Final July Billing & Waiver Reminder

Billing No Comments »

Waiver Applications & Renewals Due Friday! Please share this with your fellow brokers and agents!

The next billing for credit card and ACH customers is Monday, July 2, 2012. Payments by check are also due by Monday, July 2.

If you have already made payment or submitted your paperwork, please disregard this notice. Thank you!

 If you are placing your license on “inactive” status, or if you are surrendering your license, we must receive a copy of your DCCA change form. To ensure that your changes or cancellations are processed before the billing on July 2, 2012, changes must be submitted to us several business days prior to the billing date, so please send your form(s) in now.

Please contact us before the 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:

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, please notify us by one of the following methods:

It is the responsibility of the PB to ensure that the fees that are due are paid by the 10th of each month or service may be interrupted for the entire office on the 11th. Each PB is responsible for his/her own agents. If an agent is not able to pay the required MLS fees, the PB has the following options:

  • Release the agent, placing their license on inactive status with DCCA, and providing a copy of the release to HIS BEFORE the July 1st billing. The agent’s signature is not required.
  • Loan the agent sufficient funds to pay the MLS fees due.
  • Pay the fees due on behalf of the agent.

The PB is responsible for managing the roster for his/her office. Fees will continue to be billed until a copy of the DCCA change form is received by HIS from the PB.

As always, we appreciate your cooperation and your business.

Waiver applications/renewals are also due now!

If you have agents, assistants, or other staff that qualify for an MLS Waiver, applications and renewals are due immediately! Waiver Applications for the new fiscal year beginning July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013 are due by June 30, 2012.

Waiver applications for the July 2012 to June 2013 period will automatically expire on June 30, 2012. Anyone who is currently under waiver and wants to continue accessing the MLS service under a waiver application must submit a new waiver application by June 30th of each fiscal year. This affects all licensed support subscribers, property managers and time-share agents. Waivers are also required for each partner or officer, director or shareholder who has a license, but does not engage in sales activity. Click here to obtain the Waiver Application form.

Holiday Notice

In observance of Independence Day, our offices will be closed on Wednesday, July 4, 2012. Normal office hours will resume on Thursday, July 5, 2012. Normal Office Hours are Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

In the event of emergency, you may leave a message in our emergency voice mailbox by calling the main office number and pressing * (star). Leave your message and our phone system will notify our on-call staff that there is an emergency message. Call 1-800-628-3121 if calling from the neighbor islands, or 599-4224 if calling from Oahu.

New Public Search and Rental Updates

Features, REsearch No Comments »

Hawaii Information Service will deliver some great improvements next week! We will be taking the wraps off a couple of exciting projects that we’ve been working on for some time: an upgraded, updated property search site for consumers, and much-improved support for rental properties in REsearch.

Both are driven by your valuable feedback and suggestions, and while we hope you like them, we will also gladly welcome any additional comments you might have. Our products and services will continue to improve with your continued support. Here’s a sneak peek!

New Public Search Site

Not only are we bringing public property searches back to HawaiiInformation.com, but we are unveiling a vastly improved system that is faster, more powerful, and with a fresh and clean new design. We think you’ll like what our talented web designers have created for you and your customers.

 HawaiiInformation.com - New Search Results

In addition to the improved speed and new look, you’ll find more search options, better agent and office search and highlighting, useful touches like the ability to see basic listing counts and browse new listings, and get more details on property detail pages. With this home-grown code, we’ve made improvements from the ground up… improvements that we’ll soon be able to deliver to our website and IDX customers as well!

Better Rental Property Support

While we have supported rental property listings in REsearch for a while, the current implementation was pretty rough, and was largely a variation of the MLS system.

As we mentioned during our recent outreach trips to visit with members on Kauai and the Big Island, improving rentals has been a top priority for us this year, as rentals are a large part of Hawaii’s real estate market, and a growing focus of the broader industry.

Next week, you will see the results of the first phase of this project, in the form of a new (one-page!) rental property input form, rental property search form, and dedicated rental listing management functions.

We know not every Realtor handles rentals, and not every rental manager does sales. So in addition to taking feedback from members, we’ve been working with a number of property managers and rental industry experts to refine and update the rental features of REsearch. We’d also like to acknowledge the guidance and knowledgeable input of of HIS board task force members John Petrella, Pat Scullary, Roy Morimoto and Clifton Kukino.

There are many more improvements to come, but we wanted to put these updates online as soon as we could to make life easier for those who were already putting rental listings in REsearch, and to make REsearch more useful to those who may not have yet used its rental features.

Mahalo!

We are glad to be able to continue to deliver enhancements and new features to help you grow your business, from the ability to switch to customer formats on the fly and get live search result counts, to an upgraded prospect email format and better login management.

