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October 2017

-When adding an associated document to a listing in Paragon, your document will be automatically set as a private document unless you select the Public check box.    Public associated documents are available for the public via e-mailed listing links sent to clients.   Private documents are not included when listings are emailed from Paragon, but SCWMLS members have access to them via the Documents link on a listing.  We do not send private documents to other MLSs as some other MLSs do not distinguish between public and private and include all documents with e-mailed listing links to the public.  Please make sure to mark your public type documents (i.e. condition reports) as public so agents in other MLSs have access to them.

-Showings on Properties Outside SCWMLS:  We are in the process of adding the Schedule a Showing link to non-member listings that have been imported from other MLSs (i.e. those that start with MM).   In the meantime, if you need to schedule a showing on one of these properties, you can do this directly from the ShowingAssist program, which is integrated in the SCWMLS database within Paragon by selecting Preferences and ShowingAssist.  From the menu on the left, click on Showings and Make New Request.   Search for the listing by MLS number (without the alpha prefix) or address.  From there the interface will look familiar. 

-In the past, listing edit checks required that you enter the dashes and periods as part of a parcel number when entering a new listing into Paragon.    As we now are storing the parcel number with and without the punctuation within the tax module, it is no longer necessary to include the dashes and periods when entering your new listing.   Paragon will now accept a parcel number with our without the punctuation.  An error will still come up if you enter the wrong number of digits.

-Rule Reminder: A new listing contract must be obtained before re-entering an existing listing into the MLS as new.  If the MLS discovers a new listing contract was not obtained, the new listing will be deleted and the listing broker will be fined $50.  It is not acceptable to draft only an amendment to create a new MLS listing. 

 

-Condo Pets & Parking:  If you currently have an active Condo listing, please check to be sure pets and parking are reflected correctly.  We have expanded the options for pets, and in doing so converted Small Pets Only to Cats OK and Large Dogs OK to Dogs OK.  If your condo allows small dogs, please select the new features Dogs OK and Size Limit.  If you had selected 1 Space, 2 Spaces or Outside for condo parking, please note that we have changed these features to 1 Space Assigned, 2+ Spaces Assigned, and Outside Only.  Please edit condo parking if these features no longer apply. 

-Database Changes:  On October 9th,  we made several changes to our database.  The changes were a result of both member requests and our work to align our data fields with Metro Milwaukee and Northeast WI MLSs.  These changes include the elimination of value range symbols, the combination of below/part below grade and non-exposed sqft fields, an increase in the size of the broker-to-broker remarks field, and various pick list feature additions/deletions.   A full list of changes can be found here.    Updated profile sheets can be found here.    Profile sheets have been updated within ZipForms. 

September 2017

-Scam E-mails from wisconsinhomes.com:   We have had several reports of emails that appear to be from wisconsinhomes.com.   They are not.   The subject line is pretty uniform and is "Inquiry on MLS Listing # via WisconsinHomes.com".  The message contains strange phrasing which is the result of computerized translation (i.e. i and my husband).   Please do not reply to these emails.   The scam is most likely an attempt to find valid email addresses to be added to lists that are then sold in mass.

-We are currently preparing for a few data additions/changes scheduled for mid-October.   One of the changes that will be made is the elimination of the +, -, = symbols for value range.   These symbols have been routinely misused, and have not been handled correctly via data exports, which in turn has resulted in misinformation on public websites.  In addition, our MLS partners throughout the state have eliminated value range symbols.    To follow the national norm and improve the accuracy of your data, we will require the actual list price of the property be entered within the list price field.  If you are marketing via a value range, you will continue to list that range within the MLS public remarks.    

-Metro Milwaukee MLS is now including listings from our MLS within their native database.   This means that Metro Milwaukee members are no longer required to search within WIREX to find listings entered into the South Central Wisconsin MLS Paragon system.   In the past, if you wanted to market a listing to members of the Metro Milwaukee MLS, and wanted to ensure they found it in their native MLS system, you were required to join their MLS.  Now, when you enter a listing into the South Central WI MLS Paragon system, it will flow to the native Metro Milwaukee MLS system.    

-Agents with standard agent level security can now update broker-to-broker remarks and all pick list features on their listings within Paragon.   In addition to these fields, agents can maintain photos, virtual tours, associated documents, map location, public remarks, showing instructions, open house date/time, broker open date/time/comments, and assessment/tax info for all their listings. 

-Clicking on the listing company name link from the agent full report will bring up information about the firm including the company’s license number (under Extended Fields).   Please try this with one of your listings to make sure we have your company’s license number on file.   If this is blank, or incorrect, please email your office license number to member@wisre.com.

August 2017

-The ability to assign and unassign keyboxes to listings has recently been added to Paragon.  Within Listings - Add/Maintain, you will now see a link titled Supra Lockbox.  Click the Assign link in the upper left corner and enter the keybox serial number and shackle code.  The listing agent must have an eKEY assigned in order to take advantage of this option.   Other thanbeing a good way to keep track of where keyboxes are, once you assign a keybox to a listing, you will see the MLS number and address on Supra reports instead of the keybox serial number.  In addition, if you set up notifications to alert you of beginning and ending showings, the alerts sent will better identify which listing is being shown.

-Have you ever run into a situation where you don’t have the shackle code when you go to remove a box?  If you store your keyboxes under Inventory in your eKEY app, that information will be at your fingertips.  When you open the shackle to place a keybox on a listing, a default question appears asking if you want to Add to Inventory?  If you leave this checked, the box will automatically be added to your Inventory.   You can also manually add keyboxes to your Inventory (you will need the shackle code).   Besides the shackle code, the details under Inventory will tell you the battery life and allow you to link the MLS number.   You can also add notes and your business card for the showing agent. 

-Thinking about using a drone to take photos of your listing?  Aerial photos are cool, but capturing them via a drone requires a license.   Please review the  NAR Field Guide to Drones and Real Estate for more information.

 

-Are You Missing Listings?     If you have a buyer requesting to be in a specific school district, do not simply search by the municipality you think is serviced by that school district, but rather use the School District search field.    There are many instances where school districts span several municipalities, and it is easy to miss listings if you are not aware of all of them.  For example, the school district of McFarland spans six different municipalities.  If you limit your search to the Village of McFarland, you would miss over 37% of properties serviced by the McFarland School District. 

-Significant Change to E-mail Message Body:  If you have created a Message Body (different than your E-mail Signature) for your emails sent out of Paragon, please note that on August 23, HTML formatting will be removed within the Message Body function.    If you have created a “fancy” message body utilizing HTML formatting (including images, links, varied fonts, colored type, symbols), it will be changed to plain text.     The formatting for E-mail Signature(s) within Paragon will not be changed, and thus you could copy your HTML formatted message body to your E-mail Signature.    This change is being done to prepare for future enhancements to Collab Center Notifications. 

-Regarding Withheld/Delayed Listings When the agent and seller decide it is time to move a property from Withheld/Delayed to Active, it must remain Active for all to show.   If at some point later there is a separate and distinct occurrence (i.e. basement floods, death in the family, etc.) that would necessitate the suspension of showings, the property can then go back into Withheld/Delayed.    The seller and agent should be certain they are ready to show when they first move the property out of Withheld/Delayed, as the reason “the seller thought they were ready but changed their mind” is not an acceptable separate and distinct occurrence.  Please keep in mind that when you move a listing to Active, it is sent to over 500 public websites. 

July 2017

-Since June 1, we have imported over 800 listings from WIREX directly into your SCWMLS database to make it easier for you to find them.   Click here for more information on these listings.   

-If a showing is requested or confirmed via Showing Time after 9:00 pm, calls, texts and push notifications will be held until 8:00 the next morning.   Email notifications will go out immediately. 

-The MLS Remarks section of a listing is searchable. You will find the Remarks search prompt under the Advanced Criteria section of the search parameters. When typing in a word or phrase to search for, put asterisks (* *) around the word or phrase. For example, if your buyer would like a property that is on a trout stream, type *trout* and your search results will include properties for which the listing agent has included the word "trout" in the remarks. You can also string together multiple words or phrases. For example, if your buyer would like a home on a secluded lot, you could type *secluded*, *private*, *isolated*. Your search will bring back properties for which the listing agent has included any of these words in the remarks. Give it a try the next time you are looking for something there is not a specific search feature for. Also, when composing your remarks, make sure to mention special features not covered elsewhere in the listing features. 

-Withheld/Delayed Listings -  A listing can only be in the status of Withheld/Delayed for 45 days.  What happens on the 46th day?   On day 46, a listing in Withheld/Delayed will be moved to MLS Suspended.  The listing agent will need to contact the MLS office to move the listing out of MLS Suspended.  Depending on the circumstances, updated paperwork from the seller may be required to move the listing to Active.   The 45 day rule took effect for all new listings with an effective/list date after June 30, 2017.   You will see a few listings with a list date before 7/1 that have a show date more than 45 days in the future.  These have been grandfathered in. 

- 2 MLS Rule Changes: The Board of Directors recently voted to reduce the grace period for the entry of new listings from 7 calendar days to 4 calendar days from the effective date/list date of the contract.   Why?  Click Here 

They also voted to set a maximum of 45 days that a listing can be set as the status of Withheld/Delayed.   Why?  Click Here 

Both of these changes will take effect for listings with an effective/list date after June 30. 

June 2017

-Search Made Easier:   We are now pulling non-SCWMLS listings, with a list date of 6/1/17+, that are located in the geographic area SCWMLS members typically market in* from WIREX directly into the SCWMLS database.   This means that when you do a search within the SCWMLS system for listings in any of these counties, all listings (listed after 5/31/17) will come up even if some of them were input into a different MLS.  You will no longer need to switch to WIREX to find these listings.  WIREX will still be helpful if you are searching outside this area.   The MLS numbers for these non-native listings will be the number that was assigned when it was input into its native MLS, but will be prefixed by 2 letters to make the number unique, and to identify them as being listings that originated in a different MLS system.   For example, listings from Metro Milwaukee MLS will be prefixed with MM.  You will need to include the alpha prefix as part of the MLS number when searching by MLS number.  The native MLS will also be listed within the disclaimer at the bottom of the agent full report. 

If your office currently enters the same listings into SCWMLS and another MLS that participates in WIREX, beginning with properties listed 6/1/2017+, we would like you to only enter them into the other MLS and let them flow to Paragon.   Besides the time saved in entering the listing, other advantages are the same MLS number will be used in both systems, and all subsequent changes will also automatically be made.    If you choose to continue to enter the same listing into SCWMLS and another MLS, we will delete the non-SCWMLS listing once it hits Paragon as we do not want duplicate listings within Paragon. 

*Adams, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jefferson, Juneau, Lafayette, Marquette, Monroe, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Vernon, and Waushara counties.  We plan to add listings within Fond du Lac, Jackson, Walworth and Wood counties before the end of the year.

May 2017

-The Board of Directors recently voted to reduce the grace period for the entry of new listings from 7 calendar days to 4 calendar days from the effective date/list date of the contract.  This change will take effect for all new listings entered after June 30. 

-The grace period allowed to gather information before entering a new listing on the MLS (currently 7 days), is not a barrier to showings by a potential subagent or buyer’s agent. All MLS eligible properties must be made available for showings on the date of listing, unless the seller has indicated that no showings are allowed for a specific time.  Any no showing stipulation would apply to showings for all perspective buyers, including those working with the listing agent.   

-Listings in the status of Withheld/Delayed or Active marked as "no showings until" cannot be shown to perspective buyers by a cooperating agent or by the listing agent.  In addition, agents from companies other than the listing company are not allowed to preview these listings. Those found in violation of this rule can be fined up to $15,000 and are subject to suspension of MLS services.   This fine and suspension can be applied to both the listing agent and the agent showing the property.   

 -A WRA Legal Hot Tip from May 1 addresses the growing practice of setting a specific date for the presentation of offers.  Within this hot tip it states, "there is a serious risk that while a strategy to indicate an offer presentation deadline, or an offer submission deadline, may ratchet up interest among buyers and get them to act quickly, it may inflict harm in the marketplace".   For the complete Hot Tip, click here

-Don’t forget about your eKEY app when you upgrade your phone.  When upgrading, you will need to reinstall the eKEY app and reauthorize via a new 30-digit code.  Authorization codes are available from the following sources:

To make it easier to get technical help from Supra, have your eKEY serial number handy. We suggest you save the Supra Tech Support phone number (877-699-6787) as a contact in your phone, and add your serial number as a note in the contact file.  You can find your serial number at the top of your eKEY screen (eKEY Basic-1234567). 

-If your listing is in the status of Offer-Show, you must allow showings.   Please keep in mind that the status of Offer-Show displays on public websites as well as in the MLS.  When a consumer sees the label Offer-Show, they are expecting to be able to see that property.   It reflects badly on your profession as a whole when the consumer is denied a showing on a property that is clearly marked as Offer-Show.   If you are no longer showing a property that has an offer, please move it to Offer-No Show immediately.

April 2017

-As a member of the WRA, you now have access to a new hotline available to help with technology problems.  While we at the MLS are available to help you with Paragon, Supra, WIREX, ShowingAssist and listing syndication, we do not have staff available to help solve problems with computer hardware, operating systems, or internet browsers.     You can now contact the WRA Tech Hotline for help with many technology problems.  Hours are M-F 8-7 and S 8-4.  You will need your WRA member ID, which can be found on the label of your monthly Wisconsin Real Estate Magazine.  The April issue of this magazine includes detailed info about this new service.  Contact info is as follows:  Phone:  866-610-7997; Email:  support@techhelpline.com; Chat:  chat.techhelpline.com. 

-By default, there is a calendar in the lower right corner of the Paragon home page.  Those with broker/manager/administrative access can post events for display on their agents’ calendars.   Click the green plus sign to add an event.   Enter the event title, location and select Personal, Office or Firm.   Selecting Office will display the event to just those in your branch office.  Selecting Firm will display the event to all agents in your company.   Those with agent level access can post personal reminders.   If you utilize the Tasks feature within the Paragon Contact Manager (located under More Information within the contact), these tasks will display on your Paragon calendar as personal reminders.  

-If you work within a team and would like your team name to be included on the bottom of the customer full reports, email support@wisre.com with your team name.  After we add your team name to your member record, you can customize the customer reports by clicking on Preferences, Views/Reports, and the Details tab.  Open up the report you would like to change and scroll down to the bottom section in white.  Double click on the white box to display the fields you can include.  Select My Info - Team Name, which is located a little more than half way down.  Highlight this field and click Add. Place a check mark next to the Team Name and next to No Label at the bottom and hit Save & Close.  At this point, the Residential report is done.  You will need to do this for each class of property. Your personal slogan can also be added in this same fashion.

March 2017

Showings on Properties Outside SCWMLS:  Now that most MLSs in Wisconsin utilize ShowingTime, we are in the process of adding the Schedule a Showing link within WIREX.  In the meantime, if you need to schedule a showing on a property listed through a different MLS, you can do this directly from the ShowingAssist program which is integrated in the SCWMLS database within Paragon.  When logged into South Central Wisconsin MLS (not WIREX), click on Preferences and ShowingAssist.  From the menu on the left, click on Showings and Make New Request.   Search for the listing by MLS number or address.  From there the interface will look familiar.

-Showing Setup Enhancement: Photography, Broker Price Opinion, and Walk-Through have been added to the list of Showing Types when setting an appointment via the Schedule a Showing link.  In addition, a sub-menu under the Inspection option for type of inspection (i.e. septic, pest, radon drop off/pick up) has also been added.

March 22 Enhancements/Bug Fixes: 

-The status label for Pending has been changed to Offer–No Show to better describe what is represented and expected when listings are in this status. 

-E-mailed listings from Paragon, when viewed with a mobile device, will display using a more mobile friendly view.   There is still an option to switch to the full desktop version of the report within each email.   

-The maximum character length of photo labels has been increased from 16 to 30. 

-Within Client Connect, you can now isolate Favorites, Possible, and Rejected listings by individual search when multiple searches are present. 

-Spell check within email has been restored.

-Error when using Chrome version 57 when attempting to email has been resolved.

- If you are looking for property on the fringe of the South Central WI MLS area, please remember to check WIREX.   Even if you think you are close to the fringe, please check WIREX.   MLSs do not have set boundaries, so the fringe can be somewhat blurry.  When in doubt, check WIREX.   It is free!  All members of the SCWMLS have access to MLS listings from eight other MLSs in Wisconsin via WIREX. There is no additional charge for WIREX. Currently, there are 56,000+ active listings in the WIREX database.  To put this in perspective, our MLS currently has 12,500 active listings.  WIREX covers all counties in Wisconsin with the exception of Florence, Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties. Click here for a coverage map. To access WIREX, simply select WIREX on the drop down during Paragon login; or when in Paragon, click on the MLS Switcher link at the top of the screen. The search screens in WIREX have been set up to look very similar to the search screens in SCW Paragon, so you should feel very comfortable using WIREX.  

-If you are including a home warranty, use the new Includes field to indicate specifics such as type, cost and company. 

-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 bird's eye view (click the down arrow next to the word Road in the upper left corner) and using the zoom feature helps to pinpoint the exact location.  There is also an option to enter the latitude and longitude.  Before clicking Save, you may want to zoom out a bit as the zoom level will also be saved. 

-When you receive an accepted offer, you have 3 calendar days to change the status of that listing to either AC (Offer-Continue to Show) or Offer-No Show. The only exceptions are if there is a bump clause in the offer or a short sale situation. If there is a bump or if the property is a short sale, you have 3 calendar days to either change the status to Offer-No Show,  AC,  AB (Offer with Bump), or you can leave the status as Active, but you must disclose the existence of the offer in the broker-to-broker remarks (Accepted Offer Bump Clause or Accepted Offer Short Sale).  

-Thinking about using a drone to take photos of your listing?  Aerial photos are cool, but capturing them via a drone requires a license.   Please review the  NAR Field Guide to Drones and Real Estate for more information.

February 2017

-Click here for updated 2016 Tax/Mill Rates. 

-Q:  Last week I entered a new listing 5 days after the list date as Withheld/Delayed, changed it to Active today, and days on market show 5 days Why?  A:  For all listings, days on market starts counting at List Date and subtracts days in an off-market status.   As this listing was entered 5 days after the list date, the time between the list date and the day entered was counted.    If you want to avoid a days on market calculation for your Withheld/Delayed listings, you should enter them on the list date.   For days on market calculations, the list date is day 0 and the day after the list date is day 1. 

 

-Granting Non-Member Access (NMA) to your Keybox -   Listing office/agents now have the ability to grant keybox access to non-members (i.e. contractors, Realtors from other MLSs, sellers who lock themselves out) for specific keyboxes assigned to them. The intent of the NMA access is for those who do not need access to keyboxes on a regular basis.  Detailed instructions can be found here.  There are no additional fees for NMA access.  If you are working with a service provider who needs more than occasional access to your keyboxes (i.e. photographer, home stager), there is an option for them to lease their own keycard as a non-member.   These “sponsored” non-members will have access only to specific keyboxes via a call before showing code.   If you have a service provider you would like to sponsor for this type access, please call the MLS or email keys@wisre.com for more information.    EKey fees apply for this access.

-Our Type feature pick list contains three distinct stages for properties under construction or newly built.  It is important to update this feature as a home moves from plan, through construction, to finish.   Select Building Plans with Lot for proposed homes not yet started, select Under Construction once a hole has been dug, select New Construction/Never Occupied to indicate the new home is finished.    While under construction, you must also include the estimated completion date or stage of completion in the first line of the public remarks.   A photo is required once the home hits the new construction/never occupied stage.  If you show a property and find it is not labeled correctly, please let us know and we will follow up with the listing agent.

January 2017

-Our new Supra key system allows you to set email or text alerts when an agent opens your keybox, and when they leave your listing.  You can also send this alert to your seller or team member(s).   Alerts can be set up via www.supraekey.com.    If you are new to this website, you will be prompted to set up an account (hint: your key serial number displays at the top of your ekey screen). Click here for detailed instructions on setting up showing alerts. 

-My buyer wants a home with at least 2 bedrooms and one extra room.    What is the best way to search for this in Paragon?       Within the Feature pick list under search Secondary Criteria there is a new feature for Z-Other Rooms.   Within this pick list select Bedroom, Bonus Room, Den/Office, Sun Room, etc. within the “Must Have 1 or More” column.    Paragon will look for listings that have these rooms listed as Other Room 1-4.    Do not use the “Must Have” column unless you are looking for just one specific type of room (i.e. Exercise Room) or if you must have all the rooms you are selecting.   

-If a seller does not want their new listing marketed via the MLS, this instruction must be written into the contract for the whole term of that contract.   If a seller instructs you to withhold their new listing from MLS for a limited time, that listing must still be entered into the MLS within 4 days of the effective date, but should be entered with a status of Withheld/Delayed.   It is against MLS rules to included verbiage such as not to be entered into MLS until X  as a means to avoid entering a listing within the required 4 days.   

-Click here for a refresher on other MLS rules pertaining to listings.  

-Click here for a copy of the 2017 Gregorian Calendar.

 

-The Paragon banner at the top your screen can be "fun-a-tized".  For example, you can pick a favorite color, a winter theme, or a beach theme if you are already sick of winter.   To spice up your winter, select Preferences, System, User Interface and Select a Theme.

December 2016

- Looking for square footage?  On the bottom of the Paragon home page, there are six orange buttons that link to useful information.   One of these buttons is labeled Assessor Sites, and will take you to a county drop down and from there a list of municipalities.  These links will then take you to the assessor website for that specific municipality.   Often the assessor sites have square footage detail.  If you do not see the municipality you need, try www.assessordata.org.    If you still have no luck, try www.asessordata.com.   This last site includes detailed assessor data for $1.20 per property. If we are missing a site that you have, please share.  Send it to support@wisre.com.

-Listings in the status of Withheld/Delayed or Active marked as no showings until cannot be shown to perspective buyers by a cooperating agent or by the listing agent.  In addition, agents from companies other than the listing company are not allowed to preview these listings.  The portion in bold italics is a recent change to MLS rules. 

-Your eKey updates via the Internet early each morning.    This is the only time your eKey needs access to the Internet.  Once updated, you can open keyboxes without access to the Internet.  If your eKey encounters a problem during its morning update, the Update Key icon will display with a red X through it.  Please get used to checking the Update Key icon before going out on showings to make sure a red X does not display.   If there is a red X, you can perform a manual update by pressing the Update Key icon.  If this does not work, you can call KIMVoice for an update code.  KIMVoice can be reached at 1-888-968-4032 or 1-877-788-4220.  You will receive a 10-digit number to enter in your ekey app.  As the KIMVoice numbers are not listed in your ekey app, we suggest you set up a Contact with these numbers. The general Supra Technical Support phone number comes up in the About section of your EKEY app (second screen).  You can also get update codes here, but there are a few extra steps.  

-Are you still using a Supra ActiveKey?  If yes, please upgrade NOW.   All ActiveKeys have been shut off.   Click here for upgrade instructions.

