HIS Alert: Phishing Messages

It has come to our attention that there is an e-mail scam circulating, claiming to be an official request relating to webmail access.  Here is an example of a fradulent e-mail an agent received:

Dear Webmail Account Owner,

To complete your Account upgrade process, you are to reply this message and enter your ID and PASSWORD in the space provided below, you are required to do this before the next 48hrs of receipt of this e-mail, or your Webmail Account will be de-activated and erased from our database.

Full Name:
Full Webmail User ID:(example:johndoe@example.com
webmail Password:

Warning!!! Account owners that refuses to update his or her account within stipulated time of receiving this warning will lose his or her account permanently.

Warning Code:VX2G99AAJ

Webmail Administrator
If you receive a message like this, do not reply. Delete it, or report it as a spam or phishing message if your mail system supports it.  Like most online service providers, HIS will never request your password in this manner.  When dealing with such issues, we encourage you to contact us directly and take extra steps to authenticate any communications related to your account.
To learn more about phishing scams, visit these links:

Phishing on Wikipedia

How to handle suspicious e-mail

REsearch 4.2 Feature Focus: OPEN HOUSE

With 4.2 you have more reason than ever to enter your Open Houses into REsearch.  Now open houses that are entered in REsearch immediately become available to other REsearch users on REVO (REsearch Virtual Organizer, your default home page in REsearch), and will soon show up on AlohaLiving.com automatically, where homebuyers will be able to see and search for them as well. Now both fellow real estate professionals and the public will be able to plan a visit.
We have already had a number of people enter Open Houses on the 4.2 Beta site, and we encourage you to do the same.  As the number of Open Houses entered into REsearch grows, we will continue to make the searches for them on Aloha Living more sophisticated and widespread throughout the site.


Step 1: Enter Your Open House In REsearch

To enter your Open House into REsearch 4.2, simply visit the Beta site HERE, click the “Add Open House” button on the Open House navigation bar (on your REVO home page), and then enter the information into the pop-up box.


Step 2: Check it Out on Hawaiiinformation.com and AlohaLiving.com!
Once you hit OK, all of the information for your Open House will soon show up on Aloha Living and Hawaiiinformation.com automatically.  Customers and colleagues alike will be able to search for and access your Open House information using the links on the AlohaLiving.com and Hawaiiinformation.com homepages, as well as through the various home searches once more Open Houses are entered. 




As always, if you have any questions or feedback, please do not hesitate to contact me:
Erin Shaw
Marketing Coordinator
Hawaii Information Service
Direct: (808) 599.422 4 ext. #159
Toll Free: 1.800.628.3121 ext. #159
E-mail: erin@alohaliving.com

It’s 4.2 Beta Time!

REsearch 4.2 Beta
Your Participation and Feedback is Important To Us! 
We are now commencing our public beta testing period for REsearch 4.2 and would like for you to please join us in testing it out!  This is a public Beta to encourage all of our members and customers to learn by doing.  To do so, follow these quick steps.
1. Visit http://webre2.hawaiiinformation.com/REsearchBeta/HIS/ and go for it!
2. Please remember that the Beta site is LIVE, so any changes you make to your listings will appear on the current/existing and beta site.

3. E-mail any questions/feedback to erin@alohaliving.com so that we can make note of your thoughts and suggestions as we make tweaks/additions to 4.2 and later versions.  If you want to submit comments and or questions anonymously, simply print them out and either fax or mail them to me at the number/address, or you can leave an anonymous comment on our 4.2 Beta blog at the address below.
4. Visit http://blogs.alohaliving.com/beta  to see posts of your feedback and answers to your questions.  If you have a question I suggest visiting the blog first to see if it has already been addressed.
Thank you for participating & mark your calendars – REsearch 4.2 goes live February 4th, 2009!
As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me:
Erin Shaw
Marketing Coordinator
Hawaii Information Service
680 Iwilei Rd., Suite 777
Honolulu, HI 96817
Fax (Oahu): 808.536.6499
Fax (Toll Free): 1.888.628.3121
Direct: (808) 599.4224 ext. #159
Toll Free: 1.800.628.3121 ext. #159
E-mail: erin@alohaliving.com

REsearch and Skype

SkypeAre you a Skype user? If so, please be aware that you may encounter problems with REsearch. If you installed the Skype Plugin for Internet Explorer as part of the Skype install process, all phone numbers displayed in your browser (including within REsearch) will be converted into a Skype dialing icon. This may obscure the display of the phone number, or even prevent you from using other functions in your browser window (i.e. printing, copying, etc.).

