Over 30,000 Texas REALTORS® to get TransactionDesk® by Instanet Solutions


North Texas Real Estate Information Systems to deploy TransactionDesk as member benefit

Austin, TX – May 3, 2016 – Subscribers of North Texas Real Estate Information Systems (NTREIS) will now be able to leverage the power of the real estate industry’s leading paperless transaction platform. TransactionDesk® by Instanet Solutions is a full-featured transaction and document management system that includes a comprehensive set of tools for both agents and brokerages to manage their business.

TransactionDesk features advanced integrations with Matrix™ and Realist®, the listing management and property information solutions used by NTREIS members. Matrix and Realist are provided by CoreLogic®, North America’s leading provider of enterprise solutions for multiple listing organizations.

The tightly integrated applications combine to give NTREIS members a powerful solution for managing listings and sales from contract to close. TransactionDesk will allow users to start transactions from MLS listings or tax records, post documents stored in their transactions and reduce redundant data entry.

“We believe TransactionDesk has the best document and transaction management tools in the industry,” said NTREIS CEO John Holley. “Not only will our agents get powerful new tools to manage their transactions, but our brokers will also get the opportunity to use a system-as a member benefit-that is as good or better than what they are paying for now. This will be a great advantage to the agents and companies in our market.”

“We are excited to have NTREIS leverage the unmatched integrations between CoreLogic and Instanet,” said Martin Scrocchi, CEO of Instanet Solutions. “30,000 real estate professionals in the state of Texas will now be able use our TransactionDesk platform fully integrated with their MLS and tax roll services.”

“This is an outstanding example of a CoreLogic client benefiting from our relationship with Instanet Solutions,” said Chris Bennett, general manager of real estate solutions for CoreLogic. “Instanet provides an unbeatable combination of advanced functionality, deep integration and competitive pricing. That’s why we teamed up with Instanet Solutions-and why so many of our clients are jumping on board with TransactionDesk.”

About Instanet Solutions: Instanet Solutions is a leading provider of real estate technology with over 500,000 licensed, paid user accounts of their various real estate focused products – Authentisign®, TransactionDesk®, InstanetForms®, DocBox®, InstanetOffers® and InstanetFax®. Instanet Solutions began delivering residential real estate technology in 1991 and is proud to be celebrating our 25th year of providing technology to the real estate world. Further information about Instanet Solutions and its products is available at http://app.systememerge.com/emaill-5738571-1049379682-9310201.html.

About North Texas Real Estate Information Systems, Inc. (NTREIS) is a real estate information and technology solutions provider serving the real estate community in a coverage area exceeding 48,000 square miles in North Texas, including the Dallas Fort Worth Metropolitan Area. NTREIS provides information management services to over 30,000 MLS subscribers of its 15 Shareholder REALTOR® Associations, including over 6,000 real estate offices. In addition to its information management platform; NTREIS researches, develops and delivers various technology products and services through strategic alliances, utilizing a sales and distribution network w hich includes its Shareholder REALTOR® Associations.

Posted in Industry News, Technology | Leave a comment

NTREIS Announces Staff Promotions

NTREIS recently announced two internal staff promotions. David Blake has been promoted to Chief Technology Officer and Cindy Miller now serves as Chief Operations Officer for the corporation.

As CTO, David is responsible for developing the overall technology vision for the company as well as maintaining systems. David brings 20 years of networking, hardware and application development and has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. David has served the last 8 years as NTREIS Senior Network Administrator and has been integral in the virtualization of the MLS systems and data exchange.

Cindy is assuming a new role as COO and in addition to new responsibilities, will continue previous duties overseeing the Customer Care Team and as Communications liaison with NTREIS’ 15 Shareholder REALTOR Associations. Cindy holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Stephen F. Austin University and joined the NTREIS staff in 2012 after 14 years serving other roles in REALTOR Associations. She has been instrumental in training and support of Association partners through a recent system conversion and in streamlining data export approvals.

“We are proud of our entire NTREIS Team and look forward to the leadership both David and Cindy bring to our Executive Staff”, says John Holley, CEO. “In this fast-evolving industry, we are confident that NTREIS provides, and will continue to provide, the best technology tools to support our Shareholders and their members.”

Posted in Industry News | 1 Comment

NTREIS Signs Direct Feed to Zillow

The Board of Directors of the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems, Inc. has approved an agreement with Zillow to provide a direct feed of MLS Listing data. NTREIS Listing content is currently provided to Zillow through a third party syndication partner and various direct feeds from Brokers. In light of upcoming changes to the syndication agreement, NTREIS Participants that wish to send listings to Zillow would be required to find an alternate means of delivery. By approving a direct agreement, the NTREIS Directors have ensured that marketing of North Texas listings for sale will not be interrupted. Brokers and their sellers who do not wish to participate in distribution of content to Zillow or other syndication sites continue to have the ability to opt out. There are a number of websites in addition to Broker owned sites that market listing content to consumers and NTREIS will continue to provide the technology to deliver such content in accordance with the wishes of property owners and their representatives.

