Now Available: Virtual Open Houses in CCIMLS to Help You Continue to do Business
March 25, 2020 MLS Updates FlexMLS Staff
During this period of rapid change and uncertainty, we’re here to help you serve your customers while also keeping yourself, your family and community healthy and safe.
The necessary restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic make customary, in-person, interactions like Open Houses and Home Tours difficult if not impossible (or even illegal in some markets).
Adapting to these restrictions while continuing to make the market work, many MLSs are cancelling in-person open houses and exploring all possibilities to hold “virtual” open houses online. To facilitate, we’ve added the ability for you to schedule virtual open houses and tours of homes in Flexmls Web.
What is a Virtual Open House or Broker Open House?
Agents who want to show a home virtually instead of in-person will benefit from this new virtual open house or broker open house feature. Use it to host an open house for prospective buyers or to schedule a virtual tour of homes for a group of agents in your market. You can use any online communication service or event tool, such as Facebook, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams, to schedule a live online walkthrough of the home. Homebuyers or agents can join your virtual open house/tour of homes and view video via the camera on your phone, or via a shared presentation. Anyone who joins will be able to ask you questions in real time.
You simply will add an open house and choose 'Virtual' and then place in the video link for the public or brokers to join in. We'll get more into how to do that in a second.
Options for Virtual Open Houses and Tours
You have multiple options for adding digital media (other than photos) to your listings. With the introduction of virtual open houses/tours, we wanted to give you a refresher on how to use each option in Flexmls.
To accommodate virtual open houses and tours of homes, new options are available on the New Open House and New Tour of Homes pages. You’ll be able to select Virtual or In Person, depending on the settings of your MLS. If you select Virtual, you can add a link to an online event, along with a description for the link.
How to Add A Virtual Open House or Broker Tour
The following live web conferencing services are allowed:
- Facebook Live
- Google Meet
- Microsoft Teams
- YouTube Live
- Zoho Meeting
If you have a live web conferencing service that is not on the following listing, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming virtual open houses and virtual tours can be viewed in the same places where you are used to seeing open houses and tours of homes.
When you’re viewing listings on the search results page, click the Detail tab, and then click the Open House or Tour of Homes link. For virtual open houses and tours of homes, a clickable link will be displayed in the new Link field.
To search for upcoming tours or open houses, under Daily Functions on the menu, click Tour/Open Houses and enter search parameters. The link to a virtual event will be available in the event details.
Links to virtual open houses and tours of homes will also be available to third parties via RETS feeds to make it available on listing portals (Zillow, Realtor.com, Homes.com, etc.) and on brokerage websites. If you want to make sure links to virtual open houses appear on your website, please contact your vendor.
Still to Come
We’re currently working to bring virtual open houses and tours of homes to all of our Flexmls Mobile Apps and to the Flexmls Portal. Soon, when you view a listing on Flexmls Pro, virtual open house/tour of homes information will be included in the listing details. Your homebuyers will also be able to view virtual open house information for listings on the Flexmls Portal. We’ll let you know as soon as it’s launched on these platforms.