Housing Market Snapshot: Northern Colorado’s Rising Prices

The housing market is as tight as ever in Colorado. Areas like Boulder and Denver have incredibly high home prices, yet low volume. Recently, Lauren Hansen, IRES CEO, spoke to the Northern Colorado Real Estate Forum sponsored by BizWest, where she discussed the market trends surrounding inventory and home prices in our area and where communities in Weld and Larimer Counties currently stand. It turns out, while our homes are less expensive, we aren’t too far behind other high-demand counties in Colorado.

Available Homes

While the population grows in Colorado, so does the need for available homes. Since 2010, the inventory has gradually declined throughout much of the state. Specifically in Larimer and Weld Counties, during 2017’s strong summer buying season, there were about 1,250 homes on the market in Larimer County and Weld County was just 800. For both counties, this was about half of what the availability was at the beginning of the decade.

Plus, the homes simply aren’t on the market for very long. The average duration a home is on the market in our area has been cut in half since 2012. In Weld County last year, the average time a house remained on the market was approximately 65 days and in Larimer County it was closer to 75.

The reality is, there are fewer homes for buyers and they under contract quickly, which doesn’t make the purchasing process very easy for a buyer. It means brokers need to have every tool at their disposal to ensure they know when homes are listed as well as their up-to-the-minute status.

Rising Home Prices

Buying a home in Colorado is a great investment. Our state ranks sixth in home price appreciation in the U.S. for 2017 — only behind Washington, D.C., Washington state, Idaho, Nevada and Utah — with an annual appreciation of 9.76 percent (and a 59 percent increase over the last five years). That rate of return is a tremendous way to watch your money grow.

Greeley has the most affordable median home price among the communities in Weld and Larimer Counties, coming in at $275,000. It quickly jumps from there with Loveland, Fort Collins and Firestone at $353,000, $364,000 and $375,000 respectively. At the top of the list in the area: Estes Park with a median sale price of $444,500.

Many in the real estate market look at the value of a house by the average cost per square foot. Weld comes in at $135 per square foot and Larimer is at $175 per square foot. That compares to Broomfield County at $179 per square foot and Boulder County at $270 per square foot.

If a buyer finds a house they like and it’s available, then they need to come to the table ready to make a strong offer.   Having an all-cash offer is the best scenario for any seller, but earnest money in cash also signifies a buyer is serious.

Having access to tools like the ones IRES offers, makes it easier to manage inventory and better understand a market that often can be discouraging to buyers.

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Tips, Tricks, and Tools for Smooth Home Buying and Selling This Spring

Colorado has a busy real estate market year round, but when spring arrives, that is when the market really moves. According to the Colorado Association of Realtors, new listings and houses under contract were up year-to-year in January and the median home price is up about $30,000 compared to January of 2017.

As a broker, you are getting ready for the spring sales bloom boom. There are so many things to juggle, from preparing houses for the market to getting them listed and making sure your buyers find just the right house. What can you do to make the process of home buying and selling easier for your clients? IRES has some tips and tricks you’ll want to consider as you embark on Colorado’s spring real estate market..

MySite and Instant Prospects

When your client is searching for a home in Colorado, our tight market means seconds literally count. Brokers have to act for buyers as soon as homes become available. And, alternatively, for sellers who are looking for instant interest for their home. That’s where IRES-created MySite comes in.

With MySite, brokers and their home-buying clients can build a search through instant prospects. Buyers have the ability to choose criteria in which they are interested, including the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as location(s) they are considering. As soon as a home goes on the market that meets a buyer’s criteria, the client is alerted. MySite ensures the search through instant prospects gets to the client via email and on the client MySite, within five minutes of the new listing.

“Using this platform strengthens the broker-client relationship as they work together to find the perfect home for their family,” said JP Pleitner, product manager at IRES. “This is the fastest way for clients to see the latest homes available, giving them an edge in this fast-moving market.”

The site is easy to use for brokers who partner with the IRES MLS system in northern Colorado.