Posted in Industry News, Technology | 5 Comments

Got eMail?

– by Cindy Miller

In light of Yahoo! Mail’s recent changes to their authentication policy  (See article in TechWorld), NTREIS’s vendor is reviewing the way we send emails on behalf of agents.  Currently,  when an agent generates an email from the MLS to send property information to their customers,  the MLS email server is sending that email “on behalf of johndoe@yahoo.com”.    The problem is that this is technically “spoofing” the agent’s email.   We have all heard how hackers “spoof” a legitimate email to SPAM thousands of people and have likely been the recipient of such emails.    What Yahoo! implemented this weekend, and other email providers are also likely to adopt, is a policy for its servers to compare “who” is sending the email with “who” the email says it is being sent from – if these do not match,  Yahoo! is inserting code into the email authenticator to alert the receiving email service that this yahoo email is not really originating in yahoo – beware!  If the recipient’s email service chooses to heed that warning, they will reject the email.

Though this is an excellent security measure to block spammers,  it also creates a huge hurdle for MLS email services and all other large list email services that are legitimate.   For our industry, the solution will be that future emails to your clients will continue to be sent from the MLS servers but they will now say they are coming from the email server, with information in the subject that identifies the agent.

Could this have been avoided?  In the short term,  this is only affecting those of you that choose to use a Yahoo! account as your business email address (more on that below).   Over the long term, these changes are expected to be far reaching and any large email service is constantly having to review ways to send legitimate emails while navigating the roadblocks that are intended to deter SPAM.    However, if you choose to use any free email,  Yahoo!, Hotmail, gmail, etc., you are subject to their policy changes and they may or may not provide advance notice of changes.

There are many reasons that business and marketing consultants advise purchasing and using your own domain name for business use:

  • Professionalism –  our industry is all about branding and reputation;  which email are you more likely to respond to –  livingright@Hotmail.com or SueSmith@livingright.com?
  • Service –  it is difficult to get support from a free service;  in the real estate business, email is your lifeline to communicating with clients.
  • Deliverability –  aside from the email providers’ SPAM filters, you also have to get past your recipients’ personal junk mail filters – in the example above,  the livingright.com domain has a much greater chance of passing authentication tests than a free domain used by millions.

The only advantage I can think of to a free email, is the cost – free is great, right?   But with all the potential drawbacks, just how good is free?  Did you know you can purchase your own domain name for about $12 a year?   Many brokers offer a broker branded email to their agents at no charge.   Having a branded email is good for your professional image and also gives  you more control over handling junk mail.    If you really love using the Yahoo! or gmail interface,  use your branded email for sending out emails but have your received emails forwarded to your gmail account.

Ready to change your email address?   Contact your MLS Provider Association to update your profile information or use their online member profile system to update where available!

Posted in NTREIS Subscriber News, Technology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

North Texas Real Estate Information Systems, Inc. (NTREIS) Executes Data License Agreement with Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®)

Chicago, IL, February 26, 2014 – NTREIS announced today that it has executed a Data Content License agreement with Realtors Property Resource, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS®, to license NTREIS data to RPR’s national property database for integration to their 24,000 members in Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area and the surrounding North Texas counties.

NTREIS President, Felicia Peters, says “This new integration will add yet another resource for our REALTOR® members to assist them in providing the best service to their customers”. NTREIS CEO John Holley explains, “Our Board of Directors is pleased that NTREIS will now be able to provide quality data to NAR’s RPR product for use in their analytics without compromising our stance on Texas’ non-disclosure policy, yet still provide the excellent tools offered by RPR to our members. This is a win-win for everyone.”

“Since the launch of RPR’s Residential Application on 2010, RPR’s product offering has expanded to include additional features for REALTORS® including Broker Tool Sets, RPR Commercial, Investment Analysis Tools, Legislative Reports, and more.” says RPR CEO, Dale Ross. ”This partnership with NTREIS will support the integration of NTREIS’s active and off market property data with RPR’s high value features, reports and valuation tools for NTREIS REALTORS® to use with their clients and customers. RPR would like to thank CEO John Holley and the leadership of the NTREIS for their support of RPR’s benefit to their REALTOR® members.”

About RPR Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®), a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS®, is an exclusive online real estate database providing REALTORS® with the analytical power to help their clients make better informed decisions while increasing efficiency in the marketplace. For more information about RPR, visit: http://blog.narrpr.com.

