System Information

RealTracs to Eliminate MLS “Areas”

What’s Happening?

RealTracs is removing MLS Areas from Add/Edit and Search, as well as existing Auto Notify searches with Area as an included criterion.

When Will This Occur?

The change will be effective on February 1, 2020

Why Change?

RealTracs fully understands that a few of our users are dependent upon using Areas for their listing searches, and know that removing them might seem like a change that fundamentally shifts how you use the MLS.

However, eliminating Areas will ensure your searches and reporting are more accurate than ever before.  The truth is, Areas create more problems for MLS users than you might realize.

Did you know,

  • Up to 20% of listings in the MLS have an incorrect Area assigned by the listing agent, which can make searches inaccurate and cause confusion for others.
  • Areas are not based on conventional boundaries and can (and do) change.
  • Davidson County Areas were established not by the MLS, but by the Tennessean as a way to organize classified ads back in the 1960s.
  • In Rutherford County, Murfreesboro city annexations have changed the boundaryPicture1.png over time and make historical comps based on Areas useless.
  • Montgomery County’s Area is partly based on a railroad line that no longer exists.
  • Your clients and consumers are not familiar with Areas. They generally look for listings by neighborhoods and schools.  In fact, Areas are not sent in IDX data feeds.
  • Only 12% of MLS users search by Area. Of those, 14% further refine those searches using additional criteria such as Schools and ZIP Codes.

How Will I Find What I am Looking for Without Areas?

There are several other ways to search for listings that are more accurate than Area.

  • County Name
  • ZIP Code(s)
  • School(s)
  • Map-based searches (you can draw your own custom Area based upon your needs*)
    *Our awesome team of CHRs and expert support staff can show you how!

How Will the RealTracs System Change?

As you have probably already guessed, some changes will be made to the MLS system to accommodate the removal of Areas.

  • Add/Edit will require a County only, and sub-area selections will be removed.add edit.png
  • Search “preference” settings to arrange Areas by county name or Area ID will be removed.
  • The Search Area/County pick-list will be replaced with County and organized by state.
  • You will be able to select any county in Tennessee, Kentucky, or Alabama. No more “Area 17” for listings outside the current RealTracs MLS service area.

I Have Saved Searches That Utilize Area.  What Happens to Those?

  • If your saved search is based on using an Area, it will be replaced with the county the Area represents.
  • If the selection of Areas represents only part of the county (for example, Area 4 in Davidson), then all ZIP Codes in that Area will be added to your search criteria. Staying with the Area 4 example, this would mean ZIP Codes 37015, 370880, and 37218 would be searched.  Of course, there might be some overlap into what were Areas 5 and 3, but remember, the consumer does not search for a home by Area.

RealTracs is currently creating ZIP Code lists and comparison maps for Davidson, Montgomery, and Rutherford Counties to assist with the transition and help make the move from Areas to Counties as straightforward as possible.

There will be much more information coming over the following weeks, so be on the lookout for that on the RealTracs Support site, news blog, social channels, and more.

A New Add/Edit System is Coming

We’re Redecorating Add/Edit Inside and Out
 With a New, More Modern Look and Functionality!


If you are a broker, agent, office-staff person, or personal assistant, and entering listings is part of your daily grind, then you are no stranger to the system updates RealTracs has recently released.

We know you have been asking, and it has been a long time coming, but your wait is about to end.  In response to your feedback and as part of our continuing effort to make adding listings to the MLS as easy as possible – and mobile-friendly – we are rolling out the first piece of a shiny and new add/edit system, appropriately called, Add Listing.

As shown below, the new Add New Listing page (yay!) is replacing the existing add listing page (boo!).   The old add/edit system has been a trooper for many years, but it’s time to send it into retirement and replace it with an entirely new experience.

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Here are some of the differences you will notice:

  • Completely fresh and mobile-friendly look and feel
  • Address lookup assistance
  • Tax ID search improvements
  • Wait, did we mention it’s mobile-friendly and not old and crusty?

You can expect to see additional pieces of the new mobile-friendly add/edit system added over the coming weeks and months.

Give it a test drive and let us know what you think!

Closing in on Client Portal

This summer has been a busy season behind the scenes for the RealTracs development team as they continue our work on a RealTracs Client Portal. Over the next few weeks, you will begin to see some significant updates coming to Auto Notify. Below is a sneak peek of what’s coming up!

Full Result Set Available for Auto Notify Contacts

If a contact is receiving automatic notifications for new listings, (s)he will now have the ability to view other results that were previously sent. After clicking through the email links, the contact will have the ability to ‘View All Results,’ and see all Auto Notify results that were previously shared. NOTE: This feature will not be immediately available for listings that are Manually Shared from Auto Notify.

