Not sure where to start with connectMLS? Here's a quick-start guide to get you going. Watch the videos or follow the step-by-step instructions below. You can even download this guide as a pdf or print for future reference.
Customizing Your Search Experience
You can adjust the Connect search screens and reports so that they are optimized for how you use the MLS. Get more out of your connectMLS experience by customizing it to your personal work habits.
Let’s start by opening up a search screen.
SmartMLS has preconfigured the search screen with the fields that have historically been used most frequently by our users:
We have also tried to incorporate the most logical order of fields on the search screen. However, this out-of-the-box configuration might not work best for you.
Thankfully, connectMLS is very flexible and the search screens can easily be configured into a layout that is just right for you!
The Add/Remove Fields button in the bottom right corner of the search screen enables you to change the fields that appear on the search screen, as well as the order in which they appear:
After clicking Add/Remove Fields, you will see a window with two columns- an alphabetized list of available fields is displayed on the left, and the fields that are currently on the search screen display on the right:
If you would like to add a field to the search, just scroll down the list of available fields and click the plus sign next to it. You can also use the Filter field at the top of the column to enter the name of the field you would like to add- the list will update and display any fields that match what you’ve entered.
To remove any unwanted fields from the search screen, simply scroll down the list on the right until you find the field, then click the X next to it.
Once you have all of your desired search screen fields in the right-hand column, you can reorder them using drag and drop. Click the Save Changes button at the top right of the window when you are finished.
When you’re back on the search screen, the customizations you just made should appear.
You can also set up fields to always populate with specific data. For instance, if you only work within a certain County, you can set up the search to always open with that County selected.
To save these changes, click the Defaults button in the upper right, then click Save Current as My Default:
The next time you open up the same type of search, all of the customizations you just made will appear.
connectMLS also allows you great flexibility when you are viewing the results of your search.
After you have entered all of your search criteria, click View Results to see the matching properties:
The listings will display in a single line report, known as the List View. In the top left corner, click on the Show Filters button to add your search screen to the left side of the screen:
This is a convenient way to view the criteria you used during the search while simultaneously viewing the matching properties. You can even adjust your search criteria and the matching properties will update in real-time. Click the Hide Filters button if you would like to remove the search portion and just view the listings:
You can also add a map to the screen by clicking the Show Map button in the top left:
Your listings and search criteria will remain on the screen and a map will appear in between them, displaying a green dot for each of your search results:
If you would like to just see the search screen and map, click the Hide List button.
You can have any combination of the three sections (search fields, listings and map) on the screen simultaneously. You can even change the sizes of the map and listings sections by placing your cursor on the three dots in between the two and dragging:
Now we’re going to remove the filters and map, so just the List View is on screen. To do so, just click the Hide Map and Hide Filters buttons in the top left.
Much like with the search screens, SmartMLS has also pre-configured the reports within Connect with the fields we have found to historically be most popular amongst our users. We have also tried to group information in the most logical arrangement possible.
While on the List View, you may find that we have included some fields that are not as important to you, or that there are others that you cannot function without. connectMLS makes it very easy for you to set up the List View with the fields and order that works best for you.
Click Modify Columns towards the upper left corner of the report, then go to Edit Columns:
This opens a window that is very similar to the one we saw earlier when we were customizing the search screen. The list of available fields is on the left, and the fields that are already on the report are on the right:
Click the plus sign next to the available field to add it to the report. Click the X next to an existing field to remove it. Use drag and drop to set your desired order of fields. When you’re done customizing the report, make sure to give it a name in the Table Name field, then click Save. The screen will refresh and your new custom report will display.
In addition to configuring a new version of the List View for yourself, you can also easily create a report from scratch. Go back to the Modify Columns button in the upper left (the button may actually say something different if you are currently viewing a custom report), click Edit Columns and then click the Advanced tab:
Select Display fields in horizontal/columnar report to create a single line report, or Display fields in a vertical/side-by-side report if you want more of a comparison report:
One of the more popular formats SmartMLS has had in the past is a 3-Up Comparison report. Let’s see how easy that is to replicate in connectMLS.
Put a dot in front of Display fields in a vertical/side-by-side report and use the Number of records per report drop down menu to select3:
Now, go through the list of available fields on the bottom half of the window and select those you would like to include on your 3-Up report. For each field you choose, you can also choose how the field name is going to display: Short Name, Long Name, System Name or Custom Name (which allows you to enter your own name for the field). You can mix and match and use any combination of the four options.
