3 Ways to Stay Connected With Virtual Showings

We have three important items we would like to share with our OneKey™ MLS subscribers & participants:

ONE: To help you stay connected with consumers, Realtor.com began placing virtual tour links on the results page so they are easily seen, as shown below.

The second image is from the detail page where it appears under the photo next to the address and price. 

Detail Page

TWO: Zillow Allows Agents to ShareVirtual Open House/Showing Information via Remarks Field

The following is communication we received from Zillow with regard to Virtual Open Houses and Virtual Showings:

Yesterday, we received the request from CRMLS and several other MLSs to allow agents to pass “Virtual Open House/Showing” data to Zillow in the Remarks (Property Description) field.   We understand this is a temporary solution while a new set of fields for this data is developed and implemented, but using the Remarks does seem to be the fastest way get this into play.  

The issue was that on Zillow sites, we have always removed property descriptions that contain URLs, and ordinarily the software would also remove this new Virtual Open House data, so we needed a way around that.  The product team met last evening and agreed to allow Virtual Open House/Showing data to be allowed in the remarks – but also only if the data input matches a specific format for us to pick up the info.  Our plan is to extract the information from the Remarks and then highlight on the Zillow sites detail pages, etc.  We should have this work completed by the end of the week.  If another site (e.g., IDX site) does not extract the data – the virtual open house info still shows in Remarks with the relevant details – so this should work for all sites.  

The process at Zillow that removes remarks containing URLs will remain in place, so if the data on virtual open houses does not match the specific format, it will not be displayed.  We cannot totally remove the block on URLs, given the number of marketing, spam – and “malware” type of URLs that come via the feeds we receive.  

 The format we are using is as follows:

Extra short version:

  • At end of listing remarks: “#virtualopenhouse *url* *date* *starttime*-*endtime*”
  • Example: “#virtualopenhouse https://us04web.zoom.us/j/206229324 03/31/2020 11:00 AM-2:00 PM


  • Incoming data from MLS – at end of listing remarks: #virtualopenhouse *url* *date* *starttime*-*endtime*
    • Only one date/time window allowed per listing
    • Date should be in MM/DD/YYYY format
    • Time should be in local time, 12 hr format
    • End of remarks only – so that it’s easier to parse the string 

THREE: ShowingTime has added a new appointment type, Virtual Showing

We have received the following communication from ShowingTime and we encourage our Participants to watch the video tutorials on this feature to learn more.  Please note that this applies to Broker to Broker showings only.

Regarding virtual showings, there is nothing that needs to be configured as our recommended guide highlights how the current features of the system can be utilized to conduct virtual showings. I have attached our previous correspondence where we discussed the possibility of adding a custom message that appears for your members when they schedule showings online. This could be a good option and would make it very clear of the current state of things with a message like “Due to the Executive Order in place for the state of New York, only virtual online showings are allowed and all in-person showings are currently prohibited” or something similar. In addition to that, you could post the above URL as a Message of the Day in the MLS so that your members have access to our PDF guide and video series to help with setting up the virtual showings.