New! 45 Minute CTM Integration Webinar

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IRES & REcolorado Merger Agreement Questions & Answers

What is the next step for the REcolorado and IRES to merger to move forward?
The next step is approval from Shareholder and Owner Boards.  Shareholders of REcolorado are Aurora Association of REALTORS®, Denver Metro Association of REALTORS®, and South Metro Denver REALTOR® Association. The owners of IRES Boulder Area REALTOR® Association, Fort Collins Board of REALTORS®, Greeley Area REALTOR® Association, Longmont Association of REALTORS®, and Loveland Berthoud Association of REALTORS®.

When will the shareholders and owners vote on the merger?
The boards of the shareholders and owners are expected to vote on the merger agreement within the next 30 days. Specific meeting dates are not available at this time.

What is taking so long?
As with any merger, there are many details that need to be addressed. We continue to move at a steady pace, thanks to open lines of communication between REcolorado and IRES. With shareholder and owner approval, we hope to close by the end of the year and then start the process of integrating the two companies.

Once the merger closes, will REcolorado and IRES be one company?
Once the merger closes, IRES and REcolorado will be one company and the process of integrating the two MLS organizations will begin. Details about the merged MLS will be communicated to all subscribers as they are available.

When do you expect the merger to close?
If the IRES and REcolorado shareholder and owner organizations approve the merger, we hope to close by the end of 2017.

When will we know which MLS system we will use?
Once the merger closes, we will begin the process of evaluating the products and services currently offered by both organizations, including MLS systems. All MLS subscribers will receive ongoing communications throughout the integration process.

When will data share be available again?
Timelines for integrating products, services, and listing data will be developed once the merger has closed.

How much will MLS service cost once IRES and REcolorado merge? Should I pay 2018 MLS fees?
Please pay your MLS fees as usual.  Once the merger closes, MLS fees will be determined and accounts will be reconciled.

What are the benefits of REcolorado and IRES merging?
Bringing our MLS organizations together is what brokers want and what the market needs. A merged MLS organization serving the Colorado Front Range would bring substantial benefits to Colorado real estate professionals, which would be passed on to consumers. Benefits include comprehensive data, a broad set of technology tools and services, and powerful consumer-facing websites.

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IRES & REcolorado Sign Binding Merger Agreement


Approval from Shareholder Boards is Next Step to Form
One MLS for Denver and Northern Colorado

IRES and REcolorado have taken another step toward creating a single MLS that will serve 26,000 real estate professionals in northern Colorado and the greater Denver Metro Area.

Lauren Hansen, CEO of IRES, and Kirby Slunaker, president and CEO of REcolorado, today announced the commitment between the two MLSs has now gone from a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU), as announced in September, to a binding merger agreement. The merger agreement has been signed by Hansen and Slunaker and has received approval from both the REcolorado Board of Directors and the IRES Board of Managers.

The  next step needed is shareholder approval from the boards of the eight REALTOR Associations that are the owners of the two organizations.

REcolorado’s shareholders are Denver Metro Association of REALTORS, South Metro Denver REALTOR Association, and Aurora Association of REALTORS®.  Shareholders of IRES are Boulder Area REALTOR® Association, Fort Collins Board of REALTORS®, Greeley Area REALTOR® Association, Longmont Association of REALTORS®, and Loveland Berthoud Association of REALTORS®.  The shareholders are expected to review and vote on the merger agreement in the coming weeks.

“Thanks to the great work of the REcolorado and IRES shareholders and their boards, our vision of creating a future-focused MLS that serves REALTORS, Brokers and consumers along the Colorado Front Range is becoming a reality,” said Kirby Slunaker. “Colorado real estate professionals have told us they want the benefits that can only come from one MLS, which include the best products and services, faster pace of innovation, and world-class customer care.”

A merged MLS organization serving the Colorado Front Range would bring substantial benefits to Colorado real estate professionals, which would be passed on to consumers. Benefits include comprehensive data, a broad set of technology tools and services, and powerful consumer-facing websites.

