REsearch 4.3 Formats & Fixes

REsearch, REsearch 4.3 3 Comments »

Aloha!

Since the release of REsearch 4.3, our entire team has been focused on stabilizing and improving the system, and we’ve prioritized the issues that have caused the most confusion or difficulty to our members. I’m happy to provide a brief report on the progress we’ve made to date, as well as share some of our next steps.

Favorite Formats Are Back

REsearch 4.3 brought a new “MLS Full” format, which was designed with the intent of including nearly all available information for a listing. However, many agents preferred the previous layout, which included a smaller set of fields but was formatted to require only one or two pages when printed. We heard you loud and clear, and we have now made the original format available to you as “MLS Mid.” In addition, we have made “MLS Mid” the default format for MLS links.

In addition, based on your feedback, we have also reverted the “Summary” format to the previous version.

Enhancement and Fixes

Along with the format changes, we also just pushed a number of other code changes to live. Below is a report of the tickets addressed in this week’s release. If you have questions about any of them, or any other outstanding issues, please feel free to contact me or customer support.

14300 – Enhancement
Reduced the brochure format length to fit on one page.

14320 – Bug
Fixed issue with withdrawn listings when the agent has changed office.

14362 – Bug
Fixed error in the terms acceptable section of the listing input form.

14368 – Data Discrepancy
Changed label on “Association Dues” to “Association Dues/year” on listing input form.

14374 – Question
Listing subtype was not being updated with new codes upon release.

14406 – Enhancement
Added the listing date field to the listing input form.

14419 – Bug
Changed label for history icon from ‘history for this parcel’ to ‘history for this MLS#.’

14421 – Bug
Removed auto-populating function from equity field.

14434 – Bug
Fixed missing co-listor percentage and prospect box on printouts.

14451 – Bug
Fixed issue with zoning field on listing input form that prevented saving.

14463 – Bug
Fixed a script error when creating a PDF from market statistics.

14468 – Bug
Fixed miscalculation in the owner occupied field.

14473 – Bug
Fixed error preventing some listings from being released properly.

14477 – Bug
Restored condo maintenance fee to Customer format.

14478 – Bug
Removed duplicate washer/dryer type from MLS Full format.

14481 – Bug
Removed Baths field from land searches.

What’s Next

Our hardworking programmers are continuing to work their way through additional issues, and we are grateful to our members for identifying and reporting them as they come up.

Among our priorities going forward is a focus on making the system ‘user friendly.’ Primarily, we are working on making it possible to conduct most property searches with just a few clicks, rather than a dozen. We have already identified a couple of paths toward this goal, and will continue to develop ways to make things easier for you. We look forward to collaborating with our users to achieve this goal.

We will also turn our attention toward a full review of Exhibit A. We have the support of several groups in reviewing the current slate of ‘required fields,’ clarifying the definitions of all fields, and looking at what can be added, moved, or removed altogether. Ultimately, the result of this research and work will come in a significant future release, but only after we are confident that it meets everyone’s needs, now, and in the future.

We invite your feedback on any aspect of REsearch, and will take every suggestion into consideration. You can contact me or our support team, and we’d even be happy to provide you with a ticket number with which you can follow up.

Mahalo,

Bob
REsearch Product Manager
bob@useresearch.com

REsearch 4.3 Update

REsearch, REsearch 4.3, Training No Comments »

Condo Listing Tips & Online Training

We are continuing to refine and address issues stemming from our REsearch 4.3 upgrade, and appreciate the extensive feedback we’ve received from our valued members. I wanted to take another opportunity to provide on update on the release, and specifically addressing one common cause of confusion we’ve identified relating to listing and searching for condos.

I’d also like to encourage you to sign up for our free, live, online training webinars, which can help you become more comfortable with REsearch 4.3. In addition to focused, topical sessions, our trainers have put together an “What’s New in 4.3″ overview that you may find especially helpful. Our Customer Service Team has meanwhile prepared several video tutorials that you can watch any time, at your leisure. Details are below.

For an update on the top identified REsearch 4.3 issues and our efforts to resolve them, please check this Bulletins blog post.

Listing and Searching for Condos

With the database restructure underlying the REsearch 4.3 release, we have made ‘Condo’ reflect its legal definition as an ‘Ownership’ designation rather than a property type or subtype. This is one of the more significant changes, and one that we acknowledge has caused some confusion and mis-entered listings.

We are currently evaluating ways to improve this aspect of REsearch 4.3, and hope to significantly simplify the user experience in the very near future. In the mean time, here are some notes that may help you navigate the new system.

Entering Condo Listings

Condos (including condo, res-condo, and land-condo) should be listed with an ‘Ownership’ type of ‘CPR-Fee Simple‘ or ‘CPR-Leasehold.’ Basically, the CPR (“Condominium Property Regime”) designation indicates the subdivided or mixed ownership of a condo property.