When you’re done, use the Table Name field at the top of the window to give your new custom report a name, then click Save New. The screen will refresh and your new custom 3-Up report will display.
Now, let’s jump back to the List View. All we have to do is click the drop down in the top left that shows the name of the custom 3-Up report we just created and select Table.
While in the List View, you can take a look at detailed information for any individual listing by clicking on its list number. That will superimpose the Full Detail report on top of the List View, allowing you to see all of the property’s information:
In the upper right corner of the report, there is a push pin icon that will lock the Full Detail report in place on the right side of the screen and still allow you to see all of your search results on the left:
You can click on any of the listings on the left to view its detailed report. The listing you are currently viewing will be shaded blue in the list:
There is an Additional Info link in the top right of the detailed report that gives you access to even more resources through a pop up menu:
By default, this menu is hidden until you click Additional Info. However, you can lock it in place by clicking the pin icon:
Now, the list of Additional Info resources stays in place on the right side of the detailed report, providing you many ways to interact with the current listing, including printing, emailing, scheduling showings and much more:
It is also quick and easy to switch between agent and public-facing versions of the detailed report. Just click the Client-Friendly switch in the top right of the report:
Doing so will hide any sensitive information and provide a display that is appropriate to share with anyone outside of the MLS. Clicking the Client-Friendly switch a second time, which changes the color from orange to white, switches the report back to agent-facing.
If you would like additional assistance with the basics of performing a search and interacting with listings in connectMLS, there is a helpful self-guided search tour available through the Settings menu. Click your initials or photo in the upper right, then go to Settings and click Enable Search Page Quick Tour at the bottom of the Settings page.
Branding Your ConnectMLS Experience
You have worked hard to establish your personal brand. ConnectMLS puts you in control over how that branding information is displayed online for other MLS users, as well as how it appears when you interact with your clients.
The connectMLS Homepage
The Connect homepage is made up of many customizable widgets, each providing you with quick access to core MLS functionality. SmartMLS has pre-configured the homepage with what we feel is the best widget layout. However, you can rearrange these widgets via drag and drop to create a layout that best supports your daily workflow.
Setting Up Your Personal Branding
Go to the top right corner of the homepage, click on your initials and then click Settings:
The Settings section is where you go to personalize your user profile and set up system defaults to optimize your Connect experience:
Set Up Your Business Card
The first thing you will see after clicking Settings is My Business Card. Your Business Card is the central location for all of your personal contact and branding information. We recommend setting up your Business Card before you start exploring the rest of the Connect system. That way, when you are ready to email listings or set up a client, your emails and client portal are configured with all of your branding information:
Click on the top link in the Personal Information section- Modify my contact information & online business card:
Some of the fields will automatically be filled in from your SmartMLS membership record. These fields are shaded and cannot be adjusted from within Connect. You will need to contact SmartMLS in order to change the information in these fields. However, you have full control over any fields that are white or empty.
Add Your Social Media Links
When entering the addresses of your social media accounts in the Links section, use the question mark icon on the right of each field to make sure you are entering the addresses correctly. If you do not use the correct syntax, the social media account icons will not link properly from your Business Card:
Once you have finished entering all of your contact information, use the Business Card Settings section at the bottom of the screen to choose the fields you would like to appear on your Business Card:
The fields on the right side are already on the Business Card; those in the column on the left can be added to the Card. After highlighting the desired field, use the arrows in the center to add or remove it. Any field with an asterisk must remain on the Business Card and cannot be removed. Remember to click Save when you are finished choosing your Business Card fields.
Your Business Card pops up when a Connect user is viewing one of your listings in an Agent-facing report and clicks on your name in the List Agent field.
The Business Card information also appears on the right side of your client's Portal:
Modify Your Resume/Bio
The next link in the Personal Information section deals with your resume and bio information. Your Resume/Bio is another marketing tool that gives you the opportunity to provide some additional information about yourself to your clients. It allows you to brag about your professional credentials, personal accomplishments or areas of expertise and help make the case to your clients that you are the right real estate professional for them.