“REALTORS, brokers, appraisers, and consumers deserve the most comprehensive, Lauren Hansenaccurate, and timely data possible, as well as technology tools they can use to serve the needs of well-informed buyers and sellers,” said Lauren Hansen. “Bringing our MLS organizations together is what brokers want and what the market needs.”

Chris Osborn, with Foster, Pepper PLLC, will continue to facilitate the merger process with REcolorado and IRES.

“We continue to move at a steady pace, thanks to open lines of communication between REcolorado and IRES, as well as a shared commitment to work in the best interest of REALTORS and Brokers,” said Chris Osborn.  “I’m optimistic the merger agreement will receive shareholder approval, giving us the green light to consolidate these two companies. With approval from REcolorado’s three shareholder boards, as well as the IRES shareholder boards, the merger could close before the end of the year.”

With shareholder approval, the process of integrating the two MLS organizations, including the products and services, as well as all listing data, would begin shortly thereafter.

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Upload A DocuSigned Offer To CTM

If you use DocuSign, have you ever had difficulty making or receiving an offer from a broker who uses CTM eContracts?  We heard your pleas for help and reached out to CTM to see if we could find a solution.  Thanks to great teamwork between the two companies, we did!

We know many of you love the combination of IRES Contracts & DocuSign and don’t want to part with it. We understand, we love it, too!  So, that was a requirement – IRES subscribers must be able to still use DocuSign. And CTM users still needed to use CTM eContracts.

The solution is Smart eContracts, a brand new site developed by CTM and linked into IRESis so you can access it quickly. The short story: Get your offer DocuSigned, upload it to CTM, then submit your offer!  If a CTM user sends you an offer, you’ll receive an email notification – click the link or access the offer via CTM in IRESis.

CTM went one step further than simply streamlining the offer process. Anyone who creates an account automatically receives a 6 month free trial to use several CTM templates, plus the ability create custom templates and share documents. After the 6 months is up, they are offering an introductory rate of $120 per year for their full product.

“Our customers want to focus on clients, not paperwork. We listened and Lauren Hansenworked with CTM software developers to make our two systems, CTM eContracts and IRESis, talk to each other. We are very pleased with the CTM IRES Integration.”
Lauren Hansen, IRES CEO

Training
Register to attend a live webinar
View the “Make An Offer” video to see the details.

Give it a try and let us know what you think.  Ultimately, we hope this new feature makes the offer process more efficient for you and your clients!

Niki Kozak

Niki Kozak
Product Manager

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CTM IRES Integration Training

CTM is offering live webinars to train IRES subscribers on how to submit an offer to a Listing Agent who uses CTM eContracts! Click one of the links below to register now:

November 1st 2pm-2:15pm

November 2nd 10am-10:15am

November 3rd 2pm-2:15pm

November 6th 2pm-2:15pm

November 7th 2pm-2:15pm

November 8th 10-10:15am

November 10th 2pm-2:15pm

November 13th 2pm-2:15pm

November 14th 10am-10:15am

November 15th 2pm-2:15pm

November 17th 2pm-2:15pm

November 20th 2pm-2:15pm

November 21st 2pm-2:15pm

November 28th 2pm-2:15pm

November 29th 2pm-2:15pm

November 30th 2pm-2:15pm 

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Best Kept IRESis Secrets

In a system the size and breadth of IRESis.com there are always secret features you haven’t discovered yet. Let’s uncover a few of the amazing tips that make brokers say, “Oh, wow, I wish I’d known that before!”

Default Search Criteria: Always search for Residential properties or within a certain location? On any search screen, you can name one saved search “Default”. Once saved, every time you open that screen your default search criteria loads automatically. So easy! Click “New” (top toolbar) to remove all criteria and start with a clean slate.

Search Bar: Need to search active listings by address or MLS#? Quick Search is great but it includes all statuses. Instead, look for the “MLS# or Address” search bar located in the top, blue toolbar. Enter the Street # and the system pulls active listing matches. Works for MLS numbers, too.

Preferences Screen: All kinds of cool tidbits in here! Increase your session time up to 8 hours, change your MySite color to match your brand, create email signature blocks, increase the number of listings that load in the Report Window, and MORE. Find it by clicking your name in the top right corner.