IRESis Mobile

Our mobile site, IRESis Mobile, is one of our technologies that you can use this spring. It is a mobile service that allows the functionality for brokers to work from anywhere, allowing them to stay competitive and respond quickly to changes in the market.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Improved map functionality that interacts with a new listing panel.
  • Ability to edit listings, which in a market as hot as Colorado’s, being able to make changes to a listing in real time is valuable.
  • Open house listings.
  • Addition of carts, which allow you to create a list of homes for a client directly within the app.

We know your time is valuable. IRES is always working to improve our premier system to make everything efficient for you and your client. By using these tools that are new to your spring season, you’ll find efficiencies like never before.


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Help on Help

Your IRES customer relations team is available to you in a variety of ways:  Via phone (800-596-4901 or 970-593-9002), LIVE CHAT (see home screen link on IRESis.com), via FEEDBACK (located next to HELP at the top of the screen) Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm Mountain Time.   We know that a broker’s work is never done, so let’s talk about the other ways that we are here to help!

IRES has a robust Help library in place. 

Every function of IRESis has been thoroughly documented through HELP.  Help is always available when working in IRESis, located in the top right of the IRESis screen, and is dynamically linked to the page being viewed at any given time within the system.  That takes one step out of the process – you’ll already be linked to the

Help topic in IRESis.

 How to access: Click the Help link from any screen in the MLS system.   The topic displayed will be Help for the screen you are currently viewing.  But wait – there’s more:

  • Table of Contents: If you would like to view another Help topic, at the top left hand side of the screen is a button called Table of Contents. In addition to Welcome, each Tab in the system appears as a book in the table of contents. If you click on a book, the topics associated with that book will be displayed.  If you click on a topic name, the Help for that topic will appear in the window to the right.
  • Index button: The Index works just like an index at the back of a book.  You can scroll through the Index using the scroll bar to the right, or you can type the word/topic you are looking for in the Type in the keyword to find The Index will search for the word/topic as you type it and will display the closest match. Click on the desired topic and it will appear in the window to the right.
  • Search button or field: Search allows you to enter a word or phrase and the Help system will display all the topics that contain that particular word or phrase. Simply type the word or phrase into the Type in the word(s) to search field and press Enter. Click on the desired topic and it will appear in the window to the right.
  • Hide the Table of Contents: If you do not want to view the Navigation tools, click on the X at the top of the pane. If you want to view the Navigation tools again, simply click the desired button.

Learning Center.

Located under the RESOURCES tab in IRESis, the Learning Center contains a wealth of information at your fingertips. Peruse instructional materials such as training guides and videos at any hour of the day.   (If you have trouble viewing the videos, you may need to download Windows Media Player or Adobe Flash Player.)   Select a tab to view specific training options on topics such as Getting Started, Advanced Tools, Sell a Property, etc.

  • Sign up for classes on the right side of the screen
  • Chat with an IRES representative via the LiveChat link
  • Access the Glossary from the link at the top, right side of the screen (Also available through Resources tab)
  • See the latest enhancements (Also available through Resources tab as “Great Tips”)
  • View computer help
  • Link to IRES social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.

 Here’s a great exercise to test out HELP:  Quickly access our entire library of video files by searching ‘VIDEOS’ in IRESis Help.  Consider brushing up on a topic or sharing the content at your next office meeting.

Drawing of a megaphone and talk bubble with we are here to help handwritten surrounded by icons

IRES MLS.  We’re here to help!

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New Contacts Export, New Form for Contracts, Stats Available

New Export Feature Introduced to Contacts

IRESis Subscribers can now export contacts with a click of a button!  Once on the Contacts and Prospects screen, simply click on “Export Contacts” in the grey header and all your contacts will download into a .csv file.  This file type is easily imported into other systems, including ePropertyWatch!

Quick Tip:  Files downloaded from the browser can be found in the “Downloads” folder of most computers.  Your browser will also indicate a successful download either at the bottom of the screen or top right corner as indicated in the illustration below.

SPD19C Form Now available through IRESis Contracts

On February 6, DORA released a new “Seller Property Disclosure” form specific to Commercial properties.  This form has been uploaded into the IRESis Forms library.

IRESis Stats:  Zip Profiles Posted

Zip Profiles Stats have been updated with the latest statistical information.  These reports, along with other IRESis Statistical reports are found under REPORTS>Statistics in IRESis. Don’t forget the wealth of information found in Help for IRESis Statistics.

