IRES Matters | Episode 12

Data Exchange Update: Public Sites

Follow along with JP Pleitner, Product Manager at IRES MLS, and Jennifer Addair, Director of Product Management at REcolorado as they unveil the latest and greatest in the data exchange between Northern Colorado’s MLSs.

What’s the buzz all about? Public sites will now display listings from both MLSs! This is a big deal when it comes to your public image, as well as maximizing exposure for listings. Listen in as Delana, E-Learning and Marketing Manager at IRES leads the discussion right here, on IRES Matters.

Wow! Listing Draft Review!

You read that right! We’ve added a draft listing REVIEW for our listing brokers!

This is the first step to several new enhancements coming in the near future. We’ll be adding share components in upcoming system updates.

What Is a Draft Listing?

A Draft Listing or an Incomplete Listing is a listing that has not been completely entered and is not published in the MLS. Incomplete listings will be automatically removed from the system 90 days from the most recent save date.

Where Is the New Listing Draft Preview?

After completing all the required fields in each step of add listing, you’ll now be taken to preview listing mode.

Which Listings Have the New Review?

All MLS listing types have listing draft review, as well as Mobile/Manufactured without Land postings.

Who Has Access?

At this time, listing draft review is only available for the listing broker. We’re working to expand this as a shareable feature to your seller.

How Does it Work?

On this page you will see all your steps appear as tabs in a header bar at the top of your draft listing. You will see 3 buttons at the top right corner of your screen. The green “View Draft” button will open this Draft Listing Preview.

Draft Listing Tabbed View Showing View Draft, Save Draft, and Create MLS Listing Buttons

This layout is a similar display to the new Listing Details View displayed in Carts Manager and My Listings. Draft Listing Review has all fields you’ll see when editing your draft.

Editing your draft is very easy from this display. Clicking on a field label will automatically take you to the field to edit in your draft. For example, clicking on Price takes you to the Price field where you will see it highlighted for quick identification and reference.

Screenshot of Sample Draft Listing Review highlighting “Draft Review” warning, Price link, and View Draft button.

Once you’ve made your change, clicking View Draft saves your changes and takes you back to Draft Listing Review.

If you are not quite ready to create your new listing, click on the green “Save Draft” button to save your draft. Once you’ve saved your draft, you may navigate to any other area of the system.

If your listing is ready to be created after reviewing your draft listing, you can submit it to the MLS by clicking the gray “Create MLS Listing” button. Your new listing’s MLS number will then appear and the listing will display in the Report Window.

Wow!

We hope you’re as excited as we are about this latest IRES enhancement. Remember, there’s more to come!

ColoProperty.com® Now Includes REcolorado Listings

Thanks to a strong partnership and data exchange and integration agreement, more listing data is available to consumers and brokers across Colorado. Exchanged listing data is now available on both public-facing websites: REcolorado.com and ColoProperty.com®. This marks a significant next step after listings were made available in both MLS systems, Homesnap (both the app and the website), the REcolorado App, IDX Data Feeds, InfoSparks and FastStats, and Realist over the past year. Now, exchanged listing data is available on both public-facing websites, making more data available to an even broader audience throughout the state.

REcolorado.com Available as Syndication Channel on Listings

When you enter a new listing in IRESis you’ll see REcolorado.com available as a syndication channel.

The public facing websites are available as syndication channels in both MLS systems.

Data Exchange

All Active, Coming Soon, Pending, and Sold listings were automatically opted-in for syndication to REcolorado.com. If you do not want your listing to display on REcolorado.com, you can remove it as a syndication channel from the “Misc” tab for your listing.

Learn more about the ways you can share your listings to a broad audience through your IRES MLS subscription: Syndication, ColoProperty.com®, and IDX.

If you have questions about syndication, data exchange and integration, or other IRES MLS services, we’re here to help! Please reach out!

IRES MLS is open to forming partnerships with REALTOR® associations and MLS organizations throughout the state to make more data available to brokers, real estate professionals, and consumers across Colorado. To learn more, please contact info@ires-net.com

“For Showings” (Listing Add/Edit Step 1) Changes

We’ve updated “For Showings” at the bottom of ‘Step 1’ or ‘Main’ tab of Add/Edit listings. Where you previously selected a radio button, you’ll now see a dropdown list. You have the same options with a more streamlined use. The fields are now RESO compliant and open up for more easy integration of future showing service options.

NOTE: If you are already working with a showings vendor and would like to pursue the possibility of integrating that service within IRES MLS, please reach out to feedback@ires-net.com. We’d love to have that conversation!