Click the Modify my resume/bio link to start entering your information. Your personal and office information will automatically populate from your membership record, but it is editable within this section only:
Note: changes made to this information will only apply to your Resume/Bio. They will not override your information in any other section of Connect or on your SmartMLS membership record.
The next part of the screen, called Highlights, allows you to enter five highlights about yourself that will appear as bullets on your Resume. This can be any combination of personal or professional information that you feel makes you stand out above the crowd.
In addition to the Highlights, you have four other paragraphs to talk about yourself. Each paragraph has its own Subtitle that can be used to break your resume down into distinct sections.
Click Save when you are done. You will be brought back to the Settings screen and you can preview your work by clicking View my resume/bio. Your clients can view this information through a link within their Connect Portal, as well as on a separate page within a CMA report.
Upload Personal Photo
It is also a good idea to upload your personal photo to Connect when you first start using the system. Your photo appears in several places within Connect:
- On your Online Business Card.
- When a user performs an agent search and clicks on your name.
- When a user is looking at one of your listings and clicks on your name in the listing agent field.
- When your clients are in their Connect Portal.
- In the upper right corner of Connect (to access the Settings menu).
Click the Upload My Photo link in the Personal Information section:
Use the Choose File button to navigate your computer’s hard drive to find your photo:
Once you have found your photo, double click it. The file name will appear in the Photo location field. Click Upload Photo:
The window will refresh and your photo will appear:
Click Save to complete the process.
You will be brought back to the Settings page and you should see your photo in your Business Card at the top of the page:
Your photo will also replace your initials in the upper right corner of Connect.
Email Template Defaults
There are about 15 different types of emails that can be sent from the connectMLS system. SmartMLS has configured each of these messages with wording that we feel is appropriate and professional without sounding too much like an impersonal form letter. However, our efforts might not suit your specific needs and you may want to use your own wording.
To get started, go to the My Defaults section of the Settings menu:
The Email template defaults section gives you control over all of the different types of emails that come from Connect and allows you to set up your own custom templates for any or all of them.
After clicking Email template defaults, you will see a list of all fifteen email templates:
In the image above, the orange section contains the email templates for different types of automated emails. The purple section has the templates for all of the other types of emails you can send from within Connect.
Each type of email has its own default, out-of-the-box template that is available to all SmartMLS users. It is advisable to check out each template to see if you are good with the default wording or if you would like to customize it to your liking.
To get started on customizing the templates, click the link at the end of the top section (Click here to create or modify your email templates). This opens a new window in the foreground of your screen.
We'll use the Initial Notification Template as an example (this is the email that goes out when you have just set up an auto email to a client):
- The Category drop down list at the top of the window allows you to choose which email template you want to work on:
- The Templates drop down allows you to switch between the system template for that type of email and any custom templates you have created yourself. If you have already created a customized version of the template, you can access it beneath the My Email Templates dotted lines.
- When creating your own custom template, you must enter a name in the Current Template Name field. You can also adjust the Subject line and set it up as your default template for the current category.
- The Fields drop-down menu allows you to insert tags/placeholders within the message of the email. These tags will populate with the corresponding user, client or listing data.
The list of options in the Fields drop down list will change based on the type of email template you are working with.
- Underneath the Fields drop down list is where you design the layout of your message. If you want to use one of the tags from Fields list, click inside the message and get your cursor in the spot where you would like to insert the tag. Then use Fields to select the specific tag you want in that spot.
Here is an example of how you can personalize your message to be more casual, yet still professional and effective:
We have highlighted the field tags in orange so you can get a better idea of their placement within a message. The Connect system will automatically populate the corresponding information/data in the spots where the tags appear.
- Once you are done adding your message and inserting any tags, make sure to put a check in the box at the bottom of the screen to include your Business Card in the messages.
- The last step in the process is to save your work. Since you have just created a brand new template, click Save as New. When making changes to an existing custom template, click Save Changes.
After you click either Save as New or Save Changes, it will bring you back to the screen that lists all of the different templates:
There is a Save button at the top of this screen as well. This save button is only necessary if you want to switch the template you are using from the system default to a custom template (if you have created one) or vice versa. If you do not want/need to switch your default template(s) at this time, you do not need to click Save on this screen.
Repeat this process for each template you want to customize.
