Fee Section to be Simplified

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Last year’s database reorg and REsearch 4.3 release was intended to expand the breadth of data available in the system, but the addition of dozens of new fields and often overlapping or conflicting sections brought mostly confusion and frustration. We collected more data, but a lot of it was bad data.

Less is more. Keep it simple. Too much information. The message from REsearch users was clear. REsearch 4.5 is focused on shortening and simplifying the listing input form. And in this effort, the “Fees” section was one of the top targets.

What’s the difference between Maintenance Fees versus Association Dues? Which fees are annual versus monthly? Are members dividing or multiplying by twelve? We went back to the drawing board, going through hundreds of comments and suggestions and consulting with several industry leaders to drastically refine the “Fees” section.

Summary of Changes

  1. There will be two main fee fields: Monthly Association/Maintenance Fees and Monthly Master Development Fees.
  2. The many separate sub-fee fields for each section (Clubhouse Fee, Marina Fee, etc.) will be combined into a single value.
  3. Most fees will be monthly and clearly labeled as such.
  4. Annual Road Maintenance Fees and Monthly Sewer Fees will remain separate fields.
  5. “Documents Available” is no longer part of the “Fees” section of the form.

In all, the “Fees” section will be reduced from over 60 fields to 12 fields. We appreciate all the feedback you’ve provided on this and other aspects of the data input form. We hope these changes eliminate confusion, lessen the amount of time you spend on data entry, and improves the quality of the data in REsearch.

Please Review Your Listing Fees!

As we prepare to release REsearch 4.5, we strongly encourage you to invest some time in verifying the fees associated with your listings. Did you enter monthly values for association dues instead of yearly? Perhaps you entered the same values in multiple fields to ensure they showed up in searches and reports, or entered random data simply to get through the form or clear a required field?

Although entering new listings should be a drastically easier and faster process after this upgrade, bad data going into the upgrade will still mean bad data on the other side.

We’ve spent considerable time on crafting a complex set of calculations and rules to convert the values in the dozens of fee fields you see today into the handful of new fields in REsearch 4.5. But no conversion process is perfect. To minimize errors after the release, it’s worth your while to make sure the information in the current system is as accurate as possible.

Quick Check via Custom Format

One way to quickly review the set of fees currently associated with your listings is to create a custom format that summarizes all the values in each listing’s “Fees” section. We’ve prepared a step-by-step tutorial on how to do so.

Before & After

You can review the shortened, simplified data input form in its entirety (PDF), as well as the full list of changes coming with REsearch 4.5. But here is perhaps the best way to illustrate the planned return to a simplified “Fees” section.

Current Fees Section:


New Fees Section:


Data Conversion Notes

As noted above, REsearch 4.5 will include a data conversion process to reorganize the information in the current set of fields into the new set. We have set up a process to identify listings that may have incorrect or otherwise problematic data in the “Fees” section (for example, monthly fees that are unusually high and could be annual amounts).

For these listings, agents will be notified prior to the conversion and will be encouraged to double check the information. In addition, we are currently in the process of directly contacting agents or brokers with a large number of listings requiring attention.

Here is an example of part of the data conversion process:

  1. To determine the value for “Monthly Master Development Fees”, all the monthly values entered into the section’s 16 sub-fields will be added together. The same will be done for the current “Community Fees” and “Condominium Fees” sections.
  2. To determine the value for “Monthly Association/Maintenance Fees” for condos, “Association Dues” over 2400 will be divided by 12 and added to the summed “Condo Fees” and “Community Fees.”
  3. To determine the value for “Monthly Association/Maintenance Fees” for non condos, “Association Dues” over 100 are divided by 12 and added to the summed “Condo Fees” and Community Fees.”

Parts of the data conversion process are complex, and the individual rules are too numerous to detail in this bulletin. If you have specific questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Live Webinars

We have scheduled several live, online “What’s New in REsearch 4.5” training sessions in which you can get an overview of the changes and get your questions answered.

Click above to RSVP, and mark your calendars!

Learn More!

This is part of a series of bulletins that highlight some of the major changes coming in REsearch 4.5. We’ve also prepared a one-stop spot on the web where you can find all the information on this planned release. Please visit:

http://www.hawaiiinformation.com/45

Let’s Connect!

