unlimited images; full voiceover features; and, integrated maps and school information. Click here to download an InstaViewPro flyer. InstaPrint Virtual Flyers ($3.99/ month or $39.99/year) This new service automatically creates a customizable, online Virtual Flyer and high-definition printable PDF for each listing.
InstaPrint is a great tool for lead generation. If a consumer requests your online flyer, Property Panorama passes the contact information to you. Elite Suite (FREE 30-day trial – Normally $10.49/month or $104.99/ year) Property Panorama’s Elite Suite is a bundled collection of four different, advanced feature and function virtual presentations which enable you to create and distribute fullycustomizable virtual tours, quickly and easily. These four presentations are: 1. Panoramic Virtual Tours Using your images, Property Panorama delivers a panoramic virtual tour, and automatically attaches an unbranded version to the MLS, and a fully branded version to Zillow and Trulia. You can use the same link for you and your Broker’s web sites. 2. MobileMedia Tours with TurboText A sign on your listing would instruct “Text 984323 to 440-725TOUR to see a full video tour of this home!” When a prospect sees the sign and texts in the
code, seconds later he receives a reply text containing your contact information, price, square footage, beds, baths and other basic information, as well as a link to a video tour of the listing that is specially formatted to work on any cell phone in the world. Competitive products sell for $2025 per month. 3. Premium Video Tours A premium level video tour is created by Property Panorama using custom-created graphics, professional transitions, exclusive music, key words and other special effects. 4. PodCAST Tours Automatically created each time an Elite Suite virtual tour is created, with no additional effort on your part. You can show multiple homes with similar characteristics to buyers without them having to drive to numerous locations. Click here to download an Elite Suite flyer.
www.MFRMLS.com/ member-benefits/ property-panorama
Are You Getting the Most out of YOUR Consumer Website? MyFloridaHomesMLS.com is YOUR Consumer Website. Similar to a Trulia or a Zillow, MyFloridaHomesMLS.com keeps YOU at the center
custom link will be displayed on the landing page.
Try It Out Today!
29 | My Florida ReSource | Nov/Dec 2012
Keeping YOU at the Center of the Transaction.
Volume 2, Issue 2
What is Down Payment Resource ? SM
Why Down Payment Resource ? SM
Finding a Homebuyer Assistance program today can be confusing and complicated, here’s why: Programs are highly fragmented » No standard of regions » Overlapping coverage Lack of standardization » No uniform application » Programs ask for information » One-of-a-kind eligibility rules » Hard-to-automate program descriptions » Diverse incentives with complex terms and conditions The Solution: Down Payment Resource. No more searching the Internet and making dozens of phone calls, only to be disappointed. Down Payment Resource improves the search among Homebuyer Assistance Programs for: » Mortgage Lenders » REALTORS® » Home Builders/Developers » Housing Finance Agencies For more information visit: www.downpaymentresource.com
An easy-to-use, interactive, web-based application that: » Tracks and describes all Homebuyer Assistance programs including eligibility guidelines » Customizes searches based on homebuyer’s unique information » Automates the matching of homebuyers to assistance resources » Provides consumers, REALTORS® and lenders timely and accurate information » Captures, educates and informs consumers earlier with consumer-facing portal (optional) » Increases volume of home lending » » » »
Buyer’s market = Too many housing units for sale Credit guidelines tightened = Harder to qualify Bewildering array of assistance = Missed opportunities Assistance programs under-marketed, customers under-served
Down Payment ResourceSM connects home buyers to the incentive/ assistance programs that are right for them!
Down Payment Resource’s web-based system helps you: » Save time identifying options for your customers » Expand the pool of homebuyers for your listings » Value-added service for home builder and developer accounts » Market REO listing inventory » Improve customer service by reducing errors » Serve more customers, more For more information or a live demonstration, please contact: Rob Chrane, President Workforce Resource, LLC email@example.com www.downpaymentresource.com tel: 404.272.7054
Nov/Dec 2012 | My Florida ReSource | 30
RPR Commercial Now Available for MFCRE Member REALTORS®! MFCRE for your mobile phone
By MFRMLS Staff (Important note: Access to RPR Commercial does not necessarily mean you have access to RPR Residential. For more information about RPR for residential real estate and how it relates to MFRMLS members, please click here.) Good news! If you are an MFCRE member REALTOR® you now have exclusive access to additional reports, stats, and other commercial property tools through the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) product called Realtors Property Resource (RPR) Commercial. How do you sign up? Visit www. NARRPR.com to sign up. (Please note: If you are also a My Florida Regional MLS (MFRMLS) member for residential listings, please see “Important note” at the top of this article for information on RPR for residential real estate, as you may not have access to RPR for residential real estate.)
