Are you using the “v word” in your Public Remarks?

When filling out the Public Remarks on a new Residential listing you might include showing instructions or comments about being vacant on lockbox or that that the home is empty. Doing this is not a direct violation of MLS listing policies but it is not encouraged.

Here are some examples of comments pulled from Active homes for sale.

  • “Back on the market and it’s vacant easy to show.”
  • “Home is empty and easy to show”
  • “House is vacant on lockbox.”

A quick search on Zillow identified 14 single family homes for sale that were being advertised as being “vacant” in the El Paso area.

Describing a property listing (existing homes) as “vacant.” in the public remarks could be an invitation to criminals and is not advised. With over 2,000 “vacant” homes for sale in MLS, following good safety guidelines can help to protect agents, buyers, and sellers from unnecessary harm. Here are some additional safety tips provided by the National Association of REALTORS®.

GEPAR MLS recommends using the following input fields to effectively identify showing instructions.

Vacant Y/N – This field is available on the GENERAL tab of listing input and allows the listing agent to identify if the home is Vacant or not. This field is confidential and will not appear on Client reports or on public website displays like

Showing Instructions – This is another confidential field found in the FEATURES tab of listing input. You can choose options like “Vacant on Lockbox”or “Lockbox Call First” in this list.

Confidential Remarks – This confidential field allows you to include comments that are only visible to other MLS users and can be used to include specific showing instructions that important to showing agents.

*ShowingTime*: With the addition of ShowingTime you can now enter even more Showing Notes (and Alarm Details) about the property. Buyer’s agents that use Showing Time to schedule and view their showings will be able to see this information prior to visiting the property. (The image below shows what the ShowingTime section looks like)


March 2017 MLS Updates

New system enhancements and products were added to the MLS this month.

What’s new in Matrix for March?

  • Updates Mobile MLS: Can Edit listings
  • Update to ELP MLS app: Can Edit Listings
  • New Product: ShowingTime
  • New MLS Field: Schedule via Showing Time
  • MLS change: Ability to activate your own Expired listings
  • Xplode Conference on March 23
  • CMA and Mobile Workshop Training

Watch a short video that demonstrates some of the new features in action.

Map Searching and Accuracy

Searching for MLS listings using a Radius or Map Shape is a popular way to locate properties in the MLS.   Special attention should made during map search when looking for some new construction listings and vacant lots that are not mapped.

Some listings are currently mapped incorrectly in the MLS and could affect your ability to locate valid comparables.  GEPAR MLS is working to improve our maps and address placements in the MLS to reduce the number of errors.  One issue is with new addresses that cannot be auto-mapped by the system correctly and are assigned to downtown El Paso or out of County.  To improve accuracy, listing agents should review new listing mappings to ensure they can be found in MLS maps searches easily.

Please take a moment to watch this video to learn more about map searches, which highlights the importance of reporting accurate map placement.

ShowingTime now available at GEPAR

ShowingTime is now available for GEPAR MLS members. This software will allow you to schedule showings for your buyers, approve showings, and manage showing feedback for your own listings.  Here are some things you can do to get setup today if you wish to participate.

Get Training – An online webinar is still available on March 2. Click here to register. If you would prefer to watch a previously recorded training click here. This video will give you the basics in 30 minutes.    Additional training videos are found in your ShowingTime Dashboard.

Setup your ShowingTime profile – Whether you are a broker or an appraiser, setting up the default appointment type and length saves you time while scheduling showings and you prefer to be notified when an agent or a listing contact messages you through ShowingTimes messaging system.   You can also change the ShowingTime type for each of your listings (Go and Show, Appointment Required).

Get the mobile app – Download the free ShowingTime app to manage your showings directly from your smartphone. Available for Android and iPhone users, this app allows you to get push notifications directly to your phone for ShowingTime updates.

Share with your seller – Once you start to receive ShowingTime feedback on your listings you may want to share the information with your sellers (who can also be included in the ShowingTime feedback updates).   Here is a handy guide you can print and share with your sellers.

Listing Tip: You can encourage buyer’s agents to schedule showings via ShowingTime with a newly added MLS option. A new Showing Instruction option is now available on Listing Input that will allow you to display “Schedule Via ShowingTime” on your listings. The video clip below shows how this is done.


How to Setup a free IDX home search for your website

Already have an existing website and want to include a home search of your properties or of the Active El Paso listings?    With just a few steps in MLS you can create an embedded HTML link that your webmaster can add to your existing website.

Manual Steps

  1. Login to Matrix
  2. Go to My Matrix>Settings
  3. In the My Information section click on Agent Web Page
  4. In the Activation section choose Enabled Agent Web Page
  5. Provide a Web Page URL name and Web Page Title
  6. In the Homepage Content section type your Title and Welcome Message that will display on your website
  7. In the Map Area section define your search type? Map Search is optional
  8. You can also choose to include a Sign-Up Form
  9. Click Save to save your settings and create the New Web Page

How To Enable your free Website in Matrix MLS

Did you know you can create a free Agent Website in Matrix?    As part of your Matrix system, Agents & Brokers can create a FREE Website with a FREE Property Search option. The Free Property Search option allows visitors of your website to view the Entire Active Inventory of the MLS either by Property Search or by an Interactive Map search..

Steps to setup your website:

  1. Login to Matrix:
  2. Go to My Matrix>Settings
  3. Go IDX Configuration
  4. Choose create a new IDX page, and Name it
  5. Choose your search type? My Listings or Map Search
  6. In the Activation section choose IDX Enabled and click Save at the bottom
  7. In the Activation section copy the HTML code and email it to your webmaster (or manage your website and add the embed HTML code to your website).

Matrix MLS Updates: February 2017

New system enhancements were added to the MLS this month.

What’s new in Matrix for February?

  • Ability to share your listings on Social Media sites like Facebook and Twitter
  • Adding a Listing Data Checker Widget on Homepage.
  • Can now edit your clients contact info from Send Email Screen
  • Map Updates: Can now display “distance from Subject Property” in Search Results
  • Map Updates: Revised Map Legend
  • Open House icon on Search Results

Watch a short video that demonstrates some of the new features in action.

RPR Presents: Quick Start Guides

Need to prepare for an open house in under five minutes? We’ve got you covered. Searching for the perfect home with prospective buyers? A guide to the RPR app’s nearby listing information is available too. There’s even a Quick Start guide for setting up your account on RPR..

To view all 6 guides click here.

RPR (Realtor Property Resource) is one of the most exciting benefits included in your NAR membership.  A national property database with over 166 million properties, giving you the most comprehensive reports that are sure to inform and impress even the most demanding clients. If you haven’t used RPR before get started at

Is the Matrix MLS app right for you?

GEPAR MLS offers a free smartphone app for any MLS user who uses Matrix MLS.    The app is available for Android and iPhone users.     With the app installed you will be able to search the MLS database realtime and can share properties with your clients using your phones messaging app or email.

Take a look at a quick demonstration of the app and decide if the app is right for you.

How to Copy a listing

Copying a listing is a useful feature in MLS that will save you time of re-entering listing information when you just need to relist a property again.

Here is a quick video that shows how to Copy a listing.

Tips for copying your listings.

  • The listing you are copying must have been your previous listing.
  • You will need to add at least one photo to make a copied listing Active again.
  • Review the copied listing information before you are done.   Information like Annual Tax values and the Expiration date could have changed.
  • You can copy a listing to a different property type