MRED Blog

REinventing MLS . . .

Monthly Archives: April 2015

The Deal of the Century??

The Deal of the Century?? | Keeping Current Matters

Recently, Freddie Mac published a blog post titled Mortgage Rates: Still the Deal of the Century. They explained that, if you are planning to purchase a home, now may be the time:

“If you are in the market to buy a home, today’s average mortgage rates are something to celebrate compared to almost any year since 1971.”

And they let their readers know that there is no guarantee that rates will remain this low:

“Over the past few years, we’ve enjoyed a long run of historically low mortgage rates. While no one expects them to change dramatically overnight, they are expected to head up. Most experts agree that mortgage rates will drift up in the coming months to end the year approaching 4.50%… Buying a home is a big investment – perhaps the biggest one you’ll make in your life. So, it’s important to be sure you are ready to make that purchase. If you are ready, today’s rates are not to be missed.”

The article went on to calculate what the principal and interest payment would be based on a $200,000 fully amortizing mortgage at different times in history.

Mortgage Payments | Keeping Current Matters

Here is a look at rates over the decades:

Historic Mortgage Rates by Decade | Keeping Current Matters

Here is a look at rates over the last four years and what Freddie Mac projects for next year:

30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Rates | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of buying your first home or looking to move up to your dream home, now may be the time to do it.

Article from KCM Blog

Broker Public Portal Elects First Board of Managers

Arroyo Grande, CA – April 28th, 2015 – A nationwide group of leading Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) and real estate brokerage firms supporting the creation of a national property search portal have elected their first board of managers.

The initiative, known as the Broker Public Portal, was launched in January and includes a cross section of participants from 37 MLSs and 39 real estate brokerages representing the interests of 826,000 agents.

WAV Group project consultant, Victor Lund explains that MLSs have long provided regional consumer facing property search websites. In December of 2014, a group of likeminded MLSs and real estate brokerages met to discuss the opportunity to build a National MLS consumer facing website to fill an unmet need in the online marketplace. At the first meeting of the organizers on April 22ed, 2015 in Dallas they elected the board of managers that will be included in their corporate filings as a Delaware LLC.

“There is a tremendous amount of support and momentum throughout the MLS and brokerage communities to create a new choice for how and where to display their listings,” commented Robert Moline of Home Services of America. “And the formation of our Board of Managers is a significant step forward in our ability to deliver on that goal through the creation of a national broker public portal.”

Large Firms – 5
Robert Moline – Home Services of America
Merle Whitehead – Realty USA
Hoby Hanna – Howard Hanna Real Estate
Chris Heller – Keller Williams
Joan Docktor – Fox and Roach

Multiple Listing Service – 4
John Mosey – Northstar MLS
Cameron Paine – Connecticut MLS
Rebecca Jensen – Midwest Real Estate Data
Kirby Slunaker – RE Colorado

Midsized Firms – 3
Craig McCelland BHGRE Metro Brokers
Richard Haase Latter and Blum
Drayton Saunders – Michael Saunders

Small Firms – 3
Mitch Ribeck – Tropical Realty
Paul Wells – RE/MAX Barrington
Christina Ishabishi Bonner – Pacific Union

Source: Broker Public Portal

Analysis Indicates Chicago Homes that Disclose Energy Costs Have a Higher Close Rate

Energy cost disclosure gains momentum as more real estate offices recognize the value of energy use data for all involved in the real estate transaction. A new disclosure tool has helped all Baird & Warner city offices and Chicago-based Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage offices secure their place as leaders in using this latest technology.

LISLE, ILLINOIS (April 20, 2015) – Chicago single family real estate listings that disclose energy costs have a higher close rate and spend less time on the market than comparable homes that do not disclose this information, according to an analysis by Elevate Energy.

Elevate Energy’s findings indicate that homes that disclosed energy costs at the time of listing sold at a higher percentage of the asking price. On average, an attached home (e.g., condominium or townhome) that was listed for $352,000 would have sold for $4,576 more if the listing had disclosed the home’s energy costs. In addition, attached homes that disclosed energy costs spent about 25 fewer days on the market compared to homes that did not disclose energy costs. Detached homes that disclosed energy costs spent eight fewer days on the market.

“Elevate Energy has done an outstanding job of taking a cumbersome task – locating accurate information about a home’s energy usage – and simplifying it to create a wonderful experience for our broker associates and their clients,” said Tripti Kasal, vice president of sales for Baird & Warner, one of the first real estate brokerages to institutionalize electronic disclosure. “Baird & Warner is committed to providing the most innovative tools to better facilitate our transactions – a partnership with Elevate Energy was the right thing for us.”

In 2013, the City of Chicago became the first municipality in the country to allow direct disclosure of residential energy costs (gas and electric) via a multiple listing service (MLS) when a single family or two- to four-unit home was listed for sale. The achievement was the result of a unique partnership between Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), Chicagoland’s multiple listing service (MLS), the City of Chicago Office of the Mayor, and Elevate Energy. In addition, an “Energy eCompliance” tool was launched to help listing agents in Chicago provide buyer agents and home purchasers with immediate online access to an energy cost disclosure (ECD) report for a property. Using the tool also helps agents comply with the specific time requirements of the updated energy cost disclosure ordinance.

