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Top 5 most common MLS violations: Are you guilty?

In a perfect [real estate] world, it would be great to have a clean set of data that never required monitoring or inspection and no MLS violations would occur. But we all know the real estate market is not perfect.

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When it comes to real estate, some things just don’t make sense to me. I’m a follow-the-rules type of person so if there is a set standard that mandates to list a property for sale (and that includes photos, description, etc) then I am the type that would follow it (maybe it’s my military training, who knows?). That said, it astounds me how many MLS violations occur – as a consumer, not a practitioner, I’m shocked. These are fined violations that can be avoided if everyone just follows the rules.

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Quality assurance

The HAR MLS Quality Assurance Department exists to make sure the standards of the MLS are maintained and the usability of the data is of the highest value. Part of that mission means that rule enforcement must take place. HAR recently came out with its “Top 5 List of MLS Rules Violations” which means there are probably a lot of other violations taking place! Although just one MLS in a sea of thousands, this gives you a good sample of what the most common MLS violations are.

Letterman would be proud

I doubt this list will show up on late night television but in no particular order here is a list of the typical issues that HAR finds and that continue to crop up regarding MLS listings.

1) Insufficient number of photos [$100 fine]
Single-family, Townhouse/Condo, Multi-family, High Rise Condo and Residential Leases are required to maintain at least 6 unique images of each property listed in MLS. Lots and Acreage listings are required to maintain at least 1 photo of each listing. 

2) Estimated closed date is in the past – (Pending fine violation) [$100 fine]
Once a contract is signed, the listing should be placed in one of the following pending statuses (PS, OP, or P); even if both parties agree to allow the seller to continue showing the property. 

3) Physical property description – Public [$100 fine]
The “Property Description – Public” field is intended for property description only. Agents may not enter remarks related to the transaction such as available financing, cash back at closing, bonuses, upgrade incentives, upgrade allowances, etc

4) Failure to report sold or pending status [$100 fine]
Once a contract is signed, the listing should be placed in one of the following pending statuses (PS, OP, or P) within 3 days of the signed contract, even if there is a contingency or both parties agree to allow the seller to continue showing the property

5) Invalid public display PDF [$100 fine]
PDF’s designated as “Public” shall not include any contact information such as names, phone numbers, email addresses, website addresses, agent photographs, logos or promotion for a closing service provider or any other peripheral service, with the exception of the listing firm’s name. The focus of the PDF shall be of the subject property. 

Correct your violations!

In a perfect [real estate] world, it would be great to have a clean set of data that never required monitoring or inspection. But we all know the real estate market is not perfect, and that we’re all fallible. Fortunately, most MLS violations allow for a reasonable time for corrections prior to a fine actually being issued.

#MLSViolations

Professionalism

Recognize and use free time at work like the gift it is with these tips

(BROKERAGE) Free time during your workday can lead to furthering your mind and productivity. Learn how to use it wisely.

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Woman writing in journal representing free time.

Clocked in but clocked out

We’ve all had those slow days at work where we’re looking for ways to kill the time until the clock strikes five.

While it can be tempting to use this time to text or mess around on the Internet, there are much better ways to use that free time that will make your future so much easier.

Cleanliness is next to godliness

First off, tidy up your workspace. Papers and items have a way of accumulating and may be distracting you even if you don’t realize it. By organizing your stuff and throwing away what you don’t need, you’re able to breathe and focus within your workspace.

It also does wonders for your work brain to clear up your email inbox.

Once that’s all done, plan out the rest of your work week. Make a list of the major goals you’d like to accomplish and then a sub-list of how you’ll knock those goals out. Update your calendar and make sure everything is on track.

Social media, networking, and research

It’s also beneficial to use this downtime to further yourself and your organization. Three ways you can do this is through: social media, networking, and research.

If you have access, take some time to look through your company’s social media and see what can be done to enhance it. Either throw up some posts yourself or pitch ideas to the social media manager.

Networking can be done in this small amount of time by sending out “catch up” emails to old colleagues, “welcome emails” to new clients or introduction emails to LinkedIn contacts.

Send them a “how’s it going?,” tell them what’s new with you, and see what they have going on. You never know where networking can lead so it’s always good to stay in touch.

With research, see what the latest trends are in your field and study up on them. This may give you new ways to look at projects and tasks at hand. And, it’s always beneficial to have continued learning.