What it looked like before the change:

Image of screenshot displaying previous look of the Showings section in IRESis.

What it will be:

A dropdown with all the current options available.

Image of screenshot displaying the new “For Showings, Contact” field will all the options displayed: None, Listing Agent, Listing Office, ShowingTime, Other.

Once choice is selected, the conditional fields will appear. When selecting Listing Agent or Listing Office, the phone number automatically populates and cannot be edited. This is consistent with the current configuration.

Image of screenshot displaying Listing Agent as the selected contact and the phone number field.
Image of screenshot displaying Listing Office as the selected contact and the phone number field.

When Selecting “ShowingTime”, users will enter the ShowingTime phone number.  It is required which is consistent with what is currently configured.  We will have other showing services to add later:  Homesnap and possibly Broker Bay.

Image of screenshot displaying ShowingTime as the selected contact and the phone number field.

The “Other” option will display two conditional fields, it will display a phone number (not a required field) and a required field called Additional Info for details.

Image of screenshot displaying Other as the selected contact, the phone number field, and the Additional Info field.

Again, If you are already working with a showings vendor and would like to pursue the possibility of integrating that service within IRES MLS, please reach out to feedback@ires-net.com. We’d love to have that conversation!

Coming Soon Now Available for IDX and Syndication Channels

You asked, we listened!

Effective August 26, 2021, IRESis Coming Soon listings will be available for use in the IDX and Syndication data sets.

What do I need to do to get coming soon listings on my website?

To get coming soon listings on your website, contact your website service provider. The resources are available for the data service providers now.

What is IDX and what is Syndication?

IDX is the policy which allows IRES MLS subscribers to post all IRES MLS listings on their individual-agent or company-brokerage website. A syndication website is a website which has a license to get on-market listings from IRES MLS with a small set of data fields. These sites include realtor.com and websites listed on listhub.

We hope you’ll find this latest enhancement useful!

Last Chance to Claim FREE Floor Plans!

We are nearing the end of the Scan 2, Get 1 FREE offer! Don’t miss this opportunity to load your account with free floor plans. 

Any property can be scanned and processed into a floor plan.

September 7th is the last day your paid scans will earn you free floor plans. As a reminder, there is no limit to this promotion so scan all of your listings to maximize the reward.  Your free scans will be added to your account at the conclusion of the promotion.

BUYER AGENT TIP: Hey Buyer Agents! Looking at homes without floor plans for your buyers? You can scan listings and send the floorplan to them! Everybody’s happy!

Download the app and get scanning today!


Did We Mention FREE SCANS?

Have you been scanning your listings with the FlōPlan App? If not, you’re missing out on FREE floor plans.

The FlōPlan System integrates directly with IRESis.com. This means that you can link floor plans to your listings with a push of a button from the FlōPlan App. To create a floor plan, all you need is your smartphone and a quick walkthrough of your listing.

Between August 2nd and September 7th, every 2 floor plans you create with the FlōPlan App equals one FREE floor plan. Free scans are calculated and added to your account at the conclusion of the promotional period.

Don’t have the app? Download it today in the App Store or Google Play!



 FREE Floor Plans with the FlōPlan App

Scan 2 Get 1 FlōPlan Promo through September 7, 2021

Scan Your Listings and Earn Free Floor Plans

We are excited to present you with an exclusive offer: Over the next month, we are giving you one FREE floor plan for every two floor plans you create using the FlōPlan App.

TODAY through September 7th, get out and scan all of your listings to maximize your reward!  Your free scans will be applied to your account at the end of the offer period.

Get FREE Floor Plans to Wow Potential Buyers

In partnership with IRES MLS Leadership, we are excited to present a limited time scan-2-get-1-free offer over the next month! Between August 2nd and September 7th, every 2 floor plans you create with the FlōPlan App equals one FREE floor plan.

Scan Two Properties, Get A Free Floor Plan

All you need to do is scan the property and link the floor plan directly to your listings using the FlōPlan App. No other action is required!

There is no limit to this offer so be sure to scan all of your listings and maximize your reward! Free floor plans will be automatically credited to your account once the contest has ended after September 7th. You will receive an email when your free floor plans have been credited to your account after the promotional period.

Happy Scanning!

FlōPlan Tips Before You Scan

Jun 16, 2020 | Dusty J

Scanning a home with FlōPlan App is quick and easy, when you follow these simple guidelines…

One Scan, One Floor Plan

Don’t forget to keep scanning through the entire home in one video! The technology needs to see an uninterrupted scan of the home for best results.