Of course, while we explore new ways to make REsearch better, we want to make sure it always works the way you want and need it to work. So if you do encounter any problems while using REsearch, please don’t hesitate to contact our support team, and to share your own ideas and suggestions on ways to make REsearch better. And please stay tuned for more updates!

Dates to Remember

Calendar Icon

The next billing for credit card, ACH and check customers on the July annual billing cycle will be on Monday, July 2, 2012. Waiver applications for the July 2012 to June 2013 period also automatically expire on June 30, 2012. A new waiver application is required for each new fiscal year, so if you have not submitted one, please do so this week. For details, please see our July Billing and Waiver Reminder.

In observance of Independence Day, our offices will be closed on Wednesday, July 4, 2012. As always, you can reach us after hours and on weekends by leaving a message on our emergency line. Just call (808) 599-4224 or (800) 628-3121 from the neighbor islands, and press * (star). Our phone system will notify our on-call staff, and someone will return your call as soon as possible.

And please don’t forget, Agent Reboot is returning to Hawaii on Wednesday, August 15, 2012. Join us at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki for a full day of fast-paced, short and focused sessions full of and practical tips. For details or to register, please visit http://www.agentreboot.com/his/

HIS Family Feature: Meet Novena!

Features No Comments »

Like most technology companies, the greatest asset of Hawaii Information Service is actually its people. We’d like to help you get to know them better. Starting today, HIS will profile a member of its close-knit family each month. Enjoy!

Staff - Novena SaludaresNOVENA SALUDARES, director of Data Quality & Control at Hawaii Information Service, is proud of the quality and currency of the real estate information that HIS provides. She’s been with the company for 27 years, and she is a key reason why HIS is today known for its current and accurate public records data.

“One of our main goals is to maintain the sales information, keeping it up to date,” she says. “Before the process would take months, but we’ve honed our methods and now get sales records in within five to seven days of the recording date.”

Of course, getting the information is just the beginning. Novena and her dedicated research staff double-check it many times, in many ways. Beyond that, they stay on top of new subdivisions, condos, and street addresses, constantly updating and carefully growing the data.

Novena’s focus is on the TMK side, moreso than the MLS side, although the TMK is among the most valuable components of REsearch, and its tight integration into REsearch often means Realtors take it for granted. But she doesn’t.

“We have the best data,” she says. “We strive on accuracy.”

Novena has lived and breathed real estate data since her very first summer job at a title company. And back then, the MLS was a publishing business, not a technology company.

Staff - First Computer“Back then we had McGraw-Hill and Multi-List — it was printed books, weekly and monthly, we had a warehouse, and people would buy the books and flip through old sales, on paper,” she recalls. “Everything was handwritten, or you had to go down to the bureau, get a form, fill it out, bring it all back, and put it in.”

Novena has had a front-row seat for the technological transformation that followed, working with microfilm, reel-to-reel computer tapes, phone couplers and black boxes. But even as computers took center stage, printed books still sold well for a while.

“Today, everything is online and instant,” she notes.

Novena is the youngest of six siblings, and spent some of her early years in Guam, as her father was in the military before retiring and returning to Hawaii. Although she’s not in a hurry to assign a numerical value to her youth, she says she graduated with the very first class to come out of Pearl City High School in Honolulu.

She’s been married to her husband George for 10 years, but they’ve been together for 30. And when they have a chance to travel, she and her husband go to Las Vegas, where one of her brothers lives.

“I love to go to Vegas, twice a year if we can,” she says. “I love to see shows.”

And her love of live entertainment has pushed her to explore entertainment here at home.

Staff - Novena Shoe“When I was young, I never liked Hawaiian music, but I appreciate it now, and we go out to look for Hawaiian music,” Novena says. “It’s harder to find live music now, but we go to Waikiki, we see Melveen Leed, the Society of Seven… we listen to all the new bands.”

She’s also a UH sports fan, and watches every Warriors football game, and attends UH men’s and women’s volleyball games, and men’s basketball, too.

As for her unusual name? She explains that it comes from a type of Catholic prayer, and came from her oldest brother. And she has had “NOVENA” as her license plate for 25 years, on only two cars.

“My first car was a bright red Firebird,” she recalls. “It was hard to miss.”

You can reach Novena at novena@hawaiiinformation.com. If you ever need to clarify or correct information in the TMK system, you can also call her at (808) 599-4224 extension 166. Next month, we’ll profile Gay Rapisora, a research assistant who has worked with Novena for 25 years.

Enhancements: Live Counts, Quick Customer Formats

REsearch 1 Comment »

Bob Schoenthal | Product ManagerIn the past week, we’ve pushed over 30 bug fixes and enhancements to REsearch 5.0, including improvements to maps, prospects, and sending email. This comes on the heels of earlier updates to Realtor lists, contacts, and fractional and timeshare Days On Market calculations.

