Bringing it all together at Yes-MLS
Carl R. DeMusz, Yes-MLS CEO

Autumn greetings from Yes-MLS! We are pleased to bring you our second newsletter as Yes-MLS enters its sixth month in operation. It has already been an exciting time filled with firsts and coming together as an organization. Our members, Shareholders, Board of Directors, and, of course, our staff have begun working closer together and have developed a greater appreciation for one another. From my point of view, it has been exciting to see this talent pool come together as the real work has begun.

Just to give us a benchmark, I checked the housing numbers for our primary 10 Shareholder Counties and thought I would post it here. September 2018 compared to September 2017 listing inventory was down 15.9%, sold units down 15.5%, market time down to 56 days on market average, average sale price up 7.7%, and median sale price up 9.1%. Employment in the region is strong and mortgage interest rates are climbing slightly. With listing inventory so low combined with these other statistics it would indicate a seller’s market.

In this edition of the newsletter, you will find it is content rich with a lot of good reading. I encourage you to take the time to see what our staff, vendors, and even the Division of Real Estate has written for you. I will especially point out two articles, one about the National Broker Portal and the other from the Division of Real Estate.

Until we meet again, I hope your Autumn is filled with the colors of the season and sales beyond your wildest imagination.

Regards,
Carl R. DeMusz, RCE, CMLS2
President & CEO
Yes-MLS
 
“Yes-MLS” Is Your MLS!
John Kurlich, Yes-MLS COO

Have you ever thought to yourself “Why doesn’t the MLS work like ……….?”, or “There ought to be a rule about ……..”, or “Who decided that?”

In Yes-MLS, the Users of the system will have voice in how Yes-MLS will work and what things can or cannot be done. Yes-MLS is looking for volunteers to serve on a User’s Advisory Group/ Agent Council.

Yes-MLS will maintain a User’s Advisory Group, or what some may call an Agent Council, that will meet quarterly, or as needed, to discuss and share member experiences, suggestions and ideas to improve overall member understanding and use of the products and services offered by Yes-MLS. Members will be selected from a list of volunteers, by the MLS Leadership and Staff based on their Realtor membership, previous experience in real estate and their strengths in various aspects of the real estate business, i.e. real estate sales, appraisal, auctions, new construction, etc. Additional consideration will be given to technical experience and market area.

If you are interested in serving on the Yes-MLS Users Group, and can be available for meetings, please click on this link Yes-MLS User Group Application Form, and complete the application and return by email to John@Yes-MLS.com.

The deadline to apply is November 1st.

 
NEW ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE - Dan Jones

Dan resides in Mayfield Heights with his wife, Gina and daughters, Gianna (6) and Alivia (1). He graduated from Notre Dame college where he served as an assistant basketball coach for five years before moving on to become the head boys coach at Newbury High School.

This will mark Dan’s 5th year at Newbury. Dan would describe himself as passionate and personable. He enjoys learning new things and meeting new people. He also enjoys simply hanging out with his girls having a family day.

 
Ohio Division of Real Estate Newsletter
 
Victor Lund, Wav Group

One million free leads for real estate agents coast-to-coast. A slate of exceptional industry leaders announced as new officers of our Board of Managers to lead us into next year. A new video testimonial with a slew of agents sharing why consumers will love the Homesnap app and why it’s better than anything else out there.

Research from Hitwise showing the Broker Public Portal (BPP) with Homesnap is now the second largest MLS consumer website. A record 875,000 agents and brokers now have access to the BPP with Homesnap through their MLS. And we’re beginning to hear a new rallying cry from those agents whose MLS have yet to sign with BPP, saying, “I Want My BPP!”The Broker Public Portal with Homesnap continues to take the industry by storm during the 2nd Quarter. Our story is being told again and again. We’ve garnered significant coverage in all the major real estate trades, including Inman News, RIS Media, RE Technology, REAL Trends, Housingwire, Realty Times, Realty Biz News, Property Portal Watch, Real Estate Rama, Chicago/ Atlanta/ Miami/ Houston Agent magazines online, and from top Bloggers nationwide.

Making an Impact

In the last few months, the BPP has been making an impact on multiple fronts. Within the industry, we’ve signed up new MLS partners, driving record levels of adoption among major new customers like those in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve also debuted new ways to get our story told throughout the industry by leveraging the power of social media, mass media and video to keep building momentum.

