Sunday, October 30, 2011

School Boundary Zones Now for Arlington, Fairfax, DC

Now after a search, to the right of the map you will see an option to show School Boundary Zones, also know as School Attendance Zones.

Currently we only have Fairfax, Arlington and Washington DC. If you all like it, maybe we can add more.

Disclaimer: Don't buy a home solely based on this data. We also have a "Verify School" link. But ultimately if a school is crucial to your purchase, you need to call the district to verify that everything is up to date and nothing is changing.

Also let me know if you think anything is wrong.

Note this data IGNORES the agent school input field and is based solely on the county maps.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cell Mode Changes. Now Shows Favorites

I made some changes to the cell mode.

  1. Cleaner layout. Moving the search box to the bottom after a search.
  2. More clear how to search for Sold properties when you are out in the car.
  3. Added subdivision info on the results page
  4. See your saved favorites! You will first have to login on the front page of from your cell phone (Yeah I know not ideal) but you will only have to do it once. Then you can save stuff on your computer and when you go out in your car, you can see all of your favorites.

Up next, GPS based "Homes Near You" and "Open Houses Near you"

Anything else you want to see?


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Realtors: Sign your clients up for Branded Alerts

This is a Step by Step for Realtors to sign up their clients and watch their progress, and edit their saved searches. Many Realtors have asked how to do this, so here is a step by step. This assumes you already signed up for a free Branded FranklyMLS search site.

1) Start from a clean slate. Click to make the site act like a new user/visitor (ie no cookies).

2) Hit your branded page. Aka

3) Conduct a search, for example Arlington Condos from $500k to $600k

4) In the middle of the page it lets you "Save Search" by entering in your clients email address. Enter their email and press Join/Login (no passwords needed)

5) It will ask the user (you) to confirm the link in their email.

6) If you signed up under your branded page, YOU, the Realtor will get a copy of the confirmation email. Either you OR the client can confirm the sign up.

7) Go back to and if it does not say "Welcome:" then
log in as them on the front page, upper right corner.

8) Conduct more searches and save those searches. Also if there are special homes you want them to get price change alerts on (you get a copy of all alerts) then click the RED HEART to save those homes.

9) Finish by logging out, by visiting (or there is a Logout button on the search page, but don't hit the Unsubscribe button)

Done. Great! Your client will now get daily emails "From Realtor's Name" and you will get a copy of those alerts (which you should route to a folder to check periodically). They can change it to update every 15 minutes by following the directions in the alerts.

EMail me if you have any questions

To make changes to an existing account.
1) Clear out your session
2) Go to your IDX
3) Login with their email address
4) Conduct searches, save searches, save homes, delete saved homes, etc.
5) When done, clear out your session

Let me know if that isn't clear. Let me know if you log in as a user and you don't see your branding on every page.


Coming soon, a live tutorial demo.

New Mobile Idea, Done in 4 minutes. Suggest yours!

Chris W. emailed me about some ideas for the site and it sparked a no brainer. I was able to get it live in 4 minutes! And a blog post up in another 5 minutes. A new record.

In mobile mode,, I am working on a "Near you" button so you can drive up to a home and in 1 click see all the homes near you. (I know, pretty standard in the app world).

In the meantime, I made it so the mobile mode will list the subdivision and let you click on "See more" to see all the other homes that are active/UC in that subdivision.

Try it out:, you can test it from your computer too.

I also moved around some things on the cell mode to make it easier to see more data (less indenting).

