REsearch 5.0 Coming March 1

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Cross Browser Graduates with New Look, Better Maps & Photos

Next week, Hawaii Information Service will be releasing REsearch 5.0, which is the official launch of the cross browser version of REsearch.

Bob Schoenthal
Product Manager

REsearch Cross Browser was first made available late last year, and we are glad to see that most users have made the switch (although REsearch 4.5 will remain available through 2012).

Of course, rebuilding our system from one that works in a handful of environments into one that runs on more than 40 different computer configurations has been a huge undertaking, and we’ve since squashed hundreds of bugs and logged countless hours of testing to improve and strengthen our code.

Now we are now confident that this upcoming upgrade to REsearch works in all of latest internet browsers (including Internet Explorer 9, Chrome, Safari, Firefox) on most major systems (including both Windows and Macintosh machines, as well as many mobile devices).

An obvious goal was to maintain the same functionality provided by our Internet Explorer-only system. Fortunately, this unprecedented effort to review every aspect of REsearch also provided a great opportunity to introduce some major improvements that we’re sure you’ll appreciate. Some things have changed, but we believe they have changed for the better.

What’s New in REsearch 5.0

New Look

When REsearch 5.0 is released, you will notice a substantial design overhaul. Over the years, REsearch has had pieces added and upgraded, and the design had started to become fragmented. Our designers, informed by thousands of customer support interactions, used this opportunity to go through REsearch to not only give it a fresh and more consistent look, but improve dozens of user interface elements to make it easier to navigate the system.

New Maps

REsearch 5.0 Maps

The mapping system that is in the current Cross Browser system is clearly not the mapping system you deserve, deployed in a rush to meet the minimum cross-browser compatibility requirements. Fortunately, over the past several weeks, we have implemented a solution that will not only be much faster and easier to use, but will also look better and provide some additional functionality. We’re keeping all the tools and functions that you are used to using with our maps, but introducing some great new features, such as:

  • Standard ways of navigating. On most mapping systems, you are able to quickly move the map around using your mouse, and zoom in and out using your mouse wheel.  Now our system supports the same ways of navigating around.
  • Better measurement tools. You still have the ability to measure using a single segment or multiple segments, however we added a couple of new tools. First is “path,”  in which you can free-hand draw a path and get a measurement.  Second is “area,” which will give you the square footage of an area you’ve drawn. Finally, for land listings, you can use “lat/long’ to get latitude and longitude coordinates that you can then enter into your GPS device.
  • Better polygon searching. You still have the ability to restrict your search to certain areas on the map by drawing polygons. But we’ve added a new tool that allows you to free-hand draw a polygon, which will allow you to “weave around” parcels. In addition, polygons are movable and editable, so if you make a mistake, you can easily adjust it. You are also now able to draw multiple polygons to include several areas at once. And finally, we added a “clear” button next to the polygons so you can clear them out without needing to clear your whole search.
  • Updated layers. You may be familiar with the error message, ‘Some of the properties have not been geocoded’.  This was because we didn’t have the parcel boundaries for some of the properties you searched for. With the new maps, we are also including updated layers that should greatly reduce the frequency with which you see this message. And even when you do see it, we’ve tried to make its display less annoying so that it doesn’t interfere with your work.
Better Photos

REsearch 5.0 Photo LoaderThey say a picture is worth a thousand words,  but we know that the heavily-compressed pictures in our system (based on outdated web and system limitations) are worth about a hundred. A picture is always the first thing clients wants to see, so we dedicated a great deal of time to improve how they’re handled. We upgraded our photo server and the software that you use to load the photos to greatly increase the photo quality. If you want to be able to upload multiple photos at once, you will want to need to have Flash installed. This system will also automatically resize your pictures for you. If you still have the original pictures for an existing active listing, we encourage you to reload the photos to take advantage of this increased image quality.

Fewer Timeouts

We’ve had several reports that the system has been timing users out, prematurely ending login sessions and interrupting your work. Our developers focused on this bug and a fix is included with this release. If you continue to get timed out while you were actively using your computer and our system, please report this to us so that our developers can investigate further.

CloudCMA… and more to come!