Get Smart(er)

While on the subject of continued learning, take this time to mess around with something you may not feel completely knowledgeable of. Maybe dig around RPR data, perhaps practice using different computer programs it is never a bad a idea to nourish your brain.

Having free time during the workday is something of a gift. If you can help it, try not to waste it.

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Real Estate Brokerage

How you can stick with your habits and actually achieve your goals

(BROKERAGE) Sticking to new habits can be tough, but there are ways to train your brain. We’ve got the deets on the best way to beat fatigue.

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Person typing on computer representing habits in our workday.

Just about every Sunday night I say to myself, “This week, I am going to eat better.” And, just about every Monday afternoon, I find myself cooking the same frozen pizza I always eat. Why is it so difficult for us to stick to our guns and really follow through on developing better habits? Well, if you’re anything like me, it’s mostly because doing what you’re used to is so much easier.

Trick of the trade

Each year I find myself being notorious for skipping out on my New Year’s resolutions, my fitness goals, and my attempts at reading one book per month. Right when I was beginning to feel completely fed up with myself, I found a trick that has helped me form habits and maintain behavior to accomplish my goals.

And, this trick is quite simple: accountability.

This can be found in the form of a friend or in the form of a planner or calendar.

Creating accountable ideas

I have thousands of ideas per day, many of which are fleeting. However, some ideas are about self-improvement.

For example, I often have the idea of beginning a workout routine. While I know that I should be doing daily exercise to increase my overall health, it can be a difficult task to stick with.

By developing this idea into something that I am accountable for, it makes me much more likely to stick with this habit. Let me explain…

Accountable for others

The two aforementioned methods of accountability, a friend or planner, can be used for the given workout example.

If you find a friend who can daylight as your workout buddy, you have someone that will motivate you and that you can motivate.

Now that you’ve made this friend your workout buddy, you have someone to hold you accountable if you miss a day. Gone would be the days where you could skip a workout and have no one to answer to.

Accountable for yourself

But, if you are a solo exerciser like myself, it can be difficult to find a method of accountability. What I have found works for me is taking my thought of, “I should workout,” and putting my goals down on paper.

By writing down a workout plan and the attached goals, it fosters a sense of tangibility.

I then create a calendar where I write down what exercise I want to do on what day, and, after I complete my goal, I am able to check it out.

For the accountability aspect, I like to put this calendar somewhere in everyday eyesight, so that I can’t ignore it. And, sure, I could easily throw it away and pretend it never existed in the first place, but I promise the act of writing out your goals will motivate completion.

In the end…

While sticking to habits can be a tricky business and different methods work for different people, developing an environment in which you hold accountability helps to inspire motivation.

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Real Estate Brokerage

Sales Exercise: Can you sell water as well as you can sell a house?

(BROKERAGE) Spice up your office life! Create a friendly office competition and see if the sales prowess is limited to just homes.

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sales competition negotiating

Here’s a fun way to shake up the daily grind at your brokerage and give your team a chance to practice their skills: a one-day sales challenge.

Choose a random day of the week to cancel all other plans and have the competition. It will be even more fun if you don’t warn your team – just spring it on them. Before you do, make sure no one is working up to any pressing deadlines.

How to play

Divide your staff into teams and give them the challenge of selling a tangible product. One group in Chicago sold bottles of water. Have the teams decide how much inventory they would like, with the rule that they can’t buy more later. It’s up to the teams to decide how much to charge for each unit.

This will challenge the teams to estimate how much inventory they think they can move

Overconfident teams may end up with too much inventory, while others will sell out quickly and may wish they had sold at a higher price, or had bought more to start with.

If you’d like, you can let teams that sell out quickly negotiate to buy extra inventory from teams that overbought.

Send your teams out to the streets and see how much they can sell in one day. Celebrate with a happy hour at the end of the day where you compare remaining inventories and net profits, congratulate the winners, and discuss lessons learned.

The benefits

This is a great challenge for encouraging teamwork. Teams have to communicate, make decisions, and make sales cooperatively. The competition and the time limit put the pressure on, but since it’s just a game, it’s also low stakes and there is no real risk.

Teams have to rely on their own skills, rather than the pre-existing systems of your business.

A sales challenge is obviously a great way to practice sales. Many Realtors are great at marketing or negotiation, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can nail it when it comes to sales. The challenge can also help identify star salespeople, even in departments where you might not expect.

What’s to lose?

Bonus points for blogging about the challenge. Show your customers some of the personalities behind your company and celebrate the unsung sales heroes of your team.

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