-The Client Connect interface has been updated for the end-user client.   The main reason for the update is to make Client Connect more mobile friendly.    The functionality is basically the same, however the look and navigation have changed.  You may want to check out the new interface so you are familiar with what your clients are now seeing.  The easiest way to do this is to pull up your contact list and click any blue Site button to be taken to that client’s site.  Your agent photo may require adjustment to fit into the new format.   There is a crop tool within Client Connect Preferences that can help with this.   The old home page message has been converted into a new “About Me” link, so you may want to review this verbiage.

-In order to ensure listing history is linked & properties are mapped correctly, please enter street names in accordance with MLS guidelines (available here). Some of the lesser known rules include:

November 2016

-Branded Virtual Tours:    While MLS reports will only display unbranded (no office/agent info) virtual tours, we have added a field for branded tours (with office/agent promotion) for the sole purpose of assisting office/agents in getting their branded tours to outside vendors such as Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and office websites.   This new field can be found within add/maintain listing, located under the Virtual Tour link field.     Please alert your IDX website vendor if you want them to display branded tours for your office listings.  

-Showing Reminder:   If you find yourself running ahead of schedule, resulting in early arrival for a showing, please contact the listing agent and get confirmation that it is ok to show up early before doing so.  It is against MLS rules to enter a property outside a showing window, not to mention a case could be made for trespassing.  

-Have you made arrangements for your Activekey to eKey upgrade? An email has gone out to all Activekey users with instruction on upgrading to an eKey.  A copy of this email can be found here.  If you have sent in your eKey contract and are awaiting an eKey authorization code, we have had a tremendous response and are getting them out in the order the contracts are received.  Please allow a few days.  Your Activekey will continue to work to open new keyboxes until 12/15.    Thank you.  

-New keyboxes should now be on all properties.   Click here for information on using these new boxes. 

October 2016

-Database changes were done last week:   Click here for a list of these changes.   New profile sheets to accommodate these changes can be found here 

-Two new Sale Factor options have been added when changing a property to Sold.     These join the list of Court Approved, REO, and Short Sale are Non-Arm’s Length and Relocation. 

-You can store multiple Message Bodies and multiple Email Signatures for inclusion in emails from Paragon.   Click Preferences, and Email to access the Message Body and Email Signature folders.  Within both of these preferences you have the ability to set one as your default, and insert any of the others on the fly.   When you set up email auto-notification for a contact, you can included any Email Signature and/or Message Body from the list, and that is the signature and/or message body that client will always get. The Message Body will display before the Click Here to View Listings link, and the Email Signature will display after. If your contact information changes, (i.e. a new email address), your Email Signature will automatically be updated.   Contact info changes are not updated in a Message Body, so we recommend you not included contact information in your Message Body, but rather use a combination of a Message Body and an Email Signature. 

September 2016

-Attention eKEY/iPhone Users:   A new Supra eKEY app for iOS 10 is now available in the Apple app store.  You need to update your eKEY app to this new version before you update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 10.  

-A new showing restriction has been added to ShowingAssist (Preferences -> ShowingAssist -> Listing Setup -> Appointment Restrictions) to allow you to easily block same day showings per listing.   You can also adjust required and suggested lead times per listing in this section.    If your office has upgraded to Showing Time’s ShowingDesk or Appointment Center, these options are controlled outside of Paragon.   

-The default spreadsheet sort in Paragon is by Price.  You probably know you can click on the header of any column to resort the spreadsheet by that column.  You can also set a multiple sort for the spreadsheet. When on the spreadsheet view, click Customize from the closest toolbar above, and select Sort.   You can select up to 3 levels to sort your spreadsheet by.  You can also select Ascending or Descending.  This sort order will now be your default sort each time you display the spreadsheet. 

-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 bird's eye view (click the down arrow next to the word Road in the upper left corner) and using the zoom feature helps to pinpoint the exact location.  Before clicking Save, you may want to zoom out a bit as the zoom level will also be saved. 

-The standard MLS Associated Documents for Farm, Auction and Limited Service have been newly added to ZipForms.  You can also find SCWMLS profile sheets on ZipForms.

August 2016

-New Supra Keyboxes and Keycards to be Distributed Late Fall:  The MLS Board of Directors recently voted to renew our contract with Supra for the next generation of keyboxes and keycards.    Our current keyboxes are reaching their 10-year battery life expectancy, and Bluetooth technology is now available.    The new system will operate 100% via smartphone/eKey. Yes,this means your keycard will be an app on your smartphone; you will not have an option for a separate device.    This is a preferred offering as your smartphone and the new keyboxes can communicate directly via Bluetooth without the need for a FOB.   Those currently using the eKey will simply eliminate the FOB once old keyboxes have been swapped out.   Details of the exchange are still being finalized and will be forthcoming.    You will need to return keyboxes currently in your possession, so please start rounding up the ones rolling around in your trunk and in the deep dark corners of your garage.  

-Clicking the My Info Tab on the Market Monitor (top right on this page), gives you quick access to your current active listings as well as your current offer-no show listings, your current withheld/delayed listings, your listings due to expire for days specified, and your solds for the past 6 months.  Listings under the Sold Within Six Months link include your co-broke sales, allowing easy monitoring to be sure you are given credit for co-broke solds.

-When arranging photos, if you end up with a blank box between photos, you can simply drag that blank photo graphic to the end instead of moving each photo ahead by one space. If you leave a blank box, Paragon is smart enough to ignore it in the slideshow, but reports with multiple photos and some data exports are not as smart. Bottom line -- don't leave blank spots between photos. 

-You can search for upcoming open houses under the Search Program in Paragon. Click on Search and select the property class. Open up the Advanced Criteria section at the bottom to find the Open House Date search prompt to search for a specific date, or a Yes/No option to find all upcoming open houses. If you have a client who would like to be notified of open houses within their search area, you can include Open House = Y as a criteria in their saved search.

Recent Paragon Updates:

-The ability to set 0 as days back within your personal Market Monitor defaults.  0 days represents changes from just today, whereas 1 represents changes from today and yesterday.    The system default will remain at 1.

-When cloning a previous listing, you now have the ability to include photo labels.

-The ability to go from tax search directly to full view in Tax has been restored. 

July 2016

-A  field for Above Grade Bedroom Count is available within Paragon.   This field is not entered by agents, but rather calculated using the level designations (Upper and Main) for bedrooms.   This field is not visible via default, but you can customize your search screen and/or spreadsheet to utilize this field.  If you need help finding this field, please give us a call (608.240.2800). 

-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.  Click here for a must have resource to help you classify square footage correctly.

-Are You Missing Listings?     If you have a buyer requesting to be in a specific school district, do not simply search by the municipality you think is serviced by that school district, but rather use the School District search field.    There are many instances where school districts span several municipalities, and it is easy to miss listings if you are not aware of all of them.  For example, the school district of McFarland spans six different municipalities.  If you limit your search to the Village of McFarland, you would miss over 37% of properties serviced by the McFarland School District.

-A link to the Google street view has been added to the Agent Full Report.  Look for this new link under the photo, at the beginning of the directions. 

 

-Beginning July 6, if the status changes on a listing you have an upcoming showing scheduled for, you will receive an email alert from ShowingTime alerting you of this status change.  

June 2016

-The MLS sends listings to Zillow and Trulia for offices that have requested to opt in.   If an agent claims their listing on Zillow or Trulia, and makes a change to a field other than price, status, open house info or photos, that change will lock that field, and no subsequent changes done in Paragon will update to that field.   For example, if you change the remarks directly on Zillow or Trulia, and then weeks later make a change to the remarks in Paragon, the change made in Paragon will not flow to Zillow or Trulia and you will need to change the remarks in Zillow and Trulia manually.

-Showing appointments via the Schedule a Showing button now default to 1 hour instead of 15 minutes.  You still have the ability to easily override this per appointment, and can now set a default showing length via your Agent Setup under Preferences – Showing Assist. Appraisers, for example may want to increase this default.  Appraisers can also change their default showing type from Showing to Appraisal within this same section.   

-Quickly load a previous search you did in Paragon by selecting the Last Search option located above Primary Criteria after selecting Class.   Hovering over Last Search will display the 5 previous searches you performed.   Clicking on one of these searches will load the search criteria for that past search. 

-It is against MLS rules and copyright law to copy another agent's photos and associated documents for use on your listing without permission. Those submitting photos/associated docs with the knowledge that they do not have the right to use said photos/associated docs will be subject to a fine of $25 per photo/document in addition to any legal remedies available to the owner of the photos/documents.

May 2016

-Listings that are not available for showings due to an accepted offer, must be moved to the status of Offer-No Show. It does not matter if all contingencies are removed; the deciding factor is if showings are allowed or not.

-To see all emails (manual and automatic) you have sent from Paragon, click on Contacts and Sent Items.    If you want to look at or forward any of these emails, simply click the check box in the far left column and the email will open at the bottom of your screen.   

-When entering showing instructions as part of a listing within Paragon, please do not include lockbox or alarm codes.   Information entered into the showing instructions field displays before a showing is confirmed and displays within WIREX as part of the listing record.  Lockbox codes should be entered into the LockBox Code field located after the Showing Instructions field within Paragon.  Alarm information should be entered within ShowingAssist.   This sensitive information will then only display in an email after a showing has been confirmed.    

-When searching by Features, the Feature Groups now display collapsed to minimize scrolling.   Simply click the name of the Feature (i.e. Garage) to open.    

Reminder/Warning:   It is against MLS rules to show a property to a perspective buyer that is in the status of Withheld/Delayed or marked as “no showings allowed”.   Those found in violation of this rule can be fined up to $15,000 and are subject to suspension of MLS services.   This fine and suspension can be applied to both the listing agent and the agent showing the property.   

April 2016

- Check out our cool Home Features Addendum to be used to provide more information about mechanicals, appliances, utilities, updates/remodeling, and home owners association info.  This form can be attached to your listing as an associated document within Paragon, thus saving you characters within MLS remarks.   You can find this form within the Associated Docs Portal.   You can complete this form on screen, and save or print it for attachment to your listings, or print a blank form to complete offline.  

-New Map Layer Added for Madison Area/Subareas.  The Madison Area/Subarea shapes have been added as a layer to the Bing map search and display.  To add layers while viewing a map, click on the layer icon within the map tool bar (looks like 3 pieces of paper on top of each other).  You will find this new layer along with Parcel Lines, Neighborhoods, Postal Codes, Flood Plain and Traffic Flow.  When turning on a map layer, you have the option of including labels by clicking the slide switch to the right of the layer name.  Labels for this new layer are the E and W codes.

-Find Lot Dimensions & SqFt Within the Parcel Layer.  Within the Parcel Lines layer, you can single click within the parcel to display the dimensions and square footage of the lot.  Turning on the lable for this layer will display the parcel number.   This layer is also very helpful if you have to adjust the map location for one of your listings. 

March 2016

-A new parcel number search field has been added within the Tax module.   This field allows you to strip the dashes and periods from parcel numbers when searching and just enter the numbers.   In other words, you no longer have to remember where the dashes are when searching by parcel number.

-Database changes were done March 29.   Click here for a list of these changes.   New profile sheets to accommodate these changes can be found here.  

-The Public Remarks field has been increased from 512 to 600 characters.  

-A property must be off the market for at least 31 days to clear cdom.   Paragon looks at the last expiration date and the new list date.  There needs to be at least 31 full days the property was not active in between the old expiration date and the new list date in order for the old days on market to be cleared from cdom.  When counting the 31 days, do not count the old expiration date or the new list date, only count the days in between. 

-Email auto notifications of price changes are sent from Paragon only if the price change is at least .5%.  This setting limits the practice of $1 price changes to gain exposure

-Within the price column on spreadsheets, a price in red indicates a price decrease, and a price in green indicates a price increase.  In addition, if you hover over the arrow, the previous price and percentage of change will display.  Price changes are highlighted for 2 weeks.

-If you enter 999 for year built = unknown, your listing may be missed when consumers search on public websites, as several website vendors do not included unknown values.  Please take a few extra minutes to find and enter the year built.  We currently have over 1200 active listings with 999 for year built.

February 2016

-Upcoming Database Change:    On March 29, we will be adding fields for Other Room 3 and Other Room 4.  In addition, we will be changing all Other Room Name fields from free form entry to a pick list.   We will attempt to convert the data currently in Other Room 1 and Other Room 2, but due to the nature of free form entries, this conversion will not be 100%.   To ensure your listings are converted correctly, please take a few minutes to change the name of Other Room 1 and Other Room 2 to match the conversion pick list below.  The security on the other room fields has been changed to allow all agents to make this change.

 

Bedroom              Game Room            Kitchen 2    

Bonus Room        Loft                           Sun Room

Den/Office            Mud Room               Theater

Exercise               Rec Room                3 Season

Foyer                    Screen Pch               Other

Dinette

 

-When entering a listing, please take extra time to select all the applicable options from the feature pick lists.  For example, selecting just 2 car but not attached will result in your listing being missed when agents are searching for an attached garage.   It is also important to select features that are not always visible during a showing, such as an electronic pet containment system, in-floor radiant heat, or a radon mitigation system.  These may be desirable to a perspective buyer, but if you don’t select them, and the showing agent can’t see them, the buyer will never know they exist. 

-Important Reminder about Scheduling Showings Via Paragon:  When you click on the Schedule a Showing icon within Paragon, a box will pop up with your personal information such as phone number and email.  This information is not automatically tied to your member record within Paragon.   This is by design so you have flexibility to enter the most appropriate return phone number or email for that particular showing request.  The email or phone number as entered will stick until you change it.  Because of this flexibility, if you transfer to a new office or change your email or phone number and report that to the MLS to have changed in Paragon, the showing pop up screen will not automatically change; you have to change it.    Please glance at this box each time you set up a showing to be sure the email and phone number are as you want them to be.  If you need to make a change, simply do so right on that screen.  

January 2016

Q:  I entered a new listing as Withheld/Delayed last week, changed it to Active today, and days on market show 5 days Why?  A:  For all listings, days on market starts counting at List Date and subtracts days in an off-market status.   As this listing was entered 5 days after the list date, the time between the list date and the day entered was counted.    If you want to avoid a days on market calculation for your Withheld/Delayed listings, you should enter them on the list date.   For days on market calculations, the list date is day 0 and the day after the list date is day 1. 

-Back in October we added a new feature called Split Bedroom under Interior Features.  A split bedroom design features the master bedroom on either the other side of the house, or on a different level than the other bedrooms.  If you have a split bedroom home listed, please included this new feature so your listing is not missed when other agents are looking for this design.

- Within the price column on spreadsheets, you will now see price changes highlighted.  A price in red indicates a price decrease, and a price in green indicates a price increase.  In addition, if you hover over the arrow, the previous price and percentage of change will display.  Price changes will be highlighted for 2 weeks.

 

- Properties in our MLS that include instruction to contact the seller for showings are protected from solicitation by REALTORS, just like other exclusive listings.  Your conversation with the seller should be limited to setting up the showing.  As many of these limited service listings are also listed on FSBO websites, please make it a practice to check the MLS before calling on FSBO listings to be sure they are not under contract.  It is against MLS rules and the REALTOR Code of Ethics to solicit these listings if they are under contract with another REALTOR. 

 

-What Can I Do If My Listing Shows Up For Rent Online?

 Contact the website and ask that the ad be removed.

 Contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection at  800-422-7128.

 Contact the Police Department.

 Place a sign in/on the front door clearly stating that the property is NOT for rent and refer any questions to the listing agent.

 

Often times you can spot these scams as there are more than a few misspellings in email correspondence, and the structure of sentences may be awkward or very formal.  This is a result of language translation programs.  

 

-Email auto notifications of price changes are sent from Paragon only if the price change is at least .5%.  This setting limits the practice of $1 price changes to gain exposure. 

December 2015

-Updated Resource: Click here for a copy of the 2016 Gregorian Calendar.

-If you find the number of emails received to track your showing request via the Schedule a Showing link annoying, you can turn a couple of these off.   By default, an email is sent acknowledging you have requested a showing, another is sent when the listing company has viewed your request, and a third is sent to confirm your showing.  While you need the confirmation email, you may not want one or both of the other emails.  To modify your email preferences, within Paragon click on Preferences, ShowingAssist, My Agent Setup (on left menu).  Scroll down to the section titled Showing Agent Preferences.   Here you can turn off the emails you do not want to receive.

-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 bird’s eye view (click the down arrow next to the word Road in the upper left corner) and using the zoom feature helps to pinpoint the exact location.  Before clicking Save, you may want to zoom out a bit as the zoom level will also be saved.      

-Paragon Updates – December 9:

    -You now have the ability to drag and drop photos into the Upload Picture dialog box. 

    -The paging controls to move from listing to listing have been updated for better visibility.  

    -The calendar on the home page better reflects tasks as scheduled for contacts. 

 

-If you work with condos, here are 2 links you may want to bookmark:

    Lookup for FHA approved condos in Wisconsin:  www.forfha.com/wisconsin

    Lookup for FVA approved condos:  https://vip.vba.va.gov/portal/VBAH/VBAHome/condopudsearch

-The Bing map display in Paragon allows you to include layers such as parcel lines, postal codes, neighborhoods, and flood plain.    Within the parcel line layer you can click on a parcel and the lot dimensions and square footage will display.   To add layers while viewing a map, click on the layer icon (to the right of the Road, Aerial, Bird’s Eye drop down).  There is a toggle to show labels which in the case of parcel lines is the parcel number.  Once the parcel lines are drawn, a single click within the parcel will display the dimensions and square footage.

November 2015

-When searching by Location, there are a few shortcuts you can use to enter multiple locations in the same 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.

 

-The sale price recorded in the MLS must match the sale price listed on the Wisconsin Real Estate Transfer Return.

-The School District name, as it appears on agent and customer reports within Paragon, has been converted to a hyperlink that when clicked on will open the school district website. 

-Did you know Paragon has an automated slideshow function?  This is a great way to showcase your listings in your waiting room or office window. Up to 50 listings can be set to automatically loop. You can include all property photos or just the first photo.  To create a slideshow, pull up the listings you want to include, select them, and click Listing Slideshow from the Actions drop down at the top of the screen. Enter a description (i.e. Available Properties) and adjust default options or click Create Slideshow in the top right. You cannot change your slideshow once it is created, but that is no big deal as you can quickly recreate it. Your Slideshow will be emailed to you as a hyperlink for viewing outside of Paragon. Your Slideshow will be available for 30 days. Click here for a sample slideshow. 

-Listings that are not available for showings due to an accepted offer, must be moved to the status of Offer-No Show. It does not matter if all contingencies are removed; the deciding factor is if showings are allowed.

October 2015

-When entering showing instructions as part of a listing within Paragon, please do not included lockbox or alarm codes.   The showing instructions field displays before a showing confirmation is received and displays within WIREX as part of the listing record.  Access information should be entered into the lockbox and alarm information fields within the listing setup section within ShowingAssist.  This sensitive information will then only display in an email after a showing has been confirmed.    If you do not subscribe to the ShowingDesk products directly, these fields can be found by selecting Preferences and ShowingAssist from within Paragon.   Clicking on Listing Setup will allow you to search for individual properties and enter access information. 

- When you purchase a new phone, or when your provider updates the operating system on your phone, the eKey authorization code that is saved will be deleted and you will receive an error “Challenge failed.  Reset auth. Tokens”.   When this happens, you will need to obtain a new authorization code.  Call the MLS office during normal business hours or call Supra Technical Support at 1-877-699-6787 for a new authorization code.  Authorization codes are never the same.  

-New Above Grade Bedroom Count Field:  A new field for Above Grade Bedroom Count has been added to Paragon.   This field is not entered by agents, but rather calculated 
using the level designations (Upper and Main) for bedrooms.   You can customize your search screen and/or spreadsheet to utilize this new field.  If you need help finding this new
field, please give us a call (608.240.2800).  This addition was made in response to an appraiser request.  

October 7 Paragon Updates:

-The calendar on the home page has been modernized and now allows you to enter tasks via a Rich Text Editor.

-An Edit button has been added for use in adjusting search shapes drawn on the map.   You must click the red Edit button next to the Draw button to adjust your shape(s).  This was added to make it easier to manage multiple shapes.

-The Bing map now prints larger on one page with the listing summary on a separate sheet.

-The reports listed under the Green Reports button now include codes for who created the report.  M = MLS, O = Office, A= Agent.   At the bottom of this list a Recycle Bin has been added.  You can move reports you don’t use into this bin to hide them.   They will not be deleted and you can move them back anytime.  

Q:  Under Interior Features, I see a new feature called Split Bedroom.   What is this?  A:   A split bedroom design features the master bedroom on either the other side of the house, or on a different level than the other bedrooms.  If you have a split bedroom home listed, please add this new feature.

September 2015

- Paragon Database and Profile Sheet Updates:  On September 29, we added/deleted/changed a few fields/features within the Paragon listing database.  Click here for a full list of changes.   Updated profile sheets can be found on the Profile Sheet Portal.

-We have received a few complaints lately that listing agents are not selecting features under Barrier-Free when they exist. Even if you don't consider a home to be completely barrier-free, please take the time to select the features that do apply. Features such as level lot, first floor bedroom, first floor bath, open floor plan, wide halls or doorways, may make the property you have listed perfect for a special needs buyer willing to make a few additional modifications.

-Looking for a prior hot tip that appeared on the Paragon Home Page? All prior hot tips can be accessed by clicking the orange "Past Home Page Hot Tips" button on the bottom of the Paragon Home Page.  The tips are kept by month, but if you hold down your Ctrl key and press F you can search the whole archive by typing in a key word or words.

-Zillow does not allow multiple listings with the same address to be included on their website.   This causes issues with vacant lots that do not yet have a street number.   Instead of leaving the street number blank or entering 0, enter the lot number as recorded in the legal description to make it unique and distinguish it from other listings on the same street.   For example, if you list Lot 7 on Main St enter the street number as L7.   This also makes the listing unique for Paragon history tracking.  As with all vacant lots that have not yet been assigned a street number, please check the map placement as an adjustment will most likely be needed.   

August 2015

-New Setting:   Email auto notifications of price changes are now only sent from Paragon if the price change is at least .5%.  This setting limits the practice of $1 price changes to gain exposure. 

-August 19 Paragon Updates:

-We have had reports of agents showing new construction properties without first making a showing appointment.  All showings require an appointment, including new construction, unless stated otherwise in the showing instructions.

-You can store multiple Message Bodies and multiple Email Signatures for inclusion in emails from Paragon.   Click Preferences, and Email to access the Message Body and Email Signature folders.  Within both of these preferences you have the ability to set one as your default, and insert any of the others on the fly.   When you set up email auto-notification for a contact, you can included any Email Signature and/or Message Body from the list, and that is the signature and/or message body that client will always get. The Message Body will display before the Click Here to View Listings link, and the Email Signature will display after. If your contact information changes, (i.e. a new email address), your Email Signature will automatically be updated.   Contact info changes are not updated in a Message Body, so we recommend you not included contact information in your Message Body, but rather use a combination of a Message Body and an Email Signature. 