For example, the front page of the Monday Business print edition of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on May 7th shouted: “Brokers launch a rival to Zillow” (2.6 mb PDF). Featuring an interview with now BPP Chairman John Mosey, head of Minneapolis-based NorthstarMLS, the article details BPP’s plan, the business momentum it’s built, and the growing impact BPP is having on the entire real estate industry. It’s a showcase piece that represents how earnestly successful the BPP with Homesnap has become in such a short time.

If you haven’t seen the new video testimonials from an array of BPP’s supporters – many of the real estate industry’s most influential leaders — talking about the importance of BPP and the Homesnap apps, checkout Homesnap’s YouTube channel here. The research that shows the online popularity of Homesnap was the subject of a must-read WAV Group blog by Marilyn Wilson, “Broker Public Portal is the #2 MLS Consumer-Facing Website!,” showing it is second only to the long-time perennial champ, the Houston Association of Realtors.

Homesnap continues to make new improvements, most recently expanding its social media and online advertising by forging a partnership with Facebook to help agents better target potential homebuyers. Homesnap is offering agents Facebook’s Dynamic Ads for Real Estate that will automatically advertise listings to Facebook users who have previously searched for that listing, or even a similar property, on a brokerage’s website or Homesnap.com.

All of these developments mark the rapid growth of BPP and are a prelude of what’s to come as BPP with Homesnap continues its quest to align more MLSs behind a movement that continues to grow in the real estate industry.

What Lies Ahead

In the coming months, BPP will remain in the news in a new way. Each month, RIS Media’s Real Estate magazine will feature a major column authored by a supporter of the BPP. RIS Media, a strong supporter of our industry, has also been supporting BPP’s efforts and those of its members since the beginning.

The new monthly BPP feature in Real Estate magazine will help drive home our story to more agents, brokers, and MLS industry staff and executives on the value of the BPP with Homesnap and how vital this movement is to our industry’s future. The columns will not only be in the printed and digital versions of the magazine, which are distributed to tens of thousands of locations, but also online at RISMedia.com. The columns will be in RIS Media’s daily newsletters, which reaches hundreds of thousands of real estate professionals each day.

Only $1 Per Agent

The bottom line as the BPP with Homesnap movement continues to grow, and the impact of its business momentum increases is that it all comes down to $1. That’s the investment BPP is seeking from local MLSs to provide consumers with a better home search experience. Just $1 per agent per month. One dollar to make sure we provide consumers with the same comprehensive, real-time MLS data used by real estate professionals, so they don’t have to settle for bad data. One dollar to ensure that the real estate information consumers use come from the people who list and sell homes, not ads.

Source: WAVGROUP.COM

https://www.wavgroup.com/2018/08/14/broker-public-portal-update-q2-2018/

 

 

This special promotion, beginning October 1st includes free access and an extended trial to Cloud Streams, Cloud MLX, Cloud Attract and the new Cloud CMA.

Huntington Beach, CA (October 1, 2018) - Privately held software company, W+R Studios, announced today a nationwide campaign to offer their popular Cloud Agent Suite free to all real estate agents through the end of 2018. Beginning October 1st, agents can get up to 3 months of free service of real estate’s most popular tools.

The Cloud Agent Suite includes the new Cloud CMA, Cloud Streams, Cloud MLX, and Cloud Attract. Cloud CMA helps agents generate awesome reports designed to win more listings. Cloud Streams is a listing alert tool built to send alerts faster than any portal. Award winning Cloud MLX is a modern MLS front-end that allows agents to search the MLS similar to how you search Google. And last but not least, Cloud Attract creates lead generating landing pages in seconds that agents can share with their sphere of influence to generate leads.

“We’ve had an exciting year,” stated W+R Studios’ co-founder Greg Robertson. “And we wanted to finish it off with something big, so we thought why not let everyone try ALL our products free” continued Mr. Robertson. “Many of our customers already get access to Cloud CMA as part of their MLS membership but, we wanted to make it super easy for them to try all other products and see how well they all work together as part of the full Cloud Agent Suite.”

Cloud CMA recently got a big update so as part of this promotion, all agents can experience the new Cloud CMA interface, reports and brand new features. The updated design will feel new, yet familiar and the new report designs help agents close more business.