For best results, you should disable the Skype Plugin for Internet Explorer when using REsearch.

How to disable the Skype Plugin for Internet Explorer:

If you are using the latest version of Skype, click the Skype icon in your browser toolbar and uncheck the “Turn number highlighting on” box. You can also completely remove the Skype add-on.

Skype in IE

If you are using an older version of Skype or do not have a Skype icon in your browser toolbar, click the “Tools” menu and select “Manage add-ons…” Then, in the list, select any Skype add-ons listed
then click Disable.

Tips and Tricks

How do I filter out timeshare and fractional listings?

Tired of seeing timeshare and fractional interest listings when you want to see only single-family residential? You can eliminate timeshares and fractional interests from your search results by using the field “Type of Listing.”

Timeshare Filter

Of course, the success of the search results depends upon accurate data entry. On both the residential and condo data input form, there is a field called “Type of Listing” and there is a checkbox for “fractional” on the residential data input form and for “timeshare” on the condo data input form.

Timeshare Entry

If you are offering less than 100% ownership in the property, you MUST indicate the proper offering by checking the box in the data input form.

How do I identify “short” sales and/or foreclosure sales in a search?

HIS is in the process of adding a “short sale” disclosure to the other disclosures in the data entry process. In the meantime, you should search remarks for language that indicates a short sale or pending foreclosure.

If you are approached to list a property that is a “distressed” property, or if your listing becomes a distressed property after you have listed it, you must remember the criteria set forth in Act 137: “Mortgage Rescue Fraud Prevention Act.” This new law was covered in Core B of the mandatory continuing education. If you have any questions about your duty under the law, please discuss them with your Principal Broker or go here and log into HawaiiRealtors.com.

What is an oceanfront condo unit?

Ever wonder why a non-oceanfront condo unit was included in the search results for an “oceanfront” property?

There are two fields in the database that pertain to the definition of “oceanfront”.

  • Oceanfront Parcel – which is the field searched when you click “oceanfront” on the search screen – determines only if the parcel is oceanfront.
  • Oceanfront Unit – searches the database to see if the unit is oceanfront.

Therefore, to search for an oceanfront condominium unit, you must ask for both “oceanfront parcel” and “oceanfront unit”.

Blog Comments – How to Grow and Sustain Them

My friend and I have a food and cooking blog, and every morning I check in to see whether people have left any comments on our recent posts.  Comments are validation that people are not only reading your blog, but thinking about it and interacting with you.  As you gain more readers, you should begin to turn them into commenters.  A thriving community of commenters brings people back and keeps them engaged – doing some of your work for you!

Here are a few helpful tips to get you going and keep those comments coming!

  • Keep the topics current.  If your posts reflect what is going on in the news, in your community, or in your business today, people are more likely to want to enter into in a dialogue.
  • Reference other bloggers or relevant websites in your posts.  This will establish you as someone who shares great resources, and will hopefully also get those other bloggers’ attention. Getting a link back is a great compliment.
  • Respond to comments.  You don’t need to individually post a reply to every comment, but check in on discussions and show that you’re paying attention and appreciate their feedback.
  • Pack a punch!  Be passionate, or even provocative and controversial in your opinions.  It’s a great way to elicit a response from people, whether they agree or disagree.  This strategy is a double-edged sword, of course!
  • Ask a question.  Wrapping up your post with a call to action is a pretty straightforward way to encourage comments, telling readers you want to hear from them but also giving them a starting point.  Go beyond, “What do you think?”  Ask for specific advice or suggestions related to the topic at hand.

You may have noticed that in society, when a few people start doing something, others tend to follow.  Work on getting a base of people who frequent your site and interact on it, and both your traffic and number of comments will continue to grow.

Q: Do YOU have any great ideas on how to get people to leave comments on your blog???