View an Activity Feed for Each Result

Each Auto Notify Result will have an Activity Feed, showing the history of that listing in your Auto Notify. The Activity Feed will include the following information for each listing:

    • When the listing was first added to this Auto Notify
    • When it was automatically emailed
    • When it was Saved (starred)
    • When it was manually emailed
    • When and why it was updated (Price, Status, Listing Update, etc.)

Activity History

Highlight New Listings

Each time a listing is added or updated in you Auto Notify Results, it will appear highlighted, similar to an email inbox. You will have the option to mark items as Seen or keep them highlighted (Unseen) to review later. Viewing the listing report will automatically mark it as Seen.

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Residential and Condo Property Classes are Moving in Together

WHAT’S CHANGING?

On January 8th, 2019, the standalone condominium property class is being removed, and condos are joining single-family homes to form a single Residential property class that includes the following property subtypes:

SINGLE FAMILY

  • Site Built
  • Zero Lot Line
  • Modular
  • Manufactured-Foundation
  • Manufactured-Mobile
  • Horizontal Property Regime (HPR) – Attached
  • Horizontal Property Regime (HPR) – Detached

CONDOMINIUM

  • Cottage/Garden Condo
  • Flat Condo
  • Highrise Condo
  • Loft Condo
  • Other Condo
  • Townhouse Condo

WHAT’S DIFFERENT?

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  • This update will allow users to search for ALL single family and condo listings in a particular area regardless of how they are listed, resulting in a much more thorough and robust set of search results.
  • When searching for residential listings, you will see the new Type field under Common Criteria that allows the selection of any combination of single family or condo listing types.
  • All of the selections will be checked and searched for by default; however, you can easily select only the options you want and search in any combination of residential and condo – all without the need of a cross-class search!
  • You can save your favorite listing Type combination as your default search.  Instructions on how to create and save a new default search can be viewed at help.realtracs.net.
  • Add/Edit is updating too; Residential will be the choice for both single-family homes and condos.  The specific sub-type will be chosen when inputting the details of the listing.

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ANYTHING ELSE?

There are a few important notes to pass along:

  • Existing condo listings (with current MLS numbers) will convert to Residential automatically
  • Condo saved searches and auto-notify searches will be converted automatically
  • Definitions of the various property subtypes can be found at help.realtracs.net
  • The existing Exterior Alterations and Other Restrictions fields in Condo will not be moving to Residential

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The knowledgeable RealTracs support team is available six days a week to assist with any questions you might have regarding this upcoming change.

You can chat, click, or call a representative from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Going Once, Going Twice – The Auction Property Class is Going Away Soon!

Don’t worry.  The ability to list auctions in RealTracs is not going away.  However, how and where you list an auction in the MLS is changing to better match RESO’s data dictionary standards.

How is Auction Changing?
Previously all auctions were listed in their own property class regardless of what type of property was being auctioned.  The auction property class was a mixed bag of residential, land, commercial, and other type listings.  Now, when listing an auction, it will be added to the appropriate property class – residential, condominium, land/lot/farm, commercial, or multi-family.

How Will I List an Auction?
Auction is now a Special Listing Condition.  Recent changes were made in Add/Edit that require listing agents to select a special listing condition to describe the type of listing being entered.  Absolute Auction and Reserve Auction are being added as two of those options for offices who are approved to list Auctions.

2018-10-25_14-28-16

Are the Auction Types Changing?
No.  Listing agents approved to list auctions will still have the option to add a Reserve or Absolute auction to the MLS system.  As a reminder:

  • Reserve Auction:  An auction where the property for sale may not be sold if the final bid is not high enough to satisfy the seller – that is, the seller reserves the right to accept or reject the highest bid.
  • Absolute Auction: An auction in which the property for sale will be sold regardless of price

Please note: Reserve or Absolute Auction can be used in combination with one other Special Listing Condition, including foreclosure.  Reserve and Absolute Auction cannot be selected together.

How Will I Search for Auctions?
Auctions will be easy to search for, identify, or exclude, depending upon your needs.  First, auctions will now be included in the search results (except rental) and will be distinguishable by the presence of a gavel icon in the list views and agent/buyer reports.

2018-10-25_14-23-58     2018-10-25_14-46-06

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Want to search only for auctions?  You can do so by adding Special Listing Conditions to Additional Criteria and selecting Absolute Auction and/or Reserve Auction.

You can exclude auctions from your search in a similar way by selecting Standard (or any other) Special Listing Conditions and excluding the Auction selections.

Perhaps you want to save a search that looks for just Auctions?  You can select one or both Auction selections from Special Listing Conditions, choose your search criteria, and click Save.  Give your search a name, and it’s available any time you need it from your list of saved searches.

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Some Additional Notes

Information specific to the auction such as minimum bid, auction date & time, terms and buyer’s premium should be included in the Public Remarks field.

The existing and historical auction listing information will not be converted to an existing property class or special listing condition and will be found by using the auction search.

