Paragon’s first birthday!

As the first-year anniversary of Paragon rolled around September 15, most members seem to be adapting well to the new platform and many continue striving to fully master the new system.

In fact to date, over three quarters of FVREB’s members have taken some form of Paragon training, with some 4,291 registrations in lectures, workshops or training courses.  Perhaps that’s why the Board’s HelpDesk numbers shows Paragon-related queries dropped significantly the first few months after the launch. But with any new or evolving technology, there are always things to learn about what the system actually offers.

As Gladys Wong, Assistant Manager of Information Technology at the Board notes, “A lot of our members haven’t discovered all of the neat tricks that exist in Paragon yet.” She demonstrates how small features can add up to increase ease and time efficiency. “If you hover your mouse over the arrow in the price column of the listing here,” says Gladys, pointing to the computer screen, “you can see the previous price pop out so that you know how much the listed price has risen or decreased. That’s just one of many little tricks that most people haven’t discovered yet.”

Gladys says the action icons offer users quick one-click access to valuable information. Other Paragon features include a market monitor that reports not just one day (including today’s) but several days of market data. There is now a listing cart, similar to a shopping cart on consumer websites that allows you to drop your listing choices into a cart to save, or share with clients.

You can also save your last search so that you can return to it the next time you log on.

“When you add up all the handy tricks like that, it can make a big difference to how well this system works for you,” explains Gladys. “We want members to explore the possibilities because there’s a lot there to find useful.  But you can’t take advantage of it if you aren’t aware it exists.”

The Board’s IT department continues to monitor and test Paragon to ensure it is functioning optimally and they work closely with the Paragon vendor to address issues that arise.  IT also uses feedback from members and staff to direct the ways it modifies the system to more closely fit members’ needs.

Dave Pedersen, Manager of Information Technology, says Paragon delivered on two of the most urgent needs that have emerged for Realtors in the industry the last few years—usability on mobile devices—including smartphones, Android tablets and Apple iPads—and  accessibility on a range of browsers, from Explorer and Firefox, to Safari and Google Chrome.

“Those two things alone have made a huge difference to improve capacity, efficiency and workflow,” says Dave.

Other significant enhancements include:

  • Agent Modify, which enables members to edit and revise their own residential listings (in the non-contract fields), without the assistance of MLS® staff.
  • Vastly expanded the capacity for image display so that members can now upload up to 20 high resolution photos to create dynamic slide shows on each listing.
  • Multiple searches can now be done simultaneously so that you can skip back and forth between several different searches using tabs at the top of the computer screen.
  • Client Connect is another new feature in Paragon that allows members to share listings and other key information with their clients online, while maintaining security and privacy. Client Connect has empowered members to use technology to stay in close touch with their client, and responsive to their client’s needs.
  • Paragon’s Wizard function quickly takes users step by step to build comprehensive and customized CMAs and modifying them as needed. Paragon is integrated with Cloud CMA which is another tool that gives our members more CMA and reporting options.

With all the benefits, new features and customization, the IT department is still working to make Paragon better and better.

“There’s lots more coming down the pipe,” Gladys promises.

Dimpu Thandi, technology instructor for the board, says that Realtors coming through her training have reported being overall satisfied with what Paragon has offered them.

“They seem to like the fact that it’s fast, it’s quick, it’s easy and it’s mobile,” says Dimpu.

Currently, FVREB is offering half-day training sessions in Paragon Fundamentals, CMA (including Cloud CMA), Client Connect and Custom Reports. Visit REALTOR Link® to register.