The analysis from Elevate Energy bolsters earlier indications that energy cost disclosure is meaningful and beneficial. In addition to higher close rates and quicker sales, disclosure facilitates more informed decisions for all involved in the real estate transaction and helps demonstrate the value of energy efficiency in the marketplace.

“Energy costs are such a significant issue to home buyers it is a no-brainer for MRED to assist its real estate professionals in providing the most accurate and timely information,” said MRED President/Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Jensen. “At the same time, we are enabling our listing brokers to comply with the City of Chicago ordinance. A win for everybody, especially the consumer, and we are pleased to be a nationwide leader in this arena.”

Energy cost disclosure is gaining momentum in Chicago as an increasing number of brokerages utilize the Energy eCompliance tool and comply with the ordinance. MRED, the City of Chicago, and Elevate Energy have launched an ongoing Chicago Energy eCompliance Brokerage Challenge to help real estate offices secure their place as leaders in using this latest technology.

More than 20 offices have participated in the challenge so far, including all Baird & Warner city offices, Chicago-based Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage offices, the MG Group at BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group, Century 21 Affiliated Hyde Park, and The Gramata Realty Group with @properties. A complete listing of all participating offices is available on the Elevate Energy website.

All Chicagoland real estate offices, agents, and sales teams are encouraged to participate in the Chicago Energy eCompliance Brokerage Challenge by completing a checklist:

  • Commitment to use digital energy cost disclosure fields offered by MRED on all eligible Chicago property listings.
  • Office staff member oversees training activities on the Energy eCompliance tool.
  • Using energy cost disclosure fields provided by MRED becomes part of the brokerage’s listing process. A “how to” primer for real estate professionals is available.

To participate, brokerages should complete the three tasks and return a completed form to pamela.brookstein@elevateenergy.org.

About Elevate Energy

Elevate Energy’s mission is to deliver smarter energy use for all. Elevate designs and implements efficiency programs that lower costs, protect the environment, and ensure the benefits of energy efficiency reach those who need them most. For more information, please visit http://www.elevateenergy.org.

About MRED

Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) is the real estate data aggregator and distributor providing the Chicagoland multiple listing service (MLS) to nearly 40,000 brokers and appraisers and 8,000 offices. MRED serves Chicago and the surrounding “collar” counties and provides property information encompassing northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and northwest Indiana. MRED delivers over twenty products and services to its customers, complementing connectMLS™, the top-rated MLS system in the country for two years running according to the WAV Group MLS Technology Survey. MRED is the 2013 Inman News Most Innovative MLS/Real Estate Trade Association, and for four consecutive years the MRED Help Desk has been identified as one of the best small business centers in the United States and Canada by BenchmarkPortal. For more information please visit MREDLLC.com.

MRED Continues to Meet the Standards

Chicagoland MLS Giant Now Certified on latest version of RESO Data Dictionary

LISLE, ILLINOIS (APRIL 13, 2015) – Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), Chicagoland’s multiple listing service (MLS), has announced that the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) has certified MRED for RESO Data Dictionary 1.3.

RESO is an organization that develops, adopts and implements open and accepted data standards and processes across all real estate transactions and provide an environment for the development and implementation of data standards and processes. RESO’s Data Dictionary serves as the real estate industry’s “Rosetta Stone” for real estate data. While hundreds of MLSs and other source providers gather data, the Data Dictionary ensures that each system “speaks” the same language.

As MLSs across the industry adopt RESO standards, the industry will move towards an environment where real estate software becomes plug-and-play. Realtors® will be able to purchase off the shelf software and it will plug into any MLS that has implemented RESO standards.

This is quite different than the state of the industry today, where it is extremely hard for new software to be used from one market to the next. It will be easier for real estate professionals to use MLS data in the products that they choose. They will have better options and the data that flows through their systems will be more accurate because the Data Dictionary negates the need for translation from one system to the next. RESO standards give more options and control to Realtors®.

MRED’s commitment to RESO is evidenced by being its first Charter Member and its continued participation in and support of data standardization efforts. These efforts are important to MRED customers, the real estate industry in general, and the consumer. MRED and other organizations that maintain these standards can more easily exchange information without degrading or losing data, resulting in more accuracy and less cost. New applications and services are developed because there is a wider audience to offer them to.

dynaConnections, MRED’s MLS vendor, also has a strong commitment to RESO. As another Charter Member of the organization, dynaConnections dedicates significant resources and time to remain on the front line of RESO initiatives. Technologists from both MRED and dynaConnections have worked closely to attain not only the Data Dictionary 1.3 certification but also to maintain MRED’s Real Estate Transaction Standard (RETS) Server certification.

