Last year, the ACTRIS MLS began making some behind-the-scenes changes to our MLS. Today, our data is more malleable than ever. Despite unforeseen challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak, I am pleased to share that our MLS team has remained undeterred in updating Matrix based on feedback from last year’s focus groups. On Monday, August 31, subscribers will see an improved MLS system. These updates will enable us to be more agile in the way we interact with vendors, brokers and other data users to improve our system so that our MLS users can readily adapt to the future.
To get an idea of what to expect later this summer, get a sneak peek at how we are delivering unparalleled market data to our subscribers and helping the industry lead the charge on data standardization:
Cleaner, Easier Input
The flow of MLS data starts from listing input, so we knew this was the time to not only clean up the data on the back end but also enhance the user experience on the front end by making your add/edit experience easier. Take, for example, the new “save as incomplete” button that will be on the bottom-left corner of every tab in the input form. This button lets you save your progress regularly while inputting a listing. You’ll no longer have to second-guess if clicking “submit listing” will make your listing active before you are ready.
The most visual change on the input will be the removal of the scrolling boxes (for data input) that have up to a half dozen options to select. Instead, we are giving you the full list of options to view without any additional “in-box” scrolling. We realize that in some cases you do need more space to describe the context of your listing, so we’ve increased the character limit to 2,000 characters in each remarks field. These also include a new “showing instructions” remarks field, so you can include additional information in your agent remarks not related to showing the property.
Although search options will not change too much, there will still be some minor changes. The most noticeable will be the shift in our MLS statuses. We are taking the plunge to deliver higher-level data at a defined industry standard, so active-contingent (AC) and pending taking backups (PB) will now be combined into a new status: active under contract (AU). We’ve also edited labels to update sold (S)/leased (L) to closed (C) and temporarily off market (T) to hold (H). While the adjustments to these statuses may feel disruptive at first, rest assured that updates to the statuses will make it easier for the ACTRIS MLS to stay consistent with the defined industry standard in the long run.
In addition, subscribers will be able to use an expanded geographical reach when performing a search in Matrix. Starting with input and extending to search, users will have the ability to select from all cities and counties throughout the state of Texas.
The display of the data you know will also have some slight stylistic changes but, overall, the experience should remain the same. The Agent 1 page will now be Agent Brief (and the default view), while the Agent 2 page will be Agent Full. I know we love our one-page printouts, so Agent Brief will include the data you need on just one page.
Thanks to MLS user feedback we collected last year, we are changing the way Matrix works so that it works for all MLS subscribers and maximizes the integrity of our data. While these updates might seem like a lot on the surface, rest assured that most changes are on the back end of Matrix and will only require a slight learning curve. To help with that transition, we will provide training materials, live webinars, and exciting previews of what to expect. For more information on this update, visit ABoR.com/MatrixUpdate.