Keep in touch with Hawaii Information Service via Twitter, Facebook, or our Bulletins blog:

Follow us on Twitter Find us on Facebook Visit our blog

Yahoo! Real Estate Transition

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Hawaii Information Service distributes listings through multiple channels to maximize visibility for its members. We have been notified by ListHub, our listing syndication partner, that listing information on Yahoo! Real Estate may become outdated as Yahoo! begins its planned transition to using Zillow to power its real estate search. The cutover is expected to be complete by Feb. 4. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Background

Yahoo! and Zillow announced a partnership last year that combined the second- and third-most trafficked real estate websites into a single channel. As part of the relationship, Zillow will power all for-sale listings on Yahoo! Real Estate.

In order to make the transition, Yahoo! has stopped updating and accepting new listings. Until the cutover date, there are likely to be an increase in the number of listing errors on Yahoo! as some listings become stale. However, all of the data will be replaced at cutover with Zillow’s listings.

Please note that Zillow may not display the same set of listings that Yahoo! did, but after the cutover, all listings that are displayed will be current. Brokers who have separately signed up for ListHub services will receive more detailed information pertaining to their accounts and listings.

Changes to Rentals

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We recently announced substantial changes to the data input form and other elements in REsearch 4.5. The following notice was sent to users who use, or have used, the “Rentals” section of our system.

Thank you for adding Rentals to REsearch!

As you know, the Rentals section of REsearch is in its early stages, and we plan to focus on improving and expanding rental-specific features in a future release. For the time being, as a user of the Rental Input Form and related formats, we wanted to let you know about changes coming with the release of REsearch 4.5.

Revised Rental Input Form

The easiest way to familiarize yourself with the updated Rental Input Form is to view, or print, a simple mock up of the new form. To download the revised form, please click here:

You will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed to view and print this document.

Important Notes:

  1. For review purposes, the form is provided with all sections visible. Typically, when entering a listing, the form will not display sections for unrelated property types (i.e. sections specific to business or vacant land).
  2. These are rough mock-ups that reflect the various changes (detailed below). It does not necessarily show precise changes to layout, element positioning, and spacing that will inevitably result from these changes, and which we are separately addressing.

List of Rental Input Form Changes

Listors Section

  1. Change layout of Listor’s to be side by side, left to right, same as Listing Input form format.

Rental Basics Section:

  1. Rental Type: Remove the following options: Short Term, Long Term & 6 Months. Add “Annually” as an option. Add new options in this order: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Annually & Vacation.
  2. Eliminate entirely “Other Address Used for property with multiple addresses”.
  3. Relocate “Online Display(Public)”, “Customer Remarks (Public)” & “Agent Remarks (Private)” to the end before the signature section.

Rental Details Section:

  1. Change “Available” & replace with “Available Date”.
  2. Eliminate the category “Rental Price” and relocate the options to under Rental Details. Move “Expires” to second line & Move “Rent Amount” & “Rent Period” to 1st line, as shown below.
  3. Rent Period: Eliminate the word “Rent” & “Per” from all the options. Options should read as follows in this order: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly & Annually.
  4. Move In Includes: Eliminate options: “Cleaning” & “Last Month”. Change “Security” to “Security Deposit”.
  5. House Rules: Changed to Yes/No checkable box.
  6. Rent Payable By: Add “PayPal”. Change “On-Line” to “On-Line(ACH)”.
  7. Primary Rental Type: Relocate this field to Rental Basics Section. Add as an option, “Vacation”. Eliminate “Monthly per sq ft” & “Annually per sq ft”. Place in the following order: Vacation, Daily, Weekly, Monthly & Annually.
  8. Utilities Included in Rent: Eliminate the following options: Overhead Electric, Private Water, Catchment Water, County Water, High Speed Internet, Special Subdivided Power Policy & Underground Electric. Add “DSL” & “Wireless” as options.
  9. Relocate “Rent Payable By:” field under the beginning area of the Rental Details section, after “Security Deposit” field, followed by “Utilities Included in Rent” & “Showing Instructions”.
  10. Move-in Includes: Eliminate “Cleaning” & “Last month”. Change “Security” to read “Security Deposit”.
  11. Additional Information: Eliminate “Rent Description”, “County Catchment”, “Potable Water” & “Solar Electric” fields.

Property Details Section:

  1. Eliminate “Flood Zone” & Lava Zone” as options.
  2. Eliminate “Lot Dimensions – Width (ft)” and “Lot Dimensions – Length (ft)” as an option.
  3. Eliminate Utilities Section(Power, Water, Wastewater Treatment System”, Telephone Availability, TV Availability & Internet Availability.
  4. Eliminate “Solid Waste Disposal, (Trash) & all the options.
  5. Eliminate “Water Features” as an option.
  6. Change “Living Area” to read “Interior Area”.