Thoughts? So keep sending in your ideas so I can expand on them, or just flat out steal them and take credit. ;-)


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

10 Tweaks today

Been making a bunch of changes today to the Full View (1 home per page)
1) Clearing out the junk in the upper left and right
2) Moving the HEART saving option next to the Status=Active (before it made no sense to be in the upper right part of the page since it didnt look like part of the listing),
3) Add a Mobile mode icon and moved it down near the multiple photos
4) Moved the Neighborhood reviews and House Wiki comments to another location lower on the page
5) Added a printer Icon to let you know you can print a 1 page version of the site
6) And for people that are NOT on a branded version of the site, I added more Frankly logos and chat windows.
7) Moved private notes and View Count to middle left of screen
8) More details for what Under Contract means. (We get a ton of "Can I see this home that is Under Contract")
9) More ads featuring recommended local buyers agents (if you have your owner agent, great, but have them get a free IDX so their name is on each page)
10) Annoying photo of me lurching on the left side of the page ready to chat (already got one complaint on this today, you hate it too?)

Friday, September 16, 2011

What's In It for You? Realtors Ask In Fear

FranklyMLS invites competing firms to join the site. Why?

Update: Don't Miss Peggy James' great comment on how she profits from FranklyMLS.

I offer several free services for Realtors in other firms. Easy to convince them because it is free? Nope, I spend a lot of time easing their fears & untrustingness (is that a word?).

So here I will list what Realtors from other firms can do with this site to help themselves and WHAT IS IN IT FOR ME.

Ways Realtors can benefit from

1) Join and get your free branded banner on FranklyMLS. Even if you "already have an IDX."
With the branded Version of FranklyMLS (Technically NOT a true IDX), the logos of my firm get dropped and replaced with your image and banner. All "request a showings" go to you. When your client signs up for email alerts you are notified and each alert has YOUR branding. Also you get a BCC of each email alert of your client.

Over 250 agents have joined. Many stopped paying their 2003 garbage $50/mo IDX and others have dropped even the "high tech and latest" IDXes.

Why do they ditch their IDX?
a) does so much more. I can't list them here, but recently an "I already have one"-type agent got the "oh mine doesn't do that" moment about 5 times and finally the lightbulb went off that this might actually help HER and her client.

b) Your clients are probably already using the site anyhow, so why not have your name on each page (and stop having them bug me instead of you, but I will get to my benefits later)

2) Contribute to the MLS Wiki (Rules). 200,000 Photos already added by buyer's agents!
Land free clients. No referral fees. A couple agents have closed $1M clients from this.
Buyer agents can add reviews (once your client decides not to buy it) and photo albums (this is why you should be taking buyer agent photo albums for your clients anyhow) to most MLS homes (about 95% of MRIS listings allow blogging/comments).

With these reviews a buyer agent can add photos from the buyer agent perspective. Add information about distance to a noisy highway or something the listing agent might have left out. This is REALLY killer for photoless REOS. This can even save a Realtor (and their client) a 1 hour drive if another buyer agent took 30 photos of a photoless listing (this happened to me once). Hum, imagine agents helping agents. A novel concept.

Agents get points for adding reviews (10 with photos) and top contributors get featured on the front page. With this service, many get more traffic than Google! And if a buyer is looking in a particular area and they keep seeing helpful comments (not annoying ads) they say "hum, maybe I should use that agent".

Also agents can LINK to all of their reviewed homes in 1 click. So people on your blog can see the areas you have recently visited and your comments.

3) Join the referral network. is a hugely trafficked site, but is a smaller firm. So having a network of agents in other areas, I can send clients your way.

Ok, finally, the big question. FRANK WHAT IS IN IT FOR YOU?

Again, I have no interest in stealing your client. It isn't some trick.

Benefits to ME:
1) Your clients are already using the site! So brand it & save me time.
It is kind of annoying to get a request for information on a home, for the user to say "I love my buyer agent Patrick." Ok great, so why did you contact us? It would be easier on me if Patrick had his branded FranklyMLS so I wouldn't waste time with a happily represented buyer. And yes this happens a lot. Recently at a [Large Real Estate Firm's] technology meeting it went like this: "Are you all noticing that half your clients are using FranklyMLS?"