Mimic: Need staff or another broker to access your account and get some work done for you? Since you can’t share your password, Mimic allows them to easily switch to your account. Click your name in the top right corner to access Mimic User. Contracts Mimic is similar but separate (for your protection) and can be accessed by clicking the “gear” icon in the Contracts system toolbar.

Contract Templates/Date Helper: Tired of calculating good Dates & Deadlines for each offer? Once you set up your Date Helper in a template, just enter the Acceptance and Closing dates and with the click a button, voila, the rest of the dates are calculated for you automagically! Alerts are given for weekends. Watch the instructional video.

Export Dates & Deadlines: Once your offer is accepted, click the “Export Dates” button to export the Dates & Deadlines in an attractive PDF or export a calendar file (.ics) to import into your calendar (Google, Apple, Outlook). Watch the instructional video.

Resources Menu: The Learning Center is chock full of educational materials including videos, PDF’s, and links to outside resources. The Glossary provides definitions of many IRESis, real estate, and tech industry terms. If you get stuck and need quick screen instructions click the “Help” link for details about that specific screen.

We hope you have discovered a little gem that will make your life easier from now on!

Niki Kozak

Niki Kozak
Product Manager

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Press Release: IRES Partners with CTM to Create New CTMe Product Offering

IRESis and CTM eContract users can now easily send offers to one another with the new CTM IRES Integration

Loveland, Colo. – Oct. 4, 2017 – IRES, Colorado’s regional MLS system serving the Front Range, announced today that IRES and CTM eContracts has partnered to develop CTM IRES Integration.

Brokers who subscribe to IRES will be able to access CTM IRES Integration through a link in the IRESis contracts system where they will be able to easily upload offers using DocuSign, email the CTMe user when an offer is made and cross collaborate with the listing agent throughout the buying process. The platform allows both CTM eContracts and IRESis contracts users to make, accept, reject and counter offers, as well as download offers and upload documents into DocuSign for signatures. All notifications for CTMe and IRESis users are made via email.

“Our customers want to focus on clients, not paperwork. We Lauren Hansenlistened, and we worked with CTM software developers to make our two systems, CTM eContracts and IRESis, talk to each other. We are very pleased with CTM IRES Integration,” said Lauren Hansen, CEO of IRES. “This has the potential to radically improve the real estate industry in Colorado and streamline the home buying process for brokers and consumers.”

Thousands of brokers throughout Colorado utilize CTM eContracts. This partnership will further enable the exchange of documents between CTM and the IRES MLS, improving  convenience and accuracy for all involved.

CTM IRES Integration

Existing eContracts/CTMOne Users:

If the IRES user already has a CTM eContracts account, they will be automatically logged in to CTM eContracts and will have access to all the features and functionality they have had in the past.

New Users:
If the IRES user does not have an existing CTM eContracts account, they will be prompted to create one. This new account will entail a free trial of our Smart eContracts application for 6 months.

The free trial of CTM IRES Integration will provide access to a full suite of functionality, including the ability to:

  • create both listings and sale transactions, including access to several DORA templates including CTM CBS templates
  • counter, reject, and/or accept contracts
  • communicate and collaborate with listing, buying and other agents
  • create and manage custom contract templates
  • notify both agents of eSigned shared documents
  • share and exchange documents
  • create and manage miscellaneous contracts

Training and support will be readily available to IRES and CTM users.

  • Trainings: Live and pre-recorded webinars. Watch the video now.
  • Support: CTM customer support (open M-F: 8am to 8pm and Sat/Sun: 8:30am – 5:30pm)

Once the introductory free trial has expired, users can license the software at an introductory rate of $120 for one year. A free, limited version will also be available that will only provide the ability to submit offers to existing eContracts listing agents.

“Our goal at CTM Software has always been to make real estate transactions as streamlined and efficient as possible,” said Claudio Rielo, CEO of CTM Software. “Partnerships between CTM Software and MLSs like IRES allow us to offer the best user experience to our agents in common.”