July 2015

- As a broker utilizing ListHub to advertise your listings on national websites, you would have had to select which websites you want your listings to display on.  You did this via the publisher selector on www.listhub.com.   If this is a distant memory, you may want to take a few moments to review your selections.    While you are doing this, pay special attention to those publishers marked with a red cross labeled Extended Network.  These publishers redistribute your listings to other websites you may not be aware of.   We would suggest you review these other websites, and if not comfortable with all of them, remove the selection for the main publisher. 

-Within Paragon, you can see feedback you have given on past showings.    To find this feedback, click Preferences,  Showing Assist, Feedback, My Feedback.   Search for the listing(s) you are looking for by MLS number, listing agent name or address or use the date option.   Once the listing displays , double click to see the feedback you had entered.  

-The map that displays when clicking on the blue M from Paragon reports, and the map that displays 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.

-The Paragon banner at the top your screen can be "fun-a-tized".  For example, you can pick a beach theme or a July 4th theme.   To spice up your summer, select Preferences, System, User Interface and Select a Theme. 

June 2015

Are you Missing Available Listings?  If you are looking for property on the fringe of the South Central WI MLS area, please remember to check WIREX.   Even if you think you are close to the fringe, please check WIREX.   MLSs do not have set boundaries, so the fringe can be somewhat blurry.  When in doubt, check WIREX.   It is free!  All members of the SCWMLS have access to MLS listings from eight other MLSs in Wisconsin via WIREX. There is no additional charge for WIREX. Currently, there are 80,000+ active listings in the WIREX database.  To put this in perspective, our MLS currently has 18,000 active listings.  WIREX covers all counties in Wisconsin with the exception of Florence, Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties. Click here for a coverage map. To access WIREX, simply select WIREX on the drop down during Paragon login; or when in Paragon, click on the MLS Switcher link at the top of the screen. The search screens in WIREX have been set up to look very similar to the search screens in SCW Paragon, so you should feel very comfortable using WIREX. 

-Annual Supra Key Fees:  The Supra Key renewal date is June 1st of each year.  Offices have been billed $175 for each agent currently leasing a key, whether it is an ActiveKey or eKey.  If you wish to cancel your Key lease, return your Key and charging cord to the MLS office prior to July 1st (eKey users can call to cancel).  Call Chris Schwantes at the MLS office (608-240-2800) with any questions or email: chris@wisre.com.

-Check out our cool Home Features Addendum to be used to provide more information about mechanicals, appliances, utilities, updates/remodeling, and home owners association info.  This form can be attached to your listing as an associated document within Paragon, thus saving you characters within MLS remarks.   You can find this new form within the Associated Docs Portal.   You can complete this form on screen, and save or print it for attachment to your listings, or print a blank form to complete offline. 

-Beginning June 1, when you change a listing to AC, AB or Offer- No Show you will be prompted to select Yes or No to a new field labeled Competing Written Offers.   If more than one written offer was considered at the time an offer was accepted, mark Yes to this question. 

May 2015

-Reminder:   Garage/Parking information on a multi-family listing is recorded by unit.   If a property has a two car garage shared between two units, please do not indicate 2 car garage for each unit as that would indicate a 4 car garage total.    

Paragon Enhancements 5/20:   

-My Info via Market Monitor now includes Withdrawn

-Office and Firm via Market Monitor now include Withdrawn and Expire Alert

-Better status update while system creates the PDF CMA Presentation

-Updates to canned CMA reports (i.e. Value of a Real Estate Professional, Moving Checklist, etc.)

-The CMA cover page now defaults to Subject Property opposed to Agent Centric

-New Yes/No Field for Multiple Competing Written Offers:  A member suggested it would be helpful to know if there were multiple competing offers considered at the time an offer was accepted.  The MLS Committee and the Board of Directors thought this was a great suggestion and voted to collect this information at the time an offer is record in the MLS.  Beginning June 1, when you change a listing to AC, AB or Offer-No Show, you will be prompted to select Yes or No to a new field labeled Competing Written Offers.  We have added this field as non-required, and will change it to be required on June 1.  Please update your office procedure to begin collecting this information.   A copy of the updated MLS change form can be found here

-Within Paragon, you can change the fields that display on the spreadsheet list of properties that comes up after a search. Click Customize from the closest toolbar above, and select Fields.   The box on the right lists the fields that currently display on your spreadsheet. If you want to remove a field, simply click on the field and click Remove. If you want to add a field from the left box, click on the field and then on Add. If you do not see the field you would like to add, click on the Group box at the top to display different types of fields (i.e. Feature Categories). You can also use the Move Up and Move Down buttons to change the order the fields appear on your spreadsheet. Click on Save and Close to apply your changes. Your customized spreadsheet will now come up each time you display the spreadsheet.  There is a Revert to Default button on the bottom if you mess up.

-The default spreadsheet sort in Paragon is by Price.   You probably know you can click on the header of any column to resort the spreadsheet by that column.  You can also set a multiple sort for the spreadsheet. When on the spreadsheet view, click Customize from the closest toolbar above, and select Sort.   You can select up to 3 levels to sort your spreadsheet by.  You can also select Ascending or Descending.  This sort order will now be your default sort each time you display the spreadsheet.  

April 2015

-Q:  Why did the MLS switch from age to year built?  A:  There were a few reasons.  As data flows from our MLS to other databases, and SCWMLS data is mixed with data from other MLSs, it is important that we be as mainstream as possible to reduce the chance our data will be misrepresented.   The large majority of listing search sites and MLSs use year built opposed to age.   In addition, year built is a concrete number, whereas age is dependent on the present year.   This was problematic when listings remained on the market for a long period of time, and the listing agent did not increase the age each year. 

-You can include a small photo for each listing on the spreadsheet view. To add the photo, load a spreadsheet and click Customize and Fields . Move "Photo" from the list of available fields to the list of selected fields. Use the Move Up button to position where you want the photo. Click Save.  Do this for each class of property. 

-Database and Profile Sheet Changes Done April 9:  Each year we collect all changes our MLS Committee and Board of Directors elect to make and roll them into one update.   This update was done Thursday.   Click here for a full list of changes (which includes a change from age to year built) and here for updated profile sheets.

-Listings in the status of Withdrawn by Seller and Withheld/Delayed are still under contract.  Contacting sellers before their listing contract expires with another agent is a violation of both MLS Rules and the Realtor Code of Ethics.

March 2015

Enhancement Highlights - March 26 Paragon Update

-The workflow for saving a search has been simplified.

-The headers on the listing grid when maintaining listings are now clickable allowing the grid to be sorted by the different columns.

-You can now add your own documents as pages within new and existing CMA Presentations. Documents must be PDFs under 20MB.

-You can also store a document(s) under CMA Preferences to include in all CMA Presentations.

-Bug Fixed: The ability to press Enter twice after inputting MLS number(s) on the home page has been restored.

- If you receive an email alerting you that a client has opted out of receiving emails from you via Paragon, this may be because they accidently clicked on the opt out link within an email, or because Paragon received a bounce back from your clients email provider.   To opt them back in, email them the following link or open the link and type in their email address:  http://p50.fnismls.com/paragonsubscriptions/optin.aspx .  Your client will be sent a confirmation email containing an opt-in option they will need to click on within 72 hours to opt back in.  You can also proactively check for clients that have been opted out by clicking on Contacts and View/Manage Contacts within Paragon.     Look at the Email column.  Clients should have an orange envelope indicating a valid email address.   If you see a white envelope with a red exclamation point, this client is opted out and is not receiving emails. 

-Cancel or Reschedule Showings via Showing Assist - Under Preferences within Paragon, there is a direct link to Showing Assist.   If you click on the Showings button on the left menu you will see an option to view showings you have requested.   Click on the All Upcoming link and find the showing you wish to cancel or reschedule.  You will be given a preset list of reasons if you click Cancel, as well as a free form box for additional comments.   If you click Reschedule you will be given the opportunity to select a new date and time.  Emails will be sent and changes will be captured within Showing Assist reports.

-Are garbage cans on the curb included in your otherwise beautiful photo in Paragon?  Try the new photo crop tool to remove them.   Click on the red pencil in Picture Administration, draw a box around the area of the photo you want to retain, click the edit tool above the photo, and save.    

February 2015

Q:  Why are some no showings until listings in an Active status instead of Withheld/Delayed?   A:  We are generally seeing two reasons a new listing is not available for showings right away.   The first is the property is not ready to be marketed due to needed clean up, timing for professional photos, desired staging, etc.   You will find these listings in the Withheld/Delayed status as the listing agent does not want them to be viewed by the public yet.   In the second situation, the property is all ready for public viewing, but the seller and listing agent decide to pick a launch date, often starting with an open house.   You will find these listings in Active as the seller and agent want the public to see them.   The listings in Active must include the date showings will be allowed in the first line of the public remarks.  Our rules regarding “no showings until” listings have taken both situations into account, and allow agents the flexibility to market these listings as either Withheld/Delayed or Active. 

-Realtors Property Resource (RPR) Action Link Added - A new action link has been added to the agent full report and default spreadsheet view.  If you are logged in to RPR, this link will take you direclty to the same property within RPR.  If you have not set up your free login to RPR, click the option to create an account.  You will need your NRDS # which you can look up on the create an account screen.    Find more info about RPR at http://blog.narrpr.com/rpr/.

-Enhancements 2/11include new photo editing tools (crop and rotate) for use when adding photos,  and autosave of listing data during listing input.   

-Short Sale Allowance for Accepted Offer Reporting Rule:  If you have an accepted offer on a short sale listing, you can leave that listing in Active and include the verbiage Accepted Offer Short Sale in the broker-to-broker remarks.  The revised rule is below:

When you receive an accepted offer, you have 3 calendar days to change the status of that listing to either AC (Offer-Continue to Show) or Offer-No Show. The only exceptions are if there is a bump clause in the offer or a short sale situation. If there is a bump or if the property is a short sale, you have 3 calendar days to either change the status to Offer-No Show,  AC,  AB (Offer with Bump), or you can leave the status as Active, but you must disclose the existence of the offer in the broker-to-broker remarks (Accepted Offer Bump Clause or Accepted Offer Short Sale).  

January 2015

-Regarding Zillow and ListHub:    Zillow is currently contacting brokers in our area to inform them that beginning in April, they will no longer be accepting listings via ListHub.   Currently, many of our broker members utilize ListHub to populate their listings to Zillow.    We are aware of this change, and will be meeting with a representative from Zillow in March.  The SCWMLS Directors will work with Zillow to facilitate distributing your company listings to them should you so choose.

-When adding an associated document to a listing in Paragon, your document will be automatically set as a private document unless you select the Public check box.    Public associated documents are available for the public via e-mailed listing links sent to clients.   Private documents are not included when listings are emailed from Paragon, but all Paragon users have access to them via the Documents link on a listing.   Private does not mean private for the listing agent or listing company only.   If you do not want all Paragon users to see a document, please do not include it with your listing in Paragon.   

-There is a clock inside each keybox that controls when the box can be opened and also registers and reports the time of showings. If you have a keybox that is not opening during times it should (6 a.m. - 9 p.m. during Central Standard Time and 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. during Daylight Savings) or is reporting the wrong time for showings, you need to reset the time on the keybox. To do this, simply open the shackle of the keybox. When you open the shackle of a keybox, the time from your keycard is transferred to the keybox. The time on your keycard is checked and synced each time it updates via a cell tower or via a USB cable update.

 Accepted Offers Must Now be Reported to MLS:For decades, the complaint most expressed to MLS staff, and the topic most debated by the MLS Committee and Directors, has been regarding listings with accepted offers that are listed as Active in the MLS. To date, the statuses of Offer-Continue to Show (AC) and Offer Bump (AB) have been optional statuses that we encouraged agents to use, and only required a property be changed to Pending status when showings were no longer being allowed. All of that has changed...

As of January 1, 2015, when you receive an accepted offer you will have 3 calendar days to change the status of that listing to either AC (Offer-Continue to Show) or Offer-No Show. The only exception is if there is a bump clause in the offer. If there is a bump, you will have 3 calendar days to either change the status to Offer-No Show, to AB (Offer with Bump) or you can leave the status as Active, but you must disclose the existence of the offer in the broker-to-broker remarks (Accepted Offer Bump Clause).  If your seller has instructed you not to disclose the existence of the offer, the status of the listing must then be changed (within 3 calendar days) to Withdrawn by Seller until such time as the property closes, or the offer falls through.  Violations of this new policy will result in a penalty of $5/day for each day past the 3 days allowed, until such time as the status is appropriately changed.

December 2014

-You now have the option to add multiple listings to a showing cart at one time.  Simply select the listings you want to show and click the Actions drop down (located on the same tool bar as Print) and then the Showing Time option at the bottom of the list.    The ShowingTime scheduling screen will open in a new window.    Click Add to ShowingCart at the bottom.   If you have never used the  ShowingCart, here is a 4 minute instructional video

-New Home Features Addendum - We recently created a new optional form to be used to provide more information about mechanicals, appliances, utilities, updates/remodeling, and home owners association info.  This form can be attached to your listing as an associated document within Paragon, thus saving you characters within MLS remarks.   You can find this new form within the Associated Documents Portal at http://www.scwmls.com/resources/associated_docs.html.  You can complete this form on screen, and save or print it for attachment to your listings, or print a blank form to complete offline. 

-When entering data for a new listing, please do not abbreviate fields like Condo Project Name, Subdivision Name, or Lake/River Name as these fields are often used in searches. If a Realtor is including one of these fields in their search and they type in the complete name, and you have abbreviated it, your listing may get missed. We have set these fields up as "contains" search fields to help alleviate this problem, but even a contains search will miss certain abbreviations. For example, if you have entered Metropolitan or Metropolitan Pl instead of Metropolitan Place, and a Realtor searching for these condos spells out Metropolitan Place, your listing will be missed.  On the flipside, if you are searching using these non-pick list fields, please keep in mind that the listing agent may have abbreviated. In the case of Metropolitan Place, you may want to search just Metropolitan.

November 2014

-If the electricity has been turned off for a property you have listed, PLEASE indicate this in the broker-to-broker remarks so showing agents know to make appointments earlier in the day.

-Contacts and their saved searches are now accessible via the Paragon mobile website at http://scwmls.mobile.paragonrels.com. 

MLS listings can be accessed via your mobile device using either the website above, or a downloadable APP. Click here for instruction on accessing both mobile options.  

-We have recently reviewed three complaints regarding keycard violations, in particular, accessing a keybox without a confirmed appointment.   Sanctions have included fines up to $1,000 from the MLS, and possible trespassing charges brought by the home owner.   PLEASE, call for an appointment and WAIT for confirmation before showing properties.

October 2014

-If you routinely copy yourself on listing email notifications sent to your clients, and you type your email in each time, please read on.    Under Preferences - Email, you will find an option to Auto-Fill BCC.   If you check this box and Save, each time you send an email or set up a new listing auto-notification, your email will automatically be included as a bcc.  For each individual email, you have the option to click the x to remove your email if you so choose.   If your email address changes, Paragon will look at the bcc line in your auto-notifications and update your email address automatically.   Paragon does not automatically update your email address if you have entered it in the To: or cc: line.   

-It is against MLS rules and copyright law to copy another agent's photos and associated documents for use on your listing without permission. Those submitting photos/associated docs with the knowledge that they do not have the right to use said photos/associated docs will be subject to a fine of $25 per photo/document in addition to any legal remedies available to the owner of the photos/documents.

-With daylight hours starting to wane, a light can sometimes come in handy when out on showing appointments. You may not be aware of it, but your ActiveKEY has a couple of neat features that can help:  Flashlight: To initiate the Flashlight function, turn on your ActiveKEY and press the flashlight button (between UP and DOWN arrows at top of keypad). The flashlight will stay on as long as the key stays on. Backlight: To activate the Backlight, turn on your ActiveKEY and press the Light Bulb button on the bottom right of the keypad. The key will remain backlit as long as the key stays on.

 

-The red T on the Agent Full report and on spreadsheets in Paragon link to assessment and tax information as stored in Paragon Public Records.   If you opt to autofill public records data during the add listing process, the T  will appear as soon as you are done adding the listing.   If you do not autofill, or if you add or correct the parcel number after the listing is added, it takes about an hour for Paragon to link or relink to public records.

September 2014

Tweak to our New Withheld by Seller Status – Monday, September 29    

Our new status of Withheld by Seller is getting much use, and it appears to have helped to set better expectations regarding showing availability.   One concern we have received, however, is that it is difficult to find the listings that will again be available for showings amongst those that have been permanently withdrawn.  In order to rectify this, we have made the following change to split these very different situations into separate statuses: 

WD  – Withheld/Delayed - For listings that are newly listed but not yet ready to market.   In addition, for listings that have been Active, marketing has been temporarily suspended, and will be Active again.   A new date field is required for listings in WD to indicate the date showings will be allowed.  If you do not have a concrete date, please enter your best guess.  This date can be modified as often as needed.   This new date field has been added to the Agent Full report.   It will no longer be necessary to make room within the remarks for the date showings will be allowed.  

WTH - Withdrawn by Seller  - For listings that were on the market, but have been removed from active because the seller no longer wants to sell.  In this situation, the listing broker and seller have not terminated the listing contract.  You will no longer need to add anything to the remarks as the status alone creates the needed alert.  If the listing broker and seller terminates their contract early, the listing should be moved to Expired. 

Because listings in WD and WTH are not available for showings, they are blocked from inclusion for auto-emails from Paragon as well as all public internet sites.   Reminder:   If a listing is in WD or WTH, showings are not allowed for anyone….including the listing agent/office.    

-The Associated Docs portal (http://www.scwmls.com/resources/associated_docs.html)  now includes links to newly added onscreen fillable PDF Associated Documents as required for Auction, Farm, and Limited Service listings.  You can now complete these Associated Documents on screen, and save or print them for attachment to your listings.  The links to print blank forms are also still available.  

-Important Change for Contacts with No Email Notification:  Often times when a client no longer wants to receive property matches via email, the agent simply turns off the auto-notification, but does not disable the search.   When this happens, Paragon still continually checks for listing matches, but does not send them out.   This unfortunately is a waste of system resources and thus slows down the system for everyone.   To rectify this, all contacts that do not have an active notification set up, have been set to a new status of Off for notification, and Paragon is no longerer constantly look for listing matches for these contacts.   If you have a contact that does not have an active email notification, but for whom you are manually monitoring matches, you will need to change the notification option from “Off” to “No Notification”.   No Notification will trigger Paragon to look for listing matches and display counts for active contacts.   This change should be made under Notification Options (Contacts -> View/Manage Contacts -> Click Contact Name -> Open the Search Activity Folder -> Click the Name of Saved Search -> Select the No Notification radio button).   Please call the MLS if you need help. 

-Instead of entering a beginning and ending date by inputting a very specific format within Paragon, you can select options such as 12 Months Back, 90 Days Back or This Month from a pick list.  Look for this option to the right of the traditional beginning and ending date range search options on the Paragon search screens.

August 2014

Q:  How long does a property need to be off the market in order for the cumulative days on market (cdom) to clear?

A:  A property must be off the market for at least 31 days to clear cdom.   Paragon looks at the last expiration date and the new list date.  There needs to be at least 31 full days the property was not active in between the old expiration date and the new list date in order for the old days on market to be cleared from cdom.  When counting the 31 days, do not count the old expiration date or the new list date, only count the days in between. 

- You can include a small photo for each listing on the spreadsheet view. To add the photo, load a spreadsheet and click Customize and Fields . Move "Photo" from the list of available fields to the list of selected fields. Use the Move Up button to position where you want the photo. Click Save. Do this for each class of property.

-For contacts receiving automatic email notifications, you can 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 option is available on the Edit Email Notification screen (View Contacts, Click on the contact name, Click the Search Activity folder, Click on the search name within that folder, Click E-Mail Notification under the search, Click Edit Notification at the top of the screen). Under the result view to be sent (i.e. customer full), there is an option for Type. Simply remove Price Change and if your contact would rather not receive price changes. 

-Load Multiple Listing Photos Quickly:   Within the Picture Administration window, there is an option to Upload Multiple Photos in the upper left corner.  To upload photos click the Browse button and select all photos and then click Upload.   Once the photos are loaded, rearrange as needed and Save.   

-When arranging photos, if you end up with a blank box between photos, you can simply drag that blank photo graphic to the end instead of moving each photo ahead by one space. If you leave a blank box, Paragon is smart enough to ignore it in the slideshow, but reports with multiple photos and some data exports are not as smart. Bottom line -- don't leave blank spots between photos. 

July 2014

Q:  I have a new listing that is not yet ready for showings.   I understand that I cannot show this property to potential buyers until it is available for all Realtors to show, but can I hold a Broker Open House?

A:  Yes.  Other Realtors can preview your listing, if your seller approves, but potential buyers are not allowed showings until it is available for all to see.

-Multi Family vs. Single Family: The Multi Family category is limited to buildings that contain two or more separate dwelling units. An exception can be made for single unit property zoned multi-family. For these properties, the listing must have the "Single family zoned multifamily" feature selected under the Type feature group.  If a listing agent for this type of property chooses to enter it as Multi Family, they cannot enter it as Single Family also.  Multi-family listings are not allowed in the Single Family category, with the exception of multi-family dwellings that were originally single-family dwellings and can be converted back (these may be listed as Single Family and/or Multi Family).   Full duplexes should not be listed in Single Family unless each side can be sold separately.  In this case each side would be entered as a Single Family listing. 

- Within Paragon, you can set a multiple sort for the spreadsheet results display. When on the spreadsheet view, click Customize from the closest toolbar above, and select Sort.   You can select up to 3 levels to sort your spreadsheet by.  You can also select Ascending or Descending. This sort order will hold until you leave the Search program.  

Q:  I have a new listing that will not be ready for showings for at least a month.  What are my options for submission to the MLS?

A:  MLS rules mandate new listings be submitted within 7 days.  If your listing is not ready for showings you can enter your listing as Active and include the date showings will be allowed within the first line of the MLS public remarks.  If you do not have an exact date, indicate your best guess and update it as things unfold.   Your listing will be included in active searches, will go out to public websites, and days on market will be counted.   The other option would be to enter your listing as Withheld by Seller and include the date showings will be allowed within the remarks.   Your listing will not be included in active searches, will not go out to public websites, and days on market will NOT be counted.  Photos are not required for listings in Withheld by Seller.   In both cases, no showings mean no showings for everyone....including the listing agent/company. 

June 2014

-A new link to validate map placement has been added after Zip Code within the add/maintain listing process.   This is an optional link that will show you where Paragon will place your new listing on the map.    Right from this window you can adjust the map location with an easy click and drag.  You can also use the plus and minus sign to adjust the zoom level.   The zoom level set will display on reports within Paragon.   

Q:  I have an existing listing contract with a seller who has decided they do not want to sell their home afterall.  What do I do with that listing in the MLS? 