“This might be the one thing I’m most excited about. Currently we only have a handful of markets using the new Cloud CMA. This will be the first time ever everyone in the country will have access to the new Cloud CMA” concluded Mr. Robertson.

To find out more, visit cloudagentsuite.com.

Product availability depends on MLS participation. The cost of the Cloud Agent Suite will be $99 per month (no contracts) after the free trial promotion ends. Agents can cancel or change their level of service at anytime.

About W+R Studios
Founded in 2008, W+R Studios is a privately held web software company located in Huntington Beach, California. The company focuses on creating the next generation of web-based software solutions for the real estate industry. By providing a "less is more" approach to software design, elegant user interfaces, and using the latest in agile programming, W+R Studios' software applications are at the same time powerful, yet accessible to everyone. Co-founders Dan Woolley and Greg Robertson have over 26 years of experience each developing and marketing real estate software solutions.

 
RealTrends Newsletter

 
RPR - Realtors Property Resource - http://blog.narrpr.com

Introducing the RPR New User Series. Eight straightforward “how-to’s” covering everything from simple searches, to gathering data on schools and neighborhoods, mapping, and our ever-popular RPR reports. Each article includes a breakdown of what you can expect from RPR and how to easily incorporate RPR tools and features into your everyday business operations.

Don’t forget, RPR is a benefit of the National Association of REALTORS®, which means it’s already included in your annual dues.

Here’s a snapshot of what you will find in the RPR New User Series.

  1. Property Search
    As an RPR® user, you have the power to capture real estate data to the extent that no other search mechanism offers. In fact, no other real estate data sharing website offers side-by-side, listing vs. public record comparisons like RPR.
  2. Property Details
    RPR’s Property Details page offers a wealth of data not found on any other real estate platform. Here you will find side-by-side comparisons of MLS vs. public records information; sales, tax and mortgage histories; property photos, school and neighborhood profiles, interactive maps, and more.
  3. Property pricing
    RPR shares four tools that will help you refine the value of a property, use the platform’s flexible comp analysis tool, create a Sales Comparative Analysis and Valuation Workbook for harder-to-price properties, and run a real-time analysis for investment properties.
  4. Neighborhoods
    Finding the right neighborhood for your buyer is easy thanks to the housing, demographic and economic data found within RPR. Here, we’ll run you through the basics on how to help your clients find a home near desired amenities and within commutable distances.
  5. Schools
    Test scores, parent reviews, enrollment data and more help REALTORS® quickly drill down to schools best suited to client needs and expectations. Search for schools within 5 miles of a location; by city/state, school, or district name; and even by type of school (elementary, middle or high school), as well as up to 20 nearby listings.
  6. Maps
    The RPR map is a powerful way to visually search for properties and uncover market trends. From aerial, road, and overhead views, to schools, parcels, estimated values, heat maps, overlays and more, we’ll show you how easy it is to draw or designate your map in ways that suit every type of interest or need.
  7. Reports
    Easily create and share RPR’s colorful, client-friendly reports from your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop. Customize the elements of your report to suit client interests and brand each with your name, photo, logo and contact information. And even add your own pages to the report (biographies, testimonials, and marketing tools).
  8. RPR Mobile™
    Downloading the free RRR app to instantly view on- and off-market properties, leases, valuations, tax and mortgage info, distressed data, maps, schools, neighborhoods and more. The app also provides a customizable feature that allows you to create, save and share reports with just a few quick taps on the screen.

Take me to the New User Series

MyRental from CoreLogic

Your Online Rental Application Solution is Here! We are excited to share with you that MyRental™ from CoreLogic® has released a new online Rental Application Solution!

The free, mobile-friendly online application helps your prospective tenants quickly and easily submit an application online using any device, allowing you to fill vacancies even more efficiently.


LEARN MORE

Note that you can also choose to add a tenant screening request to your application. The screening can be sent after tenants submit their application, or be completed alongside the application to save you time. Yes-MLS members receive a 20% discount on tenant screening purchases by creating their account at https://myrental.net/m/yesmls.

CORELOGIC and the CoreLogic logo are trademarks of CoreLogic, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective holders.

 
John Torvi, Vice President of Marketing & Sales at the Landy Insurance Agency

Despite the abundance of news, how‐to tips and cautionary tales, cybercrime has infiltrated the local, regional and national business space, impacting real estate professionals with a special severity. The sophistication and global reach of the cybercriminal can easily overwhelm most precautions and risk‐management practices (assuming they exist at all) of small to medium sized firms. While data theft and ransom attacks are most common, the most damaging crimes include the misappropriation of escrow, IOLTA and other custodial funds held by attorneys, title agents and real estate brokerages. Recent national events illustrate the severity of the problem, with stolen funds in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

These losses, if needing to be reimbursed by the affected real estate practice, can easily force a firm to go out of business. Many law, title and real estate firms have started taking preventative steps to reduce cybercrime risk, including strengthening office protocol and putting informational and instructional language on websites and emails related to monetary transfer procedures. Hopefully this is done in conjunction with regular staff training and includes a forensic and system‐wide analysis by an IT‐security expert. Nevertheless, breaches and crime are almost exclusively a consequence of human error. Putting aside the buzzwords like phishing, hacking and spoofing, ultimately the bad guys will infiltrate a computer system when someone clicks a bad link, opens an infected document, forwards the latest “joke of the day” or other seemingly innocent moves done in the middle of a busy work day. Once that happens, the flood gates are open, with 90% of all cyberattacks coming through an infected email. It may be weeks or months before the innocent party even becomes aware (if at all) of the breach. Even if one does not adopt the “when, not if” attitude about the likelihood of becoming a cyber‐victim, a risk‐management program must consider insurance coverage to help mitigate the damage and cost of a data or monetary breach.

There are numerous insurance plans available to protect one’s cybercrime exposure. Sound coverage and reasonable premiums are becoming readily available though plans and terminology can be confusing. An understanding of policy language and available coverage can be instructive when choosing protection.

A first step for a firm (or a non‐profit) would include an assessment of the risk – i.e. what does my practice have that a criminal might want? Here, there are two main categories – data and money. Most businesses have confidential and privileged information (awareness and compliance with state laws outlining consumer protections, required practices and data security regulations are critical but should be seen as a starting point). Thus a good place to begin is understanding what the consequences of a data breach are, and therefore what should be covered in an insurance policy. Besides the civil penalties imposed by the government – fines can be imposed on a “per record” basis rather than per breach ‐ a compromised firm might face lawsuits, be required to provide notifications of breach and credit monitoring to each affected party, conduct forensics to determine and eliminate the infection, perform data and system restoration to be able to continue business, payment card industry fines and reputational harm and loss of income. A cyber insurance policy should provide coverage for these as a basic level of protection. The Better Business Bureau reported in 2017 that the average cost of a cyberattack (not including theft/loss of funds) is almost $80,000. Within six months of an attack, 60% of small companies will go out of business. Another type of cyberattack is ransomware. Here, the criminal installs malignant software into a computer network, effectively disabling the network until a ransom is paid. Ransom demands are usually small, typically under $10,000 with a demand for bitcoin or alternate currency. Businesses can be shut down for days trying to remedy this and there is also the cost of forensics and system restoration in addition to the ransom and loss of production. Again, ransomware coverage should be included in an insurance policy.

Firms that control funds have additional threats, including wire and computer fraud, social engineering and employee dishonesty/theft. The distinction in these terms is important, as insurance plans define them differently, effecting coverage. Briefly, wire and computer fraud is when the criminal uses a firm’s computers to steal money directly or act as a representative of the firm to trick a third party into sending money. Social Engineering is when a representative of the firm is duped into sending funds themselves. Again, policy language and coverage may be different for wire, computer fraud or social engineering, so diligence is needed in setting up a policy. Also in the “money” category of computer threat is employee dishonesty, including embezzlement, fraud, theft of property or alteration of records, and ERISA Compliance malfeasance. These risks are properly addressed in a Crime or Fidelity insurance policy, not typically in a cybercrime policy.

There is no denying that the threat of computer and cyber crime is real. Though the process of developing an appropriate insurance plan might be daunting – and yes require another insurance premium – the cost of a breach can be enormous or even put one out of business. Assessing the threat and vulnerabilities and putting a risk management and insurance plan in place can effectively provide predictability of cost and long‐term security to a law or real estate practice.

John Torvi is the Vice President of Marketing & Sales at the Landy Insurance Agency of Needham, MA. He is a regular speaker and contributor to the legal, real estate, accounting and insurance professions. He can be reached at 781‐292‐5417 or at johnt@landy.com. The Landy Agency is a TAR Risk management Partner.

 
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