We also offer many educational webinars that we post on the News widget. Some of these are available for CEU credit.
Starting Summer Wide Open in 2021!
Carl DeMusz, CEO
Here at MLS Now, we are celebrating because sales are up, COVID is down, and Ohio is wide open! Are you ready for good things for the rest of the year? Many Ohioans are ramping up their businesses, which will bring more people back to full-time employment and that adds up to good news for housing sales.
MLS Now has recently launched some new services and is about to add some more along with a significant rule change that is time sensitive making this newsletter even more important than usual for you to read. There will be articles on the following subjects that I will highlight below.
MLS Now will discontinue the “Coming Soon” listing status effective August 1, 2021. You will find a very detailed article by our COO, John Kurlich, that is a must read. It includes the important timelines and decisions made by the MLS Now Board of Directors and what you can do after the status is gone.
RentalBeast is coming to MLS Now late this summer or early fall. Ishay Grinberg, Founder and CEO of RentalBeast has provided us with an excellent overview of this value-added service, which will be added to our services and will not require any dues increase. It will add much-needed rental listings and commission opportunities for MLS Now members.
The IntraMatrix data share agreement with NORIS (Toledo), Dayton MLS and MLS Now is being tested by the staffs of the three MLSs at the time of my writing this article. This collaboration provides our collective membership access to each of our listing content through our Matrix 360 systems at no additional charge. This is the first for Ohio, and it will give our members access to listings in 38 Ohio Counties with a combined value in the $ billions.
RealX has been available in MLS Now for a short while and already, there are 5,397 listings of land by MLS Now members for a total of 234,557 acres. RealX allows agents/brokers who work in rural parts of our region to engage with energy companies that deal in solar, wind, and fossil fuel energy to buy or lease large tracks of land in our footprint earning commission for our members. Again, this does not increase dues and is a great value-add for members.
I hope you found this information helpful. We wish you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous Summer!
Carl DeMusz, RCE, CMLX2
President & CEO
Coming Soon - Going…Going… Soon Gone!
John Kurlich, COO
By now you have probably seen the announcement that the MLS Now Board of Directors, at their June meeting, voted to eliminate the Coming Soon status effective August 1, 2021. As might be expected, the announcement has been met with both cheers and jeers. We have had numerous emails and phone calls from members expressing their opinions in no uncertain terms. To date, those opinions are running approximately 80% in favor of the decision to eliminate the status and approximately 20% opposed.
So how did we get to this point? Let’s start back in 2016/2017 when the Boards of Directors of NORMLS and CRIS were asked to consider adding the Coming Soon status to the MLS. At that time Coming Soon was presented as a way that listings could be secured but not shown until repairs could be done, the home be prepared, photos could be taken, and marketing pieces could be created. All this before the property would be ready for showing appointments. It was also intended to allow for some pre-marketing to create greater demand.
When the Coming Soon status started in April of 2017, the listings in that status could be marketed by the listing Broker, but only if they were identified as “Coming Soon” and were not made available for showing. They would also not be sent out to any Broker IDX websites or 3rd party websites such as Realtor.com, Homes.com, etc. Showing appointments were permitted to be made for a date and time occurring after the listing became Active in the MLS but the showing service links would not be present on the listing in the system. The listings could be in the Coming Soon status for as little as 1 day or a maximum of 14 days, but the Expected Active Date could be changed to an earlier or later date, as long as the 14-day maximum was not exceeded. Open Houses could also be scheduled for a date and time occurring after the listing would become Active. But the Open Houses would not show up in the MLS, until the listing moved to an Active status.
In the months and years that followed, there came a long string of changes to the rules relating to the status. All were meant to facilitate the ethical use of the status. The listings began to be shared with Broker IDX websites, client portals, and 3rd party websites. The showing service links were added to the listings. Multiple photos and virtual tours were permitted. Remember when we needed Coming Soon because the property was not ready for all of that? Well, they quickly became ready, and in less than 14 days.
Quickly, Coming Soon listings began being entered with professional photos and virtual tours in a matter of a few days and in some cases upon initial entry into the system. The Expected Active Dates began to be moved up to an earlier date. Then, many of these same listings were rapidly, if not immediately changed to an Under Contract status. Those who may have had appointments scheduled to show the property on the day it was originally supposed to be made Active, were often never notified of the new Expected Active Date, and if they were notified, it was often on the same day, and they were often told that the property was under contract already. Sometimes, offers were even being made and accepted “sight unseen”. How many Buyer Agents had to explain that to their Buyers and expect them to understand that they, their agent, didn’t know what happened, only that the property was gone, and they couldn’t see it or make an offer on it? As a result, the rules for Coming Soon were changed again. The Expected Active Date could no longer be moved up to a date earlier than originally entered.
Still, members and consumers were complaining that these listings were somehow being held back and access to them was being restricted. In this market of limited inventory, whether this was truly happening or not, the public perception was that it was happening and that is damaging to the professional reputation of our members and all real estate licensees.
The MLS Now Board of Directors felt that action needed to be taken. Repeatedly changing the rules around the Coming Soon status seemed to be creating more confusion than it did clarity, more distrust than it did transparency. After much discussion of the issues surrounding the use of the status, during many meetings, the Board of Directors made the decision to eliminate the Coming Soon status, effective August 1, 2021.