A:  If your broker has released the seller from the contract, change the status of the listing in the MLS to Expired.  Use the date of the termination as the expiration date.   If your broker has not released the seller from the contract, change the status of the listing in the MLS to Withheld by Seller and add “Off Market per Seller” within the first line of the MLS public remarks to indicate the listing will not be available for showings for the rest of the listing term.

 

-Coming Soon Listings:  On June 16, new policy and accommodations for the submission of listings that are under contract but not yet ready to be marketed or shown went into effect.   New policy prohibits contract provisions that delay MLS submission beyond 7 days of the list date.  New accommodations allow entry of these listings in a new off-market status called Withheld by Seller.  New sanctions have been set for situations where showings are allowed before the property is available for everyone.   Click here for all the details.

 

-You can search for upcoming open houses under the Search Program in Paragon. Click on Search and select the property class. Open up the Advanced Criteria section at the bottom to find the Open House Date search prompt to search for a specific date, or a Yes/No option to find all upcoming open houses. If you have a client who would like to be notified of open houses within their search area, you can include Open House = Y as a criteria in their saved search.

May 2014

-You can now store multiple Message Bodies for inclusion in emails from Paragon.   Click Preferences, Email, and Message Body.   This functionality works the same way as storing multiple Email Signatures.  Within both of these preferences you have the ability to set one as your default and to automatically include them, or insert them on the fly. 

-School District has been added to the filter list for the Market Monitor.  You can now customize your Market Monitor (top right of your home page) to display listings filtered by Area or School District.  Click on the little gear icon to the right of the words Market Monitor to open settings.    You can also change how many days back (max 7 days) you would like listing to appear for.  The default is 1 day back.

-The schedule a showing action icon has been removed from the default spreadsheet.  This has been done to speed up the time it takes to load the spreadsheet.   The Schedule a Showing link is still on both the Agent Full, which is the default report when you double click from the spreadsheet, and the multi-up Showing Setup report.  

-When entering a multi family listing, please make sure you indicate the parking allowance per unit opposed to for the whole building.    Within the Unit Information section, the per unit parking entries when added together should equal the total for the whole building.  We are seeing listings that include the total for the whole building listed for each unit, which would make the building look like it has a whole bunch more parking than there really is. 

April 2014

-CautionDo Not Forward Your Personal ShowingAssist E-mails:    E-mails sent to you requesting a showing via ShowingAssist, as well as feedback emails sent from ShowingAssist include a clickable link directly to your personal ShowingTime portal. Within this portal you can see your showing history, see all showing information for your listings, and have the ability to edit your personal information.   If you forward these emails to other agents or directly to your seller, they will also have access to all your information via that direct link.   These secure links are created to give you instant access to your personal information and expire within 7 days – and are not intended for other persons.

-The MLS Committee makes decisions about changes to Paragon, the keycard system, and MLS rules.  If you would like to discuss an item you feel would make our MLS better, please feel free to contact a member of the MLS Committee.  Contact information for the 2014 MLS Committee can be found here.   MLS staff is also available to discuss MLS services with you, but we recognize that sometimes it is easier to talk to a fellow Realtor member.   

-Supra eKey Reminder:  Cell phone service providers periodically update the operating system on their phones. When this happens, the ekey software on your phone may require a reactivation (reauthorization) code.  You will also have to reauthorize the eKey software if you purchase a new phone and download the eKey App on that new phone.  Reauthorization codes are different from Update codes.  Please call the MLS office or Supra Technical Support (877-699-6787) for assistance with reauthorizing your eKey.

March 2014

-You can manually add showing requests that come in outside of the Schedule a Showing button within Paragon.   To add a manual showing to your listing, click Preferences, Showing Assist and Reports.  Click on the Listing Activity Report and find the listing.   Click to open the listing and select Add Activity.    Fill in the showing information and click Save.   This manual showing will now be reflected within the showing grid and on reports.  

-You can customize the Market Monitor that appears on the right side of the Paragon home page to track just the geographic area you want, as well as how many days back (1-7) you want to display as the default. To adjust these settings, click on the button that looks like a small gear (Edit Widget) located to the right of the words Market Monitor.

-Searching by Date Range is Now Easier: New time period pick lists have been added to search screens within Paragon. Instead of selecting a beginning and/or ending date by entering dates in a very specific format, you can now select options such as 12 Months Back, 90 Days Back or This Month from a pick list. Look for this new option to the right of the traditional beginning and ending date range search options.

Few Small Enhancements Added on March 5:

-Loading Last Search will now allow you to select any of your 5 previous searches. If you have never used the feature of Last Search (located above Primary Criteria after selecting Class), it comes in handy if you need to redo a search for some reason.

-When selecting features within a search, the feature name now displays within the Criteria Summary along with the feature code.

-The status is now color coded on the spreadsheet. These colors match the colors used on the Bing Map.

 

-For Client Connect Users - there is now a column on the Contact View Screen that shows the last time your client logged into their Client Connect site. Within their notification settings it also tells you how often they login.

$ or % Now Required Within Commission Fields: When adding or changing a listing, you will now be prompted to include a $ or % symbol within the commission fields. When changing a listing, if you get the following error, you can click the Modify button to quickly jump to the commission field to add a % or $.

-Windows 8 and Photo Orientation  - Photos in Paragon fit better if they are taken horizontally. Sometimes, however, it is difficult to capture a room horizontally (especially bathrooms) and one is forced to take a vertical shot. Vertical photos, when loaded into Paragon, display with white space to the left and/or right. Within Windows 7/XP, when pulling up vertical photos before loading them to Paragon you have to flip them or they will appear sideways within Paragon. This is obvious, as how you see the photo on your screen will be how it appears in Paragon. With Windows 8, however, vertical photos appear normal, but when you load them into Paragon they will load sideways. Windows 8 recognizes that the photo was taken vertically and within the Windows 8 picture view displays it correctly even though it is actually still stored sideways, so you do not realize it will load into Paragon sideways. In order to load your vertical photo correctly using Windows 8, open it in a photo editor such as Microsoft Paint (found under Start - Accessories - Paint). Within Microsoft Paint it will display as it will load, which is sideways. So before loading your photo into Paragon, you need to click the rotate button on the toolbar at the top of the page and resave the photo.

February 2014

-Too Many E-Mails When Setting Up a Showing? When you schedule a showing within Paragon, by default you get an email that the showing request was sent, another when it is viewed, and finally a third letting you know it was confirmed or denied. If you do not want to receive the first and/or second email, you can turn those off. Click on Preferences and then Showing Assist. Click the Edit Profile button on the Home Screen. Scroll down to Showing Agent Preferences and uncheck When appointment requests are received to turn off the first email and/or When appointment requests are viewed to turn off the second email.

-Take a Minute to Check your List of Contacts for Opt-Outs: 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.

-Photos:  Do Not Use Them if You Did Not Take Them:  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.

 

-Recently Updated Resources: Tax Mill Rates and Home Style Guide.

-Database Changes: The following changes have been made to our listing database and our listing input profile sheets:

A new optional field for co-listing agent has been added. Please update listings that are co-listed.

The current labels for manufactured homes have changed as follows. If you have a manufactured home listed, please make sure it is l            labeled correctly.

    Manufactured to Manufactured (sectional)
    Mobile - no land to Manufactured (mobile) - no land
    Mobile - with land to Manufactured (mobile) - with land

For Lots and Acreage, Price/SqFeet as entered by the agent has been replaced with a system calculated Price/SqFeet field and has thus been removed from the input screen.

January 2014

-It is against MLS rules to advertise a property listed by another broker/company without first obtaining permission from that broker/company . The only exception to this rule is advertising done via an approved IDX website or mobile display that has been registered with the MLS. IDX websites/mobile displays are only approved if they are controlled by the registered MLS Broker/Agent and are clearly identified as a website/mobile display being provided by the registered MLS Broker/Agent. Sites such as Facebook and Craig’s List do not qualify as approved IDX platforms.

-Important Info About Your Contact Auto-Emails: If any of your contact auto-emails were set up over a year ago, during the month of January you will begin to see an Expiring Notifications warning box upon login. Within this box you will need to either Deactivate or Renew these auto-email notifications. If you have several emails set to expire within this box, the 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. Click the minus sign at the top twice and then the check box to the right to select the rest to Renew. There is a button to Cancel the window each time you login if you are pressed for time. Notification via this window will begin 3 weeks prior to the notification actually expiring.

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

-Contacts who have opted out of your Paragon emails can be identified on the contact view spreadsheet as those with a red exclamation point and grey envelope instead of an orange envelope in the email column. If a client has accidentally opted out of receiving your emails from Paragon, 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

-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.

December 2013

-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 bird’s 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.

-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.

-You can search for upcoming open houses under the Search Program in Paragon. Click on Search and select the property class. Open up the Advanced Criteria section at the bottom to find the Open House Date search prompt to search for a specific date, or a Yes/No option to find all upcoming open houses. If you have a client that would like to be notified of open houses within their search area, you can include Open House = Y as a criteria in their saved search.

November 2013

-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.

-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.

-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.

-Updated Farm Associated Document: Based on input from folks that list farms, we have made a few additions to the Farm Associated Document. This Assoicated 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 menu bar above. Please use this updated form for all new Farm listings being entered.

October 2013

-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.

-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 you may not 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.

-NEW MLS Mobile App Now Available: 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).

September 2013

-Where do I find my MLS ID? The fastest way is to click on the little computer icon on the bottom left corner of this 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 top tool bar. Programs such as RPR need your MLS ID in order to link your login to our MLS data.

-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.

-Entering Street Name for Properties on County Roads: 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.  On 9/12, all listings within Paragon that displayed a street name of Hwy followed by an alpha character (i.e. Hwy A), were 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.

-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.

-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.

August 2013

-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.

-Internet Explorer 8 Will No Longer Work with Paragon: Internet Explorer 8 has reached the end of its lifecycle. Our Paragon vendor dropped support for IE 8 back in 2012. While IE 8 still "kind of works" now with Paragon, we have been put on alert that with the next enhancment release, which will be in about 2 weeks, IE 8 will no longer work with Paragon.....at all! If you cannot upgrade to Internet Explorer 9 or 10 because you are still using Windows XP, please load Firefox or Chrome. You can keep IE 8 on your machine and use it with other programs if you like. You can always find links to the latest versions of all browsers compatible with Paragon by clicking on Browser Info within the Red menu bar above.

-The CMA Summary Report has been enhanced in that you can now add fields (i.e. age, acres, 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.

-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.

July 2013

-The correct placement of your property on maps within Paragon is often dependent on the correct street tag (i.e. St, Ave, Dr). Please be sure you include the correct street tag when entering a new listing. Click here for a list of proper Paragon street tag abbreviations.

-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.

June 2013

-When searching by Location, there are a few shortcuts you can use to enter multiple locations in the same 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.

-New Option to Add Photo Labels: Starting today, you now have the option to add labels to your property photos in Paragon. We foresee agents using photo labels to clarify (i.e. First Floor Bath), and to bring attention to things in the photo that are not so obvious (i.e. New Appliances). You will be able to pick and choose which photos you think need labels. Entering a label on one photo will not require labels on all. You will enter photo labels on the Photo Administration screen along with the photos. If you currently have a security level that allows you to enter photos, you will be able to add labels. It is against MLS rules to enter contact info or agent/company promotion within photo labels. The same rules that apply to the public MLS remarks apply to photo labels. If there is abuse, we will be forced to limit labels to a pre-defined list. Please do not make us limit your ability to be creative.

-Listings that are not available for showings due to an accepted offer, must be moved to the status of Offer-No Show. It does not matter if all contingencies are removed; the deciding factor is if showings are allowed. 

-The Supra Key renewal date is June 1st of each year. Offices will be billed $175 for each agent currently leasing a key, whether it is an ActiveKey™ or an eKey™. If you are no longer using your keycard and would like to avoid this fee, please return your ActiveKey to the MLS office prior to July 1 (eKey users can call to cancel). Contact Chris (chris@wisre.com) at the MLS office (608-240-2800) with any questions. This $175 covers the use of the keycard system including the keys and boxes.

May 2013

-Do you, as a buyer’s agent or subagent, earn the commission as offered through the MLS from the listing broker, if you submit a full price offer with no contingencies and the offer does not result in a closing?  No. A buyer’s agent/subagent earns the commission, as offered through the MLS from listing broker, only if there is a successful transaction (closing).

-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. Click here for a must have resource to help you classify square footage correctly.

-When entering the sale price for a property, please be sure you are not entering millions when you mean thousands. Paragon has a safety net that alerts you if the sale price varies by more than 10% as compared to the list price. This safety net is unfortunately being ignored as we have seen an increase in extra digits included in sale prices. If you get this 10% variance message, please stop and double check the sale price you are entering. Thank you.

-If you work within a team and would like your team name to be included on the bottom of the customer full reports, email the MLS at support@wisre.com with your team name. Once we add your team name to your member record, you can customize reports by pulling up the report you would like to change and clicking on Customize and fields from the blue bar above the report. Scroll down to the bottom section in white. Double click on the white box to display the fields you can include. Select My Info - Team Name, which is located about half way down. Highlight this field and click Add. Place a check mark next to the Team Name and in the No Label column, move up to desired location and hit Save. At this point, the Single Family report is done. You will need to do this for each class of property. Your personal slogan can also be added in this same fashion.

April 2013

-Client Connect Enhancement: If you set up a Client Connect password, you can now use that password to access all your client websites. When clicking on Contacts, a box should now pop up asking you to set a password for Client Connect. If you do not get this box, you can set a password by clicking on Preferences and Client Connect. Once you have set up this password, use your email address and this password to login into your Client Connect website. Once you login, you will have the option to choose which client’s website you want to access. It is helpful to save a link directly to your Client Connect website on your desktop. To find the address to your Client Connect website, rerun the Client Connect Wizard under Preferences. Your website address is on page 2. As always, contact the MLS if you need help.

If you do not currently use Client Connect and would like to learn more, click here for a printed quick guide, here for a 47-minute recorded webinar, or here to register for a free hands-on class at the MLS office on May 8.

-When entering a listing into Paragon, there is an optional Y/N question for Policy Letter. A policy letter is a communication from one broker to one or more other brokers, establishing the terms and conditions on which cooperation and compensation is being offered to brokers acting as subagents or buyers agents. If a listing is flagged with a “yes”, your office should have on file a copy of the listings broker’s policy letter, which may or may not modify the compensation offer as published in the MLS. Click here for an explanation of all Yes/No questions required for listings.

-The MLS has recently received multiple complaints from sellers and listing agents that Realtors have been entering property without waiting for a showing confirmation. In addition to being a violation of the SCWMLS Rules and your keycard agreement, entering a property without permission is trespassing and is against the law. MLS sanctions for this offense include fines to both the agent and to their broker, and may result in loss of keycard privileges. MLS sanctions may be the least of your worries if a seller decides to press criminal charges. PLEASE, call for an appointment and WAIT for confirmation before showing properties.

-If a seller is still obligated under the terms of their listing contract, but the property is no longer being actively marketed, the property should be
moved to a Withdrawn status in the MLS. If a seller is released from their contract before the expiration date, the listing should be Expired.

-Fixed: When you compose an email in Paragon, the cursor now begins at the To: line instead of the message body...... We know “about time”!

-New: You can now include a small photo for each listing on the spreadsheet view. To add the photo, load a spreadsheet and click Customize and Fields . Move "Photo" from the list of available fields to the list of selected fields. Use the Move Up button to position where you want the photo. Click Save. Do this for each class of property.

March 2013

-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.

*Listings not included on MLS when active, but added after they close. These listings are typically FSBOs, building contracts, and one-party listings.

-Paragon + Internet Explorer 8 = FRUSTRATION!  If you are still using Internet Explorer 8 with Paragon, please stop the insanity! Internet Explorer 8 is officially approaching the end of its lifecycle. Goggle dropped support for IE 8 in November of 2012 and many others have followed suit, including the vendor for Paragon. While IE 8 still “kind of works” with Paragon, it is slow, unreliable, and just plain frustrating. If you cannot upgrade to Internet Explorer 9 or 10 because you are still using Windows XP, please load Firefox or Chrome. You can keep IE 8 on your machine and use it with other programs if you like. You can always find links to the latest versions of all browsers compatible with Paragon by clicking on Browser Info within the Red menu bar above.

- If you are looking for a quick way to send an email blast to all your contacts set up in Paragon, click on the Compose Email link at the top right of the Paragon home page. Click on the Address Book link to pull up a list of your contacts. Select all by checking the box at the top of the column with the checkboxes. If you want to eliminate any individual contacts just uncheck them. Click the Bcc button at the bottom of the box. You want to use Bcc so your contacts do not see that you have sent the email to others. Put your email address in the To: box so you get a copy. Click OK. Type your subject line and message and click Send. If you have more than 100 contacts (more than 1 page), you will need to repeat this process for each page.

February 2013

-Photo Rule Change: Current MLS rules allow an agent 7 days to enter a listing, and another 7 days from entry to add a photo. On top of that, they are given a 5-day warning. All-in-all, they are given almost 20 days to add a photo for a new listing. In response to member complaints about this delay for some new listings, the MLS Board of Directors has voted to shorten this time.

Beginning March 1, at least the outside front photo must be loaded within 7 days of the listing date (7 days from input for sold comps). Listing agents will still receive an e-mail warning, giving them 5 additional days. If at least a front photo is not loaded after the 5-day warning, the MLS photographer will be sent out to take a photo, and the listing office will be charged $50 for this service. Photos are not required for vacant land, commercial property and properties under construction.

-Click here for updated 2012 Tax/Mill Rates

-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.

-The most current profile sheets can always be found by clicking Profile Sheets in the menu bar under the South Central WI MLS header above.

-Contacts who have opted out of your Paragon emails can be identified on the contact view spreadsheet as those with a red exclamation point and grey envelope instead of an orange envelope in the email column.

 

January 2013

-The following changes were recently made for new listings & listings being changed:

Total number of acres is now required for all new and changed single family listings. The optional fields for lot square footage and lot dimensions have been eliminated.

Feet of water frontage is now required for all new and changed single family and vacant land properties on the water.

A new required source of data pick list has been added for building square footage. The source options include Appraiser, Assessor, Blue Print, Builder, Seller, and Other.

New required source of data pick lists have been added for total acres and feet of water frontage. the source options include Appraiser, Assessor, Developer, Plat Map/Survey, Seller, and Other.

The single family Style feature pick list has been renamed Architecture. The condo Style feature pick list has been renamed Type.

An option has been added under the Occupancy feature pick list for Never Occupied.

MLS PROFILE SHEETS have been updated to reflect these changes.

-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.

Attention HUD Selling Brokers/Agents: Brokers- Please check the status of your NAID # which must be renewed every year. Verify status by going to www.HUDHomeStore.com, click on “NAID Application” and “Check Current NAID Status”. If your NAID has expired, follow instructions for renewal.   Selling Agents - if you receive an error message when accessing www.HUDHomeStore.com, you may need to update your License information to show the new expiration of 12/14/2014. Log in as usual, click on “Manage Profile” and scroll down to the License Section to update.

December 2012

-Give Paragon a new look for the New Year. To do this, click Preferences, User, System Preferences, and User Interface. The first option is “Select a Theme”. As you click the options you will see how Paragon will be changed. Find one you like, and click Save in the upper left corner.

-New Paragon Mapping Feature: Paragon mapping now includes an option to easily exclude an area. Draw the area you want to exclude within a polygon, rubber band or radius shape. Next to your shape criteria within the shape summary box you will see a blue box with the word “In”. Click this blue box to toggle it to “Ex”. Your shape will turn red. The area you selected has now been set to exclude instead of include. You can include several include and exclude shapes on the same map. You can also embed areas to exclude within areas to include by drawing a shape within an existing shape and then moving the embedded shape from “In” to “Ex”.

-Too Many E-Mails When Setting Up a Showing?   When you schedule a showing within Paragon, by default you get an email that the showing request was sent, another when it is viewed, and finally a third letting you know it was confirmed or denied. If you do not want to receive the first and/or second email, you can turn those off. Click on Preferences, Third Party, Showing Assist. Click the Edit Profile button on the Home Screen. Scroll down to Showing Agent Preferences and uncheck “When appointment requests are received” to turn off the first email and/or “When appointment requests are viewed” to turn off the second email.

New Photo Requirements – As of January 1
-At least one photo will be required for listings entered as sold comps*. Sold comps are listings that are not marketed via the MLS when active, but added after they have been sold.

-A photo of the outside front view, from the street, will be required for all listings*. This front view does not have to be the first photo.

Current Photo Requirements:
-At least one photo must be loaded within 7 days of listing input*. Offices will be billed $50 if the MLS has to send its photographer out to take a photo.

-No photos of bodies of water are allowed unless the view is visible from the property, or from deeded access.

-Photos should not contain office/agent names, logos, or contact information. If it is not possible to take a photo without including the for sale sign, the contact information on the sign must be edited out. This rule extends to virtual tours as well.

-It is against MLS rules and copyright law to copy another agent’s photos for use on your listing without permission. Those submitting photos with the knowledge that they do not have the right to use said photos will be subject to a fine of $25 per photo in addition to any legal remedies available to the owner of the photos.

*Vacant land, commercial properties, and properties under construction are exempt from photo requirements.

November 2012

-E-Card Updated: Two long time Paragon E-Card requests have finally been added. All E-Cards in Paragon have been upgraded to new E-Mail Signatures. Where E-Cards were static, and when changed in Preferences did not automatically update in each saved email notification, the E-Mail Signature now does! In addition, you can now store multiple E-Mail Signatures to use with different types of contacts.

-A slideshow function has been added to Paragon. This is a great way to showcase your listings in your waiting room or office window. Up to 50 listings can be set to automatically loop. You can include all property photos or just the first photo. To create a slideshow, pull up the listings you want to include, select them, and click Listing Slideshow from the Actions drop down at the top of the screen. Enter a description (i.e. Available Properties) and adjust default options or click Create Slideshow in the top right. You cannot change your slideshow once it is created, but that is no big deal as you can quickly recreate it. Your Slideshow will be emailed to you as a hyperlink for viewing outside of Paragon. Your Slideshow will be available for 30 days. Click here for a sample slideshow.

Are you including your Broker Opens within the link at the bottom of the Paragon Home Page? We have recently upgraded the Broker Open list from Paragon so that it updates automatically every 20 minutes. We have also made the MLS number a live link to the listing detail on wisconsinhomes.com. If you have not been entering the broker open date and time within your listings in Paragon, you are missing an easy way to get the word out about your broker open. By entering the date and time of your broker open, your listing will be automatically included on the list of tours below. The fields to enter broker open date, time and comments (munchies available?) can be found under the Open House/Tour/HitCount section of the Maintain Listing program. Agent level access to Paragon allows edits to these fields. Once the date for your broker open is past, it is automatically deleted from Paragon.