Market Analysis – Find areas that are a best fit for certain businesses, as well as demographic data, and other helpful insights about a particular market. Thematic Mapping – Search by map, narrowing your search by indicators, such as Average Family Size, Median Disposable Income, demographics, and even food preferences among consumers. Looking for additional information on RPR Commercial? Please visit the RPR Commercial blog at http://blog. narrpr.com/commercial/ Need help? The RPR Help Desk is whom you should contact with any questions or issues regarding RPR Commercial (see screenshot below). Once again, to sign up for RPR Commercial please visit www.NARRPR.com
New MFCRE LinkedIn Group! By MFRMLS Staff The MFCRE LinkedIn group is a networking and discussion group for MFCRE members, as well as all commercial real estate professionals in the state of Florida. The hope is that group members can connect with each other, network, and share information about their business, the commercial real estate industry, and other relevant topics associated with commercial real estate. Click on the LinkedIn icon below to join!
Features! There are three key features to RPR Commercial: Property Searching – You can search for commercial real estate listings throughout the United States, using search fields, such as property type, property status, building size, lot size, units, and year built. 31 | My Florida ReSource | Nov/Dec 2012
Volume 2, Issue 2
Stay Connected with the New Mobile App The new Catylist Mobile App (http://mobilecie.com) is designed to keep MFCRE members connected while on the go. It works great on Android/iOS smartphones & tablets, including iPhones & iPads. The setup is quick and easy. •
Sophisticated, map-based searching including an unlimited number of results.
View full listing details, including photo galleries.
Sync’d with listing catalogs for access during showings, client presentations.
Access to the MFCRE member directory to call/email colleagues.
View inventory of available property listings.
Read the latest commercial real estate news articles aggregated from around the Web.
Email listings and catalogs directly from your device.
Free public search allows tenants & investors to find property availabilities.
A n d r o i d P h o n e o r Ta b l e t P a d
Apple iPhone or iPad
Visit mobilecie.com in your browser
Visit mobilecie.com in Safari
• Click “Menu” then “Bookmarks”
• Tap the “Go To” icon at the bottom/center of the Safari window
• You’ll see the mobile app at the top with a star – click it, then “Add Bookmark”.
• Then tap “Add to Home Screen”
Catylist will now appear in the grid of bookmarks below • Long-press (press and hold) your new bookmark, then “Add shortcut to Home”
• Click the new Catylist icon on the home screen of your iPhone/iPad whenever you want to launch the app.
• Click the new Catylist icon on the home screen of your phone/tablet whenever you want to launch the app.
Major Map Upgrades, GIS Capabilities & Layering MFCRE is a fully capable GIS platform. Members can add various types of data overlays on top of property listings, comparables, and building records. Current layers include demographic data (Population Density, Household Income, and Education Level) as well as traffic flow indicators for major streets and highways. Whether it’s heat maps, points of interest, or custom geographic boundaries like local industrial zones — we can now integrate any GIS layers you have access to for your local market.
Instant Access to Listings via QR Codes QR codes are a new form of barcode that can be scanned by smartphones. All printable reports generated from MFCRE can include QR codes for each property. Once a report is printed, clients can simply scan the code and be automatically taken to the online listing presentation to view the full details.
My Florida Commercial Real Estate | 555 Winderley Place , Suite 320, Maitland, FL 32751 | www.mfcre.com | 407-960-5300
Nov/Dec 2012 | My Florida ReSource | 32
Around the House
An article for current and future homeowners
10 Ways to Prepare for Homeownership 1. Decide what you can afford. Generally, you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income.
different loan options — such as 30year or 15-year fixed mortgages or ARMs — and decide what’s best for you.
2. Develop your home wish list. Then, prioritize the features on your list.
7. Get preapproved. Organize all the documentation a lender will need to preapprove you for a loan. You might need W-2 forms, copies of at least one pay stub, account numbers, and copies of two to four months of bank or credit union statements.
3. Select where you want to live. Compile a list of three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in, taking into account items such as schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety. 4. Start saving. Do you have enough money saved to qualify for a mortgage and cover your down payment? Ideally, you should have 20 percent of the purchase price saved as a down payment. Also, don’t forget to factor in closing costs. Closing costs — including taxes, attorney’s fee, and transfer fees — average between 2 and 7 percent of the home price. 5. Get your credit in order. Obtain a copy of your credit report to make sure it is accurate and to correct any errors immediately. A credit report provides a history of your credit, bad debts, and any late payments. 6. Determine your mortgage qualifications. How large of mortgage do you qualify for? Also, explore 33 | My Florida ReSource | Nov/Dec 2012
8. Weigh other sources of help with a down payment. Do you qualify for any special mortgage or down payment assistance programs? Check with your state and local government on down payment assistance programs for first-time buyers. Or, if you have an IRA account, you can use the money you’ve saved to buy your fist home without paying a penalty for early withdrawal. 9. Calculate the costs of homeownership. This should include property taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities, and association fees, if applicable.
Visit www.HouseLogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Article link: http://realtormag.realtor. org/sales-and-marketing/handouts-forcustomers/for-buyers/10-ways-preparefor-homeownership
Click on the article link to download this article as a handout for your clients.
10. Contact a REALTOR®. Find an experienced REALTOR® who can help guide you through the process.
Volume 2, Issue 2
Your consumer site (MyFloridaHomesMLS.com) continues to work for you! By MFRMLS Staff The MFR Marketing team has been out promoting the MLS consumer site, MyFloridaHomesMLS.com, and based on the recent National Association of REALTORS速 (NAR) 2012 survey of homebuyers and sellers, this is a great strategy for REALTORS速. The survey showed that 54% of the homebuyers who used the internet to help them find a home used their local MLS site! (See article on page 23.) With MyFloridaHomesMLS.com pulling directly from the MLS, the site is a great resource for homebuyers. Additionally now with Down Payment Resource and lifestyle searches implemented, the site hosts a wealth of information for first-time and seasoned homebuyers. Ways you benefit from MyFloridaHomesMLS.com: 1. Your active listings appear on the site with your contact information. 11% of the homebuyers in the NAR survey found their REALTOR via a website. 2. The integration of down payment assistance offers consumers the opportunity to not only search for a home but to also start the process of digging into the down payment options available to them. However, to complete the process they have to contact the listing agent. 3. Florida is a hotspot for International buyers and MyFloridaHomesMLS. com can translate listing information into 16 different languages thanks to Proxio. 4. When you send clients to the site using your Custom Link (personal, unique url), you show up as the contact for all listings on the site. So when you see the MFR Marketing team, off property, setting up a MyFloridaHomesMLS.com booth out at a home show, bridal expo, community event, or ball game just know we are out there working for you!
Did you know you can obtain statistics on how many consumers are viewing your active listings on www.myfloridahomesmls.com? 1. Click on the Members Only link at the bottom right hand corner of the home page of www.myfloridahomesmls.com. 2. Log in with your MLXchange ID and password. 3. Click on Property Activity to view your active listings and then click on an address to get a more detailed statistical report that can be emailed to the seller or yourself. 4. Brokers may click on Office Activity for the activity of all listings within their office. www.MFRMLS.com
Upcoming Events: Stay tuned for upcoming events where MFR will be in attendance and answering Member questions.
Nov/Dec 2012 | My Florida ReSource | 34
My Office Savings of the Month Have an MFRMLS-Office Depot Account? Then see the My Office Savings of the Month! Visit the following link for more information: http://www.mfrmls.com/resources/member-savings/mfrmls-savings#savings-ofthe-month
Looking for a calendar of upcoming training classes? Visit http://www.mfrmls.com/resources/training-and-events for a complete calendar of upcoming courses. Did you know we also offer live webinars? http://www.mfrmls.com/resources/training-and-events/webinars/ cat.listevents/2011/05/20/-
Call Center Hours: Monday–Friday: 7:30 AM–8:00 PM Saturday–Sunday: 8:00 AM–6:00 PM Toll Free: (800) 686-7451 Local: (407) 960-5300 http://www.mfrmls.com/membersupport/help-desk 35 | My Florida ReSource | Nov/Dec 2012
My Florida Regional MLS 555 Winderley Place, Suite 320 Maitland, FL 32751 Telephone: Toll-Free: (800) 686-7451 Tel: (407) 960-5300 Fax: (407) 960-5450 Volume 2, Issue 2
Converse with MFRMLS. Keep informed. “Like” us on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/MyFloridaRegionalMLS http://www.facebook.com/MFCRE http://www.facebook.com/MyFloridaHomesMLS
Follow us on Twitter! @MFRMLS @MFCRE @MyFloridaHomes
MFRMLS Associations and Boards Shareholder Organizations Bartow Board of REALTORS®— http://www.bartowboardofrealtors.com/index.html East Polk County Association of REALTORS®— http://epcar.com/ Englewood Area Board of REALTORS®— http://www.englewoodareaboardofrealtors.com/ Greater Tampa Association of REALTORS®— http://www.gtar.org/ Lakeland Association of REALTORS®— http://www.lakelandrealtors.org/ Manatee Association of REALTORS®— http://www.manateerealtors.org/ Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association— http://www.orlrealtor.com/Main/Main.asp Osceola County Association of REALTORS®— http://osceolarealtors.org/ Pinellas REALTOR® Organization— http://tampabayrealtor.com/ Punta Gorda-Port Charlotte-North Port Association of REALTORS®— http://pgpcnprealtors.com/ REALTORS® Association of Lake & Sumter Counties— http://www.ralsc.org/ Sarasota Association of REALTORS®— http://www.sarasotarealtors.com/ Venice Area Board of REALTORS®— http://www.vabr.org/ West Pasco Board of REALTORS®— http://www.wpbor.com/ West Volusia Association of REALTORS®— http://www.westvolusiarealtor.org/
Customer Organizations Central Pasco Association of REALTORS®— http://www.centralpascorealtors.com/ Desoto County Board of REALTORS®— N/A East Pasco Association of REALTORS® — http://www.facebook.com/pages/East-Pasco-Association-of-Realtors Lake Wales Association of REALTORS®— http://www.lwar.net/ www.MFRMLS.com
Nov/Dec 2012 | My Florida ReSource | 36
My Florida ReSource is the official magazine for My Florida Regional MLS (MFRMLS) members.