“So now what do I do?”, you may ask. If a property you are listing is truly in need of work or preparation for the market, you still have the option to secure the listing on the property and enter it into the MLS, by making use of the Temporarily Off Market status (TOMK) that has been in the MLS long before the Coming Soon status came about. In the TOMK status, in the Broker Remarks, you simply state the date that the property will be Back On the Market (BOM) and available for showing. The property cannot be shown by anyone while in this status, the same as if it were a Coming Soon. Days On Market (DOM) do not accumulate in the TOMK status. The listing can be advertised as long as it is advertised as being TOMK and unavailable for showings. However, the listing will not be sent out to Broker IDX websites or 3rd party websites like Realtor.com. But all members of MLS Now will be able to view the listing in the MLS and know that it is TOMK and when it will become available for showing appointments.
You might also ask, “But what about those showings? My seller does not want to have showings 24/7. They want to be able to have showings scheduled on certain days and times.” The seller still has the right to determine on what schedule their home will be available for showings. But it must be made available to all agents and their buyer clients on that same schedule. It cannot be one schedule for the listing company and another for co-operating brokers or agents. It also cannot be a schedule where the property can only be shown on one day and one time in a two-week period. Common sense and a professional listing agent will guide a seller to set a schedule that maximizes their property’s exposure to the greatest number of potential buyers and provides ample time for multiple offers to come in and be considered by the seller. Sellers and listings agents will always be mindful that their objective is to get the best price and terms for the seller, in the shortest period of time, and that is best done by presenting it to the greatest number of potential buyers.
If you need additional guidance on how to use the TOMK status, or making listings available for showing, please contact our Help Desk.
Rentals Matter Right Now…and MLS Now is about to become the center of excellence for rentals.
By many accounts, Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Youngstown and their surrounding areas resale market is on fire. The booming housing market in these areas has brought on heavy competition for homes and has sent prices through the roof. In May, median home prices were up 19% year-over-year, and the number of days on market dropped by 40%.
However, home inventory remains scarce, and while resale commissions have returned to and often exceed pre-pandemic levels, the competition for inventory remains fierce. Real estate professionals need more resources to nurture transactions and place clients in homes more than ever before.
At the same time, more than 40% of our market residents are renting, and nearly half of rental households plan to move this year1.
Ohio’s rental market opportunity is massive. Right now, within the MLS Now footprint 30,000 out of an estimated 625,000 rental units are on the market. Rental annual commissions should top $23 million this year.
Seizing upon this opportunity, MLS Now and Rental Beast, the leading all-in-one rental listing platform, have partnered to help our community of real estate professionals monetize the rental market with powerful tools to be made available directly within their MLS.
MLS Now will use Rental Beast’s hosted MLS solution to power rental-centric search, listing ingestion, listing syndication, and listing maintenance systems. Additionally, all MLS Now members gain access to Apply Now, Rental Beast’s secure, FCRA-compliant online application processing and tenant screening engine, and Rental Beast University, a comprehensive online learning center for rental education.
“When housing inventory is scarce, rentals are a great safe harbor, and working with rentals is increasingly becoming a core part of successful agents’ businesses,” says Ishay Grinberg, Rental Beast Founder and CEO. “Rental Beast is a powerful rental platform MLS Now members can serve more clients throughout their housing journey,” Grinberg continues.
“And with Millennial renters reaching peak home-buying age, the opportunity to leverage rentals to build a viable and sustainable pipeline of future home buyers has never been greater.”
Through this partnership, rental listings will appear on major listing hubs via existing MLS Now feeds and RentalBeast.com. Rental Beast will also power a consumer-facing, SEO-optimized rental search portal, instantly marketing rental listings to eager local renters, while expanding MLS Now’s online brand presence. All generated leads are routed to designated listing agents, with no additional fees or per-lead charges.
Additionally, all 13,000 MLS Now subscribers will have the option to upgrade to Rental Beast’s premium agent platform, gaining access to Rental Beast’s database of more then 9 million rental properties not found on any MLS. Premium subscribers also gain access to supplementary listing syndication to some of the nation's largest rental properties, including Facebook Marketplace, realtor.com, and the RentPath network, a rental-centric CRM, one-click social sharing, their own consumer-facing rental search portal, and direct support and mentorship by seasoned real estate professionals.
Rental Beast’s hosted services are slated to go live in MLS Now in late 2021. Stay tuned for more information, including updated rental market information, introductory webinars, on-demand demonstrations, and training opportunities.
1RentCafe Rental Household Survey, May 2021.
How the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) helps me deliver an outstanding real estate experience
This brief presentation, put together by the Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS), will help you explain to your clients what the multiple listing service is and how it benefits them. Click the image below to check out the website.
MLS Now’s New MMSI Dashboard Coming in July!
A new Dashboard is coming July 20!
Learn about the changes by attending the webinar. Read more about the change below.
WHAT TO KNOW: July 20th, 2021, MLS Now will be rolling out a new Dashboard platform. As our contract with the Clareity service comes to an end, we want to help facilitate a smooth transition for our agents as we unveil our new dashboard platform, MMSI.
WHAT TO DO: We ask that you be patient and understanding as this change occurs. The link for the MMSI dashboard will be https://now.mlsmatrix.com.
WHO TO CONTACT: If you have any questions, call MLS Now Help Desk at 216-485-4100 x 480 or email help@MLSNow.com
WHAT’S NEXT: We will be adding an instructional video with all the steps needed to login to your account or how to sign up if you are new. Additional information to follow soon.
As the industry changes and goes digital, so must your marketing. Property Panorama's Digital Suite is always growing to improve your
marketing, and as an MLS Now member, the products and tools are already created and available to you!
On Wednesday, Auguest 4th @ 1 :00 PM EST, Property Panorama
will be holding a LIVE Training Webinar to showcase and help you take advantage of the latest benefits that are provided by your MLS.
Click below to register and take the first step to becoming
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