Existing auction listings will be accessible for a short period of time to ensure that you have time to close them all out.

If You Have Questions or Need Help

This is a significant change, and the RealTracs Support team is here to help you with any questions or concerns.  Support technicians are available via online chat, email or phone Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Parking & Driveway Fields in Add/Edit Updated to Further Align With RESO Platinum Data Standards

Over the past several weeks RealTracs’ users have undoubtedly noticed several changes to the parking fields in Listing Add/Edit.  This is related to our continued efforts of ensuring Add/Edit completely matches the RESO Data Dictionary (more information).

As part of the evolution toward a completely RESO compliant Add/Edit, changes have been made to the Driveway field in Add/Edit, listing searches, and reports.

The Driveway field and some of its descriptors are now selections in the Open Parking Features field in Add/Edit.  Open Parking — or uncovered parking — is a designation often associated with cities where identifying all options is important, e.g., alley parking, on-street parking, and a driveway. As part of this update, there are new options now available to choose from, denoted below by an asterisk (*).  When adding a listing, you can make up to three Open Parking selections.

Open Parking Features (3)

Aggregate Concrete Parking Pad*
Alley Access Driveway* Paved
Asphalt* Gravel Shared Driveway*
 Assigned On Street Unassigned
Circular Driveway* Parking Lot Unpaved

For current listings with the Driveway features found in the list below, the new Open Parking feature will replace each with a new description.  Please note, these changes will be automatic – there is no action you need to take for your listings. Additionally, you will be able to update Open Parking Features selections as needed.

Former Driveway Options With New Open Parking Descriptions

Former Driveway Options  New Open Parking Description
Blacktop Asphalt
Pea Gravel Gravel
Stone Paved
Penetrated Unpaved
None  – – –

Garage & Parking Add/Edit Field Changes Made for Residential Listings

If you will recall from a post in April, RealTracs made some changes to the sewer descriptions in Add/Edit.  This was done in our effort to further align with the standards set forth by the Real Estate Data Standards Organization (RESO), who determine the “language” of MLS data, so technologists can more easily work with it. Why is that important?  Because it saves agents and brokers money!

Starting today, July 24th, RealTracs’ users will see RESO updates to the garage/parking fields in Add/Edit.

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Going forward, there are two additional required fields when a listing is input into the Add/Edit system: Garage Spaces and Garage Features.  If a value of at least “1” is entered into Garage Spaces, a description must be selected from the Garage Features drop-down list to the right.  There are also lists (options are shown below) to choose the features of your listing’s Carport or Open Parking Spaces.

Garage Features

Carport Features

Open Parking Features

Alley Access Alley Access Alley Access
Assigned Assigned On Street
Attached Attached Parking Lot
Attached – FRONT Detached
Attached – REAR Unassigned
Attached – SIDE
Attached/Detached
Basement
Boat
Detached
Unassigned

The update is ONLY to the Residential property class for now.  This is so we can gather feedback and make any needed adjustments before moving on to the other property classes. There are a few essential things to know about the latest changes:

  • Parking Total will be calculated, and be a searchable field that replaces Garage/Parking Capacity.
  • Driveway is still a separate field in Add/Edit.  It will be transitioned into a parking feature in a future update.
  • If a value of “1” or more is entered into Garage or Carport Spaces, a selection from the respective features list will be necessary as well.
  • The Add/Edit selections of your current Residential listings will be transferred to the new fields automatically.  If an existing listing is edited with a value in either Garage or Carport, a feature selection will need to be made prior to saving.

Do you have questions about the changes?  Be sure to chat, click, or call one of our Help Desk representatives who can assist with all of your concerns.

Coming Soon / Hold is Now a Listing Status – What You Need to Know

Many of you have been asking for a Coming Soon status and as of Thursday, June 28th, Coming Soon / Hold is now included in the list of available property status, replacing Active – Not Showing. Also included as part of the new status changes, Active – Showing will now be simply Active. Coming Soon / Hold will have days-on-market calculated the same way as Active – Not Showing. Be sure to check the table below if you have questions about how your listing’s days-on-market are calculated.

DOM table

New Features Have Been Added to the MLS!

Updates & Improvements

  • The new printable reports now include “requested by…” text in the bottom left corner
  • Add/Edit: The Print Preview button is now available for listings in the Withdrawn status

Things We Fixed Recently

  • Media Manager:  Document count is now updating when adding or removing documents to incomplete listings – Fix released 10/5/17
  • CMA for LLF: LP/Acres is now calculating correctly – Fix released 10/9/17
  • Share button/Create Shareable link:  copy option is now working from iOS – Fix released 10/9/17
  • Auto Notify results printing is now working – Fix released 10/9/17
  • Android devices: erratic behavior during entry of digits in the list price field – Fix released 10/18/17