Latest MLS News
When entering a property into the MLS, please include only photos that you have either taken or have permission to use. You may be tempted to use a cool photo of a nearby park, bluff, lake, etc. that you have found on the internet. It is really easy to right click and save. Please be aware that even if the photo does not include the copyright symbol, it is protected, and using it is copyright infringement.
Please keep in mind that the photos you enter in the MLS are sent to many public websites. Technology makes it easy for owners of photos to seek out websites that include their photos. Our MLS is aware of one situation whereby a local agent was held accountable for a photo that was included on a listing on his public website. He was not the listing agent of this listing. The photo was included in the IDX feed from our MLS. The photo was loaded by another agent that did not have permission to use that photo. Yes, that is correct, the agent displaying listings via our IDX had to pay for copyright infringement because another agent from another company loaded a photo into the MLS that they did not have permission to use. So, if you load a photo you did not take or do not have permission to use, not only can you be held accountable, but others displaying your listing on their website can be held accountable also.
The MLS recently emailed information regarding the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to all Brokers in our MLS. This packet includes instruction on how you can minimize your risk. Click here for a copy.
Contacts who are no longer getting auto-emails from Paragon because they have been set to "opted out" can be identified on the contact view spreadsheet (Contacts, View/Manage Contacts) as those with a red exclamation point and grey envelope instead of an orange envelope in the email column.
In addition to being flagged on this list within Paragon, you will also receive an email at the time a client is opted out.
There are two instances that would result in an opt-out. The first is that your contact clicked on the opt-out option within an email. The second happens when an email is non-deliverable due to invalid email address (which could be a typo). You have worked hard to create a relationship with your contacts. In case you miss an opt-out email alert, you may want to check your list of contacts regularly to be sure a valid client is not set to "opted out".
If a client has accidentally opted out of receiving your emails from Paragon, or if they are set to opt-out due to an invalid email address, send them the following link which will take them to a page where they can opt back in: http://p50.paragonrels.com/paragonsubscriptions/optin.aspx. This link can also be found by clicking Resources and My Links within Paragon.
« Two Updated Resources - 02/11/14
« Upcoming Database Changes - 01/09/14
On Monday, January 27, the following changes will be made to our listing database, and thus to our listing input profile sheets:
- A new optional field for co-listing agent will be added. If the co-lister entered is from a different office than the listing agent, the office information will be added automatically as is currently done for listing agent. If a listing includes a co-listing agent, the statistics will reflect 50% for each agent.
- The current labels for manufactured homes will be changed as follows:
- Manufactured to Manufactured (sectional)
- Mobile - no land to Manufactured (mobile) - no land
- Mobile - with land to Manufactured (mobile) - with land
- For Lots and Acreage, the current Price/SqFeet as entered by the agent will be replaced with a system calculated Price/SqFeet field. If a list price is changed, this field will automatically be updated.
MLS profile sheets have been updated to reflect these changes (new rev date 1/2014). You can always find the most recent profile sheets by clicking Profile Sheets within the orange header on the Paragon home page, or click here.
If you have contacts set in Paragon that receive auto-emails, this will impact you. If any of your notifications are over a year old, starting sometime this month (for some as early as this Saturday, January 11), you will be greeted with an Expiring Notifications warning box upon login. Within this box you will need to either deactivate or renew auto-email notifications that were set up over a year ago. Notification via this window will begin 3 weeks prior to the notification actually expiring. If you have several emails set to expire within this box, they easiest way to deal with them is to click the plus sign at the top to open the notifications and select those to deactivate first, and then use the box at the top to select the rest to renew.
Why are we doing this to you? We currently have over 54,000 active notifications stored in Paragon. Some of these notifications have been active for over 10 years. It is probably safe to say that many are no longer being sent to valid email addresses or to active home buyers. Paragon checks for matches for contacts receiving auto-emails every 15 minutes. Several months ago system analysts determined that Paragon would no longer be able to finish the match checking task every 15 minutes due to the ever increasing number of auto-notifications. So, they added a one-year expiration date for notifications.
« Entering Sold Comps - 01/09/14
When entering the List Date for sold comps*, enter the verifiable date on which the owner/builder began marketing the property to the public at large. This will allow the days on market calculation to truly reflect the open market exposure time for the property, which in turn will help appraisers locate useable comps. Comp sales that show 0 days on the market, provide limited useful data to appraisers when they are choosing sales for an appraisal, as the definition of market value requires adequate exposure time on the open market. When entering a sold comp, change the default status on the add listing screen from active to sold at time of input. You will then be allowed to put in a list date past the 7-day allowance.
*Listings not included on MLS when active, but added after they close. These listings are typically FSBOs, building contracts, and one-party listings.