Searching for Condo Listings

Because listings are still being updated following the conversion, not all condos will be returned using the new CPR designations when searching. To accommodate this transition, we’ve set the property subtype of condo listings that have not been updated to ‘Condo (Prev).’ Therefore, to find properties that were listed as ‘Condo’ before the conversion and not yet updated by agents, include ‘Condo (Prev)’ in your search.

Note that ‘Condo (Prev)’ is not a subtype option in the data entry screen, ensuring that properties will have the correct type, subtype, and ownership information going forward.

‘My Searches’ Option

In order to make it easier to find condos within REsearch, we are also deploying a simple condo search option under ‘My Searches’ for all users. Rather than requiring search queries with a multitude of options to catch the various applicable fields, this simple saved search will automatically toggle the most common fields in order to find all condominium listings. This is a temporary, quick fix, and you can delete the search from ‘My Searches’ at any time.

Want even more background on this change? We’ve posted a detailed explanation on our Bulletins blog. It includes some examples that may help better understand how the new type, subtype, and ownership fields work.

Video Help

Our customer service department has created several special video tutorials to cover the key changes in REsearch 4.3. Click the links below to view them online at any time:

Online Training Schedule

Our trainers continue to offer a series of live webinars to cover REsearch and REsearch 4.3, updating the regular array of training to reflect key changes in the system. Below are all the classes scheduled to date (“What’s New with 4.3″ overview sessions are highlighted in red), but depending on demand, we may add additional webinars. For the latest schedule, log into REsearch, click on “REtools,” and then on “Training.”

May 3-7, 2010

What’s New with 4.3
Wednesday, May 5, 2010 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/368501314

How to Enter & Manage Your Listings
Wednesday, May 5, 2010 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/428528866

Update & CMA
Friday, May 7, 2010 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/551788459

The Calendar
Friday, May 7, 2010 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/969273802

May 10-14, 2010

What’s New with 4.3
Monday, May 10, 2010 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/462290026

Basics to Searching
Monday, May 10, 2010 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/302437058

Basics to Formats
Wednesday, May 12, 2010 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/732339130

Contract Forms & Downloading the Roster
Wednesday, May 12, 2010 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/899350610

Advanced Search Techniques
Friday, May 14, 2010 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/249296411

Customizing
Friday, April 14, 2010 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/749618914

May 17-21, 2010

Orientation
Tuesday, May 18, 2010 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Registration: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/304303603

The Basics
Tuesday, May 18, 2010 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/584911074

Basics to Searching
Wednesday, May 19, 2010 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/394026619

What’s New with 4.3
Wednesday, May 19, 2010 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/884574819

How to Enter & Manage Your Listings
Friday, May 21, 2010 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/326820235

Downloading
Friday, May 21, 2010 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/720206882

May 24-28, 2010

What’s New with 4.3
Monday, May 24, 2010 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/704504491

Prospecting & Contacts
Monday, May 24, 2010 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/700547866

Farming & Labels
Tuesday, May 25, 2010 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/883761026

Updates & CMA
Tuesday, May 25, 2010 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/457034163

Basics to Formats
Friday, May 28, 2010 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/627487930

Contract Forms & Downloading the Roster
Friday, May 28, 2010 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/902577355

Instructions on how to register for online classes:

  • To register, please click on the applicable link located below the class. The link will then take you to the registration site.
  • Please complete all the required fields marked by a red asterisks (First Name, Last Name, Email Address, Phone, Organization AKA Office Name).
  • Click “Register Now” to complete the registration process. Once registered a confirmation email will be sent to your email address to confirm your registration along with a unique web ID number and instructions on how to login to the session on that day.
  • If you need login assistance, please feel free to contact our Customer/Technical Support team at 800-628-3121 , press # and then 457.

Remember, after you have participated, please make sure to fill out the survey or e-mail me your feedback so we can continue to improve upon our training efforts! Mahalo.

System Requirements for Online Classes

  • PC-based attendees – Required: Windows® 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7
  • Macintosh®-based attendees – Required: Mac OS® X 10.4 (Tiger®) or newer

System requirements apply only to the GoToMeeting webinar service, not to the REsearch system.

Note: We are also offering special training classes for larger offices. If your office has 20 or more agents, please contact us if you’d like to schedule your own “What’s New in 4.3″ training session. We would require a class roster of at least 20 people, and — if an in-office session is requested — an available, computer- and Internet-equipped training room.

Questions? Comments? Please feel free to contact us via
support@hawaiiinformation.com or call (808) 599-4224 or (800) 628-3121.

Condos in REsearch 4.3

REsearch, REsearch 4.3 7 Comments »

I wanted to take a moment to explain ‘Condos’ in the 4.3 system in greater detail. It’s a significant change, and we are aware that it is causing some confusion and incorrect entries (some condo listings are being incorrectly entered and thus getting mixed in with unrelated properties).

We are intensely looking into ways to improve and simplify the user experience. In the meantime, however, I’d like to provide some background and helpful information on navigating the new setup.

What Happened?

