Share your bright ideas

Share Member Feedback March 2014

FlexMLS: Love it, hate it?  The reports were mixed, but overall very positive.  And by that I mean from the 16 agents who responded… out of 549.  Wow, we were overwhelmed with the response to our 2-second question!

The results were:

  • 4 said hands off my Flex – I love this MLS system just the way it is.
  • 4 said I love it and don’t want to change but you better check to make sure the grass isn’t greener.
  • 6 said I would love it if they really amped up their mobile functionality
  • 1 said I would love it if they made a bunch of very specific changes that included adding rentals, selecting only the photos you want to print on others listings, mobile and right to farm auto-fill.
  • 1 said ditch it because they don’t do mobile for tablets. Grrr

The MLS Board will consider these responses (and any more if received, so go give us your $0.05 in 2 seconds!) and will be reviewing all of the options available.  Psst.  There’s mobile in our future.

In some of the areas of the “input form” for a new listing there are multiple choice sections in “DETAILS” where there should be ONLY ONE answer. However, if you click on a box and change it later ( for example) SEWER, IF YOU CHECK NONE AND FIND OUT LATER IT SHOULD BE YES; is it possible for Flex to delete the other answer AUTOMATICALLY? I know this is really the responsibility of the person inputting data but sometimes they forget and 2 opposite answers appear on the listing sheet. Just a thought! Thank you.

At this time, if the field allows multiple choices then it can’t automatically delete an option, since the computer won’t know if you are modifying or changing the entry.  If it is a single choice option, the system does not allow you to pick more than one option.  In the example you used, the sewer field allows you to pick more than one option.  [Private, Public, None, Other, Tight tank].  It was a good suggestion to help reduce mistakes, but doesn’t seem possible to implement without other issues arising.  Thank you for sharing and suggesting – every bit helps!

When I e-mail listings or market analyses, I usually write a detailed explanation with them, or give further information and suggestions. I like to send messages that way because then I know when my clients have opened them and gotten the information. However, the messages aren’t stored with the Sent e-mails under “see what was viewed,” just the listings. This forces me to cut and paste messages into a new file if I want a record of what I told the client. Along the same line: As I am writing a message, I often want to recheck a fact on the listing sheet, but if I return to the listing information, I lose the e-mail address, subject line and the message. Is there a way to save a draft? I realize that I can just print out the listing sheet before I start writing, but I’d waste a lot of paper that way.

Amen! We talked to FlexMLS about this, and they have this as a request from two MLSs currently.  They suggested the work-around until they update the contact management / email system – Instead try mailing listings and CMAs directly from your own email client (there is a check box on the email form) .  Then, when you type the information, the draft and the sent mail will always be retained in your g-mail / outlook or whatever email service you use.  You can also go back and forth and modify the message as well.  When your client then clicks on the link in your message, your sent e-mails is still able to track that content even when sent outside of the FlexMLS program.  Not a perfect solution by any means, but until they make the big changes needed to merge the customer management functions together, hopefully this will help.

Could we change wording on the Listing Activity Report from “reject” to “no interest” or something similar, less objectionable?

This is very helpful feedback.  With the fantastic, new auto-email feature, agents are sending these reports directly to their sellers and the sellers are apparently a bit sensitive when buyers mark their house a “reject”.  (they love “favorite” and are ok with “possibility”, I’m betting) We’ve sent a formal request to FlexMLS to make the change in terminology, because this suggestion is a good one. Does this request make you wonder what the “Listing Market Report” is and where to find it?  We made a quick 2-minute video to help you find it, and use it.


I’m wondering if the request for a showing could include the week day along with the date and time?

I bet it could… We’ve asked Flex about this and will see if they can make the change.

I have written before on the subject of incomplete data entry for listings. Specifically I would like to see MLS better regulated – we pay for information and should not need to chase down the listing agents for information that should be online. Rooms in houses should be named instead of assigned numbers. We cannot guess what they are. Room locations should be indicated. If a condominium the number of units in the complex and the correct unit number must be provided. The directions given should have a starting point – not just north or south! Listing agents should provide correct map and lot numbers. IF THIS INFORMATION IS MISSING THE LISTING SHOULD BE REJECTED UNTIL COMPLETE! IT IS HIGHLY FRUSTRATING TO HAVE TO CALL THE LISTING AGENT TO PROVIDE BASIC INFORMATION WHICH SHOULD BE ENTERED IN MLS.