About IRES

Founded in 1996 by five Boards and Associations of REALTORS® in Boulder, Fort Collins, Greeley, Longmont and Loveland/Berthoud, IRES is the MLS provider for those areas as well as Estes Park and Logan County. Today’s IRES subscribers enjoy a menu of services and modules, including Contracts, Showings, Prospect websites and CloudCMA, that are typically third-party options offered at an additional charge. IRES serves more than 6500 real estate professionals throughout northern Colorado, and a recent satisfaction survey of IRES users revealed 92 percent are either Extremely Satisfied or Satisfied with the IRES MLS system.

About CTM eContracts

Founded in 2004 in Colorado, CTM Software develops innovative applications committed to provide the most revolutionary technology in the real estate market.  CTM has been a pioneer in electronic signature technology, which has been rapidly adopted by the real estate community and has served to further the efficiency of the home selling/buying process.  CTM has a strong reputation in the Colorado Real Estate market, and will continue to offer superior products to real estate professionals worldwide.

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21st Annual Northern Colorado Real Estate Conference

Join us for our 21st Annual Northern Colorado Real Estate Conference at the new Colorado State Stadium for exclusive presentations and discussions around some of the biggest issues facing our industry. Be a part of this discussion, and help us welcome our 2017 Real Estate Hall of Fame and Real Estate Entrepreneur of the Year award winners.

Reserve your company table and exhibit booth today. Space is limited.
—– 4 Continuing Education Credits will be available. —–

Wednesday, Oct. 18 | 2-6 p.m.
Hall of Champions and Stadium Club
Colorado State Stadium
Fort Collins, Colo.

Agenda
2 – 3:10 p.m. | Industry Exclusive “Future of Hughes Stadium” Interactive Session
Exclusive Industry opportunity to provide input on the future of the old Hughes Stadium site, along with Exhibits, & Networking in the Hall of Champions
3:30 – 4:00 p.m. | Annual Real Estate Awards & Updates
Kevin Brinkman and Paul Brinkman – Real Estate Hall of Fame
Gino Campana – Real Estate Entrepreneur of the Year
4:00 – 4:45 p.m. | “A Tale of the Front Range”
4:45 – 5:45 p.m. | Changing Retail Landscape
Presentations and panel discussion
6 p.m. | Event Conclusion

This event is brought to you in partnership with the
Northern Colorado Commercial Association of Realtors.

Thank you to our media sponsors

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Colorado Conversation with Jeff Follis, CEO of CREN MLS —Addressing Broker Pain Points

Background: IRES hosted the first ever “Colorado Conversation” with MLS executives and admins last fall, just prior to the CAR Spring Conference.  The agenda for the second Colorado Conversation is being developed by Jeff Follis for October 3rd in Broomfield, prior to CAR’s Fall Conference.   Jeff was kind enough to offer his perspective on broker pain points in this post.

Jeff Follis

In the evolving real estate marketplace, it’s crucial to stay on top of relevant technological advances to make our jobs easier and eliminate traditional industry pain points. For decades, real estate has been a pen-and-paper-based business that emphasized personal relationships, but now advances in technology are changing how real estate is delivered to the consumer and how brokers manage their daily lives.

By creating transparency and efficiency in the marketplace, technologies are increasing the speed and frequency at which transactions are conducted, significantly reducing pain points for brokers. After spending seven years in the brokerage business, Jeff Follis, CEO of Colorado Real Estate Network (CREN), a regional MLS based in Montrose, Colorado, is well aware of broker pain points associated with MLSs and addressed them during a Colorado Conversation event this summer.

“Typical pain points for brokers include anything where the MLS is in the way of how to make the market work” Follis said. “It’s a barrier for them to do their job as completely as possible.”

Let’s take a look at some of the top pain points and how they’re being addressed.

MLS REQUIRED PRODUCTS VS INCLUSION OF OPTIONAL PRODUCTS & SERVICES

When we define MLS in our business, we’re defining a certain package of products and services that we call our “basic service,” in order to be successful in the business. You need a software database to see the sold and active properties, there’s a significant amount of paperwork to be done and optional products, such as advanced analytics, need to be factored in as well. The discussion we’re having focuses on what should and should not be provided by an MLS and who defines that — a committee? A board of directors?