With the database restructuring, we have made ‘Condo’ reflect its legal definition as a type of ‘Ownership’ rather than a ‘Property’ type. This also allowed us to provide for much more specific searches. To do this, we now have three fields that define a property: Type, Subtype, and Ownership.

Why?

When we started the ambitious task of restructuring our database, we used the opportunity to not only add fields, but also look at existing fields and compare them with those used throughout the real estate industry. We quickly realized that there was a broad movement toward correcting how MLS systems classify ‘Condo’ properties. After consulting with several leaders on both the MLS and the legal side, the consensus (and legal definition) clearly called for ‘Condo’ to be used as a type of ‘Ownership’ and not a ‘Property’ type. Our database reorganization project was the perfect time to make the correction.

How?

After significant deliberation and planning, we developed a three-choice solution that would allow the greatest flexibility in listing and searching for properties, and specifically allow users to be even more specific and precise as to the kind of property or building they were looking for. The classification system works as follows:

  1. Type: This is the overview of the property. Is this property something you are going to live in? Is it land to build upon, or an investment property, or to be used for business?
  2. Subtype: This further classifies the property into specific building or land types. A house, a tall building, a low rise, etc.
  3. Ownership: What do I own when I purchase this property? Do I own the property outright? Am I leasing the property? Do I own the unit and an association owns the building and land? As mentioned earlier, ‘Condo’ is a type of ownership, indicated with ‘CPR-Fee Simple’ or ‘CPR-Leasehold.’

Searches

Here are some examples searches.

I want to live in a house I own.

  • Type = Residential
  • Subtype = SF Detached
  • Ownership = Fee Simple

I want to live in a Res-Condo style of home.

  • Type = Residential
  • Subtype = SF Detached
  • Ownership = CPR-Fee Simple

I just want to find condos.

  • Type = Residential
  • Subtype = High Rise, Low Rise, Mid Rise, Penthouse, Garden
  • Ownership = CPR-Fee Simple

You may notice that you are still not getting all ‘Condos’ in your search. With a data conversion of this size, we unfortunately couldn’t automate 100 percent of the changes, and we did require agents to check and update their listings. Among the fields that need to be updated was the ‘Subtype’ field. Until all listings are updated, ‘Condo’ searches based only on the ‘Ownership’ field will be incomplete.

To ensure properties can still be found during the transition, we converted the old property types into Subtype field entries. For example, in the Subtype drop down, you will notice items such as ‘Condo (Prev)’. You will want to use this selection in order to find any listing that has not been updated by the listing agent (properties that were listed as a ‘Condo’ pre-conversion).

You will notice that these choices are not included on the Data Entry screen, so from this point forward, we will get the correct Subtypes inputted.

Growing Pains

I know how hard change can be, and a change of this magnitude can definitely be overwhelming. The system is certainly more complex, with the number of fields and choices we’ve added, the changes to existing fields, and the overall move from a ‘flat database’ to a ‘relational database’ structure (e.g., being able to list details only on one building versus being able to list multiple buildings, each with their own details).

With this complexity, however, will come better data, and greater accuracy. Basically, we’ll have much clearer views of properties, which will lay the groundwork for some powerful reporting modules planned for the future.

What’s Next?

I know this update has taken us away from the ideal ‘One-Click Property Search’ setup. And we are absolutely taking a hard look at REsearch to find ways to increase usability. It is a huge challenge to create a robust, powerful system like REsearch, yet keep it fast and easy to use. However, it is a challenge we’re committed to meeting.

We are here to help with any problems you may have with the current system, and I am always open to feedback on how to improve the system and make it easier to use. If you require assistance, please contact Customer Support at support@hawaiiinformation.com or (808) 599-4224. If you have suggestions or feedback on REsearch 4.3, please e-mail me at bob@useresearch.com.

Mahalo,

Bob Schoenthal
Product Manager

HAR Forms and Other Updates

REsearch, REsearch 4.3 1 Comment »

The following Hawaii Association of Realtors (HAR) forms have been revised and updated within REsearch:

  1. Seller’s Real Property Disclosure Statement (RR109): Complete revision.
  2. Early Occupancy Agreement (RR202): Complete revision and name change. Used to be “Agreement to Occupy Prior to Close of Escrow.”
  3. Purchase Contract (RR201): Change made only on page 2 under Section C. Addenda & Offer. Changed name of “Agreement to Occupy Prior to Close of Escrow” to “Early Occupancy Agreement.”

In addition, the list of top REsearch 4.3 issues has been updated to reflect the following:

  1. No new listings on REVO or ‘Get Listing Update’ searches (#14372, #14399, #14401). Fixed.
  2. Listings showing “(OLD)” next to them (#14375). Fixed.
  3. Listing Date field missing from Listing Details form (#14406). Fixed.
  4. Errors when running “TMK” and “MLS Full” formats together (#14402, #14410). Fixed.
  5. Problems with the “MLS Full” display formats (#14424). Photos and maps removed. Additional improvements planned.

If you have any questions or comments regarding these or any other issues, please contact Customer Support at (808) 599-4224 or support@hawaiiinformation.com.


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