About the NTREIS North Texas Real Estate Information Systems, Inc. (NTREIS) is a regional Multiple Listing Service serving 15 shareholder associations with a combined total of over 24,000 MLS subscribers in the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area and the surrounding North Texas counties. For more information, go to: www.ntreis.net.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

End of AgentMatch Does Not Mean the End of Agent Reviews

– by Cindy Miller

Realtor.com® has announced that they have concluded the pilot launch of their AgentMatch program stating that “using an algorithm to “match” consumers with REALTORS® is misguided”.   The announcement came in letter to members from realtor.com President, Errol Samuelson.  While many REALTOR® members that were adamantly opposed to this initiative will be pleased with the announcement, the end of this pilot does not mean the end of agent reviews.

In July, the company launched a test of its agent rating program in only two markets and received a tirade of protests from agents nationwide.     The program would have required permission from the MLS in any market to use the data to support the new program and no agreements were in place outside of the two test markets.

While a “match” program may not be the best solution, consumers – accustomed to reading online reviews before purchasing items – now expect tools for online research before hiring professionals.     Managing your online reputation is a necessary part of your marketing efforts.    Historically, your brand was managed by your broker, whether it be print or electronic media, or within communities and there remains great value in that instantly recognizable brand.   However, consumers now demand more information on who you are, what you do and who has trusted you in the past before making their decision to partner with you.

Many sites are building your reputation without your input and providing information online that affects a consumer’s opinion about you.     Do you receive personal referrals?   Of course you do, and people still trust their peers; what has changed is those peer recommendations are often online and not at the neighborhood block party.   Think about the last good book you read; did a friend recommend that to you over a cup of coffee?   More likely, a friend recommended it to you on Facebook or via a Tweet or you just noticed that many of your friends “liked” it online as even our definition of “friend” has evolved.

In announcing the AgentMatch pilot, Realtor.com® was attempting to capture this trend and do it in a way that allowed your actual production to play a role in your online reputation building and to play matchmaker between a seller with a home in that location and price range and an agent that actively  lists in that area (the pilot was only on the listing side, with buyer agency to be added later).     The objections focused on concerns that numbers do not tell the whole story, and REALTOR.com® agrees.  “A computer cannot find the best REALTOR® for someone, just like a computer cannot place an accurate value on a home”, says Samuelson.

The end of the AgentMatch pilot does not mean that your online reputation does not play an ever increasing role in your business.    To that end, realtor.com® provides free online tools to build your profile and solicit recommendations from the clients you have served.     If REALTORS® can get behind that effort and fully develop those tools and the REALTOR brand, it will give consumers a trusted resource and a central place for agents to manage their online reputation.    The marketing and profile tools available at no cost can be reviewed at www.marketing.realtor.com/engage.

In addition, I would encourage every agent to perform an online search of your own name, your team name, and your firm name and see what the internet has to say about you.     Be wary of “upgrading your profile” on many of these sites;    the fee is often not warranted compared to the traffic the site gets and by participating in the site, you are helping to drive traffic to it.    Concentrate your online efforts on high traffic, trusted resources.

Being an industry veteran, I have seen agents vehemently object to concepts over the years that later became standard procedure  (cooperating with other brokers, online MLS entry,  online display of listing information, use of fax machines and cell phones, to name just a few).     The oft quoted quip from Henry Ford, “if I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”, aptly highlights that we should be open to previously unimagined innovations while being cognizant of unimagined consequences – the building of cars necessitated better roads and bridges.    Likewise, new innovations in the real estate industry might be bumpy at first and necessitate building better pathways to gain a smoother ride.

Posted in Industry News, National Association of REALTORS, Technology

FannieMae requires Property be listed in MLS

by: Cindy Miller

New Fannie Mae Servicing Guidelines effective August 1, 2013 include a provision that requires “all properties being considered for a standard short sale/HAFA II must be listed with an active status on a multiple listing service (MLS) for a minimum of five consecutive calendar days, including one weekend…”

Click here for the full Servicing Guide Announcement SVC-2013-13

With the recent rise in “off MLS” transactions, much of the discussion has centered around whether such marketing strategy is in the best interest of sellers – does the “exclusivity” factor create a mystique that results in a higher price for the seller or does maximum exposure to the largest possible pool of buyers and buyer representatives eliminate any doubt that the seller is garnering the best possible price and terms. There have also been concerns raised over whether “exclusivity” equates to “discrimination”.

It would seem that Fannie Mae wishes to ensure that their inventory is getting exposure through the MLS to avoid any appearance of such exclusivity of pricing or availability.

Posted in Industry News | 1 Comment