2) A Branded Agent might start contributing to the WIKI.
The Free Branded Version of FranklyMLS is also the bait to come check out the site. Once agents get their bannered version of the site and give their custom link to their clients (that are wildly happy with the link see one non-Frankly agent's review). And even though the Wiki sends THEM tons of traffic, it helps build a better site for all to use. Having 200,000 MORE photos than ANY other MLS... that is valuable since photos are key. Why go anywhere else?

3) Expanded referral network
Those that I see contributing, are perfect candidates to send business their way. It lets me meet agents from areas I would never have reached out to.

4) Frankly brand respect amongst other agents.
Helping my full time agents have a respected brand to work under is huge.
By offering a free Branded Version of FranklyMLS to 250 agents, and helping other agents get a ton of free business, it helps build the brand. When my agent has a bidding war against 3 other no-name firms... it helps when the listing agent is like "Yeah I know about Frankly Real Estate, your company, you help other agents out." Or "Oh you guys only have the highest quality full time agents with gorgeous 30 photo listings 100% of the time" That is a big plus.
Come on, you know when you get a contract from a firm with a bad reputation, or all weekend warrior agents. You are like "darn, this might be a nightmare deal."

5) Recruiting.
AHA! Ok, everyone will now probably ignore all of the above and say "AHA". Well it isn't like that. While I have interest in growing Frankly Real Estate, I only want to do so SLOWLY and in select areas. Like maybe adding 1 great and high producing agent a year that is looking to upgrade from their "national brand" firm. (note that most firms recruit 20 agents to get 1 real producer). This site lets them get an introduction to Frankly and 1 in the 200 might join (I turn down many requests). But that is NOT my main motivation. Prove it? In 4 years of this free service, last month was the first time I emailed them in batch about an update to the site.

6) Doing Cool Stuff
I just love doing cool stuff. Like building the Frankly I Wish concept in 24 hours from idea to creation to Agent Genius featured story. And it is more fun to do stuff in a large scale with many agents. If I can come up with a way that helps everyone, then why not! And it does create indirect and unexpected benefits like winning the 2009 Inman News Innovator of the Year award. Couldn't have done it without everyone's cooperation.

Ok, so I hope you will join FranklyMLS and see what you are missing. It is free.

Thank you for your time, please report typos

Broker Better Technology, Better Agents

Photo Credit Fear

Days on the Market Explained, in the Shower

Excited to learn more about what Days on the Market is, and specifically the difference between DOMM and DOMP? Well check out this video I made to explain it to FranklyMLS users.

Or you can read the longer version over here about DOMM and DOMP


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Verify School. Death to the "Call School Board"

I always hated the lazy agent "Call School Board" entry. Don't you know that people search based on schools and if you leave them out, people will miss your home?

Well now we have a "Verify Schools" link. It shows up in about 60% of the counties. Some are simple links to a page with more info, but many will include the home address in the link and immediately pull up the exact schools for that address.

Like everything though, if a school is a 100% crucial factor, you need to triple check in case the boundaries just got moved.

Try it here:


Sunday, June 26, 2011

New Driving Distance to EACH home for sale.

Now you can enter in a work address or school address and when you do a search in spreadsheet mode, it will show you the driving distance to each home for sale. Super cool new feature. Soon you can add two addresses and it will cookie so you don't need to reenter it each time.

What do you think?

Frankly Price Predictor

This new feature, dubbed FPP landed a featured post on our , read about it here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Alerts are defaulting to daily.

Well thousands of you were/are getting immediate (30 min) email alerts for saved listings.

We moved the default to daily to free up some resources (ie making the site faster). You can still opt back into the immediate alerts.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

New Driving Directions. Built into each page.

So this is a really cool new feature.

Now when you are on the main page for any listing, about half way down you have an option to enter in your work address. (Or any address obviously). And after pressing go it will show you the door to door directions and drive time from your work to this listing. It will also keep you on the same page (ie no new browser like before).

But the cool part is after just entering in your work address once, whenever you go to any other listing it will have the map and directions already preloaded. No need to press go, no need to launch another window.

The goal is to help you look at hundreds of homes with as few clicks as possible.