REsearch 5.0 CloudCMAWe’d like to remind you that along with REsearch Cross Browser (and now REsearch 5.0) comes the introduction of CloudCMA, a modern, elegant, and fast way to generate Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) reports and other marketing pieces. They can be customized, printed, emailed, or shared online. We are very excited to have partnered with CloudCMA, which has created a lot of buzz in the industry, and to provide their great solution to our membership at no extra cost.

We are working on bringing you more great new tools over the next year, such as support for lockbox systems and better rental property data. In order to continue moving forward, please note that these new features and enhancements will be developed and deployed in REsearch 5.0 only. REsearch 4.5 will be maintained as-is (and you will have plenty of warning before we begin to phase it out).

Additional Notes

  • Better Button Placement: The standard buttons shown at the bottom of the REsearch screen sometimes shift, move, or displayed in ways that were confusing or caused users to accidentally click the wrong one (particularly “Clear/New Search”). We’ve moved this button over to the left to prevent this, and adjusted the rest of the buttons accordingly.
  • Copy Differently: Unfortunately, cross-browser compatibility meant we could no longer support the old way of copying items to your computer’s clipboard (because access to that clipboard is restricted without workarounds, like Microsoft’s ActiveX for Internet Explorer). So we chose to follow industry best practice and open a new window containing the content to be copied so that the formatting can be kept clean, and so you can copy-and-paste using your system’s default method.
  • Forms Tab Removed: After most system forms were transitioned to zipForm, we removed this main navigation tab and put a link to zipForm under the ‘Listings’ menu. The ‘Listings’ menu also gives you easy access to subscriber forms such as data change or office change forms. You no longer have to log out of REsearch to access them.
  • Optional Shade View: The initial release of Cross Browser offered a different way of displaying information, for example showing search results in a in a partial overlay window shade or drawer that you could slide left or right to make it bigger or smaller, while still being able to see some data behind it. This caused some confusion for many users so it was disabled by default. However, if you liked the shade view or would like to try it, you can turn it back on in your REsearch settings.  Simply go to ‘Settings,’ and under ‘Tabbed Detail Options,’ select the bullet next to ‘remain visible.’  Click OK to save.

Try It Now!

Want to get an early look at REsearch 5.0? Log into our pre-release staging website here:
For the latest on REsearch 5.0, visit and bookmark our dedicated information page:

Let’s Connect!

You can keep up with the latest news from Hawaii Information Service on several services!

Office Closed Monday, Feb. 20

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Please note that our office will be closed on Monday, February 20, 2012 in observance of the Presidents’ Day holiday. We will resume regular office hours on Monday, Nov. 28.

If you require urgent assistance during the holiday weekend, please leave a message on our emergency line by calling (808) 599-4224 or (800) 628-3121 from the neighbor islands, and pressing * (star). Our phone system will notify our on-call staff, and someone will return your call as soon as possible.

The entire Hawaii Information Service family would like to thank you for your continued support, and hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend!

We’re Coming to Hilo!

REsearch, Training 7 Comments »

Members of the Hawaii Information Service team will be on the Big Island later this month to meet with you, share the latest news, and answer your questions!

As part of our ongoing efforts to be more accessible to our members, and to keep you abreast of some of the great things to come in 2012, we will be in Hilo this month for special outreach events, generously hosted at the Hawaii Island REALTORS® office downtown.

  • Monday, Feb. 27, 2012 from 2 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

We’ll be in the HIR Conference Room (26 Waianuenue St. – click for a map), and space will be limited, so please RSVP as early as you can to ensure a seat. We are eager to share with you:

  • The Latest on REsearch Cross Browser – Including greatly-improved maps!
  • Upcoming Upgrades – From better photos to a design refresh.
  • Getting the Most out of Cloud CMA – Fast and elegant reports for buyers and sellers.
  • What’s Ahead – New website offerings, lockbox plans, rental features, and more!
  • Your Questions Answered – Let us help you get the most out of REsearch.

We are certain it will be worth your while to join us and your fellow members, but as icing on the cake, we will wrap things up with special giveaways! But note that you must RSVP in advance and be present to win!