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RatePlug is a FREE tool for brokers that is integrated with IRESis and displays real-time, property-specific mortgage payment and product information from your lending partners directly to your clients through MySite and emailed “1 Per Page” and “1 Page Photos” property reports.

The #1 MLS integrated technology platform, RatePlug connects agents, home buyers, and loan originators. When agents connect with lenders to participate in RatePlug, the result is the 4 bedroom 2.5 bath home isn’t only $225,000. It’s $1,375.87 per month including principal, interest, taxes, and HOA.

RatePlug also displays special financing prequalification in the agent dash board for all properties listed within IRES MLS. Subscribers now can easily identify which properties qualify for FHA, VA, and USDA, programs. RatePlug also generates property flyers for any property listed within the MLS.

1) How do I sign up?

You can activate at https://www.rateplug.com/agent_signup1.asp?Name=IRESMLS

2) How many Loan Officers can be displayed on property listings?

Up to 3 originators rates and products can be displayed on an individual listing.

3) Is there a cost to a Loan Officer to be part of the program?

Yes, RatePlug plans start as low as $39 per month. Ask your Loan Officer to visit our plans and pricing page or contact a RatePlug specialist to learn more.

4) What if the Loan Officer I refer does not enroll in the program?

You will be notified via email. We then will suggest you invite additional lenders you know to participate.

5) Does RatePlug display information of Loan Officers that I do not select?

No. Only you determine which lending partners are displayed to your clients.

6) Does RatePlug only display on my inventory?

RatePlug will display on any listing when you email it or post it to MySite whether or not you are the listing agent.

7) Will the “Activate Live Rates” link show to my clients if I don’t want to sign up?

No.  This link only appears within IRESis until you enroll with RatePlug.

8) Do you have a step-by-step demo on how to access RatePlug in the MLS?

Yes, Click on the following link to view a demo on how to access RatePlug. IRESMLS / RatePlug Reference Guide

JP Pleitner; Product Manager, IRES, LLC.

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Search by Street Name on Mobile & Make the Most of Contacts

Search by Street Name now on Mobile!

We’ve added search by Street Name to Mobile!  All you need to do is start typing the street name in the quick search bar and the available options will appear for you to select.  You can also use this feature for House Number (followed by a [space]), City Name, Zip Code or MLS Number.







New Fields come to Contacts

The next time you add or edit a contact, you’ll find some new fields added to the form.   Add birthdays, anniversaries, nicknames, website and now MOBILE PHONE. You can also add a work address, too!  Work information has been broken out into its own section, and MySite and Group now appears above additional Signers.

Don’t forget that you can always find information in HELP for assistance with any of the IRESis features and functions.  Please keep your ideas coming!  We’re here for you!

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IRES – REcolorado Merger Update

Merger talks between IRES and REcolorado were ongoing throughout the end of last year and are in full swing, as we kick off 2018.

As reported previously, discussions are focused on the details of the Binding Agreement to Merge, which was signed by IRES and REcolorado last year. In addition, merger documents are being reviewed by attorneys representing all parties.

What are next steps? The IRES owners and REcolorado shareholders are meeting on January 29 to review merger documents and discuss any outstanding issues. Once all documents are finalized, they will be provided to the boards of each organization, and then the IRES owners and REcolorado shareholders for final approval.

Upon receiving shareholder & owner approval, a closing date will be announced. A thoughtful and collaborative approach to integrating the two MLS organizations will begin once the deal is closed.

IRES and REcolorado have heard from many of you asking, “What is taking so long?” We want to thank you for your ongoing interest and patience, as volunteers and MLS staff work through important details. Although the timeline has stretched, we are making progress toward creating a single MLS that will serve Denver Metro Area and northern Colorado, just as you have asked.

We will continue to keep you informed as new information is available.

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IRESis Retrospective

Niki Kozak

Niki Kozak
Former Product Manager

After 17 years at IRES, it is time for me to say so long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye!  In 2018, instead of being your IRES Product Manager, I will be cruising off into the sunset on our 42 foot Nordic Tug boat. Our plan is to travel up the East Coast and into the Great Lakes. From there, destination unknown.

