New Flexmls Mobile In Beta Testing

May 11, 2011  |  Michael Wurzer

FBS is pleased to announce that we’ve released today the first iteration of a new mobile flexmls® site for beta testing by our FBS-hosted MLS customers.  Flexmls users can access the beta site by either going to http://m.flexmls.com and clicking the beta link or going directly to http://m.beta.flexmls.com.  This first iteration is for MLS users only and so you will need to enter your MLS login and password.

I highlighted first iteration and beta in the previous paragraph to emphasize that this is just the beginning of our new mobile site.  The functionality is focused on basic search and listing display friendly to touch-enabled phones and other mobile devices.  The search is limited in this first iteration to some basic fields such as price, bedrooms, bathrooms, square feet, property type, sub-type, city, zip, sudbivision, MLS area, and a few other location-type fields.

The listing display includes summary, detail and photo views, with the detail view showing all all the data fields with the exception of rooms, which we’ll be adding shortly.

Here are a few more screen shots:

The next iteration we’re working on now will extend this basic search to our IDX and portal customers, and we’ll then be adding capabilities to view searches and carts from the flexmls Web system on mobile as well a new note-taking feature for you and your customers. Eventually, we expect to replace all the functionality of the current mobile site with this new one, and, until that time, the new mobile site will remain in beta.

One of the more geeky aspects of this new mobile site that we’re excited about is that it has been built using our new flexmls API (application programming interface). Our intent is to make the API available to other software developers who can then create even more cool products for our customers, such as new IDX applications, iPhone and iPad native applications, and many others. Building the mobile site on this new API made the first iteration take a little longer, but we believe it will have many long-term benefits. In addition to enabling innovation on the flexmls platform by third-party developers, the new API is standardized for purposes of searching across all of our 110+ MLS customers and so also will be a great encouragement to increase data standards among our customers. This new API is the future of development for FBS and we’re excited about the innovation it will bring to our customers.

I’d like to close by thanking our development team of Brandon Hornseth and Brandon Medenwald and our API team of Joshua Murray, Wade McEwen, and James Ridley, as well as our QA team of Kelly Prichard and Steve Eli (with my apologies to those I undoubtedly missed).

21 Responses to “New Flexmls Mobile In Beta Testing”

  1. Craig Mische says:

    Really good. Glad to see this and just added a bookmark to my iPad. Will be really great when you can refine a search by lake names.

  2. Craig Mische says:

    Just changed my grade to great/A+. First off, it dawned on me that you power many MLSes that don’t have lakes and second, I realized documents such as disclosures can be easily saved to iBooks.

    • Michael Wurzer says:

      Thanks, Craig! We do expect to add fields like Lake, we just want to do it in a standard way. We’ll keep you posted on our progress.

  3. Love the speed of this mobile site, Love the uncluttered page design. A few suggestions:

    1. Put an address search within fast easy reach. I use mobile when I’m on the curb wondering if a house is vacant, under contract etc… address search is the fastest way to get that info Right now, street & number are not part of the location search
    2. In the search definition page, tighten up the columns and white space to reduce scrolling
    3. I did not see a search option for status under location. The test search I did defaulted to active. That could be a problem on occasion. Also, if the intent is to go back and forth between basics and location to input search criteria, that could become a bit awkward.

    The page display for the listings has a nice clean presentation that’s easy to find information. The photos look good, too.

    Thanks so much!

    Joan
    Android user: HTC Thunderbolt

  4. Ryan M says:

    Would suggest adding a way to input our own price range… Hard to use if searching for rentals and the 25k min price range.

  5. Megan Shaw says:

    A mobile search option for the IDX users would be great! I would like to put a QR Code Sticker on ALL of my marketing and link it back to your IDX search option. Is the Mobile Search Option available yet to the consumer? If not, when do you expect that?

    • Michael Wurzer says:

      We’re aiming to have a beta release of flexmls mobile available for IDX customers in the next 60 days.

  6. Diana Blair says:

    This is a great improvement!

    I wish that I could find showing instructions on the first screen. Often, when you are out showing property, you look up the listing because your client has asked about a house that you passed by that they liked. You need quick access to showing instructions to make an appointment fast.

    In our office, staff receives many call throughout the day from agents who need showing instructions. Adding this feature upfront would eliminate these calls and a lot of frustration.

    Also, we search by school district/or schools more than by town or area. I would add this to your search features.

    • Michael Wurzer says:

      Thanks for the suggestions. We do plan to move showing instructions but we need to do so on a standard way for all customers, and that’s going to be a challenge given the differebt ways each customer currently tracks them. The same is true for some of the less standard location fields.

  7. Pedro Walls says:

    Can you add an option to link to computer view on the front page. THis would help find full information of my listings and other information in my area. Or am I being too lazy to retype it?

    • Michael Wurzer says:

      I’m not sure what you mean by a link to full information. All the information for the listings should already be available.

  8. John Coley says:

    I found that the other mobile site is faster than this beta site. I like its UI, though. But I when I search via mobile, I am relying on cell towers without 3G, much less 4G, so simple data and speed are much preferred.

  9. Brad says:

    Is there an app that I can download or do I just need to use the bookmark? If there is how do I find it?

  10. Brad says:

    Okay, I don’t see a beta link to down an app for my iphone? Am I missing something?

  11. Brad says:

    download…

  12. Michael Wurzer says:

    It’s a web site, not an app.

  13. John Coley says:

    usually when I am mobile, I am searching for:
    1.) agent info. So I would surf to the Member / Agent contact info, then to the list of that agent’s listings.
    2.) Also I do a lot of address searches via mobile, because usually I happen upon a home in the field that I have not researched and the client is asking me on the spot, “what are they asking?” etc. For these types of searches I tried the new beta, but switched back to the old mobile site to get it done faster. FYI I am iPhone 4 on AT&T, as stated above in rural areas using Edge network, in some cases even slower network than that. Whatever the “O” means on the signal strength.

  14. Any update on Flex Mobile?

    I see that the beta version doesn’t have a search by address…. that’s a feature used daily on the full version for inquiries. Any chance that will be added to the mobile version (please!)?

    Thanks!

    • Michael Wurzer says:

      Yes, we’ll be releasing several new features soon, including street name and number.