We are also planning separate events for our members in West Hawaii next month. But if you can make it to Hilo, we look forward to this opportunity to meet with you. Please mark your calendars today, and please let us know you’re coming by emailing ryan@hawaiiinformation.com so we can best prepare and make the most of this valuable face-to-face time!

Creating Your First CMA

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Cloud CMA is an industry leading, easy-to-use solution to quickly create attractive, informative reports (including Comparative Market Analyses, property reports, and reports for both buyers and sellers). And it’s available in REsearch at no additional charge to you.

Once you’ve signed up for your Cloud CMA account, you can rapidly transform MLS listing and TMK data into elegant presentations using a variety of personalized and custom report themes. Today we’d like to walk you through the steps to create the most popular report: a Comparative Market Analysis.

Cloud CMA Step By Step

To get started, choose “Create a CMA” from the “Search” menu in REsearch.
Cloud CMA - CMA Report - Step 1

On the search screen, first enter the MLS number or TMK number for the subject property, then specify some broader search parameters to find comparable properties. Then hit “Search.”

On the search results screen, you will see your subject property, as well as the results of your search, allowing you to select the comparable listings to include in your CMA.

Once you’ve made your selections, open the “Action Menu” and select the “Checked” box next to “Cloud CMA.”

This will open a new window that sends you to the Cloud CMA site, automatically logging you in and pre-populating the first form to create your CMA report. You can always enter or change this information manually as well.

Cloud CMA - CMA Report - Step 6

You’ll then be able to customize your report in a number of ways, from organizing or removing comparable listings, to reordering or excluding a number of report sections, many of which containing useful information for sellers.

Once you’re done customizing your CMA, just click “Publish Report.”

In just a few moments, you will have an attractive, cleanly formatted report that you can print or send via email. And Cloud CMA even hosts a copy of every report on the web, so you can just share the link instead!

Sample CMA Report

Here’s what a CMA Report prepared with Cloud CMA looks like. Note that this PDF is hosted by Cloud CMA so you’d be able to send someone the link (or post it to Facebook or Twitter), just as we have here!

Coming Up

Our Cloud CMA introductory series continues with a few more announcements that put the spotlight on specific features as well as share a few tips and tricks! Watch for:

  • Buyer & Seller Reports
  • Brochures & Flyers
  • More Live Webinars & Online Help

Cloud CMA is just one more reason to make the switch to REsearch Cross Browser, which is a key step in our evolution toward a modern, accessible, standards-based real estate solution. We strongly encourage you to check it out!

Stay on Cloud 9!

For more information on Cloud CMA in REsearch, visit our informational website:
http://www.hawaiiinformation.com/cloudcma

Let’s Connect!

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

Follow us on Twitter Find us on Facebook  Visit our blog

We’re Coming to Kauai!

REsearch, Training 3 Comments »
Members of the Hawaii Information Service team will be on the Garden Island later this month to meet with you, share the latest news, and answer your questions!

As part of our ongoing efforts to be more accessible to our members, and to keep you abreast of some of the great things to come in 2012, we will be on Kauai this month and hosting two special outreach events — one on the North Shore, and one on the South Shore — in order to make it as convenient as possible for you to join us.

  • South Shore: 9 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16
    Kōloa Neighborhood Center
    3461 Weliweli Road. Koloa, HI 96756 [Map]
  • North Shore: 9 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 17
    Church of the Pacific
    4520 Kapa Ka Rd. [Map]

We are very eager to share with you:

  • The Latest on REsearch Cross Browser – Including greatly-improved maps!
  • Upcoming Upgrades – From better photos to a design refresh.
  • Getting the Most out of Cloud CMA – Fast and elegant reports for buyers and sellers.
  • What’s Ahead – New website offerings, lockbox plans, rental features, and more!
  • Your Questions Answered – Let us help you get the most out of REsearch.

We are certain it will be worth your while to join us and your fellow members at one of these special Kauai gatherings. But as icing on the cake, we will wrap things up with special giveaways! Of course, you must RSVP, and you must be present to win.

We look forward to this opportunity to meet with you, and hope you’ll be able to join us. Please mark your calendars today, and please let us know you’re coming by emailing ryan@hawaiiinformation.com so we can best prepare and make the most of this valuable face-to-face time on Kauai!


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