We’d again like to thank some of the member agents whose feedback and suggestions went into the updates in this latest round, including Sean Ahearn, Saul Brecher, Gary Davis, Virginia Dixon, Mealoha Kraus, Ron Margolis, Dennis Nakahara, Paul Pacuilla, Trevella Williams, and Shannon and Eddie Underwood.

But I’m especially excited to let you know about three new features that our hardworking development team has delivered: live counts, customer formats from the action menu, and additional price information on the REsearch dashboard. These are improvements that should help you save valuable time as you work.

1. Introducing ‘Live Counts’

Previously, if you wanted to narrow your searches down and limit the matches displayed or used in formats or other functions, you would click the ‘Count’ button. This would essentially run your search, but only to display the number of listings that would be returned, as a way to test your search settings before clicking the ‘Search’ button.

With the new ‘Live Counts’ feature, the number of matching listings will be calculated on the fly, and displayed right on the search page as you add, remove, or change your criteria.

With ‘Live Counts,’ we hope to save you a few extra mouse clicks, and thus save you a little more time as you use REsearch.

How To Enable ‘Live Counts’

As this will be a change in REsearch behavior, you will have to set your account to use ‘Live Counts’ instead of the default. To do so, click ‘Settings’ from the menu in the top right corner of REsearch.

Then, select ‘Count’ from the list of REsearch settings displayed on the left side of the ‘Settings’ screen.

Finally, select ‘Yes, I want REsearch to automatically count records as I enter or change search parameters.’ Then click ‘OK.’ You should then see ‘Live Counts’ displayed in the lower left of your search screen that update as you add, remove, or change criteria.

As this is a new feature, we’d appreciate your feedback on how well it’s working, or if you encounter any unexpected behavior. In the unlikely event that using ‘Live Counts’ slows the overall performance of REsearch, you can follow the steps above to switch back to the original configuration.

2. Quick Customer Formats

Many of you have asked for the ability to convert your search results into Customer Format without having to run an entirely new search. Now, you can do this right in the Action Menu.

Selecting ‘Customer Format’ will present the items on screen (the results page, checked items, or unchecked items) into Customer Format, ready to provide to your client.

3. Clearer Price Updates

Finally, you may have already noticed a small visual update to the REsearch dashboard.

We’ve added the sold price next to the status of ‘Sold’ listings under ‘Latest Listing Activity.’ We are also now displaying the amount of price changes along with a simple visual cue so that you can see at a glance whether the numbers are rising or falling.

Mahalo!

Although these are minor interface changes, some elements were quite a challenge on the back end, and another notable accomplishment of our programming team. Following other recent improvements to prospect email notifications and login session management, I hope this enhancement further demonstrates our commitment to improve REsearch and ensure it remains the best tool to help you grow your business.

If something isn’t working for you or if you see a way that REsearch can be improved, please get in touch. Call (808) 599-4224 and select option one, or email support@hawaiiinformation.com.

As always, if you do encounter any problems while using REsearch, try clearing your cache to make sure you’re seeing and using the latest code. Instructions on how to do this can be found here.Please say tuned for more improvements, and please don’t hesitate to share your own ideas and suggestions on ways to make REsearch better.

Bob Schoenthal
Product Manager

Agent Reboot Returning Aug. 15

Industry News 2 Comments »

Agent RebootThis Fall, many leading marketing and technology experts in the real estate industry are returning to the Aloha State to share the latest tools, tips, and best practices at Agent Reboot 2012 Honolulu, from the team at Inman News.

And as successful as the first Agent Reboot Honolulu was last year, this year’s event is not a rerun of the same old strategies. Although the program is still coming together, the Inman team has clued us into some of the new tools and topics you can look forward to in August:

  • More live demos! Agent Reboot sessions are already fast-paced and dynamic, running 10-20 minutes. But you can expect to see even fewer static slides, and more live, real-world demonstrations of services and sites.
  • More strategy! Being an early adopter can be fun, but is it practical? Look beyond the “next big thing” and focus on whether it can be integrated into your business.
  • More social media savvy! Since just last year, LinkedIn grew revenues 100%, Pinterest climbed to third place, and Facebook bought Instagram and went public. What’s going on, and what’s next?

Please mark your calendars and plan ahead to join us at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki for this value-packed, one-day real estate tech and marketing program. Once again, Hawaii Information Service is the exclusive Association Sponsor of this great event.

Details:

  • Date: Wednesday, August 15, 2012
  • Time: 8am – 3pm
  • Where: Hyatt Regency Waikiki
  • Cost: $49 in advance, $99 at the door

Registration includes a includes a complimentary continental breakfast. Want to spend more time in Honolulu? There is a special conference rate at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, which also offers a kama’aina discount. And if your office sends 20 or more members, registration is discounted to $39.

Hope to see you there!


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