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November 2018

Accessibility features, system enhancements highlight NWMLS fall meetings

Photos of presentations at NWMLS member meetingDirector nominations, an overview of Matrix listing input changes, a new education portal, forthcoming system updates, and a recap of a first-ever daylong educational event and trade show (EXPOsed) filled the agenda for the fall meetings for Northwest Multiple Listing Service member-brokers.

Brokers Barry Long of Sotheby's International Realty in Bellevue and Tom Minty from John L. Scott's Bellevue-Issaquah office, provided an overview of new accessibility features. The new industry-leading system culminates a two-year effort.

The initiative led by Long and Minty resulted in a comprehensive program that includes multiple checkboxes to highlight a listing's accessible features, broker-led training, and the addition of explanatory material in the forms manual as well as during listing input classes to demonstrate ways to filter searches.  (See separate report in this edition.)

In addition to the accessibility features, brokers now have revised listing input forms (effective October 30) that include new options for attached versus detached townhouses and condos, plus a new section pertaining to accessory dwelling units (ADUs).  The updates include provisions for specifying dwelling type and changes to "Building Information" on Form 1.

Another LIP field change includes resetting CDOM (cumulative days on market) for new construction as the status changes from presale/under construction to "completed" (once a certificate of occupancy is issued).

Northwest MLS is also rolling out a new easy-to-navigate education portal, with final testing now underway. User guides and a video tutorial will be available as it is launched.

Among features of the new "learning management system" are provisions to search and filter self-paced, online clock hour classes, registration for in-person or online classes, purchasing clock hour credits for a small fee, and more MLS trainer resources for both in-office and custom trainings and workshops.

The online class interface also includes course duration (in minutes), quizzes, closed captioning, an option to replay sections, the ability to pause/postpone/resume a class, along with prompts for printing a certificate of completion.

Northwest MLS staff also overviewed Matrix 360, which combines Matrix and Realist. NWMLS plans to transition away from Realist and will start offering Matrix Tax Search classes instead of a Matrix Realist class. Tax data will be available in both Matrix and Realist. Users will also be able to create mailing labels in Matrix.

A new "property map" tab has three view options (satellite, street, and close-up parcel), plus layers for school district, MLS areas, and more.

In an effort to protect MLS and member data, a new website security system is being implemented. The industry renowned "Clarety SafeMLS" system will involve a one-time process to set up. It will safeguard sensitive information while tracking logins and account information. Member-brokers were provided a 4-step flyer for circulating to explain the forthcoming NWMLS.com login page and process for setting up individual accounts.

Northwest MLS staff members closed the meeting with a recap of NWMLS EXPOsed held in June. The 5.5 clock hour event included demonstrations and displays on a wide array of topics, including technology, forms, education and legal content, plus a keynote speaker and social hour.

Hurdelbrink reported the showcase drew very positive feedback, with around 96 percent of participants saying they would attend again. He said a similar event will likely be held in 2020, but in more than one location. He also invited meeting attendees to provide feedback on topics and venues.

NWMLS hosts member meetings in the fall and spring at locations around the state for member brokers and/or branch managers.

New projects from NWMLS - presentation screen shots