Make Sure The Space is Well Lit

Before you get started, make sure the space is well lit and free from obstructions. Turn on all lights and open doors and window blinds. While doing this, plan a fluid route for scanning that involves the least amount of backtracking.

Hold Your Phone in Landscape Mode

Scanning works only in landscape mode rather than vertical. Turn your phone counter clockwise so that the “start” button is upright.

Scan Slow and Steady

Avoid rapid movement! Hold the camera steady with both hands and move at a normal walking pace. Scanning too quickly may cause processing issues.

Start On the Lowest Floor

If the home has multiple floors, start at the lowest floor and work your way up. To eliminate unnecessary backtracking, plan a clockwise route around the space.

Scanning the Stairs

When you reach the stairs, tilt the phone upwards as you climb them, and tilt back downwards as you reach the top.

Avoid the Ceiling!

Only the bottom 3 feet of the wall is needed during the scan, hold your device at chest height and aim down at the area where the wall meets the floor, 3-8 ft in front of you. Walk slowly and steadily parallel to the wall, rather than sideways facing the wall. Turns should be slow and steady as well.

Scan Small Rooms from the Doorway

Avoid entering small rooms, such as bathrooms or closets. Simply scan them from the doorway, and back away, maintaining a continuous scan between the floor spaces as you go.

Stop to Scan Windows

When you encounter wall features like cabinets and windows, tilt the phone upwards slightly until only the bottom edge is visible, then tilt back downwards to resume scanning. Again, be careful to avoid scanning the ceiling!

Most Furniture Does Not Need to Be Moved

There is no need to move things like beds or couches to receive an accurate floor plan. As long as a portion of the wall where the floor meets the wall is visible you are good to go. If there are items that are blocking visibility to the entire wall or to appliances and other items shown on a floor plan, we would recommend that you clear those items prior to scanning.

As long as you keep these tips in mind, your floor plan will come back flawless!

Happy Scanning!


Find more articles like this on the FlōPlan Agent Learning Center.

Regional Government Affairs Update July 7, 2021 🌻

When is it appropriate to mount a recall effort against an elected official? This is a legitimate question, and one voters must consider more frequently in this age of political divisiveness. 

In my opinion, a recall is only justified IF a politician has violated the jurisdiction’s charter OR engaged in conduct so egregious as to make themselves unworthy of representing their constituents. From my perspective, attempting a recall simply because one disagrees with a politician’s stance on the issues is an irresponsible use of a democratic safeguard.

What do you think?

Best Regards, 
Barbara Koelzer
Regional Government Director


LOCAL
Boulder County Longmont
ADU Revisions Approved: The City Council approved revisions to Longmont’s regulations pertaining to accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on June 29. The new language clarifies that ADUs cannot exceed one-half of the finished, above-ground floor area. The old language limited ADUs to the total finished floor area of an existing home, which resulted in some ADUs that neighbors felt were too large.

In terms of requirements, stand-alone ADUs or ADUs converted from existing detached structures like a garage must now go through the full site plan review process. Only ADUs within an existing dwelling will go through the site plan waiver process.

The definition of ADU in the Development Code was revised to clarify the difference between an ADU and a basement finish or remodel. If the proposed project includes three or more the following elements, it is considered to be an ADU: a separate entrance, cooking facilities, sanitary facilities, or separate heat and ventilation.

Finally, noticing requirements were added to the code. Previously, written notice to neighbors was not legally required although Erin Fosdick told the Council the City has been sending ADU notifications anyway. Staff suggested adding notices for neighbors within 150 of the subject property, saying this would result in notification to properties within a block. Polly Christensen disagreed, saying notification to properties within 300 feet would be better. She made a motion to that effect, which was approved by a 4-2 vote, with Marcia Martin and Tim Waters opposed. Joan Peck was absent from the meeting.

Broomfield
Castriotta Elected Mayor: Mayor Pro Tem Guyleen Castriotta was elected by her peers to serve as Broomfield’s interim mayor until the November election following Pat Quinn’s surprise resignation in May. The vote was 7-1 in Castriotta’s favor. 
Councilwoman Kimberly Groom, who is running for mayor this November alongside Castriotta, chose not to run for the interim position. According to the Daily Camera, she said, “It is not appropriate for any mayoral candidate to seek appointment or to be appointed into this position during an election cycle. A neutral placeholder is the fair approach for our community until the Broomfield voters speak this November.”

Larimer County
Fort Collins

Council Finalizes 2021-2023 Priority List: At its first retreat, the newly-elected City Council completed its two-year list of priorities. The list hasn’t been formally adopted; that will happen at an upcoming meeting. The priorities are important because they will be the focus of the City’s budget for the next two years. 

