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Tip of the Week – Use the Portal Instead of Email

Oct 06, 2016
The classic (joke) definition of insanity is trying the same thing repeatedly but expecting to get different results. This is how I feel about the Subscription function for your Contacts if your customer keeps saying that they're not getting the emails.

I’m not saying that the Subscriptions don’t work. They do. I get the emails almost every day.

 What I’m saying that email is not as reliable as it used to be. If you set up your customer to receive automatic emails, and they tell you that they’re not receiving them, STOP USING IT!

 Sorry, didn’t intend to yell, but sometimes you just have to.

 The problem we have is not within flexmls. Those of you who have been around for a while may remember that we were starting to see the same problem in our last MLS system. It’s just gotten worse in the past couple of years. I’ve seen notices in the PAR MLS that indicate they’re having the same problem.

 With so many people sending spam email and phishing emails (saying that you’re one person when you’re really someone else) and everything that goes with that, email providers; AOL, Gmail, Yahoo, etc., are taking steps to protect their customers. That’s you and your customers.

 If the email provider sees a certain percentage of their customers getting emails from the same source, especially when the source address says something like “from someone@somewhere.comon behalf of” , they start to get suspicious. Then they see that a certain percentage of their customers receiving these emails never open them or use the links in the emails, they shut down. That email, that is. Future emails from that source are blocked before they ever even gets to the customer’s Inbox.

 They are protecting their customer.

 Flexmls can contact these providers all day long, but as the ones sending the suspicious emails, the provider’s not very likely to listen. So it takes their own customer asking to receive the emails before they’ll do anything. What are the chances that you can get your customer to do that? You can’t even get some of them to open the emails in the first place!

 So what’s the answer? Overall, I don’t know. We’re doing a lovely round robin between the customer, MLS system, and email provider, all blaming each other with no easy answer in sight.

 But there is an alternative. You can create a portal (website) within flexmls, then give access to that portal to your contacts. From there, your customers can not only see the listings that match their criteria, they can save them, discard them, share them with friends, and print them.

 To get more info on the portal, how to use it, and new changes for it, go to the Help icon on flexmls and choose Video Tutorials. There is a link at the top of the page for Recent Webinars. From there, you’ll see several recent webinars on the portal.

 Give it a try if you’re having trouble with emails. It may help.

 Questions? Call us at 850-244-2411 or email

Susan Beck, MLS Director
Emerald Coast Association of Realtors®
Fort Walton Beach, FL
Santa Rosa Beach, FL