« Search By Map - 01/09/14
As searching by map has become very popular, we have moved the map search field from the advanced search criteria to the top of the primary search criteria. If you have never customized your search screens in Paragon, you will now find the Map search prominently at the top of your search screen. This default change will not be reflected if you have set your own default in the past by customizing and saving your own version of the search screens.
If you have a listing that is not mapped correctly, it may be missed if an agent is searching by map. Please make it part of your routine to always check the map placement when adding a new listing. If the map placement is not correct, you can adjust it under Listing Maintain - Change GeoCode. When the map displays under maintain, click on the orange map placement marker and move it as needed. Switching to a birdís eye view (click the down arrow to the right of Automatic in the map menu bar) and using the zoom feature helps to pinpoint the exact location. Click Save to save your changes.
« Labeling Square Footage Correctly - 12/09/13
A room is considered to be above grade only if the entire level that room is located on is above ground level. A finished room that has exposure (at least 8% of square footage is window space), but is on a level that is not completely above ground level, should be included as Below or Partially Below Grade Exposed. Within Paragon, there is a search option for Finished Exposed SqFt. This field searches against a combination of the Above Grade and the Below or Partially Below Grade Exposed square footage fields. Even if you have just one lower level room that is exposed, make sure to include that room as Below or Partially Below Grade instead of lumping it in with the rest of the lower level as Non-Exposed. Doing this will increase the square footage for the Finished Exposed SqFt searches.
Click here for a must have resource to help you classify square footage correctly.
« What Can be Counted as Finished - 12/09/13
According to MLS guidelines, for square footage to be considered finished, the space must be heated, have finished walls (painted concrete does not count), have a finished ceiling (no exposed floor joists), and have a finished floor (painted concrete does not count). If one of these four components is missing, the space can still be considered finished, but disclosure of the missing component must be included in the MLS remarks.
« How to Avoid Jumping a Listing - 12/09/13
We have recently received a few reports of agents contacting sellers before their listing contract expires with another agent. This is a violation of both MLS Rules and the Realtor Code of Ethics.
Click here for an article on how to avoid jumping a listing.
« Updated Farm Associated Document - 11/12/13
Based on input from folks that list farms, we have made a few additions to the Farm Associated Document. This Associated Document is required for all Single Family and Lot listings that are marked as Type = Farm. The most up-to-date Associated Documents can always be found by clicking Assoc Docs in the orange menu bar at the top of the homepage within Paragon. Please use this updated form for all new Farm listings being entered.
« From Tax Record to MLS Listing(s) - 11/12/13
Most of you know that you can click on the to see the tax record of a property when looking at a listing in full detail. What most of you probably don't know, however, is how to do the reverse. When looking at a tax record within the Paragon tax program, you can easily link to the MLS listing(s) for that property. To do this, click Actions and MLS Link from the tool bar.
If you are printing or emailing a customer report of your own listing, you may want to consider using the Customer w/Agent report. This report is a cross between the Agent Full and the Customer Full. This report does not include the confidential broker-to-broker fields, but does include listing agent information. This report, along with 5 other customer full reports, can be found under Available Reports and Details.
Did you know you can set a default font type and font size for emails you send from Paragon? The global default setting is Arial 12pt. If you would like to change this, click on Preferences and User. Then click on System Preferences and User Interface. Under Editor Font Family, click on the font style you like, and under Editor Font Size choose a font size you like. You can also change the font color if it strikes your fancy. Click Save to exit.
Fields have been added on the Contact Information screen for Spouse/Secondary Name and E-Mail address. After entering the email address for the primary contact name, select Spouse/Secondary to enter a second email. Only one email appears on this screen at a time, but multiple emails are saved. Click the checkbox to automatically include the spouse/secondary email for auto notifications.
« NEW - MLS Mobile App Now Available! - 10/10/13
Search the MLS database on your iPhone or Android via an app. This new app can be downloaded at no charge from your app store by searching WI Listings or click here for a QR code. This new app will allow you to search South Central WI MLS and Metro Milwaukee MLS listings. This app is for member use only. Use your Paragon login (case sensitive - i.e. Sally Realtor).
This new app includes not only the ability to search for active and recent off-market listings, but also access to our agent roster, ability to schedule showings, and a cool option called HomeSpotter. HomeSpotter allows you to simply point your phone at a property to receive information about it.
« Where Do I Find My MLS ID? - 10/10/13
The fastest way is to click on the little computer icon on the bottom left corner of the Paragon Home screen (next to the session time). You can also find it by searching for yourself via a member roster which can be accessed from the Membership button on the Paragon top tool bar. Programs such as RPR need your MLS ID in order to link your login to our MLS data.
« Paragon Searching Tip - 10/10/13
When searching in Paragon, you can enter multiple entries for most fields. If there is no pick list to choose from, you simply include a comma or tab between entries. Examples of a couple non-pick list fields are Lake/River Name and Subdivision. If you want to search both Lake Mendota and Lake Monona for example, you would type Mendota, Monona. For Firefox users, a comma works better than a tab.