What do you think? Do you want the option to hide the text directions and just get the visual? Would you want the option to do it for 2 addresses?


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Easier Photo Viewing. Click Anywhere To Move Forward.

Just wanted to tell you about a new photo viewing system.

As many of you know, we added numbers above the image. This is for netboot users with a small screen.

And now we added rollover arrows. You don't need to click on the arrow itself though. You only need to click on anywhere in the right 50% of the photo and it will go to the next photo. Or 50% of the left photo to see that one.

I might still teak the design to make it more intuitive for those that don't read this.

Any other suggestions? Does it work well on your iPad?


Tuesday, May 3, 2011


MRIS has required that we block much of the important sold data including DOM and multiple photos.

To see this info you have to logged into the site as a member.

If you are not a member yet, do this
1) On the front page of is asks for your email (no passwords needed). Enter it and press submit

2) You should get an email confirming your email address. If you do not, then check your spam folder. (especially Yahoo users)

3) Once you confirm your email and it should say "Welcome"

4) Leave cookies ON.

5) Then you can see sold data.

Also a discussion on this is over at
If you only see the "?" that means your email has yet to be confirmed. Check your spam folders too!
Let me know if you have problems.

If you don't see a login box and you don't see "Welcome", let me know, but you might also try another web browser.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Share Listings via Email to Multiple People

With super short URLs, people oftentimes will copy and paste the URL of the listing to email it to a friend or their Realtor.

Many don't know that you can email the listing in 1 click. In the upper right corner click on "Email/Share" the listing. This will send you to half way down the page where you enter your FROM email address (which will become the "Reply-To address) and the TO address that it will be going to (spouse, friend, Realtor, yourself).

Starting today you can now enter multiple email addresses by adding a comma.,,

And depending on the browser you have, it will remember your emails so you only need to press SEND for each listing.

Would anybody want to email 5-10 listings at one time? Maybe from the spreadsheet view or favorites?

Also we are beta testing 2 driving directions solutions. Please check them out.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Agent Past Performance Details

Exclusive: No other site posts this data publicly!

I have spoken before about how important it is to have background sales data on EVERY local agent.

Whether it be to check out their current listings to see how well (or poorly) they market the property, or to see their PAST performance.

Now we made it easier to see this data.

WHERE: The data is shown in the middle of every listing where we show the agent's name and number.

The first link will show you the agent's current listings that are both ACTIVE and Under Contract (the UC have a line through them).

Then we show the past performance. You can look at "All Sold Deals" which will show every deal they have done since 2005 regardless of whether they were a Listing Agent or a Buyer's Agent. Here you can see how many deals they have done, and how many are short sales or foreclosures. This high level view can also tell you if that "short sale expert" really is an expert.

Then you can see the agent's track record in their capacity exclusively as a Listing Agent. Both since 2005 or since 2009. I broke this up because the market has changed so much and I prefer only seeing the most recent data.

When you see the sold data don't miss how the bottom of the spreadsheet will show you an AVERAGE of the agent's performance. Average days on the market, average sold price and my favorite is the Average %OL, which is Percentage of Original List (which is more important than %L, which is the % drop from the last list price after previous price drops).

I also like to sort by %OL to see how many times an agent has gone over list (crucial data for predicting if a current new listing might sell for over list or to call the agent's bluff when they say "this will sell fast and probably over list," and your buyer's agent can respond "Not likely, FranklyMLS says you did 100 listings and only 2 went over list, so that is just a 2% chance")

Disclaimer: I don't really believe in averages. Instead I believe in looking at data and getting a feel for trends. Averages are so easy to be sqewed, for example if you have a 1,000 days on the market $5M mansion, your stats will bomb.

Then you can see the agent's track record in their capacity exclusively as a Buyer Agent.
Again be skeptical of averages!! An agent might win a client an amazing $100,000 underpriced bank listing that happens to go over $5,000 list price, or "101% of %OL." That doesn't mean they are worse than an agent that helped a client get a "deal" or "95% of %OL" on a home that is 15% overpriced. Just look for trends.