October 2012

-Save Time Adding Listings. If you are not currently using the Tax Autofill link when adding a listing, you may want to check it out. Clicking on the Tax Autofill link at the top of the Add Listing screen will take you to the Tax Search page. Locate the property you are adding by parcel number, address, or owner name. Select the tax record, and then click on the Autofill link at the top of the screen. Information such as address, owner, legal description, assessments, and taxes will be automatically imported into the add-listing screen saving you keystrokes. If the listing agent has provided information that is different from what is auto-filled, you can simply overwrite the auto-filled information.

-eKey & the iPhone 5: Supra has certified that the eKey is now compatible with the iPhone 5 via the Apple Lightning Adapter. The MLS will not be stocking these adapters.  If you would like one now you will need to order one directly from the Apple Store.

-Enhancements to ShowingAssist: On 10/22, ShowingTime made enhancements to our ShowingAssist (Schedule a Showing) integration.
    Upgrades Include:

    -Addition of a Showing Cart to allow easy scheduling of multiple showings at one time.
    -Map integration to help you better route your showings.
    -Ability to add manual showings (i.e. showings made over the phone) for feedback/reporting.
    -Text messages will include complete showing instructions.


-The Total Baths search field in Paragon can be used to search both full and half baths at the same time, but it will not consider 2 half baths as a full. For example, if you enter a minimum of 2.5, you will get all homes with at least 2 full baths and 1 half bath, which would include homes with 3 full baths and no half baths. If you enter a minimum of 3, you will get all properties with at least 3 full baths. Your search results will not include properties with 2 full and 2 half baths. If you have a need to search full baths and half baths separately, you can customize your search screen and add these fields as two independent search fields.

-Need help determining Above Grade, Below Grade, or Partially Below Grade Square Footage? Click here for a must have resource.

September 2012

-We have received a few complaints lately that listing agents are not selecting features under Barrier-Free when they exist. Even if you don’t consider a home to be completely barrier-free, please take the time to select the features that do apply. Features such as level lot, first floor bedroom, first floor bath, open floor plan, wide halls or doorways, may make the property you have listed perfect for a special needs buyer willing to make a few additional modifications.

-The MLS Remarks section of a listing is searchable. You will find the Remarks search prompt under the Advanced Criteria section of the search parameters. When typing in a word or phrase to search for, put asterisks (* *) around the word or phrase. For example, if your buyer would like a property that is on a trout stream, type *trout* and your search results will include properties for which the listing agent has included the word "trout" in the remarks. You can also string together multiple words or phrases. For example, if your buyer would like a home on a secluded lot, you could type *secluded*, *private*, *isolated*. Your search will bring back properties for which the listing agent has included any of these words in the remarks. Give it a try the next time you are looking for something there is not a specific search feature for. Also, when composing your remarks, make sure to mention special features not covered elsewhere in the listing features.

-On selected reports in Paragon, you will see colorful boxes labeled D, H, M, T and one with a picture of a house. These boxes are quick links to Associated Documents, History, Mapping, Tax Records, and Neighborhood Reports. If your listing does not have a T box, this means the parcel number entered for that listing is incorrect, or is located in a county we do not have tax records for.

-If you would like to view an email you have sent via Paragon, click on Contacts from the menu bar and then on Sent EMail. A list of all emails sent (both manual and automatic) for the past 90 days will display. To view a specific message, click the box to the left of the recipient email address and the message will display on the lower half of your screen. If you want to view all email sent for a specific contact, click Contacts from the menu bar and then click View/Manage Contacts. Click on the contact name and then on E-Mail History.

August 2012

-Looking for a place to find a prior hot tip that appeared on this page? All prior hot tips can be accessed by clicking the orange “Past Home Page Hot Tips” button below. The tips are kept by month, but if you hold down your Ctrl key and press F you can search the whole archive by typing in a key word or words.

-The Market activity within the Market Monitor (top right of this page) is a great place to track a specific geographic market. By default, the Market is defined as the whole MLS. You can limit that to just the market you would like to monitor by clicking on the little gear icon above the Refresh button. Under “Location”, select just the municipalities you want to monitor. If you want to include a whole county, click the County Name tab at the top.

-Did you know you can change the fields that display on the spreadsheet list of properties that comes up after a search in Paragon. Click on the Customize link at the top of the page to display a list of fields that can be added. The box on the right lists the fields that currently display on your spreadsheet. If you want to remove a field, simply highlight it and click Remove. If you want to add a field from the left box, click on the field and then on Add. If you do not see the field you would like to add, click on the Group box at the top to display different types of fields (i.e. Feature Categories). You can also use the Move Up and Move Down buttons to change the order the fields appear on your spreadsheet. Click on Save and Close to apply your changes. Your customized spreadsheet will now come up each time you display the spreadsheet.

-Did you know you can track the number of times your listings are viewed within Paragon? For each of your listings you can see how many times an agent has viewed a full detail report within Paragon (Agent Hit Count), and the number of times a consumer has clicked on a link sent to them via an email from Paragon (Client Hit Count). To access this information, pull up your listings by MLS number or by clicking My Info on the Market Monitor. After your listings load in a spreadsheet view, click on Spreadsheets under the Reports drop down on the right. From the list of Spreadsheets, click on Hit Count Spreadsheet. You can reset the hit counts at anytime for your listings by clicking Listings - Maintain - and Reset Counts under the OpenHouse/Tour/HitCount section within Maintain.

July 2012

-Do you find yourself wasting time looking for the reports you like within Paragon? You have the ability to control the order reports display for printing and email. When looking at a list of search matches, click on the green Reports drop down on the right. Locate the reports you like best and left click, hold, and drag them one by one up to favorites. This new order will now come up within this reports drop down as well as the print plus reports list and the email list of reports.-

-Showing WIREX Properties: If you would like to show a property you found in WIREX, please remember that you must first make an appointment. Because the "Schedule a Showing" button is not offered on WIREX properties, we include the actual showing instructions on the agent full report. Even if those showing instructions include a lockbox combo, you must make an appointment before showing unless otherwise indicated.

-Claim Your Listings on Zillow - If your listings are on www.zillow.com, you may want to check to be sure you are listed as the listing agent. If you, your company, or your franchise have not entered into an agreement with Zillow, other agents, who have paid for exposure, may appear alongside your listings. Zillow does allow you to claim your listings, which in turn identifies you as the listing agent. Below are the steps to claim your listings on Zillow:

    -Log in to your Zillow account. If you don’t have a Zillow account go to www.zillow.com and click Sign In in the upper right corner and create an account.

    -Search for your listing and click to the detailed property page.

    -Click EDIT under the home description. EDIT appears as a blue link on the same line as Email, Share, and Print. Click "Claim this listing".

    -Within a few seconds, you'll find your listing under your MY ZILLOW > LISTINGS and be shown as the Listing Agent.

-Do you or a client have a property to rent? Do you have a client that needs a place to rent? Paragon includes a rental add and search program. Residential rentals can be added by clicking on Listings – Rental. To search for rentals click on Search – Rental. All Paragon users have access to add rentals. Access to the add rental module is not restricted in the same fashion as adding a property for sale. Rentals can be added for 6 months at a time. Click here for a copy of the Rental Profile Sheet.

June 2012

-Photo Maintenance Hot Tip: When maintaining photos, if you end up with a blank box between photos, you can simply drag that blank photo graphic to the end instead of moving each photo ahead by one space. If you leave a blank box, Paragon is smart enough to ignore it in the slideshow, but reports with multiple photos and some data exports are not as smart. Bottom line -- don't leave blank spots between photos.

-If you make a mistake entering the list price of a new listing, and then do a price change to fix it, please call the MLS office to request an adjustment to the hidden original list price field. The original list price is what is used to calculate the list to sale price ratio on various statistical reports.

-Paragon always remembers the last search you did. During your current Paragon session, the last search criteria automatically appears. If you logout and log back in, the search criteria does not automatically appear, but you can reload it by selecting Load Search and then Load Last Search from the buttons directly above the search prompts.

-The Supra Key renewal date is June 1st of each year. Next month offices will be billed $150 for each agent currently leasing a key, whether it is an ActiveKey™ or eKey™.  If you wish to “cancel” your Key lease, return your Key and charging cord to the MLS office prior to June 1st (eKey users can call to cancel). Call Marian at the MLS office (608-240-2800) with any questions or email: marian@wisre.com.

May 2012

-Compensation Offer Based on Gross Sale Price - Offers of compensation made through the MLS must be based upon a percentage of the gross sale price or a specific dollar amount. This applies even in a case where seller-paid concessions/credits increase the sale price, or in a case where improvements on existing property, or add-ons to new construction are negotiated. If it is your intent to pay a commission based on the net sale price (before seller concessions/credits, improvements, or add-ons), the cooperating broker must agree to this in writing.-

 -Regarding Showings of Properties with Accepted Offers: The SCWMLS has again been receiving an increasing number of complaints from members stating that they are not being informed of the existence of an accepted offer to purchase until after they have submitted an offer. Under Standard of Practice 3-6 to Article 3 of the Code of Ethics, Wisconsin REALTORS must disclose the existence of accepted offers to brokers and agents calling for showing appointments or otherwise seeking cooperation. The only exception to this disclosure is where the seller has indicated that this information is confidential per Wis. Stat. 452.133(1)(d). Any such confidentiality directive should be in writing in the listing contract (or an addendum or amendment thereto) or on a copy of an agency disclosure form, per the WRA Legal Hotline.

-New Live Paragon 5 Training Available:  

CLIENT CONNECT: 75 minutes
Client Connect with Auto Notify is a password protected website that allows the customer to see all the results for their saved search in Paragon. It allows the client to prioritize the listings into 3 groups: Favorite, Possible, and Rejected. The client can send messages to the agent and the agent can also reply. Auto Notification also works with Client Connect letting both the Agent and Client know of any listing activity or recent messages.

CMA: 120 minutes
Paragon's CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) module is a powerful tool that offers you access to MLS data and provides graphic presentations of subject properties' and comparable properties' data. You can build a simplified CMA of a Subject Property with comps or a complete CMA Marketing Packet, or anything in-between. There are up to six steps to create a CMA and we will cover them all.

Schedules for these classes as well as Paragon Basic Class can be found here.

-New Sold Data Required: When closing out a property, you now must identify if the sale was court approved, a short sale, or if the property was bank owned/REO. You will identify this by selecting from a required drop down pick list. A choice for N/A will be available if none of the above applies. If you use the MLS change form, you can find an updated copy here: SCWMLS Rock-Green

April 2012

-Key Reminder: Please do not write, carve, stick, or in any other way affix your personal PIN onto your Activekey. This can result in a fine of $100 for the first offense and $500 if you are silly enough to do it a second time.

-Lot dimensions from the old DciMap program have been restored on the maps provided via AccessDane.  Dimensions are not available on newer lots, however, the county will be installing new software this summer which they hope will allow them to display all lot dimensions. 

-Important Information Regarding Accessing Paragon:  As a result of a security audit performed by our Paragon vendor, they have determined that the login name and password requirements for Paragon are not secure enough, and will be requiring case sensitivity.   Beginning Wednesday, April 18, when you login to Paragon, the login name and password you type will need to exactly match what is stored in order to allow you access.   The format of your login name, as stored in Paragon, is mixed case.  The first letter of your first and the first letter of your last name are capitalized, and the rest is lower case (i.e. Bob Smith).   Your password is lower case.     If you have stored your login name and password within your internet browser, and you find the case does not match, you will need to resave your login name and/or password.     

-The map that comes up when you click to search by map defaults to your office address. If you would rather the default be another location, you can set that under Preferences. Click Preferences from the top Paragon toolbar, then System, then Search Options. Under Custom Map Address click the link to Establish Default Address for Mapping Search. Once the map loads click on the brown power poll looking icon at the top, enter your desired default address and click Get Address. Once the map loads with your new default location, click Save to close.

-Attention ListHub Users: ListHub now syndicates listings to websites operated by real estate franchisors. Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Realty Executives, and RE/MAX were the first national franchise channels to be included. You have the option to include or exclude your listings on these franchise channels. When setting up ListHub, if you selected “Subscribe to all” on your ListHub dashboard, your listings have automatically been sent to these national franchise sites. You can modify your channel choices on the ListHub dashboard found at www.listhub.com.

March 2012

-Is Your Listing Being Missed? When entering a new listing into Paragon, please select all the features that apply. If you select just 2 car garage, for instance, and do not indicate attached, your listing will not come up as a match if a search is done for homes with a 2-car attached garage. Also, please do not use Call School District in place of school names unless the school district cannot provide you with specific schools. Again, if a search is done including a specific school, and you have Call School District entered instead of the actual school name, your listing will be missed. If you have not done so already, you may want to bookmark this helpful link to school district phone numbers.

-Enhancement/Bug Fixes:  - You can now switch to a birds eye view when setting the geocode for a listing. This allows you to by very accurate, as you can place the marker right on top of the roof.

-When viewing listings on a map, you can now click on the MLS number of a listing within the list to the left and it will set that listing as the center and recalculate the distance to that listing for all the other listings on the map.

-Load last search now works as it should within the HotSheet program.

-Using MLS Statistics in Marketing: If you use MLS statistics in your marketing, you must include the following to describe the data your representations are based on:  A description of the type of property included (single family, condo, multi-family, waterfront, etc.),
The geography of the listings included (Dane County, City of Madison, All South Central WI MLS), The period of time covered (February 2012, 2011, 4th Quarter of 2011), and notice that the source of the data is the South Central WI MLS.

-The most recent updates to our listing profile sheets have been loaded to ZipForms. The current revision date is 3/2012.

- All members of the South Central Wisconsin MLS have access to MLS listings from eight other MLSs in Wisconsin via WIREX. There is no additional charge for WIREX. Currently, there are 83,000+ active listings in the WIREX database. WIREX covers all counties in Wisconsin with the exception of Florence, Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties. Click here for a coverage map. To access WIREX, simply select WIREX on the drop down during Paragon login; or when in Paragon, click on the MLS Switcher link at the top of the screen. The search screens in WIREX have been set up to look very similar to the search screens in SCW Paragon, so you should feel very comfortable using WIREX.

-Listing Feature Changes
 4+ Car has been added as a Garage feature selection within Single Family, and 3+ Car has been changed to 3 Car. If you have a listing with a 4+ car garage, you will need to modify that listing from 3 Car to 4+ Car.

Selections for 1 Fireplace, 2 Fireplaces, and 3+ Fireplaces have been added within the Fireplace feature for Single Family and Condo. Please modify your listings to include the number of fireplaces. If you have a double-sided fireplace, this counts as just one fireplace….not two.

Click here for updated profile sheets.

February 2012

-Map Search Changes: Paragon map search has been upgraded with the latest Bing Map Controls. The only thing that might cause a bit of confusion is how to enter a starting address on the map. Click on the brown power pole looking icon at the top to enter an address.

-Picture Administration Change: You now have the ability to delete multiple photos at one time. Simply check the photos you want to delete and click the new Delete button at the top.

-Market Conditions Addendum Enhancement: You now have the option to include a summary of the search criteria used, and a list of the properties contained in the Market Conditions Addendum Report. Watch for this new option within the Generate Report window.

-2011 Tax Mill Rate charts are now available for 18 area counties. They can be found under Resources on www.scwmls.com or click here.

-Photo Reminder: It is against MLS rules and copyright law to copy another agent's photos for use on your listing without permission. Those submitting photos with the knowledge that they do not have the right to use said photos will be subject to a fine of $25 per photo in addition to any legal remedies available to the owner of the photos.

-Change to Realtor.com for Basic Listings: Realtor.com is currently in the process of loading all photos from Paragon for display on not only upgraded Showcase Listings, but also non-upgraded Basic Listings. This is an update from just the first four photos. In addition, a new electronic “inquiry form” is being added to Basic Listings to allow the consumer to direct inquiries to local brokers and agents who have subscribed to receive these inquires. You will not receive these inquiries on your own listings unless you have purchased this service. This applies to just the free Basic Listings. There have been no changes to the Upgraded Showcase Listings. If you do not subscribe to Showcase Listings on Realtor.com, we recommend you review the changes to your free Basic Listings on Realtor.com. If you do not see all photos or the inquiry form on your listings yet, it is because that zip code has not yet been purchased. To see a sample of an inquiry form, search for properties in Madison. Brokers have the option to opt out of these changes by calling Realtor.com Customer Care at 1-877-799-2863.

-For Appraisers: When calculating the days between events, you can calculate based on the Gregorian Calendar, or if you have Excel, there is a formula that will do the calculation for you. Enter the dates of the changes (i.e. listing date, price change date, accepted offer date, back on market date) down column A. In column B (starting in cell B2), use the formula =A2-A1 (copy and paste from row to row to switch cell addresses) to calculate the days between the dates. If you save this worksheet you can simply plug in new dates for the next appraisal.

January 2012

-Regarding Showings of Properties with Accepted Offers: The SCWMLS has been receiving an increasing number of complaints from members stating that they are not being informed of the existence of an accepted offer to purchase until after they have submitted an offer. Under Standard of Practice 3-6 to Article 3 of the Code of Ethics, Wisconsin REALTORS® must disclose the existence of accepted offers to brokers and agents calling for showing appointments or otherwise seeking cooperation. Please think about how that buyer, who is obviously excited about the prospect of a new home, feels when their agent tells them there is already an accepted offer on what they thought was going to be their new home. The only exception to this disclosure is where the seller has indicated that this information is confidential per Wis. Stat. § 452.133(1)(d). Any such confidentiality directive should be in writing in the listing contract (or an addendum or amendment thereto) or on a copy of an agency disclosure form, per the WRA Legal Hotline.

-Giving the Selling Office Credit: We have been receiving an increasing number of reports that listing companies are recording either themselves or the wrong selling office as the selling side of a transaction. When changing a property to sold, please double check that the correct selling agent and selling office are selected. If you select a selling agent and the wrong office autofills, this is probably because the agent has transferred to a new office since the closing. In this case, please select the broker of the actual selling office as it is important that the correct office be listed.

-When entering data for a new listing, please do not abbreviate fields like Condo Project Name, Subdivision Name, or Lake/River Name as these fields are often used in searches. If a Realtor is including one of these fields in their search and they type in the complete name, and you have abbreviated it, your listing may get missed. We have set these fields up as “contains search” fields to help alleviate this problem, but even a contains search will miss certain abbreviations. For example, if you have entered Metropolitan or Metropolitan Pl instead of Metropolitan Place, and a Realtor searching for these condos spells out Metropolitan Place, your listing will be missed.  On the flipside, if you are searching using these non-pick list fields, please keep in mind that the listing agent may have abbreviated. In the case of Metropolitan Place, you may want to search just Metropolitan.

-If you assign a keybox to a listing within SupraWEB (http://supraweb.suprakim.com/), you can view showing activity for that listing. If you have never logged on to SupraWEB before, you will need to set up an account – click on “How to get access”. Once you have logged on, select Listings (at top). Administrators can maintain all keyboxes for their entire office. Call the MLS for instruction (608.240.2800 - press 2 for Supra).

December 2011

-Do you or a client have a property to rent? Do you have a client that needs a place to rent? Paragon includes a rental add and search program. Residential rentals can be added by clicking on Listings – Rental. To search for rentals click on Search – Rental. All Paragon users have access to add rentals. Access to the add rental module is not restricted in the same fashion as adding a property for sale. Rentals can be added for 6 months at a time. Click here for a copy of the Rental Profile Sheet.

-Associated documents as attached in Paragon can be set as either Public or Private. By default, associated documents are set as Private. If you would like your document to be available when your listing is emailed to a client, you need to mark it Public. Within the Associated Documents maintenance window, there is a check box for Public. Check this box for documents that are appropriate for the public. Also, when entering the description for your document, please remember your audience includes the public.

-We received this email from a fellow Realtor looking for help in finding a property for her buyer:
"Relocation referred a client to me who needs a home to move into following a leg amputation. I am so frustrated by the number of agents who don't bother to note if there is a walk in shower, level entry, open floor plan, etc. I am doing my best to help these clients find a home in a short period of time under extremely stressful conditions that I cannot even begin to imagine. Please check your listings to make sure you have checked the appropriate boxes regarding barrier free and accessibility. Even the simple things like first floor bedroom and bath would be so helpful. Thank you. “

-New Listing Feature: Access to Basement has been added as a new feature choice under Garage within Single Family. Please add this feature if your listing has it.

-Is the Map Correct on your Listings? - If your listing 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 green Set Location button in the lower left corner and then click once on the map where the property should be located. Switching to an aerial view and using the zoom feature helps to pinpoint the exact location. Click Save to save your changes.

November 2011

-Realtors Property Resource (RPR) is Live in our Market – The National Association of Realtors® exclusive online real estate library is now available free to members in the South Central and Rock Green MLS markets. This resource can be accessed at www.narrpr.com. Click here for more information and web-based training links.

-If you are still seeing the User Preferences Wizard when you login, and do not want to complete the wizard, click on the "Don't show again" option in the lower left corner of the window then click close in the upper right.

October 2011

Click here for P5 system requirements.
Click here for instruction on adding a Paragon 5 desktop shortcut
Click here for a list of what is different/new in P5.

New Listing Features: Boat Slip and Pond have been added as new feature choices under Waterfront. Boatslip/Pier was already available for condos under Condo Common Amenities.

-Attention Paragon Mobile Users: The new url for the Paragon Mobile site is http://scwmls.mobile.paragonrels.com.

September 2011

-There is a clock inside each keybox that controls when the box can be opened (timed access) and also registers and reports the time of showings. If you have a keybox that is not opening during times it should (7 a.m. – 10 p.m. during Daylight Savings and 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. during Central Standard Time) or is reporting the wrong time for showings, you need to reset the time on this keybox. To do this, simply open the shackle of the keybox. When you open the shackle of a keybox, the time from your keycard is transferred to the keybox. The time on your keycard is checked and synced each time it updates via a cell tower or via a USB cable update.

-Associated documents can be set to be automatically included when your listing is emailed from Paragon. Within the Associated Documents maintenance window, there is a check box for Public. Check this box only for documents that are appropriate for the public. Also, when entering the description for your document, please remember your audience includes the public. Please note that the public box is not marked by default.

August 2011

-Recent Keycard Violations: We have had two recent complaints from sellers that Realtors have shown property without waiting for confirmation. In addition to being a violation of the SCWMLS Rules and your keycard agreement, entering a property without permission is trespassing and is against the law. MLS sanctions for this offense include fines to both the agent and to their broker, and may result in loss of keycard privileges. MLS sanctions may be the least of your worries if a seller decides to press criminal charges. PLEASE, call for an appointment and WAIT for confirmation before showing properties.

-Single Family Zoned Multi Family - A recent rule change now allows single unit properties that are zoned multi-family to be listed within the Multi-Family class within Paragon. A new pick list item, Single Unit Zoned Multi-Family, has been added under the Type feature pick list for these types of property. If a single unit property that is zoned multi family is entered under the Multi-Family class, it cannot also be entered under the Single Family class.

July 2011

Next Version of Paragon - Paragon 5

For the last year, a group of your fellow Realtors have been busy testing the next version of Paragon. We are now at a point where most of the bugs have been worked out and we are comfortable opening up access to all. Paragon 5 is compatible with not only Internet Explorer, but also with Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera and the iPad. Paragon 5 shares the same database as Paragon 4, which allows members to bounce back and forth between the old and the new while they get comfortable with the new. Paragon 5 supports multi-tasking via tabs which allows you to be more efficient.