“We’re proud supporters of RESO and firm believers in the long-term power in its mission,” said dynaConnections CEO, Tim Ford. “The organization is making great strides towards bettering the industry, and we’re happy to contribute in any way possible”.

“I have a deep commitment to RESO, having served as its Board Chair for four years,” said MRED President and CEO Rebecca Jensen. “RESO is important to me and to MRED. We will continue to support the setting of standards, and the providing of data and tools needed to meet the demands of real estate professionals and consumers alike.”

About MRED

Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) is the real estate data aggregator and distributor providing the Chicagoland multiple listing service (MLS) to nearly 40,000 brokers and appraisers and 8,000 offices. MRED serves Chicago and the surrounding “collar” counties and provides property information encompassing northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and northwest Indiana. MRED delivers over twenty products and services to its customers, complementing connectMLS™, the top-rated MLS system in the country for two years running according to the WAV Group MLS Technology Survey. MRED is the 2013 Inman News Most Innovative MLS/Real Estate Trade Association, and for four consecutive years the MRED Help Desk has been identified as one of the best small business centers in the United States and Canada by BenchmarkPortal. For more information please visit MREDLLC.com.

About dynaConnections Corporation and connectMLS™

dynaConnections Corporation is an Austin-based real estate software company that is renowned for constant innovation and dedication to service. Its flagship product, connectMLS™, is a patent-pending, one-of-a-kind multiple listing service solution that is second to none with millisecond response time and ease of access on all devices and web browsers. Rich embedded features and seamless integrations allow connectMLS to be an intuitive, all-in-one real estate transaction manager for both agents and clients. For over thirteen years, dynaConnections and the connectMLS solution have been continually exceeding all standards of what the real estate industry expects from an MLS provider. For more information, visit: http://www.dynaconnections.com.

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dynaConnections and connectMLS™ are registered trademarks of dynaConnections Corporation. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

MRED’s New Listing Distribution Solution

MRED Brokerages Have Easy and Effective Management and Control of their Listing Content

LISLE, ILLINOIS (APRIL 10, 2015) – Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), Chicagoland’s multiple listing service (MLS), has introduced functionality to its customers that allows Brokerages to easily and effectively manage and control the distribution of their listing content. “Listing Syndication” is the term that is used in the industry to describe the distribution of listing content to different websites on the Internet. It is extremely important for real estate companies to direct how the properties they are marketing for sale are syndicated.

MRED has introduced a Listing Syndication Dashboard as a one-stop spot for its Managing Brokers to view and modify their syndication settings to insure that MRED is making their listing content available only to those sites the Brokerage has authorized. Analytics are also available to display listing view statistics on offices’ listings.

The back-end technology driving the information collected from the Listing Syndication Dashboard to the appropriate distribution channels was delivered by dynaConnections, MRED’s MLS vendor. As is typical of the provider of the nation’s top MLS system, connectMLS™, dynaConnections was able to quickly implement technology that works seamlessly with MRED’s website to track and distribute listing content in accordance with Broker’s direction.

“We strive to provide our Customers with truly comprehensive MLS software and solutions,” explained dynaConnections CEO, Tim Ford. “Recent changes within the industry exposed a need. We were happy to help MRED meet that need and provide service above and beyond our MLS solution, connectMLS™.”

“This was not a problem but an opportunity for MRED to address an immediate need of our customers at the highest business level,” said MRED President and CEO Rebecca Jensen. “I am thrilled we are able to provide a new tool that will improve our customers’ ability to manage their listing syndication choices. Thanks to dynaConnections for their work behind the scenes to make this happen so quickly.”

About MRED

Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) is the real estate data aggregator and distributor providing the Chicagoland multiple listing service (MLS) to nearly 40,000 brokers and appraisers and 8,000 offices. MRED serves Chicago and the surrounding “collar” counties and provides property information encompassing northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and northwest Indiana. MRED delivers over twenty products and services to its customers, complementing connectMLS™, the top-rated MLS system in the country for two years running according to the WAV Group MLS Technology Survey. MRED is the 2013 Inman News Most Innovative MLS/Real Estate Trade Association, and for four consecutive years the MRED Help Desk has been identified as one of the best small business centers in the United States and Canada by BenchmarkPortal. For more information please visit MREDLLC.com.

About dynaConnections Corporation and connectMLS™

dynaConnections Corporation is an Austin-based real estate software company that is renowned for constant innovation and dedication to service. Its flagship product, connectMLS™, is a patent-pending, one-of-a-kind multiple listing service solution that is second to none with millisecond response time and ease of access on all devices and web browsers. Rich embedded features and seamless integrations allow connectMLS to be an intuitive, all-in-one real estate transaction manager for both agents and clients. For over thirteen years, dynaConnections and the connectMLS solution have been continually exceeding all standards of what the real estate industry expects from an MLS provider. For more information, visit: www.dynaconnections.com.

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dynaConnections and connectMLS™ are registered trademarks of dynaConnections Corporation. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

Home Prices Over 30 Years [Infographic]