Shameless plug for Buyer Agents in general: Hum, ok so now there is more data! Great! So some of you will feel MORE empowered to go solo. Others will smartly think "Hum, maybe there actually is some value to a good Realtor. One that knows how to digest this data and work for the seller's best interest."

At the bottom is a linkable example.



Listing Agent: Michael Rosen 703-880-6770 from
Agent's Current Listings: Actives & Under Contracts

Agent's Past Performance: All Sold Deals (why?)
As a Listing Agent: Last 5yrs or 2009+
As a Buyer's Agent: Last 5yrs or 2009+

More Accurate Aerial Maps

I got a complaint that the aerial maps that show up on every home for sale were off by a few homes. I thought I couldn't do anything about it because that data is provided to us by the actual MLS.
But after some digging, I found a way to bypass the data they gave us and use our own location finding.

So let me know if you ever noticed this problem and if it is fixed.


(ps. The pin point is missing on the aerial, I'm working on that)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

County and City Outlining is live

Now when your search includes one of the top 30 popular cities or counties, it will show an outline of that area.

Also you can remove that outline to see homes for sale nearby Currently this feature is slow. We are working on making it faster.

Let me know your thoughts.


Blog post via iPhone sorry for typoes.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Syntax Summary of Features

I finally updated the "advanced" search page. Soon these will all be checkbox options. But until then... this makes it easier to digest.
Search Syntax Summary

Actives Only Add the word Active like: 22044 Active (the default is Actives and Under Contracts)
Solds Only Click the checkbox for Solds within 5 years or solds from 2009+.
Home Type Enter it as a keyword Detached, Condo, or Townhouse. Try: Mclean Detached or try: Arlington Condos Active
LAND only Just add LAND, like: Arlington LAND
# of Bedrooms Try: Falls Church Condos
or try: 22201 (1br,2br) or try: Alexandria -1br (to remove 1 bedrooms)
# of Total Bathrooms Try: 22201 2ba (note that 1.5 baths count as 2 total baths)
Year Built Use this format: Arlington [Built2000-2009]
Lot Size (Acres) Use: Arlington [Lot .5-3] (Blog with details)
Subdivision Use sub=cherrydale
Schools Try ES=Franklin Sherman or MS=Something or HS=Oakton (note this only works if the agent entered the data)
Phrases Use Quotes like: "bring all offers" or try: "Price william"
REMOVE areas/words Also known as a negative search. Try: Arlington -condo
Multiple areas/words Also known as an "OR" search.
Use ( ) like: Try: (22101,22201,22314) active or try: (granite,pool,garden) "great falls" active
which means: Show all Actives with Granite OR pool OR garden in great falls
Investor Search List price divided by Tax assesssment. LP=LOW or LP=LOWER or LP=LOWEST like: LP=LOW Arlington condo (see advanced page)
Only Foreclosures Add the word Foreclosure like: Manassas Foreclosure
Also look for the ƒ symbol. (see Blog Post)
Only Short sales Use it as a keyword. Like: Oakton Short sale
Partial search Use * symbol. Like: water* for waterfront, or try: fx7*
Agent Search Use their full name and check off the solds like: Thomas Royce
This will give you the agent's listings and purchases (see column on far right). For just one or the other email me for details or watch the blog.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Embedded video on listings

The local mls, MRIS, only has one authorized video hosting service, which is The mls does not allow branded video sources or even Youtube.

Now if an agent has a video hosted with and attached to an mls listing, the video will show up embedded in the listing itself. No need to click on the virtual tour link.

Thanks VBA for the partnership and special coding. Realtor, don't be silly, you should be doing this!

Here is an example of a listing with the video embedded:


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

No more jumpy images!! Yeah! is the only site that shows the largest photos as the default. Everyone else has to make room for ads and sales pitches. But with that came the drawback or "jumpy images." A really annoying thing that would happen in about 30% of the listings. If the agent uploaded odd sized photos, they photos would jump and make it nearly impossible to rollover the thumbnails.

