Business at a Distance
Carl DeMusz, CEO

Welcome to Spring of 2020! As I write this article my staff and I are working remotely from our home offices due to an order from the Governor to protect us all from the COVID-19 outbreak. As all of you know, there are few service businesses open and we are fortunate to still be working at all.

It is fair to say this is a crisis of epic proportions, which affects the entire world. In the Chinese language, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters, one representing danger and the other, opportunity. This current pandemic obviously presents us with danger, but it also creates many opportunities to change how we live our lives, and how we conduct business. The most obvious and immediate lessons are being learned by governments of all sizes, first responders, medical communities, and all of us in how we deal with the spread of germs and our personal habits. Our biggest lessons individually may be to hug our loved ones while we can.

Our business practices will also change forever in many ways, and new efficiencies will be part of that. Let me list some opportunities Yes-MLS is taking advantage of during this time:

  • Staff is now fully equipped to work from home in emergencies
  • Expanded webinars for meetings and training via Zoom conferencing
  • Ability to launch new products & services remotely
  • Providing Livestream Open House through Matrix 360
  • Providing members ability to use virtual showing & tour service

These are just a few items we can list that will be expanded and improved into the future. As the old saying goes “Necessity is the mother of invention” and we have certainly observed that here. Look for more in this Newsletter about these items.

Another important issue we have been dealing with is the new NAR MLS Policy, Clear Cooperation 8.0, which is currently included in Yes-MLS Rule 2.7 Restrictive Listings, but it impacts all MLS required property types. This is not optional but is required by NAR for all MLSs. Look for more about this Rule in this Newsletter.

Well until we meet again, be safe, and enjoy your Spring season.

 
Safe Showings and Open Houses During the Stay at Home Order
John Kurlich, Yes-MLS COO

During the Governor’s “Stay at Home” order, now extended to May 1st, the State of Ohio considers the real estate business to be an essential service.  We at Yes MLS couldn’t agree more. 

One of the greatest challenges our members currently face is how to show properties to prospective Buyers and still comply with the social distancing restrictions.  Yes MLS members have several tools available to them.

Property Panorama Virtual Tours:  Every listing in Yes MLS, with 3 or more photos gets a FREE Virtual Tour from Property Panorama which can be used to show Buyers the many features and benefits of those listings, both inside and outside.  All the listing agent needs to do is take some great photos of their listing and upload the photos to Yes MLS.  Then Virtual Tours are automatically created by Property Panorama and uploaded to the listing, usually within 24 hours.  Property Panorama also offers agents and brokers upgraded tours and other marketing tools at discounted prices.  Just use the Property Panorama link on the Yes MLS dashboard.

Optional Virtual Tours:  In addition to the Property Panorama Virtual Tours, Yes MLS members have the option to hire their own photographer to create a tour or make their own Virtual Tour and upload it to their listing.

3D Virtual Tour:  Another great option is a 3D or 3-Dimensional Tour.  However, these do require special camera equipment and software.  Fortunately, these days, there are several professional photographers capable of creating these marvelous tours.  Yes MLS provides a special field where these 3D tours can be uploaded to a listing.

*All three of these are great opportunities for members to provide a homebuyer a sense or feel of a property firsthand so they can decide if this is a property that will meet their needs.  All of this can be done right from their computer, tablet, or smart phone.  However, keep in mind that all these tours must comply with Yes MLS rules (Rule 3.5 Media/Virtual Tour).  Those rules require that these tours not be branded in any way, or they will be removed from the system.  Most agents are reluctant to promote another agent or company to their buyer client. This rule assures that any member of Yes MLS will be able to share these tours with their buyer without the possibility of promoting another agent or brokerage. Tours branded to the listing agent or broker are permitted and encouraged on your own or your brokers website.  But they are not permitted in Yes MLS.

Open House and OhioOpenHouse.com:  In a normal market many listing agents like to hold “Live and in person” Open Houses, and take advantage of our Open House feature where an upcoming Open House can be entered, and that information shared with other agents.  If the listing broker has requested, that information is also sent to third party websites, such as Realtor.com, Homesnap, Homes.com etc. It is also sent to OhioOpenHouse.com a website owned by Yes MLS.  There, buyers can find Open House information not only about Open Houses entered in Yes MLS but also Open Houses being held around the entire state of Ohio.  However, “Live and in person” Open House may not be appropriate given todays social distance requirements.

Live Stream Open House: A Live Stream Open House is a new tool available to Yes MLS members.  Within the Open House feature in Yes MLS, members now have the option to hold not only a Public Open House and a Broker Open House, they can now offer a Live Stream Open House.  This will enable listing agents to hold an Open House “Live but online”, instead of “Live and in person”, and in compliance with social distance requirements.  We’ve added a Live Stream Open House URL field that supports video links to places like Facebook, Instagram, and other social media links, as well as Skype, Zoom and other video meeting software.  The Live Stream Open House is the opportunity to walk potential buyers through the property so they can get a sense of the layout of the house, the rooms, the lighting, and the style of the house, all right from their computer, tablet or smart phone.  Since it is live, they can even ask questions and get answers in real time. 