A tentative date of October 10 has been set for the sunset of Paragon 4. You are welcome to begin using Paragon 5 at your convenience. The url for Paragon 5 is http://scwmls.paragonrels.com. Use the same login name and password you use for Paragon 4.

Within the red section at the top of the home page you will find links to training videos, quick start guides and webinars. Hands-on classes at the MLS office have been scheduled starting the week of August 1. A link to the training schedule can be found on the Paragon 5 homepage. Paragon 5 is quite similar to Paragon 4, and you may find you need no additional training.

Please don't wait until the last minute to familiarize yourself with Paragon 5. Allowing yourself some time will make for a much easier transition.

Photo Reminders:

-At least one photo is required for all listings except vacant land, commercial property, and new construction. A photo must be loaded within 7 days of listing input. Offices will be billed $50 if the MLS has to send its photographer out to take a photo.

-No photos of bodies of water are allowed unless the view is visible from the property, or from deeded access.

-Photos should not contain office/agent names, logos, or contact information. If it is not possible to take a photo without including the for sale sign, the contact information on the sign must be edited out.

-It is against MLS rules and copyright law to copy another agent’s photos for use on your listing without permission. Those submitting photos with the knowledge that they do not have the right to use said photos will be subject to a fine of $25 per photo in addition to any legal remedies available to the owner of the photos.

June 2011

New Green Features Added:
Under Heating/Cooling for Single Family and Condo
-In floor radiant heat
-Geothermal
-Whole house fan

Under Interior Features for Single Family and Condo
-Tankless Water Heater
Under Energy Efficient/Green Features for Single Family and Condo
-Low E Windows
-Recycled/Reclaimed content
-Low VOC materials

Under Energy Efficient/Green Features for Multi Family
-Low E Windows
-Recycled/Reclaimed content
-Low VOC materials
-In floor radiant heat
-Geothermal
-Whole house fan
-Tankless water heater

If you select any features under the Energy Efficient/Green Features section, please complete the Energy Efficient/Green Associated Document which can be found here.

-Electronic Consent Y/N:  A new optional Yes/No field has been added to the MLS Profile Sheets and to the add listings screens in Paragon for Electronic Consent.  Indicate Yes if your seller has consented to the use of email as a means to deliver documents and written notices related to their transaction.  This new Yes/No field can be found in the section with the other Yes/No questions such as Named Exceptions.  The preferred email address for this delivery should be included in the Broker-to-Broker Remarks.  For a copy of what needs to be sent to the seller to authorize electronic consent, click here.   Updated profile sheets can be found here.

May 2011

-Agent Access to Update Assessments/Taxes:  Users with standard agent level security can now update the assessment and tax fields on their listings within Paragon.   In addition to assessments and taxes, agents can maintain photos, virtual tours, associated documents, map location, public remarks, showing instructions, open house date/time, and broker open date/time/comments for all their listings. 

-Marinette County Listings added to WIREX:  Listings from the Marinette County MLS have recently been added to WIREX.  Some of the communities covered include Crivitz, Marinette, Peshtigo, and Menomonie, MI.  1,300 active listings and 4,000+ sales were added.   Select WIREX at login or click the MLS Switcher at the top of the Paragon screen to search the WIREX database.  Click here for an updated WIREX coverage map.

-Do you WIREX?
   There are currently 96,000+ active listings in the WIREX database from 7 separate MLSs as follows:  Metro Milwaukee 33,400, South Central WI 21,800, Northeast WI 17,400,  Northwest WI 11,000, Western WI 5,600, Central WI  5,500, Marinette 1,300.

-eKey (Blackberry, Droid, IPhone) Hot Tip: To avoid functionality issues out in the field, be sure to update your eKEY software before you start your day.  
       Blackberry users - Open the application - press your menu button - choose Update Key. 
       Droid/iPhone users - Open the application - choose the Update icon. 
The software will then update automatically and let you know that your key has been updated.  

April 2011

-MLS Billing Statements E-Mailed:  MLS billing statements were sent via e-mail last week to offices that did not request to receive a mailed copy.  This is a new process being done to cut expenses.  If you did not receive your March MLS billing statement (which includes second quarter dues) via e-mail or postal mail, please contact Kristine at kristine@wisre.com or 608.240.2800 x 303.

-Updated 2011 Madison Area/Subarea Map:  The 2011 version of the MLS Madison Area/Subarea Wall Map is now available.  Each MLS office and branch office is entitled to one free copy of this map.  There were no Area/Subarea reassignments for this update, but streets added within the City of Madison since the last printing (2008) have been added.  If you would like an updated copy of this map, please stop by the MLS office Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.  The cost for additional maps is $15 each.   

-Using MLS Statistics in Marketing:  If you use MLS statistics in your marketing, you must include the following to describe the data your representations are based on:
-A description of the type of property included (single family, condo, multi-family, waterfront, etc.)
-The geography of the listings included (Dane County, City of Madison, All South Central WI MLS)
-The period of time covered (December of 2010, 2010, First Quarter of 2011)
-Notice that the source of the data is the South Central WI MLS

March 2011

-New Listing Feature Options Added:  The following selections have been added to the feature lists within Paragon.   If you have a listing that has one of these features, please add it.  These additions will be added to the profile sheets the next time they are modified.  

-Condo - FHA/VA Approved under Terms/Misc.
-Lots & Acreage - Farm under Type (Farm Associated Doc required)
-Lots & Acreage - In Existing Condo Plat under Type
-Rural/USDA has been added as a new type of financing for sold properties. 

-ActiveKey HotTip:  If your ActiveKey stops updating automatically, please reset it by sticking the end of a paperclip in the little bitty not clearly marked hole on the back of the card.  Why they don't make this reset more obvious is beyond me!

-Is your Supra ActiveKey updating automatically?   If the answer is NO, we may have a solution for you.  The newest version of the ActiveKey is updating automatically in areas where previous versions of the key did not.   If you currently rely on calling in to update your keycard because it is not automatically updating, it is important that you call us for a replacement.  Beginning in April, you will no longer be able to call in for keycard updates more than two consecutive times.   This change is being done to improve the accuracy of showing reports available within the keycard system.   Currently, only keys that update via a cell tower or thru a USB cable connection are included in showing reports.  Stop by (no appt necessary) to get a replacement ActiveKey if your key has never updated (or has stopped updating) via the cell towers. Contact Marian @ 608-240-2800 or email marian@wisre.com if you have any questions.

-MLS Remarks:   The MLS Public Remarks are reserved for information about the property.  Verbiage that includes the directive to contact someone, or the inclusion of contact information for the listing agent/office or anyone else is not allowed.   This restriction also applies to photos, virtual tours, and public associated documents include on the MLS.  Contact information can be included in the Broker-to-Broker Remarks and the Wisconsinhomes.com Remarks. 

February 2011

-Disclosing Limited Service - Please remember that a Limited Service listing is an agreement under which the listing broker will not provide one or more of the services listed below.  Even if just one of these is not being offered, you must answer the Limited Service question as Yes, and attach the required Limited Service Disclosure Form as an Associated Document. 

- Arrange showings
-Accept and present offers
-Advise on the merits of the offer
-Assist with counter offers
-Participate in negotiations on the seller's behalf
-Schedule and coordinate the closing
-Order title insurance
-Hold earnest money

-Disclosing Licensee Interest:    If you, as the listing agent, have a personal interest in a property you have listed on the MLS, you must answer "yes" to the Licensee Interest Y/N question.  Licensee interest would apply if you are acting on your own behalf, on behalf of your immediate family, on behalf of your firm, or on behalf of any other organization or business entity in which you have an interest.   Answering "yes" alerts the agent working with the buyer that you have a personal interest in the transaction, so that further disclosure, as required by license law, can be included should an offer to purchase be written.   In addition, it is helpful if you include the nature of your interest in the private broker-to-broker remarks so that the agent writing the offer can include the appropriate disclosure language.

January 2011

-The MLS Committee makes decisions about changes to Paragon, the keycard system, and MLS rules.  If you would like to discuss an item you feel would make our MLS better, please feel free to contact a member of the MLS Committee.  Contact information for the 2011 MLS Committee can be found here.   MLS staff is also available to discuss MLS services with you, but we recognize that sometimes it is easier to talk to a fellow Realtor.   

-Use your Smartphone to open keyboxes -- If you have a Blackberry, Android phone, or iPhone, you can eliminate your ActiveKey and use your Smartphone as your keycard.  The annual fee to use the MLS keybox system is the same for ActiveKey users and Smartphone users.   There is an up front fee of approximately $50 to purchase the adapter that turns your Smartphone into a keycard, but you get your $50 deposit on your ActiveKey back...so it is a wash!   If you would like to upgrade, PLEASE contact the MLS (240-2800 or marian@wisre.com) to SCHEDULE an upgrade appointment.  An upgrade takes about 25 minutes.    

-WIREX Update:  We have recently loaded listings for Western Wisconsin MLS into WIREX.   This includes 57,000+ listings (5,200 actives plus off markets back to July of 2005) located north and west of Eau Claire up to Hayward and over to the Minnesota border.  Click the MLS Switcher above or select WIREX at login to search statewide MLS listings.

December 2010

-Checking for Listings not Mapped - Searching by map has become very popular.  If your listing 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.  You can either select the blue M from an agent full or select one of the views with a map.  If the map placement is not correct, you can adjust it under Listing Maintain.  For a list of all your properties (or all properties in your office if you have administrative access) that are currently not mapped at all, click on Listings and Missing Geocode Search.  From the list that displays, you can only fix one listing at a time via the Change Geocode link at the top.   Click the grey Map It button next to the address that most closely matches the listing.  When the map displays you can fine tune the placement by clicking once on the map where the property should be located.  Note there is a Zoom feature that will help in your placement.  Click Save & Close above the map to save your changes.   There are currently over 2800 active listings that do not have a map associated with them in Paragon.  That means over 2800 active listings do not come up as matches when searching by map.  Please check your listings.  

-Is Your Listing Being Missed?    When entering a new listing into Paragon, please select all the features that apply.  If you select just 2 car garage, for instance, and do not indicate attached, your listing will not come up as a match if a search is done for homes with a 2-car attached garage.   Also, please do not use Call School District in place of school names unless the school district cannot provide you with specific schools.  Again, if a search is done including a specific school, and you have Call School District entered instead of the actual school name, your listing will be missed.   If you have not done so already, you may want to bookmark this helpful link to school district phone numbers. 

-Your Android Smartphone can now be used as your Supra key.  A free eKEY application is now available to download from the Android Market.  A FOB is required to make the Android phone work as an eKEY.  Call the SCWMLS to reserve your FOB or order directly from Supra via this FOB order form.  Once you have the eKEY application loaded and your FOB, please call the SCWMLS to schedule an upgrade appointment.  The upgrade process can take up to 25 minutes.  Call (608) 240-2800 or email marian@wisre.com with questions or to schedule your upgrade appointment.   Android OS 2.1 required. 

November 2010

- Unsure about whether the home you just listed is a bi-level or raised ranch?  Do you want to know what the difference is between a bungalow and a Cape Cod? How about condos- what is a garden and how is it different from a townhouse style?  Check out the Home Style Guide on the MLS website under Resources for answers to these and many other questions, including how to measure square footage the right way . 

-Better Photo Quality:  We are pleased to announce that the maximum file size for photos uploaded directly into Paragon has been increased from 32k per photo to 150k per photo. Resolution should continue to be the 640x480 standard, but with the increase in file size allowed, higher quality photos should be able to be obtained by utilizing any equal aspect ratio of that standard (i.e. 640x480, 1280x960, 1920x1440). 

October 2010

-The Agent Full report includes all the information and links to additional info needed for a showing agent.   What it does not include is the listing side information such as marketing information (i.e. other market area & internet Y/N) and showing instructions for those using the MLS-sponsored ShowingTime Appointment Center.   We have created a new report called All Fields-For Office to combine the Agent Full report and listing side information. This new two-page report can be found under the Detail Report section of Available Reports. We hope this new report will be a helpful tool for listing office staff.

The following enhancements were made to Paragon Mobile:
-The login screen now has an option to remember login name & password. 
-Status has been added to Quick Search.
-Quick search now includes zip code.
-You no longer need to use the * when searching fields such as Street, Municipality, Subdivision.
-Agent and office phone numbers are now clickable links.
-Zip code, Agent Name, and Office Name are now included under the full search.
-You can now default a search location under Preferences.

Paragon mobile can be found at http://scwmls.mobile.fnismls.com

-Under the Type feature for Single Family and the Style feature for Condo, a new choice has been added for Building Plans with Lot.  Please use this feature if you are marketing a building contract with a lot.  The MLS does not allow building contracts to be marketed unless a lot is included.  In addition, only one building plan can be marketed per lot. 

-If your office uses the MLS-sponsored ShowingTime Appointment Center, you may now enter your showing instructions at the same time you enter your listings in Paragon.  This information will be automatically sent to the ShowingTime Appointment Center software.  Revised MLS Profile Sheets can be found here.   If you do not currently subscribe to the ShowingTime Appointment Center, please skip over the MLS/ShowingTime Appointment Center information on the profile sheet and within that section during the add listing process. 

-If your property is an REO (Real Estate Owned, which is how banks carry a property acquired through foreclosure on their books), PLEASE include the REO feature located under Terms/Misc.  Fannie/Freddie require that REO properties be scrutinized for their effect on the market as they often sell for a lower price due to their liquidation status.  If an REO property is not marked as such, it may go through valuation channels as a "normal" sale which could lower the market value for an area, especially if there are multiple REOs in one area.  

September 2010

-New Statistical Graphs Available:  The MLS is now publishing four new statistical graphs as part of a monthly composite of statistics.  The new graphs track the number sales, the median sale price, total inventory, and the month's supply of inventory by month for the last two years for Dane County and for the combined eight-county South Central Wisconsin MLS region.  The statistical composite also includes a statistical narrative, monthly and year-to-date sales figures and sales by price range and bedrooms.   You can find this Monthly Statistical Reports icon on the right panel of the www.scwmls.com home page.   

-Cooperative Commission Reminder: The Rules and Regulations of the SCWMLS state that the compensation specified on listings filed with the SCWMLS shall appear in one of two forms - either as a percentage of the gross selling price or as a definite dollar amount.  Offers of compensation made through the SCWMS that are other than a percentage of the gross sales price or flat dollar amount, such as a notice that commission will be based on the selling price less any credits from seller to buyer for prepaid expenses or closing costs, are not binding upon the cooperating broker unless there is a mutual agreement between the listing broker and cooperating broker. Best practices suggest that such agreements be in writing and define key terms - such as "prepaid expenses" and "closing costs."

-Change to Customer Reports:  In response to member requests, we have removed the assessment amounts from the customer reports in Paragon.  The land, improvements, and total assessments are still available on the Agent Full report.   

August 2010

-Attention iPhone Users:  The eKEY for the iPhone is now available.  Turn your iPhone into a lockbox key and eliminate your current ActiveKEY.  Call the MLS or email marian@wisre.com for more information or to schedule an appointment for your upgrade.   

- Notification of Potential Short Sale:  The SCWMLS does not mandate that a listing broker disclose that there is a potential for a short sale situation.   However, if disclosure is not made, the cooperating broker is entitled to rely upon the amount of commission specified by the listing broker in the MLS upon submitting an offer to purchase.   If the listing broker does disclose a short sale potential, they should also consider indicating in the broker-to-broker comments how any reduction in commission required by the lender as a condition of approving the sale would be apportioned between the listing and cooperating brokers.  The timing of the communication to the cooperating broker once the listing broker is made aware of a reduction was recently clarified in the SCWMLS rules.  The listing broker must disclose to the cooperating broker in writing the total reduction in gross commission and the amount by which the compensation payable to the cooperating broker will be reduced within 3 business days of notification from the lender. 

- Turn off automatic showing notifications to extend your ActiveKEY's battery life.  To disable Showing Notifications, press the on/off button on your ActiveKEY. Scroll to Preferences and press Enter. Press 1 for Notification. If notifications is turned ON, Press 2 to turn notifications off and then press Enter.

- Are You Updating Your Remarks?  There are listings on Paragon that still reference the $8,000 Tax Credit.  There are also some that say things like "no showings until June 30th".  When you put time specific references in your remarks, please update those remarks when circumstances change.  

July 2010

-Northwest Wisconsin Listings added to WIREX:  Listings from the Northwestern Wisconsin MLS have been added to WIREX.  Communities covered include Eau Claire, Menomonie, Chippewa Falls, down to Black River Falls, and up past Rice Lake to Hayward and Cable.   Click the MLS Switcher above to search the WIREX database.  Click here for an updated WIREX coverage map.

Do you WIREX? There are currently 97,000+ active listings in the WIREX database from 5 separate MLSs as follows:
           Metro Milwaukee: 36,000
           South Central WI: 24,500
           Northeast WI: 18,500
           Northwest WI: 12,000
           Central WI: 6,000   

-Keep your Supra ActiveKEY Cool:  Your ActiveKEY is designed to operate in temperatures between -4° and 131°F. Low or high temperature conditions can shorten battery life or cause an ActiveKEY to malfunction. For maximum battery life, DO NOT leave an ActiveKEY in hot environments, including a car, because temperatures in parked cars can exceed this range.  If you see the following message on your ActiveKEY: MAXTEMP EXCEEDED SAFE MODE ON, your key has reached a high temperature and cannot be used until it cools down.

-Open Houses on Realtor.com:  Open House date and time as entered in Paragon now display on listings within Relator.com.   To load Open House information, open the OPEN HOUSE/TOUR section of the listing input screen and add the appropriate date and times.  

-Paragon Mobile allows real-time access to Paragon from any browser-enabled device such as a BlackBerry, Treo, iPhone or PDA.  When compared to the current Paragon Wi-Fi product, this new service offers more fields to search on (including off market listings), more data displayed about each listing, an office/agent roster search, and the ability to email MLS listings from your mobile device.  Access to the current Paragon Wi-Fi (scwmls.fnismls.com/Paragonwifi) will be turned off on August 1.  Please begin using the new Paragon Mobile which can be found at http://scwmls.mobile.fnismls.com.  When logging in, use the same login name and password as you do for Paragon online.  Click here for tips on using this new service. 

June 2010

-Keycard Reminders:
-  Each Key is assigned to an individual (not an office or team)
-  Your key may not be shared with others
-  You may not borrow someone else's key

There is only one exception to these rules.  If your key is not functioning properly, or if you have lost your key, you may temporarily borrow your Broker/Manager's key until you can secure a replacement.  If you do not have your own key, you may never borrow a key, not even from your Broker/manager.   Please be aware that keycard violations are subject to disciplinary action with fines up to $1,000 and possible loss of key privileges.

-Are you thinking of switching to eKEY service, from your current ActiveKEY?  If so, please schedule an appointment with our staff (call 608.240.2800 or email kristine@wisre.com)   You may not even need to physically come to our office as the eKEY software can be downloaded. From your smartphone, go to - www.ekeymobile.com for either Palm or Windows Mobile options. The FOB (if you have a Blackberry) order form can be found here or you can order your FOB thru us when you call to schedule an appointment.

-A field for agent fax number has been added to the agent full report.  If you have a personal fax number you would like displayed on your listings, please email your fax number to support@wisre.com.   Our membership database has had this field for awhile, but we were unable to display it on custom reports until now.  There are over 500 agents that over time have provided their personal fax number.  If you have ever reported a fax number to us, please check one of your listings to be sure it displays your current fax number.  If you don't know if you have ever reported a fax number to us, please check one of your listings.   The fax number appears along with listing agent name, phone, email, etc. at the bottom of the agent full report. 

Here are a few tips for marketing township properties: 
-Use the "Other Market Area" field.  If you add what you think is the most appropriate contiguous city or village as the Other Market Area, your township listing will come up in searches for that city or village on Paragon and on wisconsinhomes.com. You may want to consider location, school district or mailing address when making this decision.  The city or village you select must be contiguous (touching) the township your property is in. 

-Start your remarks with something like "Only 2 miles east of the City of Sun Prairie." Most of the public websites, including just recently Realtor.com, include the remarks section of your listing.  

-If the street number of your rural listing begins with an alpha character, do not move the alpha character to the street direction field. The W or N before the street number is part of the street number, not a street direction. This is very important for correct mapping placement.

May 2010

New Auction Form:  The mandatory associated document for auctions has been updated to better accommodate online auctions, and to indicate the type of auction.  Please begin using this new form for all properties being sold via an auction.   The most recent MLS profile sheets and mandatory associated documents (auction, limited service, farm) can always be found by clicking on MLS Documents at the top of the screen.  Profile sheets are also available within ZipForms and can be completed electronically there. 

-Realtor.com is now including a free Foreclosure badge on all properties from our MLS that are marked as REO.  If you have a property that has been foreclosed on, please make sure you select REO under the Terms pick list to take advantage of this new marketing badge.

-MLS Rule Reminder:   A new listing contract must be obtained before re-entering an existing listing into the MLS as new.  If the MLS discovers a new listing contract was not obtained, the new listing will be deleted and the listing broker will be fined $50.  It is not acceptable to draft only an amendment to create a new MLS listing. 

April 2010

-Photo Hot Tip:  When loading photos into Paragon, please remember that Realtor.com only takes the first 4 photos, so put your best 4 first. 

-New Total Bath Search Option:  On February 11, the four digit bath field as we knew it was removed from Paragon, and a minimum and maximum Full Bath field was added as a search parameter in its place.   After that change, we received calls requesting the ability to be able to search for Half Baths along with Full Baths.  Because Full Baths and Half Baths were separate fields, when a Half Bath was included in search parameter along with Full Baths, homes that had no half baths but had over the minimum number of full baths requested would not come up.  We have fixed this by adding a new Minimum and Maximum Total Bath field for searching.  These fields are set up to accept 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, etc.  For example, if you are looking for a home with at least one full and one half bath, enter 1.5 in the Minimum Total Bath field.   

-New School & Neighborhood InfoA link to School and Neighborhood data has been added to agent full listing reports within Paragon.  You will now see a blue circle marked with an N along with the D for Documents, H for History, M for Map, and T for Tax "skittles".  Data on Schools, Housing, Economy, People, and Environment can be found for each property.  Reports contain city, zip code, county, and national statistics.  You can also find these reports for addresses that are not listed by clicking on Resources and then School & Neighborhood Reports.   

March 2010

-New MLS Rule:  At their March meeting, the MLS Board of Directors approved the following in regards to MLS Remarks.  This new rule will take effect on Monday, April 5.  

If, in the judgment of the SCWMLS Board of Directors, the information contained in a property profile entered into the SCWMLS system displays content or links to other sources that contain content that is illegal, obscene, indecent, disparaging, discriminating or otherwise offensive, the listing broker shall have 2 business days to remove this content or link(s). In the event that listing broker fails to comply with this obligation, the property shall be deleted from the system by the SCWMLS.