At a minimum, SmartMLS recommends going through the most frequently used email templates:
- Initial Notification
- New/Changed Listings Notification
- Zero Match Notification
- General Message
- Manual Email
The process to customize templates is the same regardless of which one you choose. It is a good idea to set yourself up as a Client and test each of these so you can be sure exactly how it will appear for your recipients.
Following the steps above will provide you with an excellent head start on using the connectMLS system.
ConnectMLS Mobile Access
ConnectMLS is available from most mobile devices. Many features are responsive, which means that connectMLS can recognize your device’s screen dimensions and adjusts its layout accordingly to provide an optimal user experience. As a result, when accessing connectMLS from a mobile device, many features will have an app-like appearance with intuitive navigation, convenient buttons and larger text.
That being said, you do not need to download or update an app in order to access the MLS on the go with your smartphone or tablet. All mobile-friendly features will automatically be activated and adjust based upon the device’s screen size.
Although no app is required, you can still add an icon to the home screen of your mobile device to provide easier access to the system. The actual process for creating home screen shortcuts varies based on many factors, including operating system and the age/version of the device being used. If you have created shortcuts for other apps on your device in the past, the same process should work for connectMLS.
After signing in, you’ll notice that the My MLS home page provides access to all of the same widgets and shortcuts that are available from the desktop view:
Connect’s innovative mobile responsive functionality means you can do all of the things you do on your laptop or desktop from your mobile device.
The most commonly used functions are available in a bar across the top of the screen. Additionally, the vast majority of the home page widgets appear as large buttons in the center of the screen.
The SmartBar is located at the top of the screen and functions just the same as it does when accessed from larger screens:
Tapping within the empty SmartBar provides instant access to your most recent activities, allowing you to easily return to your work after switching between devices:
This means you can start a search from your desktop and then work with the results of that search from your smartphone while you are at an appointment. Seamlessly transition between different devices in different locations while never losing a beat.
The Menu button, represented by three horizontal lines in the upper left corner, provides convenient, color-coded access to all connectMLS features, including some that are not present on the home page:
Regardless of where you are in Connect, the Menu icon always appears in the same location, providing consistent and simple navigation:
To access the connectMLS Help Center, go to the bottom of the Menu list and tap Help:
All of the Help features and functionality that are available on laptops and desktops are also available on your mobile device:
Note: when you go to the Help Center, it opens in a new, separate tab within your device’s browser. It does not just change from the page you were viewing to the Help Center, so you will not be able to use the back arrow to get back to where you were. You’ll need to go back to the browser tab in which Connect is active.
Here is how that works on an iPhone.
Tap the icon in the bottom right corner of the screen to see all of your currently open Safari browser tabs:
You can see that there are separate tabs open for the Connect home page, the Help menu and the Help Center:
You can have the Help Center open in one tab and the Connect system open in another, and toggle between them as necessary.
Let’s check out at how larger buttons and mobile-friendly layouts are used to provide seamless access to a couple of the more common features.
We’re going to start with running a search and working with the results.
To begin, tap the orange Search icon at the top left of the home page:
(Note: You can also start a search by tapping the Menu bars in the upper left. Then tap Search and select the type of search you’d like to run. If you are searching for properties, tap Search Listings).
The layout and function of the search screens are identical regardless of the device you are using. They look and function the same whether you are on a PC, laptop or smartphone:
As indicated in the above screenshot, use the Search Type field to select the property type you would like to search.
After running a search, tap the Results button in the upper right to view the listings:
As is the case when using a PC or laptop, there are Filters and Maps buttons in the top left of the results screen that allow you go back to the search filters or to view the properties on a map. And right beneath those buttons, there is a drop down menu that allows you to switch between the different report types:
Now, let’s take a quick look at the Full Detail report.
Thanks to the large text, mobile friendly-spacing and convenient navigation features, it’s easy to view and interact with the listing data. The section across the top of the listing allows you easily switch reports (1), navigate between your search results (2) and view additional information about the current property you are viewing (3):
Use the three dots in the upper right corner to email, print, save the search and much more. You can also access recently run searches (including saved searches) from this menu. Just go to the bottom of the list and tap My Searches:
This gives you the same list and options that you would see on the right side of the search screen when accessing Connect from a PC or laptop. You can either choose to access Previous Searches or Saved Searches.
Connect’s unique mobile responsive design allows you to seamlessly move from your PC or laptop to a smartphone or tablet without any loss of functionality.