updates

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!

An Easier Way to Schedule an Open House

The Open House Manager is getting a makeover, and we think you are going to love the new setup.  A cleaner and easier-to-use interface is just part of the improvements.

  • Choose between Public and Realtor Open House types
  • Set if you would like the open house to be a weekly recurring event
  • Select your start and end time with easy-to-use dropdown

And, best of all – YOU CAN SETUP OPEN HOUSES FROM ANY DEVICE!

Here’s how:

  1. Select Open House from the available options for the listing you wish to set up.OH-create
  2. Choose your open house type (Public or Realtor), the time it will be held, and add any comments.  If the open house is a recurring event, e.g. a model home, check Recurs Weekly. Click Save to schedule your Open House.
  3. Scheduled Open Houses will appear in the Open Houses section of Manage Listings.  Select More Options () to either edit the details of your Open House or cancel it altogether.OH-manage

Users can search for upcoming open houses as well as viewing details in the top section of the full report.2019-07-15_16-06-01

Clicking More Info displays the information below:
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Questions about the new mobile-friendly Open House Manager?  Be sure to contact our Support staff via an online chat, email, or by phone.

GARAGE & PARKING ADD/EDIT FIELD CHANGES MADE FOR MULTI-FAMILY, LAND-LOT-FARM, AND RENTAL LISTINGS

As of August 29, RealTracs’ users will see RESO updates to the multi-family, land-lot-farm, and rental class garage/parking fields in Add/Edit.  This is a continuation of the parking updates that were started with Residential listings (see previous post).

2018-07-16_15-53-47

Going forward, there are two additional required fields when a multi-family, land-lot-farm, or rental class 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.

New Garage Features New Carport Features New Open Parking Features
Alley Access Alley Access Alley Access
Assigned Assigned Assigned
Attached Attached On Street
Attached – FRONT Detached Parking Lot
Attached – REAR Private Unassigned
Attached – SIDE Unassigned
Attached/Detached
Basement
Boat
Detached
Private
Unassigned

Some important notes:

  • Individual Garage and Individual Carport are being replaced with Private in the Garage and Carport Feature lists.
  • Parking Space will be replaced with Parking Lot (you can also select Assigned in Open Parking Features for this situation)
  • Shared Garage and Shared Carport is being replaced with Unassigned

GARAGE & PARKING ADD/EDIT FIELD CHANGES MADE FOR CONDO LISTINGS

As of August 15, RealTracs’ users will see RESO updates to the condo garage/parking fields in Add/Edit.  This is a continuation of the parking updates that were started with Residential listings (see previous post).

2018-07-16_15-53-47

Going forward, there are two additional required fields when a condominium 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.

New Garage Features New Carport Features New Open Parking Features
Alley Access Alley Access Alley Access
Assigned Assigned Assigned
Attached Attached On Street
Attached – FRONT Detached Parking Lot
Attached – REAR Private Unassigned
Attached – SIDE Unassigned
Attached/Detached
Basement
Boat
Detached
Private
Unassigned

Some important notes:

  • Individual Garage and Individual Carport are being replaced with Private in the Garage and Carport Feature lists.
  • Parking Space will be replaced with Parking Lot (you can also select Assigned in Open Parking Features for this situation)
  • Shared Garage and Shared Carport is being replaced with Unassigned

Several Big Features Added to Mobile RealTracs

RealTracs is dedicated to making your experience on the MLS system the absolute best it can be, and the latest updates and improvements will make your time on RealTracs mobile better than ever!  There is a new “Near Me Search” so you can check what’s for sale in your vicinity, a new way to browse the map for listings, an easy to use CMA tool, and more!


Near Me Search

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Need to check what’s for sale in your vicinity?  Easy!  Simply enter the criteria of what you want to look for (price, bedrooms, etc.), tap the blue arrow to set your location and then the blue Search button at the bottom.

RealTracs’ mobile site will find all the listings around you that match.  Search for “Near Me” listings by price, property status, beds or baths, and much more.  You can even search for open houses close by!

 


Browsing the Map

You found some listings, now what?  Plenty!  Need to see what else is in the immediate area?  Drag the map or “pinch”  the map to zoom in or out, and listings will appear on the map as it moves on your screen.  You can also change the layer of the map to a satellite view which displays county names and borders – all with a tap!

Preview the details of any listing by tapping the corresponding marker.  Need the full details?  Click the listing image for more information.  Tap the Grid button at the top of the screen to display a list of all the properties shown on the map.


Mobile CMA

For starters, the CMA layout is mobile friendly with improved readability.  By tapping the more button (…) in the upper right corner, you can either share the listings you pulled or create, view, and print a CMA! If you need to narrow down the selections, choose what you want in the Grid view by checking the listings and running the CMA again.   It’s really that easy!

Ready to customize and share the information?  You have options there as well.  Just tap the gear icon to enter your client’s information and property details.  Add any comments you want, and click OK to save.  You can then send the CMA to a printer by tapping the print icon.