Keep in mind that the Live Stream Open House option is only for conducting a Live Streaming Open House event, and the URL link must go directly to the Live Stream Open House event.  It may not go to a website, Facebook page or other sites where the viewer would be required to look for additional links to get to the Open House event.  No recorded video or virtual tours are permitted.  However, since these are “live” events, branding is permitted, just like if it were a “Live and in person” Open House.

The information for the Live Stream Open House, and the URL link to the event will not be shared by the MLS in IDX feeds or to any third-party websites.  However, we are in the process of having it added to OhioOpenHouse.com for display to the general public and potential buyers.  Listing agents, if their brokers permit, may also post the information and the link on their own website as well as their brokers website.

The convenience that the Live Stream Open House provides may not replace the value of physically visiting and experiencing a home.  But in today’s challenging times, when it is challenging and potentially dangerous for buyers to travel to see a property, there is no better way to serve your clients than by offering an effective, time saving, professional alternative like the Live Stream Open House. 

As always, the staff and leadership at Yes MLS will continue to enable and empower our members by providing them with the best tools, services, and support possible.  Yes, real estate is an essential service, and our members work hard to provide that essential service.  At Yes MLS, we are proud to support their efforts.
 
Window to the Law: Understanding the MLS Clear Cooperation Policy
NAR

 
Realist Update

WHAT TO KNOW:
The launch of the new Realist 2020 platform is coming on April 21st! This updated Flash-free Realist environment sports a responsive and modern user interface while maintaining a familiarity which makes it easy to learn and use. There are several NEW features we think you’ll really like!

WHAT TO DO:
On April 21st, check out the new features by clicking Realist Tax from the top menu of Matrix:

  • Number of matches will display at lower left corner after entering search criteria
  • If more than 1000 results meet your criteria, up to 3000 records can be displayed by clicking View 1-1000, 1001-2000, or 2001-3000
  • Map pins will be color coded by MLS status
  • Cards View will be added and an icon to change between the Grid/Table View and the Card View
  • Cards View can be customized
  • Favorites (Star icon) added to Cards View & upper right corner
  • Sell Score Indicator added to Property Details
  • Mobile devices (smartphone & tablets) will easily display the new user interface

Click here for the detailed information on each of these new features

WHO TO CONTACT:

If you have any questions, call Yes-MLS Help Desk at 216-485-4100 x 480 or email
 
Sniff out spam calls and texts
Lee Goldstein, Real Safe Agent

Spam and scam calls and text messages are increasing.  Did you know that you can use the Hoosfon feature in Real Safe Agent to sniff out scammers using text messages or spam calls.  Plug any phone number into Hoosfon and it will tell you the phone type such as Mobile, Pre-Paid, Fixed, VoIP, and Non-Fixed VoIP.  It will also tell you whether it’s a business or personal number, the owner’s name as well as other possible owners, and the city of the billing address.  If you get a call or text from a number you don’t recognize, just look it up in Hoosfon to get information you need to make better decisions…for example most spam and scam calls and text messages will come from a number that will come up as a Non-Fixed VoIP with no entry for Bus/Pers or Owner’s Name.  Real Safe Agent is available at no cost to all our members, including brokerage support, staff, and affiliates.  If you need an account set up for you, please email support@realsafeagent.com.

 
OHIO HOME INSPECTOR PROGRAM

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING THE

OHIO HOME INSPECTOR PROGRAM

The deadline for individuals conducting inspections in Ohio to be licensed by the Ohio Home Inspector Board is being extended to July 1, 2020.

At this time, administrative rules for the Home Inspector Program are being reviewed by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR). Because the rules have not yet received final approval, the Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing is unable to enforce the April 5, 2020 deadline requiring a license to complete home inspections. This means between now and June 30, 2020, a person is permitted to conduct home inspections in Ohio without a license. However, beginning July 1, 2020, a person must be licensed with the Division as an Ohio home inspector.

To review frequently asked questions please click here. If you have any questions please contact the Division at 614-466-4100 or WebReal@com.state.oh.us

 
How virtual tools can help you sell new homes, even now

Trying to maintain the quality of service your clients have come to expect from you while keeping them safe? 

NHS Pro(NewHomeSource Professional) is designed to aid agents in keeping their real estate businesses active —  even while folks are staying home. It’s never been easier to find the perfect home for clients and professionals alike.

Here are some tips about digitizing your services, plus an updated webinar schedule for April below:

  • Features are exclusively online: Continue sharing wonderful new construction homes with your buyers as well as on social media, promoting yourself as a valuable resource with ShowingNew.com.
  • Virtual visits: Builders are scheduling 1:1 tours and video chats, making viewing new homes safe and easy.
  • Guides and resources: We offer online New Home Source Professional training videos on our website and on our New Home Source Professional YouTube page.
  • Additional training: We will be adding some best practices to our webinar on handling the current state of things and increasing the frequency. Please see the schedule below to register.
Webinar Schedule for  April

Let us know if these webinars are helpful or how our team can assist you.  We're thankful to be able to provide our real estate community with such a useful tool in this very digital environment. Stay healthy!

