System upgrades and additions, other accomplishments
All part of Northwest MLS membership meetings
A look back and a look ahead were part of the latest round of meetings Northwest Multiple Listing Service held for its member brokers. Presentations also included highlights of system updates and forms revisions.
Among 2016 accomplishments were improvements to various technology services, including the addition of ShowingTime and the launch of a new version of TransactionDesk. Call Center staff handled more than 165,000 calls during the year, while the training team provided in-person training to more than 15,000 participants.
Year-over-year membership grew by 8.5 percent. Member brokers entered more than 113,000 new listings into Matrix during 2016, and reported 95,500-plus sales for a gain of 8.1 percent from 2015.
Northwest MLS also upgraded Matrix, which included the addition of the INRIX drive time search function on the Matrix map tab. That tool enables searching for properties based on a client's desired commute time.
"Unlisted Sales" also became part of Matrix during 2016. That integration provides more accurate information about homes that sold outside the MLS (estimated to be about 15 percent of transactions). An online roster management tool was also unveiled last year, allowing members to add, remove or transfer brokers into and out of their offices online.
Based on feedback from its 25-member Rules Committee, Northwest MLS revised several rules and published several new local disclosure forms.
While highlighting various system updates, Tara Marino, the NWMLS director of communications and training, reminded members of assorted training tools they can access, including user guides, video tutorials, FAQs and other options.
New tools include:
- HomeSpotter, a new version of the NWMLS mobile app with several enhancements, including more information and integration with other systems;
- The ability to access Matrix on the go;
- Sharing a branded, client-friendly version of the app.
- A new "share" icon at the bottom of listings whereby brokers can send a link so a client can view an individual listing, along with a message via a chat button.
- InfoSparks with FastStats, a tool encompassing 10 different metrics that enables brokers to create customized charts and graphs and share via email, social media or their website. Additionally, FastStats provides an interactive map and options for live of static reports.
- ShowingTime, a scheduling and management tool for providing sellers with useful feedback and reports. It can also be used to create showing tours for buyers.
Transition to a new, improved version of TransactionDesk, offering several added features (including a new Agent Dashboard with quick links and action buttons) and better integration with Authentisign. More than half the brokers are already using the new version. NWMLS plans to remove the Pro/Lite version in late 2017; in the meantime, users can toggle between both versions.
Northwest MLS staff attorney Justin Haag provided an overview of 2017 forms revisions, based in part on suggestions from member/subscribers and the statewide forms task force, and input from an industry attorney group. "Lots of eyeballs review these forms before they're published," he remarked.
In his opening remarks Haag noted a recent call from a broker requesting a copy of the one-page Purchase & Sale Agreement, drawing chuckles. Along with highlighting key revisions and additions, he referred audience members to Legal Bulletin 209 for a summary of recent revisions and sample forms, and encouraged member-subscribers to enroll in ongoing Forms classes.
Affected forms include Purchase and Sale Agreements, Financing Addendum (form 22A), Optional Clauses Addendum (form 22D), Evidence of Funds Addendum (form 22EF), Agency Disclosure - Multiple Brokers Addendum (Form 42A), and new forms pertaining to increased down payment (Form 22AD), and the Appointment of Subagent (Form 1S).
MLS staff also previewed a number of upcoming projects and service enhancements.
Results of its third semi-annual membership satisfaction survey will be unveiled at the next membership meeting. System Advisory Groups will be meeting with business development team members to discuss suggested enhancements. Matrix 7.0 is planned for third quarter 2017.
Speakers also reminded members of opportunities to provide feedback and the willingness of staff to make office visits.