I’ve known some of you for a long time. I was hired as a contract employee in 2001 to create the online Help for a brand new MLS system: IRESis.com. We converted to IRESis that year with sluggish dial up connections and a buggy IE 6. But IRES CEO Lauren Hansen had a vision for what IRESis could be, so we pushed through the pain.

In 2002 we added a new Showings system. Many of you still use it today and over the  years we’ve added SentriLock integration, a Message Center, customized Feedback questions, and online showing requests.

The IRESis Contracts was added back in 2003 and still has a huge adoption rate today. Since then we’ve added templates, office clauses, Dates & Deadlines exports, and deep DocuSign integration.

In response to broker needs, CCM (Colorado Cooperative MLS) was forged in 2003 so we could share listings with then Metrolist (now REcolorado) and Pikes Peak MLS’s. Here at IRES we worked very hard to fully integrate their listing information into IRESis to make your life easier. And, of course, we are working toward new opportunities in that area now.

Over the years we implemented more features that I can name, such as Biz Opps, Open Houses, Carts, MySite Site Activity Reports, 1004MC, Instant prospect searches, Mobile sites, plus screen design updates and branding. We also integrated many outside products like CloudCMA, ListTrac, CSS, New Home Source, eProperty Watch, and CTMe Contracts. And we expanded ColoProperty.com™ to include listings throughout the state from CREN, Grand Junction and Vail MLS’s.

We had a good time!

As I take my leave, let me introduce your new Product Manager: JP Pleitner. JP is a executive project manager with 18 years’ experience leading projects and supporting within various IT fields.  In 2004, she transitioned into the real estate industry.   This began a career in MLS governance for the past 13 years. I have full confidence that JP will lead IRESis and ColoProperty.com™ on the right road in the years ahead.


Best of luck to all of you in your future endeavors!

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System Update: 01/11/2018-Mobile and Stats Update

Mobile Listing Details Displays MORE DETAILS

While certain features were previously included, this latest release allows for enriched detail display when viewing listings on IRESis Mobile. Specifically, look for Interior Features and Exterior Features on the property details page of individual listings.

eProperty Watch on Mobile

Integrated into IRESis in December 2017, is now accessible through IRESis Mobile. When accessing the menu, look for the E. This will connect the IRESis Broker to his/her eProperty Watch account. Learn more about eProperty here.

Updated Statistics

Regional Snapshot and Zip Profiles Stats have been updated with the latest statistical information found under REPORTS>Statistics in IRESis. Don’t forget the wealth of information found in Help for IRESis Statistics.


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 Use AVMs to Your Advantage with ePropertyWatch!

 Use AVMs to Your Advantage

 You may have heard the term “AVM” without really understanding what AVMs are or how they are used.  Short for Automated Valuation Model, an AVM is a tool that estimates a property’s value.  “Automated” means that a computer program performs all the calculations—no human adjustments to the estimated property value.

To come up with an estimate, a good AVM will analyze data from a variety of sources, weight them appropriately, factor in market trends, and more.  As a skilled real estate professional,  you have the ability to enhance the knowledge supplied to homeowners via AVMs.  A broker can further educate the homeowner about the multitude of other property variables that AVM may not take into account (i.e. views, recent renovations, condition of the property, etc.).  Learn more about AVMs.

Historically, mortgage lenders have used AVMs to make an initial determination of a property’s value.  Thanks to the Internet, AVMs are now widely available to homeowners curious about the fluctuating value of their home.  Why send your clients and prospects to national real estate portals to find property estimates?

Use AVMs to initiate conversations with homeowners today!

With ePropertyWatch™ from CoreLogic®, you can automatically deliver the property valuations they are looking for every month.  You can add notes and adjustments to the AVMs if needed.  The reports also include nearby listings, sales, building permits, foreclosures, market trends, and more.  What homeowner doesn’t like to know what’s going on in their neighborhood?

As an IRES MLS benefit, ePropertyWatch is 100% FREE for up to 2,500 contacts.

To get started, view this video or simply click on ePropertyWatch under the Reports menu on IRESIS.com. 

JP Pleitner; Product Manager, IRES, LLC.


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