Many of the priorities relate to the environment, such as accelerating City composting, enhancing recycling education, and tree planting subsidies. Very few of the priorities relate directly to real estate. Only one, “Rebuilding communities” comes close. This priority will focus on creating  “15-minute communities,” where residents are within a 15-minute walk from public transit, grocery stores, schools, and parks.

Affordable housing is not included on the list. This is because it is already the focus of the Housing Strategic Plan. “Priorities are not the only way to get things done,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Emily Gorgol. Does this mean the new 31 priorities will simply be added to the long list of action plans and strategies that have already been adopted?

Loveland
Recall Effort Moving Forward: The Committee to Recall Don Overcash, led by attorney Troy Krenning (a former City Councilor), and Gil Barela, the Chair of the Larimer County Democrats, is almost ready to begin gathering signatures in its effort to recall Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem Don Overcash. The committee is waiting for the Loveland City Clerk to approve its final petition form. 

Once the petition is approved, the committee will have 60 days to collect nearly 1,300 signatures from residents of Ward IV, which Overcash represents. His term runs through 2023. Overcash announced his candidacy for mayor in January 2021. 

The draft petition lists grievances the organizers have with Overcash, although honestly, the same criticisms could describe anyone on Council other than perhaps Mayor Jacki Marsh, and Councilmembers Andrea Samson and Rob Molloy. According to the Reporter-Herald, the complaints include “voting for projects that have increased public debt without voter approval”, refusing to condemn the actions of the Loveland Police Department related to the arrest of Karen Garner, approving “huge” incentive deals with developers, “approving every metro district,” and promoting a sales tax increase in 2019.

Overcash has done his best to stay above the fray, saying only “I’m running to be the next mayor of Loveland because we need to unite Loveland,” he said. “Everyone wants to be heard, understood and then see action.” He added that 95 percent of the votes he has made have been in consensus with the majority of councilors.

The Committee to Recall Don Overcash doesn’t have a website, but many comments relevant to the recall can be found on the Local Loveland Politics Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/787805121983684. A group has formed to defend Overcash, known as Lovelanders for Solutions. Access that website here: https://www.solutionsforloveland.com

Note: The Loveland-Berthoud Association of REALTORS® endorsed Overcash in 2015 and 2019.

Weld County
Greeley

Update on Housing Strategic Plan: Economic Development and Housing Director Ben Snow gave the Greeley City Council an update on the City’s progress in implementing the Housing Strategic Plan adopted in 2019. He said the City has made strides meeting 20 of 33 action items. 

Community Development Director Brad Mueller spoke about the Land Use Code revisions that are included in the Plan. These include adding language to encourage more housing options such as “small format” homes and infill development. The changes will be considered for adoption by Council next month. He also mentioned the staff’s desire to hire another planner to focus on creating neighborhood plans. He said the development pipeline is primed with six major subdivisions that will create over 12,000 units over five to fifteen years.

Sean Chambers, Greeley’s Director of Water & Sewer spoke to the Plan’s recognition that water is a big driver in increasing home prices. He listed some of the changes the City has made to make water dedication requirements more precise in order to reduce raw water calculations. The list included items such as requiring impact fees (known as public improvement fees or PIFs) to be based on meter size rather than units for multi-family developments, and the Terry Ranch project, which will create an additional source of raw water. 

Snow completed the presentation by saying the Plan addresses the entire housing spectrum from supportive to market-rate units. He added the City is creating 700 affordable units using private activity bonds (PABs) leveraging $28 million in PABs for $115 million worth of projects.

COLORADO ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Legislative Update: Recently CAR’s Legislative Policy Committee met for its last update on the 2021 session. Bills passed by the legislature become law provided they are not vetoed by Governor Polis.

It was announced the legislature created an interim committee known as the Affordable Housing Task Force. Its purpose is to issue recommendations to the legislature and Governor Polis “regarding policies to create transformative change in the area of housing using federal coronavirus recovery money.” The task force will include legislators and non-legislators. CAR’s Vice-President for Public Policy, Liz Peetz, said the task force will create engagement and advocacy opportunities for CAR and its members.

Here’s an update on several bills of note from the session.

  • Senate Bill 262 “Transparency and Accountability Improvements for Special Districts” Status – signed by Gov. Polis on June 28. CAR Position: Support

This bill increases transparency and accountability about property taxes for residents. Special Districts include improvement districts, fire or water districts, and metro districts. It requires special districts to publish information such as contact information for current directors, budget information, a map of the district’s boundaries, announcements about elections to serve on the board of directors, and more. 