Preaching to the choir perhaps, but we thought it good for all to see this request in its original form… full of frustration and dashed expectations.  When we have a system that is so dependent on cooperation, it can be such a bear when all members aren’t holding up their own end of the process.  Sellers rely on listing agents to be FIDUCIARY agents for their best interests, and sometimes, woefully, this doesn’t translate into good data, good photos or good cooperation.  The MLS Board will review the specific requests for listing requirements for submission and will report back.

Can we sort rooms in the order we enter them instead of alphabetical?

YES WE CAN! Thank you to those that made the request a long, long time ago and to Penney Cardonnel for reminding me.  We’ve updated the most actively used listing reports to make this change. (and you can refer to other post about the listing sheets looking differently and how to change them back because of the change.

There should be a way to email more than one agent at a time from reverse prospecting.

We went back and forth on this request when it was first reported.  FlexMLS sought input from other MLSs and discovered that, despite fears that this would create a way for listing agents to spam colleagues with potentially interested buyers –  seller’s agents were already using reserve prospecting to contact other agents that have buyers with similar search criteria, it just was more difficult.  They made this change, so that a listing agent can easily pick and choose to contact other agents in the MLS with buyers who have [anonymous] saved searches that match the listing criteria.  We ask all listing agents to use this functionally very, very judicially – only email if you have a specific question, if something has changed that you feel would be beneficial for other agents to know, things of that sort.  If you are charged with spamming other agents, our policy says we first provide a notice to you, then to your DR then all email is shut down. :-0  Reverse Prospecting Video Tutorial from FlexMLS 2:46 minutes.

I’d love to see Right to Farm autofill based on town. For instance, we know Pittsfield is a Right to Farm community, but MANY incorrectly fill in that field as “unknown” or “no”. If Pittsfield is selected as the town, the field could autofill “yes”, and the agent would be put on notice that they have some paperwork to do. Thanks!

You can lead a cow to water… We’ve updated the Right to Farm list, added a “help” button on the right to farm input with the list and have added it to our website, our MLS screen and our blog…. But we can’t make it auto-fill at this time.  It would take hours of staff time modifying the field and creating a town specific drop-down for all 36 towns that only contain the correct answer, but it seems that for now, the best way is make the listing agents do their job – and to police (through the error reports) those that don’t.  One nice thing we’ve done, thanks to a FlexMLS update, is to make sure not only the agent receives the error report, but also the broker – it might present some teaching moments.  Especially if the same agents or errors are coming through.

After we list a listing could there be a share button like on our cell phones to share our new listing to our Face Book followers? Maybe a tweet button to tweet about our new list?

On a scale of 1-10 that suggestion is a 1,000!  You can share your own listings now, but it isn’t nearly so simple.  There are two ways to work around, until FlexMLS adds that functionality…please note, this is for sharing YOUR OWN listings – not other agent’s listings, unless you have their permission.  We only give blanket permission to use other agent’s listings when working with clients and customers or in an IDX website feed – nothing else.


1)     Go to and search/find your listing.  Click on the green share button that will open up the many ways to share it… facebook, twitter, myspace? are all easy – You can share on LinkedIn, blogs and custom sites by selecting “Permalink” and sharing the actual link to the listing sheet.

2)     Create a portal under your own contact name in the FlexMLS contact management record.  Use a search on your own or your office listings.  Then, you can access your portal and will have the same share button available for your use.

It would be extremely helpful to the appraisers that subscribe to this service if the appraiser’s name that did the appraisal for the sale be placed in sold information. This would allow an appraiser a contact to get more info on the properties characteristics when the appraiser wants to use a property as a comparable. Many other MLS services provide this information.

The MLS Board will consider this at their next meeting.  If you have any feedback about this – please email

Can we get an RSS Feed for hot sheet or someway to get anything from the hot sheet sent directly to you when they are posted?  Share buttons for social media sites for the properties?

Those are both great ideas and have been shared with FlexMLS.  Currently you can only get a hotsheet sent to you every 24 hours.  If you want to receive emails with new listing activity, we also suggest you create a generalized search for your market area and set up an auto-email for yourself.  Just like a client email, when new listings are entered, or prices are changed, you receive an email update.  Hope that helps until a full resolution can be developed!