Financial Details Section:

  1. Eliminate section.

Live Webinars

We have scheduled several live, online “What’s New in REsearch 4.5” training sessions in which you can get an overview of the planned changes. These may be a good opportunity to ask questions or provide feedback specific to Rentals.

Click above to RSVP, and mark your calendars!

Let’s Connect!

Keep in touch with Hawaii Information Service via Twitter, Facebook, or our Bulletins blog:

Follow us on Twitter Find us on Facebook Visit our blog

REsearch 4.5 Coming Soon

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In the wake of the database reorg and other substantial changes delivered last year, we heard you loud and clear: Realtors want to spend less time on data entry, and more time running their business. We greatly appreciate your substantial feedback, and the ongoing input of our Board of Directors.

Over the last few months, our entire team has been committed to shortening and simplify the REsearch data entry form. After investing hundreds of hours in this initiative, we are preparing to release REsearch 4.5 soon.

Over the next few weeks, we will be highlighting some of the major changes coming in REsearch 4.5, releasing a series of bulletins explaining them in greater detail. In addition to these notices, we’ve prepared a one-stop spot on the web where you can find all the information on this planned release. Please visit:

http://www.hawaiiinformation.com/45

Live Webinars

We have scheduled several live, online “What’s New in REsearch 4.5” training sessions in which you can get an overview of the changes and get your questions answered.

Click above to RSVP, and mark your calendars!

Main Objectives

The most important changes that will be addressed in REsearch 4.5 are:

  1. Shortening, simplifying, and reorganizing the data input form, setting several fields to be no longer required, and removing several fields entirely.
  2. Making it simpler to enter and search for short sale and REO listings by creating a specific and higher-placed section on the form.
  3. Vastly simplifying the “Fees,” “Features,” and “Crops” sections.
  4. Improving and expanding available print formats.

In all, from minor improvements to more substantial revisions, we’ve compiled a list of about 100 individual changes that definitively answer the clear call for a shorter form, with fewer redundant entries, and more clear organization.

Revised Input Form Mock-Up

To download a simple PDF mock-up of the proposed revised data input form, please click here:

REsearch 4.5 Mockup with PDF Icon

You will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed to view and print this document.

Important Notes:

  1. For review purposes, the form is provided with all sections visible. Typically, when entering a listing, the form will not display sections for unrelated property types (i.e. sections specific to business or vacant land).
  2. These are rough mock-ups that reflect the various changes detailed below. It does not necessarily show precise changes to layout, element positioning, and spacing that will inevitably result from these changes, and which we are separately addressing.

List of Changes

Please review the full list of changes on our REsearch 4.5 site.

Safe MLS Enrollment Update

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This morning, Hawaii Information Service implemented the latest phase of its new login security system. REsearch logins were stalled for about 30 minutes due to some unforseen technical issues with our login page, but as of 9:30 a.m., all users should again be able to access the system.

The industry standard Safe MLS system, provided by Clareity Security, involves setting up secret questions and secure passwords through an enrollment process that will only have to be completed once.

Please note that depending on the number of people enrolling at a given time, you may be passed directly through to REsearch upon logging in, and instead be required to enroll during a later login.

We sincerely appreciate your patience during this transition!

Known Issues

You may need to set a new “Trusted” site.

Upon login, especially if you’ve already added hawaiiinformation.com as a “Trusted” site in Internet Explorer, you may see this error:

Please click ‘Yes’ to continue.  To prevent this message in the future,  please add *.safemls.net to your trusted sites as well.  You can do so in Internet Explorer by clicking on Tools > Internet Options, then click the Security Tab. Highlight ‘Trusted Sites’, click the ‘Sites’ button, add the address.  You may also need to uncheck ‘Require Server Verification’ at the bottom of this page in order to allow it.

In some corporate environments, your firewall or other security system may also block access to the Clareity MLS authentication system. Please contact your IT department, and have them contact our Network Operations staff at (808) 748-8776 if they require further assistance.

Need Help?

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions posted with our previous notice, as well the original announcement from February 2010. Our customer support team will be prepared to assist you during this transition. You can call toll free (800) 628-3121, or (808) 599-4224 from Oahu, and press option #1. You can also email us at support@hawaiiinformation.com.


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