Using a Wildcard to Search

The wildcard (%) is back and available when searching for street names andIMG_BA85F4D1E20B-1 subdivisions.  Use the “%” to replace something such as abbreviations to start the street name.

For example, you are looking for highway 96 and don’t know if “highway” is abbreviated or spelled out search %96, and pull the listings regardless of how “highway” is entered.  Looking for Mt. Zion?  Search %Zion.  What about N. Main St?  Enter you search as N%Main to find listings with N., North, or any other iteration of “north”.

The same rules apply to the subdivision field for whatever it is you are searching for.

 

 


What Good Are New Features if You Can’t Use Them?

We never want that to be the case, and RealTracs has multiple ways for you to get help when you need it.  Live training is offered almost every day at area REALTOR Associations and at the RealTracs office.

Classes cover everything from the mobile website, the CRS Tax system, to instruction on how to enter and manage your listings in RealTracs.  Our stellar training team of Bobbi Jo, Donna, JoAnn, Liz, and Kymberly are the best in the industry and a great resource for you.  Trust us, we aren’t just saying that.

They are that good!

To register for a class, click Class Schedule from the Help option in RealTracs.net.  Classes are organized by the type of class or location, depending on what you select.

We understand you are busy and might not have time to attend a class right now.  That’s ok.  We have a solution for you too!  The RealTracs Help Desk is available Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.  You can get in contact with a technician via an easy online chat, by phone, or via email at helpdesk@realtracs.com.

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.

2018-07-16_15-53-47

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.

Centralized Showing Services (CSS) is Now Integrated into RealTracs

Centralized Showing Services (CSS) integration is now in RealTracs.  CSS subscribers can now add showing instructions from a new setting in the add/edit system so any RealTracs user can schedule a showing for your listing online!

Here’s how you do it.

Setting up a listing to have online scheduling available

  1.  Under the Office Information section in add/edit (this is the second section down) you will notice a new required field called Showing Service.  By default, this is set to Other, and the Showing Instructions field is still available, just as it has always been. For non-showing service subscribers, there is no change in the process.
    ss1
  2. If you are a CSS subscriber and wish to offer online scheduling, select CSS in the Showing Service field. Showing instructions cannot be selected and will now be updated via the CSS website once you make the listing active.  Please note, this does not affect the Showing Phone Number.
  3. Upon confirmation of your listing being saved, a new button labeled Go to Centralized Showing will display at the bottom.  ss2This will sign you into CSS where showing instructions can be managed.  You can also access the listing at https://showings.com/ with your CSS login credentials.
    Picture1.png
  4. Any of your listings saved with CSS selected as the showing service will display a Schedule Showing link in the Showing Instructions field found in the Office and Showing Information section.  When a user clicks this link, they will be directed to your listing within the CSS site to schedule their showing. Please note, users scheduling a showing time are not required to subscribe to CSS.ss3

Scheduling a showing online (for all MLS users)

  1. Click the Schedule Showing link to load the scheduling page on Centralized Showings website.  Follow the on-screen instructions.  You do not have to be a CSS subscriber to use this feature.
    ss3
    Simply click Schedule Appointments to continue.
    css8
  2. You will then select the day and time for your showing.  Pick a start and end time, and then click the green Confirm Times button. ss5.png
  3. The final step is to click the Schedule All Showings Now! button, and that’s it! You will then see a confirmation screen with full showing instructions and entry information.
    ss6

New MLS Features Added Today

What’s New?

  • The Shared Agent reports now include clickable Tax ID links
    • When the tax link is clicked from a desktop, and you are logged into realtracs.net, the full CRS tax report will open
    • If you are not logged in, an overlay with the most popular fields will open
    • When you click the link from your mobile device,mobile-friendly overlay with the most popular tax fields is openedimage2018-1-11_10-39-52.png
  • The stats results tab now contains a Year Built column for minimum, average, median and maximum values
  • You no longer have to select listings to Print from the Stats tab
    • image2018-1-11_10-43-34.png

If you get stuck or have questions…

The RealTracs technical support staff is available Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The quickest way to reach a technician is via an Online Chat.  To start a chat, click the button at the top of RealTracs.net.

Updates, Enhancements to Add/Edit

There were a few updates and enhancements released to RealTracs.net today including a few changes to Add/Edit.

Other Enhancements:

  • Add/Edit: Acres selection tool includes option for “less than 0.25”.  You can choose to enter either the exact acreage or select that the lot is less than a quarter acre.  A lot-size value is required when exact acreage is not provided.
    ae1
  • Add/Edit: Print Preview is now Preview Full Report, button added to listing “confirmation” page
  • Add/Edit Commercial Listing “step 1” updated to include all pricing options
    ae2
  • Under Contract – Showing Listing flag color updated to help differentiate from Active
    image.png
  • Commercial listing flags now display “For Lease” and “Leased” respectively
  • Rental listing flags now display “For Rent” and “Rented” respectively and “last list” removed from shared emails

Bugs Fixes:

  • Agent information overlay working on shared listing reports

See something off? Need help?  Chat, call, or click the technical support team…they have the answers to all of your questions!