 
COVID realtor.com enhancements
Suzanne Zinn Mueller, Chief Industry Relations Officer - realtor.com®

Industry partners, 

As we continue to navigate these challenging times, I hope you know that realtor.com® is here for you and your members. My team and I are available to answer questions and work with you toward ongoing solutions in support of our shared agent and broker customers. 

In that spirit, I’d like to share some exciting hot-off-the-press announcements: 

Realtor.com® Customer Relief

  • To support our industry partners and valued customers, we have reduced the monthly subscription charges for realtor.com® advertising solutions* on this month's invoice by 60%. More details here


NEW - Virtual Tours

  • More prominent Virtual Tour buttons have been updated on listing display pages on our realtor.com® desktop site (launch taking place the week of April 6). 
  • A new way to host Live Stream Open Houses (launch taking place the week of April 6). Check out our COVID-19 Resource tile in Content Corner for the most recent updates.
  • Make sure that you are including virtual tours in your feed to realtor.com®!


Resources

  • Visit Content Corner VIP to access a wealth of COVID-19 information, including a list of state-by-state COVID-19 resources!
  • Consider uploading our VIP widget to your website! If you and your members are looking for content and FREE resources, widget is the way to go!
  • Join our Stronger Together Facebook page to stay on top of updates and share best practices with other MLSs and associations.


Upcoming Events

  • Join us for Real Connections, April 16, 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET, for “Real Estate Amid Viral Disruption” a conversation between Suzanne Mueller and Brad Inman. Brad will discuss the impact of COVID-19 on real estate and industry leader responses.
  • Encourage your members to join us for a Facebook Live session with Kristi Kennelly,“It’s getting real” where Kristi will share best practice tips for creating virtual tours!


Thanks, as always, for engaging with us on the road ahead. I wish you success and calm amid COVID-19.

 
Showing Time Facilitates “Virtual Showings”

WHAT TO KNOW:
ShowingTime added an option to select “Virtual Showing” when making appointments through the ShowingTime software.

What to Do:
 If you’d like to make an appointment for a Virtual Showing:

  • Choose Virtual Showing from the “type of Appointment” drop down list.

  • By selecting this option, the showing agent is indicating to the listing agent that their client would prefer a virtual showing of the property.
  • Click here to see frequently asked questions for this option. 

Who to Call:
For specifics on how to set up or use ShowingTime, please contact them at 800-379-0057
or email support@showingtime.com.

 

 

Education Tips and Tricks

click the images to watch the videos

  

  

  

  


 
Use This Downtime To Up Your Skills
RPR - Realtors Property Resource

By now, you have undoubtedly been affected by COVID-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus. The term “social distancing” is now part of your vocab. News, questions and guidelines are changing and being updated by the hour.

If you have children, they’re now staying at home. If you go out frequently, you’re now staying at home. As a REALTOR®, you’re probably used to working remotely. However, going into the office is most likely not an option for the time being. You’re essentially landlocked… and staying at home.

Making The Best Of A Tough Situation

It’s a new normal for sure and RPR hopes you stay safe and healthy while we all cope with the situation. And yet, perhaps something positive can come from all this “at home” time. You can spend more time with family and loved ones. You can catch up on reading, to-do lists and get a jump on spring cleaning.

You can also work on your business goals and optimizing your workflow. RPR has some suggestions that might help you take advantage of this sudden time on your hands.

Now’s a great opportunity to sharpen your skills and become much more familiar with the industry’s most powerful real estate data tool. Use your time wisely, absorb as much RPR knowledge as you can, and you’ll be ready for when your customers and clients are ready.

RPR provides all types of ways for you to get started:

  • Live Webinars: Sign up to participate in an RPR live education class
  • Watch Now Webinars: Recorded webinars that you can watch and control at your own pace
  • Video Tutorials: This introductory learning series includes 13 courses, each lasting less than 10 minutes. Each course has a printer-friendly handout, too
  • Quick Start Guides: Brief, one to two page “cheat sheets” that show you how, step-by-step, to complete specific tasks within RPR
  • eBooks: Downloadable, PDFs that show you, with plenty of detail, how to use RPR to conduct real estate business, such direct mail and geographic farming
  • RPR Blog: Get news, tips, tricks, how-to’s, product announcements and more via our blog entries and articles Use

Use This Downtime to up Your Game!

Remember, RPR is a benefit that’s included in your NAR membership. It gives REALTORS® access to data, tools and reports that can help you wow your clients and close more deals.

Start taking advantage of all the learning resources from RPR. One hour a day can help you increase your productivity, efficiency and overall market knowledge. And just like you, RPR is also working from home. If you have questions or need any guidance, please call 877-977-7576 or email us—we’re here to help.

 

 
 
Supra eKey Collaboration

Click the image above to watch an intro video on the collaboration between Yes-MLS and Supra. Also be sure to check out the informational page at https://www.Yes-MLS.com/

If you have not yet set up an appointment to get an eKey please click the button below: