You’re Invited! REsearch Version 4.3 Data Base Reorg Information Session

REsearch, REsearch 4.3, Training 1 Comment »

You are invited to join us for a presentation explaining in more depth and detail REsearch Version 4.3, the Data Base Reorg.  As these changes will affect items in REsearch such as Data Entry, Display Formats, as well as Listings, Saved Searches, and Prospects, we strongly encourage you to attend if possible.  Come and acquaint yourself with the upgrades and changes, ask questions, and network a bit with your fellow members.

We will be holding two sessions to accommodate as many people as possible.  However, seating is limited so please RSVP as early as possible.  If you have already submitted your RSVP and have received a confirmation e-mail from me you do not need to RSVP again.

When:

KAUAI: Wednesday, January 6th, 2010 from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.

Wednesday, January 6th 2010 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.

HILO: Thursday, January 7th, 2010 from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.

Thursday, January 7th, 2010 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.

KONA: Friday, January 8th, 2010 from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m.

Friday, January 8th 2010 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.

Where:

KAUAI: Kauai Beach Resort (Formerly Hilton Kauai Beach Resort)

4331 Kauai Beach Drive, Lihue 96766

HILO: Hawaiian Island Board of Realtors
26 Waianuenue Avenue, Hilo, Hawaii

KONA: Kuakini Towers
75-5722 Kuakini Hwy, 2nd Floor Conference Room, Suite 216
Kailua Kona, Hawaii

RSVP: By Monday, January 4th by e-mailing me at erin@alohaliving.com.

In the meantime, if you would like to take part in the Beta for REsearch 4.3, you can view the changes here: http://rebeta.hawaiiinformation.com/REsearch/HIS_REORG

If you do any testing, please send us feedback and any bugs you may come across by filling out and submitting this simple form:  http://useresearch.com/bugform/

Please note:  Due to the database change,  you will not be testing with Live data.  Unfortunately we cannot run the new system and an old system on the same database because of the amount of changes that have taken place on the backend.  This will make your testing even more crucial as we need to uncover all of the bugs before we can switch 4.3 over to the live system.

Questions?  Please do not hesitate to contact me at erin@alohaliving.com

It’s 4.3 Beta Time!

REsearch, REsearch 4.3 5 Comments »

You may have heard about the latest version of REsearch that has been in the works, 4.3, which is a complete database restructure.  We are in the final stages of development and are now starting to open the gates for our external beta testers.  As our members, your thoughts and feedback are invaluable to us in making sure we deliver the best possible MLS service we can.  This beta will last over the next couple of weeks, giving everyone a chance to get in there and test things out.

Beta Site Address: http://rebeta.hawaiiinformation.com/REsearch/HIS_REORG

If you come across any bugs you can notify us of them using this quick and easy to use form: http://useresearch.com/bugform/

Please note: Due to the database change,  you will not be testing with Live data.  Unfortunately we cannot run the new system and an old system on the same database because of the amount of changes that have taken place on the backend.  This will make your testing even more crucial as we need to uncover all of the bugs before we can switch 4.3 over to the live system.

_________________________________

What’s new in 4.3?

First and foremost is the complete database restructure.  We have done a lot of work to clean and expand the number of fields in the system.  The idea is to give the agent the ability to list a given property in its entirety and as such, we have added several hundred new fields.

Due to the amount of changes that are being made in 4.3, we were also able to further develop two areas that have not had an update in a long time;  Data Entry and Display Formats.

Data Entry:

The first thing you will notice when putting in a new listing is that you don’t choose a form type anymore.  Form types were based on paper forms and locked a user into listing their property as a certain type.  Because of this restriction we found properties being listed 2 or 3 times because it could be a Residential or a Commercial, or a combination of both.  We now have one form to rule them all, and the user can select any and all ‘Types’ the property falls under, making each listing more complete and making it easier to find what you are looking for when conducting a search.

Where are Condos?  After doing our due diligence we found Condo does not properly fall under a ‘Type’ of property but rather is an ‘Ownership’.  To classify your property you will need to choose Type, Subtype and Ownership.  These 3 fields will also help to increase the accuracy to which the property is listed and searched upon.

Because of the number of fields we have added, and because we are now only using one form to cover everything,  you can imagine the listing form has become quite large.  We have done our best to put fields into logical categories which you can expand and collapse, making the entire thing much more manageable.  Further you can select only the categories you want to show up when you print, helping to reduce the amount of paper you use.  And finally if you are really in a rush, you can use the option that will jump you from required field to required field.

We also have added some adaptive pieces to the form.  This means if you are listing a property that has two buildings you can easily add another building to the form.  You also can add as many schools or contacts (private and public) to the listing as you want, allowing you to expand the form even further to fit your listing needs.

Display Formats:

When we looked at how much data was being added and changed, we decided to give our graphic designer a chance to rebuild the display formats.  We wanted to give them a cleaner, less ink heavy look, while creating a layout that was easy to read and find the relevant data.  We have made changes to all the MLS formats, however did not touch the TMK formats in this release.

Listings / Saved Searches / Prospects:

With all the changes to the data,  we have attempted to convert as many Listings, Saved Searches and Prospects that we could.  However we unfortunately could not reach 100% conversion.  Because of this we will need our users to check and update their listings, searches and prospects after we have switched over.

Major Areas of Testing

Data Entry: Please list your properties into the beta site and see if you run into any problems.  List the properties and make them active (don’t worry, as stated this is test data we populated based off the real database) and then try searching for them (make sure to try all different types of properties such as commercial and residential).  You may need to edit your search screen to access all the new fields (we will be creating a new default search screen in a few weeks to help new users have access to all fields).

Some other parts of Data Entry to check:

  • Verbiage – Please verify everything looks good and terms and words are correctly used.
  • Field Placement – Please examine the different categories where we placed fields, see if these are in fact logical placements or whether they should be changed and/or new categories created.
  • Functionality – Do you have any problem moving around the form, interacting with all the pieces?  Do the buttons do what they should, etc.
  • Easibility – Right off I understand how a much large form will score low in this area,  however please examine the amount of data and how easy is it to understand where to go for various options, select those options, and generally list your property.  Does it take too long,  does the form not move quick enough, do you like how categories open and close, etc.?
  • General Workflow – Given this will become a new piece of an agents workflow, how well does it fit?
  • Display Formats:  After listing your properties with as much data entered as possible, search using each of the various MLS Display Formats.

Details to check on Display Formats:

  • Data:  Please check the completeness of the data on the formats.  Is there anything you listed on the form that is now appearing on the full display format?  Did we leave off any important information on one of the smaller formats that absolutely must be there?
  • Verbiage:  Again please check us on spelling and correct use of words and terms.
  • Field Placement:  We again tried to group data in logical categories and areas where we felt it held the most relevance.  If you find something that is in the wrong area or just doesn’t make sense,  please let us know.Print:  How good does it print?  Is it something you will be comfortable handing a client?  How can it be improved?

I thank you again for being part of this first round of Beta testing.  Please keep all bugs and feedback as constructive and as complete as possible.  The more details you can provide us (including screen captures) the better.  We strive to make this a solid release and your help will really help us to achieve that goal.

Questions?  Feedback?  Please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Bob Schoenthal

Product Manager | Hawaii Information Service

E-Mail: Bob@HawaiiInformation.com

Phone: 808-748-8753

Exciting XML Update!

IDX 1 Comment »

Added Latitude and Longitude Data to XML Feed Vastly Improves Mapping Accuracy

With this upgrade to our XML feeds, property location data will now be significantly more accurate than most mapping systems that merely estimate a location using street address. In some cases, you’ll now be able to display a position within 10 inches of the property* versus discrepancies of up to five miles using the address method.

Hawaii Information Service - FULL IDX DEMO - Search by Map_1258077560512_600

How Will It Work?

We’ll now be populating previously unused fields in the XML feed with latitude and longitude coordinates. Field “latitude” will specify a property’s latitude, and “longitude” will specify the longitude. These coordinates will specify the “centroid,” or the very center, of the property, for maximum accuracy. This data is one of the many advantages of our parcel-based MLS!

How Is This Better?

On other systems, searching for a property without a street address is a challenge. For example, Google Maps would be unable to find ‘Kaniahiku House Lots’ without an address, or many other properties in a newly built subdivision. With integrated latitude and longitude coordinates built into your XML, displaying the property with pin-point precision is no a problem at all.

*Accuracy of 10 inches is possible only when updated property information with longitude and latitude coordinates is available.

REsearch Feature Focus: OPEN HOUSE

REsearch No Comments »

When you add your open house schedule to listings in REsearch, not only are they available to your fellow agents, but they are also fed to AlohaLiving.com, where consumers can conduct a search specifically for them. Potential buyers can set all the criteria they’re looking for, then visit matching properties as well! In addition, Open House information is now included in our new-and-improved Full IDX product. When consumers search for properties on your IDX-powered website, open house information will appear on the Property Details page, making them more visible than ever.

So if you are taking the time to hold an open house, take a few extra moments to enter the details into REsearch as well, and reap the benefits. As the number of open houses entered into REsearch grows, and as both real estate professionals and consumers take greater advantage of them, we will continue to make open house searches more sophisticated and widespread across the web.

And if you don’t have the upgraded Full IDX, and want to take advantage of this new feature, contact Colleen Yasuhara at Colleen@AlohaLiving.com or by calling toll free at 1-800-628-3121 ext. 151.

Here’s how open house listings in REsearch work:

Step 1: Enter Your Open House In REsearch

To enter your Open House into REsearch simply click on the “Add Open House” button on the Open House navigation bar (on your REVO home page), and then enter the information into the pop-up box. Enter your name where it says “With Whom,” as well as any pertinent information you want consumers and or agents to know in the fields below. You can even set reminders to help you keep on track. Now how easy and convenient is that!

Open house_full size

Step 2: Check it Out on AlohaLiving.com and the Property Details Pages of your listings!

Once you hit OK, all of the information for your Open House will soon show up on Aloha Living and listing property details pages automatically. Customers and colleagues alike will be able to search for and access your Open House information using the links on the AlohaLiving.com and Hawaiiinformation.com homepages, as well as through the various home searches once more Open Houses are entered.

Here is what you will see using the search on AlohaLiving.com:

open_house_400

And here is what it looks like when using your personal IDX* to search:

Open House callout on new Property Details page

*Open House Search is only available with a Full IDX Suite

Important Holiday and Billing Announcement

Digests No Comments »

Happy Holidays from HIS!

Our office will be closed from December 25, 2009 through January 1, 2010. Normal office hours will resume on Monday, January 4, 2010.

~

Important Billing Announcement
The next billing for credit card and ACH Customers is
Monday, January 4, 2010

Please note: If you were mailed an invoice, your payment is due by January 5, 2010 to avoid possible late fees and interruption of service.

If you are placing your license INACTIVE, or if you are surrendering your license, we must receive a copy of your DCCA change form. We normally request that changes be submitted to us 4-5 working days prior to the billing date, so please send your form(s) in by December 23, 2009 to assure that your changes will be processed before the billing is sent out on January 1, 2010.

Once we charge your credit card or debit your account, there is no refund. Please contact us before billing occurs if you would like to make any changes to your billing.

If you need to change your payment account, please go to this link:
http://www.hiiinfo.net/REsearch/IDX/mlsHawaii/forms/PreAuthprizedPayment.pdf

Print and complete this form, sign it and fax your new Exhibit C to (808) 524-6874. Please note that your broker does not have to sign this form if you are only changing your account information.

If you need to change your payment frequency or billing cycle, please notify us by:

- Calling HIS Accounting at 1-800-628-3121, ext. #454, or
- Send an email to Accounting@HawaiiInformation.com

Mahalo!


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