-Expanded Agent Access to Maintain Listings:  In the past, the standard agent level security in Paragon allowed agents to add photos, add virtual tours, add associated documents, and modify the map location for their listed properties.  These options are available by clicking Listings and Maintain Listings from the Paragon Menu Bar.  On Wednesday, security on the following fields were opened up so agents can maintain them on their own listings:

Under the Remarks Section
-MLS Remarks
-Additional Wisconsinhomes.com Remarks 

Under the Open House/Tour Section
-Showing Instructions
-Open House Date and Time
-Broker Open House Date, Time and Comments

Please remember that MLS Remarks are limited to information about the property.  Comments regarding company or self promotion are not allowed in MLS Remarks.

Also, please note that after the date has passed for an open house or broker open, Paragon automatically deletes the date, time and comments.  You do not have to delete past open house information

-If you have a home listed that has a first floor bedroom and/or bathroom, please indicate this under the Barrier Free Feature.  Even if you do not consider the property to be "barrier free" in other respects, having a first floor bedroom and/or bath may be "barrier free" enough for certain buyers, such as seniors.

Is There Really a Water View?  In response to recent complaints, the MLS Board of Directors clarified the following in our rules regarding photos allowed on MLS listings:    No photos of bodies of water are allowed unless the view is visible from the property, or from deeded access. 

-To facilitate easier searching for properties that have only one dwelling unit, but are being used for student housing and allow unrelated occupants, a new feature under Terms/Misc has been added for Zoned Multi-Family. 

February 2010

-New Open House Y/N Search Option:   If you enter an open house date and time for your listing, a yes will automatically be triggered in a new Open House Y/N field. You can now set up auto emails for prospects looking for open houses. The Open House Y/N search field can be found on the Advanced Criteria tab along with the open house date. You can still search by open house date, but dates are not able to be stored in auto searches, hence the reason for the new Yes/No field. The Yes flag will be automatically flipped to No when the open house date is passed. 

-Craig's List Alert:  We have received notice that a vacant MLS listed property was again posted for rent on Craig's List by a bogus party.  If you have a vacant property listed, you may want to check to be sure it is not posted on Craig's List.  If you find your property is being advertised falsely for rent, report it as a scam to Craig's List and request that it be removed immediately. 

-Data Conversion and Profile Sheet Changes:   On 2/11, three quarter baths were combined with full baths, and Total Baths were replaced with a Full Bath search option (click here for details).  If you have prospects that have specified a certain number of bathrooms, you will need to update the criteria for those prospects.  A new field for Mailing City (to be used for data exports to websites) and several new features have also been added. Click here for updated profile sheets. 

-2009 Tax/Mill Rates are available under Resources on www.scwmls.com. 

-Age Reminder:   Properties that are less than a year old should be entered with an age of 0.   If you do not know the age of a property, and cannot find it recorded in public records, enter 999 which represents Unknown.  

January 2010

-The MLS requires that closings be reported to the MLS within 10 calendar days of the closing.   If a closing is not reported within 10 calendar days, the broker is subject to a late fee of $5 per day up to $25.   MLS staff has not gone looking for solds reported late in the past, but in light of recent complaints, we have unfortunately had to re-assign staff to check for solds reported late, and will follow up with late fees of $5 per day invoiced to the broker. In addition, if an office falsifies the closing date to avoid this penalty, that office is subject to a $100 penalty on top of the $5 per day fee. Please report your closings within 10 days so we don't have to fine you. 

-We are grateful to have building contracts included in our MLS data.  They are very helpful for appraisers and for Realtors doing market analysis.  If you would like to enter your building contract, please wait until after it closes, and then enter it directly into sold (choose sold rather than active).  Enter the actual list date, accepted offer date, and closing date.  Please note that only building contracts with land included are allowed in the MLS.

If you have a building plan (with land) or a property under construction listed as active, please make sure you update the property characteristics (square footage changes, lower level finish, deck addition, etc.) when they change.  If you end up making additions, please remember to update the list price as well.   Please note that you must include the estimated completion date for all properties under construction within the first line of the public remarks. 

-The MLS Committee makes decisions about changes to Paragon, the keycard system, and MLS rules.  If you would like to discuss an item you feel would make our MLS better, please feel free to contact a member of the MLS Committee.  Contact information for the 2010 MLS Committee can be found here.   MLS staff is also available to discuss MLS services with you, but we recognize that sometimes it is easier to talk to a fellow Realtor.   

-Recent contract negotiations with GE have resulted in the waiver of eKEY Basic Fees.   If you are interested in using a smartphone or PDA to open keyboxes, click here.    Attention Blackberry users: a FOB is required to create infrared capabilities.  Click here for a FOB order form.  You must have your FOB in hand before you can upgrade to an eKEY. 

December 2009

-Central Wisconsin MLS Listings added to WIREX:  Listings for the Central Wisconsin MLS (Stevens Point, Marshfield, Wausau, Wisconsin Rapids areas) have been added to WIREX.   WIREX now contains listings from Central WI, Metro Milwaukee, Northeast WI and South Central WI MLSs.  The WIREX database is available via the login drop down or the MLS Switcher at the top of the Paragon screen.

-Kevin King Returns as RASCW/SCWMLS EVP  -- We are excited to announce that Kevin King has agreed to come back to serve as the Executive Vice President of the Realtors Association of South Central Wisconsin and the South Central Wisconsin MLS.  For those of you who do not know Kevin, he has served as the WRA General Counsel for the last 3 ½  years, and before that was our EVP for 10 years.   We are looking forward to having him back!   Kevin will be honoring commitments for the WRA through February 15th, and will start as our EVP on February 16.    If you have a chance to talk to Kevin, please welcome him back. 

-Is there a report that will help me fill out the Fannie Mae Form 1004MC?   Yes, after performing a search for comparables, click on Specialty Views and select the Market Conditions Addendum Report.  

November 2009

-If you have listed a property that is an REO or will result in a Short Sale, please indicate such by selecting the appropriate choice under the Terms Feature.  We often see properties marketed as an REO or Short Sale in the remarks, but the listing does not include this choice under the Features. Most agents use the Feature pick lists when searching, not the Remarks. 

-New Advertising Rule:  At their October meeting, the MLS Board of Directors voted to incorporate the rule below, which is an extension of a current rule that prohibits members from making statements on their websites that suggest the public has access to the MLS, or can search and view listings from the MLS.  This new rule extends the same prohibition to other forms of advertising.   Effective November 20th, members are prohibited from making statements to suggest that the public has access to the MLS, or can search or view listings from the MLS, in any from of advertising including print, television and radio. 

USE OF THE TERMS MLS AND MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE: No MLS participant, subscriber, or licensee affiliated with any participant shall, through the name of their firm, their URLs, their e-mail addresses, their website addresses, or in any other way represent, suggest, or imply that the individual or firm is an MLS, or that they operate an MLS.  Participants, subscribers and licensees affiliated with participants shall not represent, suggest, or imply that consumers or others have direct access to MLS databases, or that consumers or others are able to search MLS databases available only to participants and subscribers.  This does not prohibit participants and subscribers from representing that any information they are authorized under MLS rules to provide to clients or customers is available on their websites or otherwise.

-If your website uses the property search from the framable version of wisconsinhomes.com, it is important that you check your site today.  We have switched over to an updated version of wisconsinhomes.com, and your frame may need to be adjusted.   Most framed websites will need to be at least slightly adjusted.  

Automatically Email Associated Documents - You can now set your associated documents to be automatically included when a listing is emailed from Paragon.   Within the Associated Documents maintenance window, you will now see a check box for Public.  Check this box only for documents that are appropriate for the public.  Also, when entering the description for your document, please remember your audience includes the public.   If you would like to make any of the documents on your current listings public, simply go to Associated Documents Maintenance and check the new Public box.

October 2009

Website Reminder:    If you have a website that allows the public to search for properties, please double check to be sure the property search button does not say something like Search MLS.  MLS rules state, "There should be no statements or graphics that imply the viewer is searching the MLS." 

Important:  There was a problem with maintaining listings Friday morning.   PLEASE verify changes made to listings from 6:00 Thursday night to 10:00 Friday morning, to be sure your changes were saved.  This problem was sporadic so most changes were saved, but unfortunately some were not.  We are very sorry for any inconvenience this has or will cause. 

Reporting Sales Late Will Result in Late Fees.  MLS rules mandate that closed listings be reported as Sold in the MLS within 7 days of the closing.  We have recently received complaints that some of you are not reporting your solds in accordance with this rule.  Upon investigation using June single family and condo as a test, we have discovered that slightly over 10% of the listings closed in June (138 of 1,323 listings) were indeed reported after the 7 day deadline.   Failing to report a status change in accordance with MLS rules falls under our general $5 per day fee for inaccurate or incomplete information.   MLS staff has not gone looking for solds reported late in the past, but in light of recent complaints, we  will unfortunately be re-assigning staff to check for solds reported late and will follow up with late fees of $5 per day (max of $25) invoiced to the broker.   Please report your closings within 7 days so we don't have to fine you.  

More Info on Recent ActiveKEY Firmware Update:  We have just been informed that while adding battery saving features with the lastest version of firmware, GE also removed the option to turn the radio on and off.  In the past, we recommended that you turn off the radio to conserve battery.  When your radio was off, however, your ActiveKEY could not update automatically via cell tower.  Hopefully you are finding that the new battery saving features recently added will be more effective than turning the radio off. 

September 2009

Green Lake County is now available via the Tax Program within Paragon. 

ACTIVEKEY UPDATE: A new version of ActiveKEY firmware that includes several improvements relating to battery performance was downloaded to keys last week. ActiveKEYs that update automatically via cell towers should now be updated. Those that do not update automatically will need to perform a manual sync with the USB cable connection to get the update (which will take 3 to 5 minutes).  For instructions on how to set up a manual sync for your Key, click here 

-If you are looking for a quick way to send an email to all your prospects at the same time, click on the Compose E-mail button above the menu bar on the Paragon home page.  Click on the To link to pull up a list of your prospects. Here you can either move each email address over separately, filter for just a group of Prospects, or click on All to move them all at once.   If you don't want your prospects to see that you have sent your message to many, you can put your own email address in the To field, and use the Bcc field for your prospects. 

August 2009

If a seller is still obligated under the terms of a listing contract, but the property is no longer available to be shown, the property should be moved to a Withdrawn status in the MLS.   If a seller is released from their contract before the actual expiration date, the listing should be Expired.

-If you work within a team and would like your team name to be included on the bottom of the customer full reports, email Jen (jen@wisre.com) with your team name.  After Jen adds your team name to your member record, you can customize the customer reports by clicking on Preferences, Views/Reports, and the Details tab.  Open up the report you would like to change and scroll down to the bottom section in white.  Double click on the white box to display the fields you can include.  Select My Info - Team Name, which is located a little more than half way down.  Highlight this field and click Add. Place a check mark next to the Team Name and next to No Label at the bottom and hit Save & Close.  At this point, the Residential report is done.  You will need to do this for each class of property. Your personal slogan can also be added in this same fashion.

JULY 2009

-The MLS does not define what is a bedroom.  Listing agents should use common sense when calling a room a bedroom.   If you are counting a room as a bedroom that is not a typical bedroom (i.e. does not have a closet, does not have code approved windows, is accessible only by going through another room, etc.), PLEASE indicate in the remarks what makes it atypical so that showing agents and potential buyers are informed before a showing.  

Click here for a list of enhancements added to Paragon recently. 


Advertising Reminder: 
If you advertise a property for sale on a website such as Craig's List, you must include your broker's name as printed on the broker's license, or disclose the trade name as filed with the Department of Regulation and Licensing, just like you do with print ads.  It must be clear that the listing is being offered by a real estate professional and not a private party.   

-When pulling up a map search, the map will center to your office address by default.   If you would like to change this to another address, click on Preferences, User, Search Options.  Check the second box to establish a new default address and click the link to type it in.

JUNE 2009


Photo Hot Tip:  If you get an error message indicating the photo you are loading is not a valid image file, it is most likely because the photo you are trying to load is too large. The photo file size for Paragon should be under 32k, and the image size should be as close to 640x480 as possible. If a photo is over 32k, or larger than 640x480, Paragon will not load it, or will compress the image possibly decreasing the quality. Microsoft provides a nice tool to resize your images. Click here to launch this tool.   

-Are you taking advantage of the Favorites section of the Available Reports menu?  If you find yourself clicking on Details, MultiUps, or one of the other report buckets to find a report you often use, next time, simply click on that favorite report and drag it up under Favorites.   

-Are your listings being missed in a search?   When filling out the MLS profile sheet, please check every item that applies as you never know when the perfect buyer is looking for something slightly unusual that your listing may have.   Also, school names are often used in searches, so please do not select "Call School District" unless the school district cannot provide you with the school names.  Contact information for school districts can be found here

-You can customize the MLS Market that appears on the right side of the Paragon home page to track just the geographic area you want, as well as how many days back (1-7) you want to display as the default.   To adjust these settings, click on Preferences, User, and Market Monitor Filter.

MAY 2009

-Important Reminder about Scheduling Showings Via Paragon:  When you click on the Schedule a Showing icon within Paragon, a box will pop up with your personal information such as phone number and email.  This information is not automatically tied to your member record within Paragon.   This is by design so you have flexibility to enter the most appropriate return phone number or email for that particular showing request.  The email or phone number as entered will stick until you change it.  Because of this flexibility, if you transfer to a new office or change your email or phone number and report that to the MLS to have changed in Paragon, the showing pop up screen will not automatically change; you have to change it.    Please glance at this box each time you set up a showing to be sure the email and phone number are as you want them to be.  If you need to make a change, simply do so right on that screen. 


-Photo Reminder:  South Central WI MLS rules require agents to load a photo within 5 days of input for all listings except vacant land, commercial property, and new construction.  At their last meeting, the Board of Directors extended this to 7 days.  Effectively immediately, if a photo is not loaded within 7 days, the listing agent and his/her broker will be sent a notice giving them 5 additional days from the notice to load a photo.  If a photo is still not loaded, the broker is billed $50 and the MLS sends a photographer out to take a photo. 

APRIL 2009

Have you ever wanted to be able to fit more on the spreadsheet printout from Paragon?  In many cases, the title of a field is larger than the data contained in that field, so when you include that field on a spreadsheet, the column is wider than it needs to be.  When viewing the spreadsheet, if you click on Customize you can utilize the check box under the selected fields that says Use Short Label.  For example, if you include the field for Fin Above Grd SqFt, and then put a check mark next to that field and then check the Use Short Label box, the header for that field will be condensed to AbvGrdSqFt.   You can also take advantage of the option to print horizontally available within the Print window that comes up before a document is sent to your printer.   Print boxes can be different from machine to machine, but look for a Preferences option. 

New Profile Sheets:  The latest revision of MLS profile sheets is available under MLS Documents above or click here.  The following new features have been added to Paragon and are included within this new revision:  Stubbed for Bathroom, Radon Mitigation System, and Unfinished have been added under Basement, Additional for Sale has been added under Condo Parking, and Above Commercial/Retail has been added under Condo Miscellaneous.  If your current listings contain any of these features, please add them.  In addition, page 4 has been added to the profile sheets for Showing Instructions, Open House Info, and Virtual Tour address.

March 2009

-Attention Appraisers:   Do you need help finding the information you need for the new Fannie Mae Market Conditions Addendum?  Click here to register for a free class that will cover how to easily find this information using Paragon.

ShowingAssist Enhancements:
-
When clicking on Schedule a Showing, you can now set up showings beginning at 8:00 a.m.
-An option to decline a showing is now available within the standard email request. 
-You can now double book yourself for a single timeslot by clicking on Request Showing in the drop down.
-You can opt out of the first acknowledgement email and/or the email stating your request has been viewed.  Click on Preferences, User, ShowingAssist, Agent Tab, Advanced Setup.

-Click here for a description of recently added Paragon enhancements.

-2008 Tax/Mill Rates are now available under Resources on www.scwmls.com or click here.  

February 2009

New Lot Size Requirement:  At their last meeting, the MLS Board of Directors voted to mandate that listing agents include the number of acres in the Lot Size field for Single Family listings over 2 acres.  If you have an active single family listing for which the lot is over 2 acres, please add the number of acres in the Lot Size field if it is blank.  The Lot Size field is non-required for parcels under 2 acres, but it is recommended that you include either the number of acres or the dimensions of the lot.

WIREX IS LIVE:  You should now see a new drop down box upon login.  Choices in this drop down are South Central Wisconsin and WIREX.  To use Paragon as you always have, press Enter to select the default of South Central Wisconsin.   If you would like to search for listings outside the South Central Wisconsin market (Metro Milwaukee and Northeast Wisconsin) select WIREX.   You can also switch between South Central and WIREX after logging in by clicking on the MLS Switcher at the top of the screen.  Click here for a pdf flyer about WIREX.


January 2009

-New Cumulative Days on Market Field:   A new days-on-market calculation has been added to Paragon that will allow users to see the cumulative time a listing has been on the market.   When a new listing is entered, Paragon looks to see if a listing with the same address had expired or was withdrawn in the last 30 days.  If a previous listing, meeting these criteria (same address, expired or withdrawn in the last 30 days) is found, Paragon will look at the days on market for that listing and begin counting from there.  The Days on Market (DOM) calculation, showing the time on the market for just that MLS number, is also still available.  Not all listings in Paragon will have a CDOM.  The Cumulative Days on Market is available for listings added or changed since this new calculation became available on 1/1/09.  It is unfortunately not possible to go back in time to trigger a CDOM for all listings in the database.  In addition, we have opted to not turn CDOM on for vacant land listings, as often times the street address is not complete.  You will find the Cumulative Days on Market on the bottom of the Agent full report along with the Days on Market, and on the Property History report.

-On the Showing Instructions tab within the add/maintain listing process, you will find a field for Showing Instructions.  These instructions automatically load to the ShowingAssist program under the Schedule a Showing icon, and are included on the Showing Setup Report.  The Showing Setup Report can be found under Multi-Up Views and is a nice report to work off when setting up showings.  Click here for a sample. 

December 2008

-A single family property can only be entered as a condo if it has condo documents, a shared wall, or a monthly maintenance fee associated with the property.  A condo can only be entered under the single family class if it is a stand-alone or a half-duplex. At their last meeting, the MLS Board of Directors voted to also require that all condos entered in the single family class must include the condo fee within the first line of the public remarks.  Please keep in mind that if your single family property qualifies for inclusion in condo, or if your condo property qualifies for inclusion in single family, it first must be entered in its primary class. 

-Bookmark this LINK to easily check your listings by MLS number on Wisconsinhomes.com and Realtor.com.

-PLEASE include seller concessions within the Points Paid/Seller Credits field when closing a listing in the MLS if seller concessions were given.  Starting April 1, appraisers will have new requirements regarding the details of seller concessions. 

-Additional choices under the Terms feature have been added within Paragon for Short Sale and Bank Owned.  Please modify your listings if one of these situations applies.   These features will be included on the spring profile sheet revision. 

-Listings on Realtor.com were recently upgraded to include the first four photos, as they appear in Paragon, for each property. This is a free and automatic upgrade to your listings. There is nothing you need to do to take advantage of this upgrade. Wisconsinhomes.com continues to display the first eight photos as entered in Paragon. Please keep both Realtor.com and Wisconsinhomes.com in mind when deciding what order you place your listing photos.

November 2008

-As recently clarified by the MLS Board of Directors, in order to create a new listing with a new MLS number in the MLS, you must draft and have your seller(s) sign a new listing contract. If you are relisting a currently active listing before its expiration date, you also need to secure an amendment to expire the original listing early. MLS requirements for a new listing are not met by an amendment requesting a new MLS number.

-With temperatures dropping, keep in mind that your ActiveKEY battery can be affected by the cold.  We recommend that you do not leave your key in the car overnight, or for extended periods of time when the temperatures get below freezing.

-With the changing of the clocks on November 2nd, the keybox access hours also changed.  The boxes now open between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.
 

-Have you Tried the Slide Show in Paragon?   If you click on a photo within Paragon, a slideshow of all the images for that property will display.  If you have never done this, give it a try.  It's pretty cool.  You even have the ability to maintain photos for your listings via this slide show, which is a nice time saving feature.

October 2008

-Are your listings being missed in a search?   When filling out the MLS profile sheet, please check every item that applies as you never know when the perfect buyer is looking for something slightly unusual that your listing may have.   Also, school names are often used in searches, so please do not select "Call School District" unless the school district cannot provide you with the school names.  Contact information for school districts can be found here

-If a property in the MLS is marked as WITHDRAWN, this property has a  valid listing contract on it, but is not being actively marketed.  An example of a situation that would be appropriate for Withdrawn is if the seller does not want showings for a few weeks because they are out of town or are doing improvements to the property.   If you are RELISTING a property, do not put the original listing into Withdrawn.  The original listing must be EXPIRED. There should never be a situation where the same property is in the MLS as Withdrawn and also as Active with the same company.  

-4th quarter MLS dues will be billed in October.  Offices can check their agent roster for a list of active agents that will be billed. From the Paragon home page, click on Membership and either the Agent or Membership Roster.  If there are agents or administrative staff listed as active that are no longer with your company, please email support@wisre.com.

September 2008

-A few Paragon enhancements were installed earlier this week.   For a list of the enhancements, click here.  

-If your ActiveKEY gets stuck on a function and doesn't seem to respond, try resetting the Key.  On the back of your ActiveKEY, below the Serial Number, is a tiny pin-sized hole, marked RESET in very tiny raised lettering.    Insert a paperclip in the hole to reset the Key. Do not use a sharper object such as a pin or a knife. You do not need to use much pressure (you may need to try twice).  If resetting the key does not work, call or stop by the MLS office (M-F 8-5) or call one of the help lines - 877-699-6787 (GE Technical Support) or 608-332-5400 (local staff).

-School Reminder: Please double check to be sure the schools have not changed for your active properties.  A few examples of new schools are Olson Elementary in Madison and Creekside Elementary in Sun Prairie. 

August 2008

-ActiveKEY Hot Tip:  Please be sure to charge your ActiveKEY on a daily basis.  This will ensure that your key will function properly when you need it.  You can leave your ActiveKEY plugged in until you are ready to use it.  You cannot overcharge the battery in your ActiveKEY.  If you leave it uncharged for several days, your ActiveKEY may cease to function.   Replacements are issued at the SCWMLS office if necessary.

-New Feature Choices:  Additional choices under the Terms feature have been added for Short Sale and Bank Owned.   Additional choices under the Waterfront feature have been added for No Motor Lake, No Wake Lake, and Water Ski Lake  Please modify your current listings if appropriate.

-Why are Some Photos not Loading?  On June 23, we increased the number of photos allowed per listing from 9 to 25.  Because most listings do not have 25 photos, the "Photo not Available" place holder was printing each time a photo was not included for one of the 25 spots. We received many complaints that this place holder was a waste of toner, and frankly that was a good point.  So, we eliminated the place holder.  Now if a listing does not have a photo, a blank space will appear where the photo should be.  If you would like to double check to be sure the listing does not have photos, the first column on the default spreadsheet is titled Picture, and represents the number of pictures for each listing.  As a side note, 20% of the current 14,300 active single family and condo listings already have more than 9 photos. 