CAR officials say The best part of the bill is the requirement for the builder or developer of new construction to increase disclosures to residents about their estimated tax responsibilities, access to the special district website information, and a formula to calculate how it could increase. This transparency is critical for consumers to understand how much their potential mortgage and other taxes will cost them every month. 

  • House Bill 1271 “Innovative Affordable Housing Strategies” Status – Signed by Governor Polis on June 27. CAR position – Support.

This bill is one of the four bills created by CAR in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity in celebration of CAR’s 100th anniversary. It provides $48 million for grants to support affordable housing development. Nearly $38 million will be available in 2022 for award to municipalities and counties as incentive grants to develop one or more affordable housing developments in their community that add community benefit. Incentive grants can help cover tap fees, infrastructure, playgrounds and parks, and other needs and amenities for the development and surrounding neighborhood. To qualify for these funds, municipalities, and counties must adopt at least three strategies from the menu of policy and regulatory options listed in the bill. 

  • Senate bill 238 “Create Front Range Passenger Rail District” Status – Signed by Governor Polis on June 30. CAR position – Monitor.

Senate Bill 238 creates a new taxation district to fund Front Range passenger rail, which will be overseen by a board of directors. The Colorado Sun calls the bill “the most significant step yet” towards creating a rail system that would run from New Mexico to Wyoming. Six of the 17 directors will be appointed by the governor. The Board will be responsible for making the project a reality. They will have the authority to ask voters within the district to approve a tax of up to 8 cents on a $10 purchase to pay for the project. 

Governor Polis said Front Range rail will “derail this economic crisis” and help Colorado “recover faster.” Bill sponsors say Amtrak’s financial commitment to the project and Congressional support for rail in a proposed infrastructure bill, make the multi-billion project feasible sooner rather than later.

NATION
Supreme Court Rules on Eviction Moratorium: In a 5-4 ruling on June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lacked authority to implement a blanket, nationwide eviction moratorium. Although the court declined to lift the ban immediately, the ruling means the current moratorium will expire at the end of July.

“This is a massive victory for property rights,” says NAR President Charlie Oppler.  “For more than a year, mom-and-pop property owners have been pushed toward financial ruin as they upkeep their properties and pay their taxes and mortgages with no income of their own.  With the pandemic waning and the economy improving, it is time to restore the housing sector to its healthy, former function.  Property owners also deserved this absolute clarity from our federal court system regarding property rights in America to avoid similar financial harm in the future.”

The eviction ban was first issued in September 2020 during President Trump’s term and was extended by President Biden several times through the end of July. With the support of NAR, the Georgia and Alabama Associations of REALTORS® challenged the orders in federal court.

Infrastructure Affects Real Estate: Recently the Counselors of Real Estate (CRE) issued a list of the Top 10 Issues affecting real estate. It was gratifying to see infrastructure included on that list. https://www.cre.org/external-affairs/2021-22-top-ten-issues-affecting-real-estate/#infrastructure.

CRE says the American Society of Civil Engineers “estimates the U.S. infrastructure funding gap in 2021 to be $2.6 trillion, up 24 percent from 2017. Not only is public safety at risk from failed water systems, roads, dams, and other shortfalls, but the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that fully closing the physical infrastructure gap could translate into 1.2  percent, or 1.5 million, more jobs across the economy.  The U.S. spends only 2.3 percent of GDP on infrastructure, while European countries spend 5% on average and China spends about 8 percent.”

Read more about NAR’s position on the topic here: https://www.nar.realtor/transportation-and-infrastructure.

Biden Appoints Acting FHFA Director: Late last month the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that President Biden has appointed Sandra Thompson as the agency’s acting director. Thompson has served as the deputy director of the Division of Housing Mission and Goals (DHMG) since 2013.

The appointment comes after the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the leadership structure at the Federal Housing Finance Agency is unconstitutional. The high court made the decision that removal limitations preventing the FHFA director from being fired by the president only “for cause” (i.e., neglect or misconduct), were in violation of the separation of powers.

As a result, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the director can be fired at will by the president. In response, Biden removed FHFA Director Mark Calabria on Wednesday and replaced him with Thompson, who the administration expects to be a better reflection of its priorities in the housing finance policy space. 

The National Association of REALTORS® President Charlie Oppler released a statement Wednesday in response to Thompson’s appointment: “We look forward to continuing our work with the Acting Director as we seek to ensure all U.S. homebuyers, especially those in underserved communities, have access to affordable mortgage credit.”

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—which FHFA oversees—owns or guarantees about $6 trillion in residential mortgages.