On January 25, some important changes are coming to Flexmls Portals. These changes include simplifying and enhancing Listing Collections for favorite listings and a new login process for existing customer portals. These changes are being made in order to pave the way for a new Consumer version of Flexmls for iPhone.
Why make these changes?
The Portal changes described below are needed in order to release a new consumer version of Flexmls for iPhone in February. Expect a full announcement detailing the consumer app in a few weeks, but until then, know that the app will allow your contacts to receive push notifications for new listings on their iPhone, manage their subscriptions and news feed, and keep track of their favorite listings.
We hope this new app allows you to engage your customers faster, easier, more completely than ever before. However, before the app is released, we must first make the following changes for Portals in Flexmls.
Portal Change 1: New Terminology – Save and Hide
The first change is a simplification to how consumers save listings. Previously, users had three choices to flag a listing: Favorite, Like, or No Interest. In gathering feedback about this feature from consumers, we’ve found that most don’t differentiate between Favorite and Like, so we were offering unnecessary choices. To fix this, we’re reducing the options to just two: Save and Hide. Our research has shown that these two choices are easier for customers to understand and use.
Below is a screen shot showing what your contacts will see when they log in to the Portal, what you’ll see when you Work on Behalf of a Contact, and what you’ll see when you View Portal from the Contact Management page. The terminology changes will also carry over into the iPhone and Android apps as well as the mobile version of Flexmls. The Favorites collection will now be called Saved, and the No Interest Collection will be labeled Hidden by Me. Listings that you, as the agent, mark as Removed will now be in the Hidden by Agent collection. Hidden listings will not appear in the News Feed nor in contact’s portal searches. For existing portals, the Likes collection will be relocated to the Custom Collections and relabeled as Archived Likes.
Importantly, we know these changes may cause confusion for existing portal users and we apologize for any inconvenience the change causes, but we’re confident that in the long run, users will find these simplified options easier to use and understand, especially once the new iPhone apps are released.
Portal Change 2: Login with Email Address and User Defined Password
Currently, consumers login to the customer portal with a username and password the agent sets up for them. There are three problems with this: (1) agents are required to manage usernames and passwords; (2) consumers cannot easily control and reset their own password; and (3) usernames and passwords change per agent instead of sticking with the consumer. Allowing consumers to manage their own account and preferences when interacting with Flexmls products will allow future consumer-focused improvements, like the upcoming Flexmls consumer app for iOS.
With this update, to make the login easier to remember, the client’s email address will be used for the username. When existing users log into the portal, the system will prompt them to confirm the email address they’d like to use as their username and to set a password for that email.
As they are in control when setting their new username and password, customers will only have to remember their email address and the password they set themselves, which should make it easier to remember.
If they forget their password, they can click the Password not working? link on the portal login page. If they ask you to reset their password, access their record in Contact Management, go to the Portal tab, and click the Reset Account option at the bottom of the screen.
To invite an existing contact or a new contact to use the Portal, select the contact in Contact Management and click on their Portal tab, then click Invite to Portal.
A popup text box will open, allowing you to add additional text to the Portal invite; however, it is not required for you to add any additional text. Notice, you no longer have to set a username and password. Click Invite to send the invitation.