-Blast Agent E-Mails from Paragon:  By design, your Paragon system does not have the ability to blast email other agents.  It has been determined that this feature would not be popular with most agents.  If you would like to notice other agents of an upcoming open house or a broker open, please enter this information within the listing itself.  If you have other important information you would like to share with other agents, please use the Message Board below. 

July 2008

-ActiveKey Upgrade:  Late last week, your ActiveKey should have received an automatic upgrade to display the battery status as bars rather than numbers and words.  This upgrade will help to extend the life of the battery.

-Photo Reminder - It is against MLS rules and copyright law to copy another agent's property photos for use on your listing without permission.  Those submitting photographs with the knowledge that they do not have the right to authorize the MLS to publish the photograph(s) shall be subject to a fine of $25 per photograph in addition to any legal or equitable remedies available to the owner of the photograph(s).

-Condos and Single Family: Q:  When can you list a condo under the single family class in Paragon?  When can you list a single family dwelling as a condo?  A:  A single-family residential property can only be entered as a condo if it has condo documents, a shared wall, or a monthly maintenance fee associated with the property. A condo can only be entered under the single family class if it is stand-alone or a half-duplex. 

June 2008

-New Fields Added to Paragon:  The following field/features have been added to Paragon.  These new options will be included on the next revision of MLS Profile Sheets which is scheduled for the Fall. 

-Showing Instructions:  On the last tab during the add/maintain listing process, a new 512 character field has been added for Showing Instructions.  These instructions are being automatically loaded to the ShowingAssist program and have been added to the Showing Set Up Report. 

-Additional choices under the Waterfront feature have been added for No Motor Lake, No Wake Lake, and Water Ski LakePlease modify your current waterfront listings as appropriate. 

-Additional choices under the Terms feature have been added for Short Sale and Bank Owned.   Please modify your current listings if appropriate.

-MLS Now Allows Up to 25 Photos:  The Paragon system has been adjusted to accept 25 photos per listing.  All 25 photos are now accessible via the photo spinner on each listing.  The current Customer Full All Photo Report will be expanded to two pages to accommodate all photos in a print format. 

May 2008

-Listing Reminder: Please remember to update information such as assessments, taxes, stage of completion for new construction, and age if your listing has been on the market awhile.  Also, if you include time-specific information in the remarks (such as no showings until a certain date), please remove that information once the situation no longer applies. 

-Updates to Paragon History Program & Report:  The history program and report received a few upgrades/bug fixes last week.  For a long time now we have been struggling with history entries that appear out of date order.  This problem has been fixed.  Another issue we have struggled with is not being able to run a history on a specific unit within a condo project.  This functionality has been added.   In addition, the map on the history report was upgraded to a Virtual Earth Map which allows you to right click to zoom in and out and switch to an aerial view, and the photo box was upgraded to include a slide show.  Simply click the photo to open a slide show box. 

-If your office has not picked up their new iBoxes from the MLS, please do so asap.  It is essential that all old grey AEII lockboxes are replaced with new blue iBoxes before new keycards are distributed in early June, as the new keycards cannot open the old lockboxes.  To keep the cost of this new system down, we negotiated a significant credit against the cost of the new iBoxes for each old AEII lockbox turned in by May 15.  Offices will be assessed a fee of $35 for each old lockbox still outstanding after May 15.   

April 2008

-Lot Size Expansion:  The selection of Over 20 Acres under Single Family Lot Size has been expanded.  The new choices are Over 20-40 Acres, Over 40-80 Acres, and Over 80 Acres.  The updated Single Family Profile Sheet can be found here.  We have updated all current active and pending listings that had the actual acreage listed under the Lot Size free form field.  If you have a listing that is over 20 acres, and do not have the actual acreage listed under the Lot Size field, your listing was defaulted to Over 20-40 Acres.  Please check your listings that are over 40 acres to be sure they are correctly labeled.   If you currently have single family saved searches that contain the selection for Over 20 Acres, this will be changed to Over 20-40 Acres.  Please make adjustments if your buyer is looking for listings over 40 acres. 

-Adding Virtual Tours:  Included in one of the recent Paragon upgrades was the ability for agents to add virtual tours to their listings.  Although most agents do not have the security level needed to add and maintain listings, they do have the ability to add photos, associated documents, and virtual tours to their listings, as well as change the map location for their listings.  These functions are located under Listings and Maintain from the Paragon Main Menu.   Now that agents have the ability to add their own tours, starting May 1, the MLS will no longer be accepting tours directly from providers on behalf of agents.   Please direct your tour provider to send your virtual tour to you for inclusion on the MLS instead of directly to the MLS.  As virtual tours are becoming more popular, we are finding that without hiring additional MLS staff, we no longer have the time needed on a daily basis to load tours for agents.   This does not mean we are not available to help you load your tours if you need help.  We are always happy to help you with Paragon.  Please keep in mind that the MLS does not allow tours that are branded with the agent name or agent/company information.  The name of the company is allowed.  Often times tour providers send both branded and unbranded tours.  Please make sure the unbranded tour is the one that is added to listings on MLS.

-Customizing the Paragon Spreadsheet - Adding # of Acres:  The spreadsheet that displays after doing a search in Paragon is customizable for each agent. To add a field such as Lot Size/Acres to your spreadsheet, click on Customize on the tool bar directly above the spreadsheet.  A box will pop up showing two lists of fields.  The list on the right contains fields already on your spreadsheet, and the list on the left contains fields that can be added.  Please note that the list on the left is alphabetical.  Find the field you want to add, click on it, and then click the Add button between the two boxes.  The new field will be added to the bottom of the list on the right.  You may need to scroll down to see it.  You can also remove fields by moving them from the right box to the left box.   There are also move up and move down buttons in between the two boxes that will allow you to set the order of display.   Click the Save & Close button at the bottom when you are done.  This new format will be your default.  If you want to switch back or if you make a mistake, there is a Revert to Default button next to the Save & Close.   

March 2008


-Recent Changes:  The MLS database has been modified as follows:  Farm listings have been merged with Residential, a new feature group has been added for Environmentally Friendly Features, a new School District field has been added, and the class Residential has been renamed Single Family & Residential Income has been renamed Multi Family.  Click here for detailed information.  

Link to new Profile Sheets  
Link to new Farm Associated Document

February 2008

-The MLS also offers customized office training.  If you have at least 8 people in your offices who would like instruction on a common feature or features within Paragon, please call Rick at the MLS to schedule a training session for your office.  There is no charge for this customized Paragon office training.

-New Report Added -- We have recently created a new report that 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 the listing agent information.  We foresee this report will be used when a listing agent wants to print his/her own listings for use in brochure boxes or for other public distribution.    This report can be found under Available Reports and Details.  It is called Customer w/ Agent. 

-If the electricity has been turned off for a property you have listed, PLEASE indicate this in the broker-to-broker remarks so showing agents know to make appointments earlier in the day.  

-It is against MLS rules and copyright law to copy another agent's property photos for use on your listing without permission.  Those submitting photographs with the knowledge that they do not have the right to authorize the MLS to publish the photograph(s) shall be subject to a fine of $25 per photograph in addition to any legal or equitable remedies available to the owner of the photograph(s).

January 2008

-Certain data fields in the MLS, such as expiration date and commissions, are considered confidential, and therefore available only in broker-to-broker reports.  Reports containing these fields may not be distributed to the public.  As the agent full report in Paragon contains these fields, this report should be used internally by Members of the MLS only, and not given to the public.   We have had recent reports of the Agent Full report being left in brochure boxes.  This is against MLS rules.  Please remove Agent Full reports and replace them with Customer Full reports if you have been including them in brochure boxes.  Thank you for your cooperation.   

-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 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. 

- If your office listings do not include the Schedule a Showing icon, and you are interested in allowing agents to set up showings via Paragon and email, you may view a demo of this product here.   If a listing has a Schedule a Showing icon included, please use it when setting up showings. 

December 2007

-Paragon always remembers the last search you did.  During your current Paragon session, the last search criteria automatically appears.  If you logout and log back in, the search criteria does not automatically appear, but you can reload it by selecting Load Search and then Load Last Search from the buttons directly above the search prompts.    

- If you have a listing for which circumstances exist that cause the sale price to be less than market value, please use the MLS remarks to explain those circumstances.

-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 has the words "similar model" included as part of the photo. 

-Concern from the appraiser community: We recently received this email and agree this is an area our members could do better at:
"When sales concessions are involved in a transaction, it is most helpful if they are included on the MLS data sheet.  There is a special area just for this called Points Paid/Seller Credits that is not being used.  As appraisers we have to track down the Realtors® involved in the sale to get the concession amount which is both a bother for the Realtors® and a time burner for the appraiser.  In a market where all details truly matter and where efficiency is critical, I ask that Realtors® kindly take the extra minute to specify the concession amount.  Thank you."

If the seller made concessions, such as paying closing costs or points on behalf of the buyer, please indicate that amount in the Points Paid/Seller Credits field when closing out the listing in Paragon.  

November 2007

-When an agent transfers from one company to another, or to a different branch within the same company, the following should be adjusted in Paragon:

 In the case of a branch-to-branch transfer, be sure to update the company name to reflect the correct branch on each active listing.

Email notifications for prospects must be turned back on.
The reason auto-notifications are turned off is because often times the email address of an agent changes when they change offices. Email sent from an inactive email address can cause all Paragon emails to be blacklisted.

Under Preferences, update your E-Card if you have it turned on.

Under Preferences, update the information in your email Standard Message Body if you use this feature.

If you use the E-Card and/or the Standard Message Body for auto-emails, you must update the notification information on each prospect individually.

If you blind carbon copy yourself on auto-emails, you must update this on each prospect individually

Update company info in saved CMA presentations.

Update your company logo if used on your reports.

Update your contact information in ShowingAssist.


October 2007

-Paragon Upgrade

As you can see, Paragon has a whole new look and feel.  First of all, don't panic!  The changes are almost all in how the system looks, not in how it functions.  Our trainer Rick put it best when he said, "it is the same house, but with a new paint job".  Buttons are bigger, menus are easier to use, and the number of clicks needed to perform a function is reduced.   You can still click on Search to perform a search, and all the same search options and reports are available.   Below are a few of the changes you can expect. 


-As you can see, the home page looks very different . Quick Search is still on the left and Hot Tips are in the middle, but there is a third pane on the right that contains the Market Monitor and Quick Action Links.  The Market Monitor allows you to go back a set number of days (back to 30) instead of restricting you to 24 hours, 3 days, and 7 days.  The Quick Action Links allow you select which Paragon programs you most often use. 

-When you click on a function such as Search, your options now display larger and in an organized fashion, opposed to just one long pick list.  To select an option move your mouse down and then over...don't move your mouse diagonally.  It seems a bit strange at first, but you will get the hang of it!

-Menus now slide in from the right.  The most noticeable place this happens is on a search results page.  There is no longer a views/reports button.  Your report choices will slide in from the right.  You have the ability to move your favorite reports to the top under favorites. 

-For those that add and maintain listings, you can now maintain listings right from the search results spreadsheet by clicking on a new Maintain button on the top toolbar. 

-Links to virtual tours are included on the Agent Full Report.

-The Criteria Summary from Search has been added to HotSheet Search.

-Clicking on a photo will not only enlarge it, but it will give you the ability to scroll through all the photos for that listing. 

-The email address on the agent full report is now a clickable link. 

-Virtual Tour Reminder --  MLS rules prohibit the display of virtual tours that include agent information and/or office contact information.  Office name is allowed.  The reason for this restriction is that links to virtual tours on MLS listings in Paragon are included as part of the Customer Full Report.  By design, the listing company is given credit on this report, but there is no agent information or office contact information.  The Customer Full Report is the email default from Paragon to clients/customers.  Before this restriction was in place, some of the tour links on listings emailed from Paragon took the client/customer to a web page that focused on the agent/office, and not the property. 

September 2007

-The following listing features have been added to Paragon. If you have a listing that has one of these features, please modify your listing to include it.

Residential
8'+ ceiling under the Basement Feature (E)
9'+ ceilings (main level) under Interior Features (P)
High speed internet available under the Interior Features (P)

Condominium
End Unit under the Style Feature (A)
8'+ ceiling under the Basement Feature (D)
9'+ ceilings (main level) under the Interior Features (O)
High speed internet available under the Interior Features (O)

Lots and Acreage
Approved for IZ under the Terms Feature (P)

Farms/Farmettes
Fences under the Farm Features (H)
High speed internet available under the House Features (Q) 

-Our MLS covers mainly South Central and Southwest Wisconsin (click here for a map).  Occasionally an agent will list a property located outside of this region.  The location codes used for these listings are Y01 for other parts of Wisconsin, Y02 for Illinois, Y03 for Minnesota, and Y04 for Iowa.   If you are looking for a specific county or municipality outside the South Central/Southwest Wisconsin region, it works best to skip the location box and use the County or Municipality search boxes which are located on the bottom of the Primary Criteria search screen.

- We have had increased 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. Please take a minute to read the article titled How to Avoid Jumping a Listing.  Click here for a copy.

July 2007

-When viewing a listing in Paragon, one of the links at the top is "correction".  If you click on this link, an email box will open.  Use this link to report to the MLS what you believe to be inaccuracies on that listing.

-The MLS Market area within the Market Monitor (look to the left of this page) is a great place to track activity for a specific geographic market.  By default, the MLS Market is defined as the whole MLS.  You can limit that to just the market you would like to monitor by clicking on the Change Area button within the Market Monitor.  Click Remove All to move all municipalities from the right to the left box, and then move just the municipalities you want to monitor back to the right box.  If you want to include a whole county, click the Sort by Code button to group municipalities by county.

June 2007

-If you right click the map on the Customer Full - Map View you will be given an option to zoom in and zoom out.  In addition, you can switch from Road view to an Aerial view.   After you zoom in or out or switch to another view, this view will hold when you select print.  This is very helpful if you run across a property that shows just one street on the map.  Zooming out will allow you to print a view that is more helpful. 

May 2007

-The MLS Remarks section of a listing is searchable.  You will find the Remarks search prompt under the Advanced Criteria section of the search parameters.  When typing in a word or phrase to search for, put a star before and after (*...*) the word or phrase.  For example, if your buyer would like a property that has tray ceilings enter *tray ceiling* and your search results will include properties for which the listing agent has included tray ceiling or ceilings in the remarks. 

-Confusion regarding the labeling of the STYLE of a condo, particularly ranch vs. garden style, is creating inaccurate information on the system and therefore inaccurate search results.  Garden style should be selected for a condo that has all living space on one level and has other units above or below.  Garden condos are often in a building that resembles an apartment building.  Ranch style should be selected if the Condo you have listed is in a one floor building with no other condo units above or below.  Townhouse style should be selected if the condo you have listed is a 2+ story unit.  Your help in accurately describing your condo listing will help those looking for it.

-Grant County was recently added to Paragon Tax Records.  In addition, we have secured data for Crawford County and will be adding it shortly. 

April 2007

-In response to a really good member suggestion, we have added the listing office address to the agent full report.

-From the agent full report you click the little blue-green M link to get the map....how the heck do you print that map?   Place your cursor on the blue border around the map and right click to get an option to print.  Yes, we do have an open work order to add a print button, but we wanted to share the secret work around for you to use for now. 

March 2007

-Offices now have the option of turning on a free module within ShowingAssist that will automatically send follow-up requests for property feedback after a showing. If this feature is turned on, feedback requests are emailed automatically to the showing agent the evening of the day in which a showing appointment was scheduled via ShowingAssist. The email identifies the property, and includes the listing agent's contact information along with a text box for freeform comments. When the showing agent responds to the email, the listing agent will get an email to let them know feedback has been received. This email will include a link to view the feedback.

If your office would like to try this new feature, the setup must be done by someone with administrative access to Paragon. Once logged in with administrative access, click on Preferences, User, Integrated Products Tab, and then select ShowingAssist. On the Office Setup Tab, place a check mark in the "Enable the sending of feedback requests to showing agent's" box at the bottom of the screen. Once an office is activated to receive feedback, individual agents can be turned off under the Agent Setup tab if needed. 

-To better identify properties being offered at auction, a new feature has been added under the Terms Feature. Each listing flagged with the new Auction feature is also flagged with an AUC directly following the price. To help convey necessary information about the auction process to potential selling agents, all auction properties must include the SCWMLS Information Form for Properties being Sold at Auction as an associated document. This form can be found under the Forms section on our member website at www.scwmls.com.

February 2007

- The Designated Agent Y/N field has been replaced with Multiple Representation Y/N/D (D = Designated Agency).  All listings that were marked as Designated Agent = Y have been changed to Multiple Representation = D.  If you have a situation whereby a seller has consented to multiple representation, but not designated agency, you will need to change your listing from the old Designated Agent = N to Multiple Representation = Y.  For a full explanation of this change see the headlines on our website at www.scwmls.com

 

-The following are recent changes to the wording of current features:

Features

Old

New

Basement Feature

Walkout

Walkout to yard

Fireplace Feature

Wood burning STOVE

Free standing STOVE

Waterfront Feature

Has access rights - No frontage

Deeded access - No frontage

December 2006

-The correct placement of your property on maps within Paragon is often dependent on the correct street tag (i.e. St, Ave, Dr). Please be sure you include the correct street tag when entering a new listing. Click here for a list of proper Paragon street tag abbreviations.

-Change for Listing Input: To improve seamless linking between MLS listings and tax records, input checks for correct parcel number formats have been added to Paragon. For a list of these correct formats, click here. If a property has not been assigned a parcel number, enter Not Assigned. If a listing represents multiple parcel numbers, either pick one or enter the word Multiple.

November 2006

-Right click the map on the Customer Full with Map View to zoom in and out....Very cool!!! 

October 2006

-Properties in our MLS that include instruction to contact the seller for showings are protected from solicitation by REALTORS, just like all other exclusive listings.  Your conversation with the seller should be limited to setting up the showing.  Properties in our MLS that are being sold at auction are also protected from solicitation by REALTORS.  It is against MLS rules and the REALTOR Code of Ethics to solicit these listings prior to their expiration.

September 2006

-Here are a few tips for marketing township properties: 

Use the "Other Market Area" field. If you add what you think is the most appropriate bordering city or village as the Other Market Area, your township listing will come up in searches for that city or village on Paragon and on wisconsinhomes.com. You may want to consider location, school district or mailing address when making this decision.

Start your remarks with something like "Only 2 miles east of the City of Sun Prairie." Most of the public websites, including just recently Realtor.com, include the remarks section of your listing.  

If the street number of your rural listing begins with an alpha character, do not move the alpha character to the street direction field. The W or N before the street number is part of the street number, not a street direction. This is very important for correct mapping placement.

 -If you work within a team and would like your team name to be included on the bottom of the customer full reports, email support@wisre.com with your team name.  After we add your team name to your member record, you can customize the customer reports by clicking on Preferences, Views/Reports, and the Details tab.  Open up the report you would like to change and scroll down to the bottom section in white.  Double click on the white box to display the fields you can include.  Select My Info - Team Name, which is located a little more than half way down.  Highlight this field and click Add. Place a check mark next to the Team Name and next to No Label at the bottom and hit Save & Close.  At this point, the Residential report is done.  You will need to do this for each class of property. Your personal slogan can also be added in this same fashion.

August 2006

-You can search for upcoming open houses under the Search Program in Paragon.  Click on Search, Property, and select the property class.  Open up the Advanced Criteria section at the bottom to find the Open House Date search prompt. 

July 2006

New Profile Sheets:  Copies of the new profile sheets can be found under the MLS Docs on Paragon.

  • A new required Designated Agent Y/N checkbox is included.  A Yes here indicates to others in your firm that you have permission from the seller to act as a Designated Agent. With the consent of the seller-client, a Designated Agent can provide full services, information, and advice to the seller-client, while another licensee acting as a Designated Agent, within the same firm, with the consent of the buyer-client, can provide full services, information, and advice to the buyer-client, all in the same transaction. A Yes or No has no relevance to agents outside your firm. An individual licensee cannot act as a Designated Agent for both the buyer and the seller in the same transaction. For more information on agency disclosure requirements, contact the WRA Legal Hotline (608.242.2296 or 800.279.1972)
  • The choice for Over 5 Acres under Lot Size for Residential has been broken down as: Over 5 to 10 Acres; Over 10 to 20 Acres; Over 20 Acres. All listings have been converted to Over 5 to 10 Acres. If you have a current listing or a recent sold that is over 10 acres, it is important that you make the proper modification within Paragon.  
  • The choice for 1-100 feet of water frontage has been broken down to 1-50 feet and 51-100 feet. All listings have been converted to 1-50 feet.  If you have a current waterfront listing, or a recent sold, that has 51-100 feet of frontage, it is important that you make the proper modification within Paragon.   
  • -Open house date and time as entered in Paragon is now included on the Agent Full Report. If you have access to add and change listings, you can find fields for open house date and time under the V Tour/Open House tab under Maintain Listings. When the open house date is past, Paragon automatically deletes the date and time. Open house date and time also displays on www.wisconsinhomes.com.

    -Good News --- MLS Remarks are now automatically being displayed within listing ads on Realtor.com.  In the past, Realtor.com built set remarks from listing features, and the only way to get the MLS Remarks section to display was to purchase an upgrade package. 

    June 2006

    -The map on views/reports (i.e. customer full with map) can be adjusted to display a preferred zoom level.  If you have access to add and change listings, 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. 

    -Two new listing features have been added to Paragon.  Rental Allowed is now listed as an option under Terms/Misc for Condo listings, and Office with Exterior Entry is now listed under Interior Features for Residential Listings.  If you have an active listing that includes either of these features, please edit your listing to include them.

    April 2006

    New Listing Feature Added:  If your vacant land listing is located adjacent to a park or greenway, you may now select this as a feature under Lot Description. 

    March 2006

    -After composing an email within Paragon, click on the button on the top tool bar that says ABC with a checkmark to spell check before sending.

    February 2006

    Updated Profile Sheets (Rev 1/2006) can be found under the MLS Docs button above.  Updates include:
         -The field for Listed Defects has been removed.
         -Laundry Room Dimensions have been added.
         -Floor Number for Condos have been expanded to 1,2,3,4-10, 11+, TH, PH (penthouse).

    ShowingAssist is now live.   Offices will need to turn on this feature to allow agents to use it.  Click on Preferences and User to access the ShowingAssist setup tab.  If the office email address listed is blank or needs to be changed, please contact the MLS office.  Click here to view a demo of this new product.  

    January 2006

    The Paragon system was recently modified to comply with federal requirements for CAN-SPAM. When you receive an email from Paragon Email Service, you must confirm your email address via this email within 30 days in order to continue emailing from Paragon. Click here for an explanation of how this will affect the e-mail functions within Paragon.