For many years, we have mandated that the street name for properties located on a highway be entered as Hwy. Recently, however, we have discovered that a few heavily used public real estate search sites no longer map Hwy for county roads correctly, and thus listings flowing from our MLS to these sites are coming up with incorrect maps. After doing some research, we have determined that the best way to enter county highways within Paragon so that they map correctly on public websites is to use County Road instead of Hwy. State highways and Interstates are currently mapping fine and no change will be made.
During the afternoon of Thursday, September 12, all listings within Paragon that display a street name of Hwy followed by an alpha character (i.e. Hwy A), will be converted to County Road (i.e. County Road A). From this point forward, please enter listings located on county roads as County Road instead of Hwy. State highways and Interstates will continue to be entered as Hwy. For an updated list of acceptable street tags, click here.
« Please Follow the Rules - 09/12/13
In order to provide the most timely and accurate listing information, your MLS enforces a set of rules. A summary of these rules can be found here. We don't like enforcing rules. We would rather spend our time making your MLS better, and helping you use Paragon more efficiently. So please follow the rules.
If you do find a listing that you feel breaks the rules, you can click the Correction button within the top tool bar and type a quick note as to what the issue is. We will contact the listing agent to resolve the issue. Your name will be kept confidential.
« Photo Slide Show - 09/12/13
Clicking on a property photo within Paragon will enlarge it and open up a slide show. At the top of the slide show there is a Maintain button that quickly takes you to the screen to add/delete/change photos and photo labels.
« Photos for Properties Under Construction - 09/12/13
When entering a property that is under construction, you may include a sketch or a photo of a similar model. If you use a photo of a similar model, please make sure the photo is marked with "similar model". You can use our new photo labels to easily accomplish this. Photos are not required for properties under construction, but they sure are appreciated! If during your listing term the property is completed, a photo is required at that time. If your listing sells before or during the construction phase, and you take the time to snap and add a photo later of the finished home, you are a rock star!!
« Enhancement to Auto Email Notification - 09/12/13
For contacts receiving automatic email notifications, you now have the option to exclude listings that are sent due to a price change, and send only new listing matches and listings that are back on the market. This new option is available on the Edit Email Notification screen. Under the result view to be sent (i.e. customer full), there is a new option for Type. Simply remove Price Change if your contact would rather not receive price changes.
« Photo Size and Resolution Increased - 08/07/13
Photos up to 10MB can now be directly uploaded into Paragon. The maximum allowable image size (resolution) has been increased to 1280 x 960. If you currently resize your photos before loading them into Paragon, you should be able to skip this step if your photo is under 10MB (1280 x 960). Paragon will automatically resize your photo to 128K, which is an increase from 32k.
« Enhancement to the CMA Summary Report - 08/07/13
The CMA Summary Report has been enhanced in that you can now add fields (i.e. age, acres, number of baths) to display on that report. The option to add fields can be found under the Customize drop down at the top of the page when looking at a CMA Summary. If you add fields, you will need to use pdf as your print option on the Print Plus screen as your report will automatically switch to landscape.
« No More Showings = PENDING - 08/07/13
Listings that are not available for showings due to an accepted offer must be moved to the status of Pending. It does not matter if all contingencies are removed. Once you, as the listing agent, and your seller decide to stop showing a property due to an offer, you must move it to Pending. If you are still allowing showings on a listing with an accepted offer, we encourage you to change the status to either AB (offer with bump) or AC (offer-continue to show).
« No Showings Until... - 08/07/13
All MLS eligible properties must be made available for showings on the date of listing unless otherwise specified in the listing contract. If a seller has requested that showings be suspended for a reason other than an accepted offer, the listing must be either moved to a withdrawn status, or can be left as active, but the first line of the public MLS remarks must be altered to include the date showings will be allowed. If the seller cannot specify a specific date, the listing must be placed in withdrawn. If a property is listed as a "no show", no agent, including the listing agent, is allowed to show that listing.
« Searching by Location in Paragon - 07/12/13
When searching by Location, there are a few shortcuts you can use to enter multiple locations in the same general area:
- Use EST for Metro Madison East (including Monona & Maple Bluff)
- Use WST for Metro Madison West (including Middleton, Fitchburg & Shorewood Hills)
- Use county code (i.e. B for Columbia County) followed by NE, NW, SE, SW to search for a quarter section of the county. For the northeast part of Columbia County, for example, enter BNE. For a chart showing how the counties are broken up into quarter sections, click here.
« Get the Best Zoom for your Listing - 07/12/13
The map that displays when clicking on the blue M icon from Paragon full displays, and on reports (i.e. customer full with map) can be adjusted to display a preferred zoom level. You can find this adjustment under Listings, Maintain and Change GeoCode. Once you adjust the zoom level and save it, the map on views/reports will hold that zoom level.