The MLS needs to be able to provide these optional products and services whether a broker uses them or not. Consequently, MLSs need to enable faster access to data, allowing for brokers to help clients have all the information to make decisions quickly and easily.

MLS DATA AND PIRACY

It is an interesting environment that MLSs operate in. On one hand, we have brokers who want their data protected from scraping and other cyber threats, but on the other hand, most brokers also want their data to be accessible to as many potential customers as possible. The MLS is responsible for those licensing agreements which can lead to a lot of extra legwork. It can be challenging to balance this dichotomy. Do you want your listings to go to the moon? Are there customers there or is another company just attempting to access this data?

“There’s a grey area, where companies will run off your coattails to get access to MLS data on black market,” Follis said. “We are pro-broker. At this time, if we see a company is using data outside of scope, we’ll want to terminate use with that company. So we check in with that broker and they may agree to terminate or ask us to not stop them.”

Unfortunately, there is currently no mechanism for completely protecting data on MLSs from data piracy. Federal copyright law protects some data available. For example, it protects the photographs, so if a pirate steals and uses the photographs, the MLS will have legally enforceable rights.

MLS CONSOLIDATION

Consolidation is something that has gained a lot of momentum as a pain point in the industry in the last two years. At a recent statewide strategic planning session, we pinpointed three topics of discussion surrounding a statewide initiative:

  1. Do Brokers Want a Consolidated Statewide MLS?
    The answer depends largely on what brokers want and need in your geographic area. Some brokers prefer to only do business in the geographic area where their MLS is focused.   Others want to have access to a broader database to be in step with consumers.
  2. The Inability to Provide the Tools Required to Let Brokers Do Their Job.
    We can afford the comparative market analysis (CMA) add-on, public records and we offer similar toolbox as competitors. However, if an MLS can’t provide the tools required to do their job efficiently, then consolidation may need to be considered.
  3. Culture, Culture, Culture.
    What’s the culture of an MLS and how is that defined? Different MLSs define themselves in different ways and may also be dependent on geography.“For us at CREN, customer service is #1, brokers are our customers and we strive to make sure every customer is happy,” said Follis. “When we talk about culture in the MLS we want to try to hover above the organization and see what the business culture is like and what the geographic region is like.”The MLS world is constantly changing and you have to continually monitor your organization’s culture — especially when considering consolidation. An established culture will help customers know what to expect from your MLS.

Consolidation may be something that is considered on an annual basis.

WHO’S THE CUSTOMER? THE AGENTS OR THE CONSUMER?

This is definitely a broker pain point and something that we, as MLSs, have to balance. Who is our customer? For us, it’s the agents and brokers that serve the public. If we don’t provide the necessary tools to help brokers effectively serve the public, are we even serving the public?

In the end, despite the fact that MLSs all do the same thing, we work in a fragmented industry, comprised of separate, but unequal parts. Brokers are forced to endure a marketplace filled with discrepancies, where the quality, quantity and accuracy of their service to the public rely almost completely on whether they have the privilege to work in an area serviced by a progressive MLS that seeks to eliminate broker pain points.

“If we can eliminate these pain points, we’ll create a better, more contiguous marketplace for the consumer,” Follis said.

Addressing common topics like broker pain points is a big part of the Colorado Conversation events. MLS administrators and executives who run their own MLS will be taking part in another Colorado Conversation on Oct. 3 in Broomfield.

 

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IRES Update: Sept 15th, 2017

We are glad to announce, IRES and REcolorado have moved one step closer to merging. The two organizations have successfully negotiated the terms and conditions of a merger and both have signed a non-binding memo-of-understanding (MOU.)  Leadership from both organizations, as well as representatives from the IRES and REcolorado shareholder organizations, will continue to work together with the guidance of facilitator Chris Osborn, with Foster Pepper PLLC.

As always, we will keep you updated as new information becomes available.

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