Well after trying a bunch of complex solutions, I remembered my programming "how to build a website" class from 14 years ago and brought back an old school solution.

Yeah! No more jumpy images. Well at least until somebody reports it to me.

Let me know if you have anymore jumpy images. Email me the browser type, the OS and the browser version.

Remember, we are just a small operation here, trying to keep ahead of the big boys. Thanks for your support.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Begone those pesky OUTLIERS!

One benefit to FranklyMLS's keyword search is that it is lightening fast! But the downside has always been that it is only 98% accurate.

About 2% of the time a search for a random zip code might pull up a random 22101 Beachway Drive in Maryland instead of McLean's 22101.

But now that is all so very 2010.

We now figured out a way to scrub out these outliers which makes the new zip code boundary feature that much more powerful.

Now if you search for zip codes, it will recognize that you want a zip code and only show you homes with that zipcode. Skipping over house # and even remarks.

Let me know if you get any errors. Soon hopefully we can do this for county searches, as I know people might search for Arlington and get annoyed by homes on Arlington Blvd in another city.

Hope you like it.


Netbook Friendly Photo browsing.

Our photos are 4x larger then any other site. Why? Because most sites waste room with advertising.

The only downside is those with smaller screens sometimes can't see the entire photo and that makes it tougher to get to the thumbnails.

Well now we adding numbers above the main image.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Rollover those numbers and it will change the photos.

Thanks for the suggestion!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

MLS Zip Code Search with Boundary Outlines!

Now if your search syntax has a zip code in it, the zip code will be outlined for you. This makes it much easier to see exactly where the coundaries are.
Obviously we will be adding smaller add on features to this, but I wanted to get this out as fast as possible.
Try it out. Search syntax: 22044
Coming soon the zip code will have a rollover or title so you know which zip is which (assuming multiple zips). You also will be able to expand the search beyond the zip code and lastly we are working on killing off those pesty outliers that have riddled our keyword serach system. IE when a home is 22101 Broad Street in Maryland, today it might come up in a search for the zip code 22101.
While the site isn't 100% accurate (with mishaps like outliers, we strive for 99.5%) it is 4x faster!

Monday, February 14, 2011

FranklyMLS ranked #3 in DC Area

I just got an exciting report that showed that is #3 in traffic behind Long and Foster, and Redfin in the DC area for MLS broker sites.

To think that a small concept could grow and beat most of the powerhouses is pretty neat.

The ranking data is raw but reliable. It comes from a 3rd party hoster of albums for MRIS. They track the number of albums viewed and thus the referral log tracking and ranking.

Thank you everyone for all of your ideas that have helped the site be what it is today.


Sent from my iPhone sorry for typoes.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Better Foreclosure MLS Searching is mainly keyword based. This has many benefits (speed) but sometimes it can be inaccurate.

Previously a search for: Vienna Foreclosure

would bring up all homes with BOTH the word Vienna and the word foreclosure anywhere in the remarks.

We then took steps to remove errors like remarks that posted "not a foreclosure" (those wouldn't show up).

About a year ago the MLS added some checkbox fields for foreclosures. But, initially the agents were not filling this in, so it was too unreliable to use.

Good news! Agents are now using that field properly!

So now a search for: Vienna Foreclosure
is much more accurate and will only look for
1) homes with the keyword: vienna
2) home where the agent checked off "foreclosure yes" (ie we don't look at keywords when you search for this word anymore)

Hope that makes sense.


Sent from my iPhone sorry for typoes.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Larger page option, for those with high resolutions

I got a request the other day to make a larger map option when searching.


So now above the map it says "bigger map." Click on that if you have a super high resolution or huge monitor. The map will triple in size. Also your preference will be cookie'd to your browser so you don't need to click it each time.
Let me know if you use this.


p.s Still working on map searching.