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Hints and Tips

This section includes hints and tips which may help you to customize your listings to meet your needs.


Hiding your listing until it is completed

The Update Listing function allows you to set the status of a listing as ‘invisible’ during entry or at any time. Any ‘invisible’ listings will be withheld from public viewing, until you change the status to one other than ‘invisible’.

Grouping listings together/sorting listings

Use the sortkey functionality to order your listings if you wish to use other criteria than the standard sort. The standard sort order of your listings is: Sold, leased and expired listings move to the bottom of the list; all other viewing statuses display at the top of the list. Within the categories of ‘available’ and ‘not available’, the listings are sorted by sortkey (lowest value has first position). Within equal values of the sortkey, the listings are sorted by date, most recent at the top.

If you wish to group listings together, you can assign a sortkey value less than 999 (default) to each listing in one of the groups. This will cause those listings to display before the listings with the default value. The status sort and date sort are still valid. E.g. such a listing would still place sold properties at the bottom of the list, but one group’s listings will appear before the other. Each groups’s listings will be further sorted by date.

Note that since your clients have the capability to request a revised sort of your listings, the sortkey may not be required.

View Listings Summary formats

The presentation of the Summary Listing page in ‘View Listings’ has three different layout options. You may choose the option you like best. If you change your mind after entry of multiple listings, you can change the format for all listings simply by accessing the ‘Extra Options’ page, and selecting another Public List Style. When you ‘Save Changes’ the new format will be applied to all your listings. You may change your format as often as you wish. To see formats, click here.

Color matching

If you do not find the exact color you need to match your website on the color menu provided, you can enter the code for that color in the color fields in the ‘Customize’ page, and it will be properly displayed. To find out the color code you need, simply bring up the web page you want to match and select ‘View’ and ‘Source’. Look for the characters “color” in the code. Following the color will either be a color name or code which is a number sign “#” followed by 6 letters or numbers. Simply copy the color name or color code (including the number sign), into the color field of your ‘Customize’ page. Note there may be more than one color specified in the source of a page so make sure you’re getting the correct one.

Printing help

More comfortable with a printed copy? Each help page can also be printed for your convenience.

E-mail link at top of page

When you enter your e-mail address as one of your means of contact, it appears in blue and underlined. This means your clients can click on this link to generate a pre-addressed e-mail to you requesting additional information or an appointment.

Forgot your password

Don’t worry if you can’t remember your password. Simply enter your userid in the userid field on the Agent Login Menu. Your password will be emailed immediately to the address.

Picture formats

Although the HouseFlash system accepts most graphic formats, jpeg or jpg is the most efficient for storage and transmission of photos. Most graphic software will allow you to ‘Save as’ filename x with format of jpeg/jpg.

Sending multiple pictures from a dial-up connection

If you are using a dial-up connection (phone), always save your pictures in jpeg or jpg format before sending to save transmission time. Be patient.

Choosing a ‘webname’

Your ‘webname’ is the name your clients use to access your listings on Choose it carefully. It should be easy to remember and readily associated with you. The HouseFlash system provides a search for agents depending on minimum of two characters of the agent's name or webname, so clients won’t have to have an exact match to find you.

Changing your e-mail address

You can change your e-mail address at any time. Don’t forget to change it in ‘Account Info’ and ‘Contact Info’.

Address field need not be displayed

To prevent clients from visiting a property without an appointment, you can choose not to display the address. The street address is only displayed when you enter ‘street’ as one of the ‘Fields to show in listing headers’. You can enter the address for your records, but it will not display unless you wish.

Changing name

You can change your name as it appears in the page top of your listings and on input pages simply by making the change in ‘Account Info’ from the ‘Agent Menu’. When you ‘Save Changes’, the new name will appear on all pages.

Agent Search

If your client does not use your exact webname in the URL (e.g. to access your listings, HouseFlash provides an agent search facility. This search facility is available two ways. If the client enters an incorrect webname in the URL, they will be brought to the search facility with a message that they have not entered an exact match. HouseFlashwill present a list of the potential matches, as well as the ability to enter a new search name. If your client only in the URL, there is a link 'Find your agent's listings' on the home page. Clicking this link will bring your clients to the agent search page to enter their search text. This can be the agent's webname or their name.

Changing the order pictures display

Placement of secondary pictures is based on order of their listing in the ‘Property Listing Pictures Catalogue’. The first picture in the list is placed at top left, the remaining pictures are displayed left to right, with additional rows depending on the number of secondary pictures. You may specify the order of the placement of secondary pictures by entering a number in the 'order' field beside all of the secondary photos. The primary photo is always considered #1. You can change the order of the secondary pictures at any time by changing the numbers entered in the 'order' field. 'Save Changes' will re-order the photos as per your designation.

Changing the order of fields on the Title Bar in View Listings

The display order is as entered in the ‘Fields to show in listing headers’ on the ‘Customize’ function accessible from the ‘Agent Menu’. To change the order, simply change the position of the field name in this field.

Changing Realty Company

You can keep your HouseFlash account and only modify the information, which has changed.

If you were using your Realty company’s website to display your listings and are changing to another website other than, you will have to have the website administrator at your new site to add your URL, to retrieve your HouseFlash listings at their site.

Moving to a new website

You can keep your HouseFlash account and only modify the information, which has changed.

If you are changing to another website other than, you will have to have the website administrator at your new site to add your URL, to retrieve your HouseFlash listings at their site.

Changing your ‘webname’

Change the webname on the ‘Account Info’ page, and ‘Save Changes”. The HouseFlash system will save the new webname as the means of accessing your account. If your clients use the old webname, they will be taken to the ‘agent search’. Here, they can search using any 2 chars of your name or webname, and be presented with a potential list of names and webnames matching their criteria.

Changing your tagline

Your tagline can be changed by accessing ‘Page Top Settings’, enter a new tagline, and ‘Save Changes’. You could change it regularly if you wished.

Your own website in ½ hour

See Steps to Follow to Add Your First Listing

Getting photos on your computer

There are several options depending on your camera:

Digital Camera Photos: A digital camera is probably the easiest means of getting pictures from your camera to your computer. The photos are already in electronic form and can be loaded directly onto the hard drive in your computer. For HouseFlash purposes, even the cheapest (around $200 CDN, $135 US) digital camera will suffice. As with everything, the pricier ones include more options, two features that would probably be of most concern to you are how many pictures you can store before the camera is full, and how easy the process is to transfer the photos from the camera to your computer.
There are many other options available with digital cameras. If you'd like more information, you may find the following websites of use:
- Digital Cameras Info
- Digital Camera Buyers Guide

Regular Camera Photos: If you don't yet have a digital camera, no problem as there are several options for getting your regular photographic film or printed photos converted to electronic digital format which can then either be stored on floppies, CDs or the hard disk drive in any PC. Note that you can upload photos to your HouseFlash account from any of those storgage media and from any PC connected to the web.

  • From Printed Photos:

    1. Scanner: This is relatively inexpensive ($100 CDN, $60 US) piece of hardware. Most scanners come with software, which allows some picture manipulation during scanning if needed, e.g. cropping etc. For most typical photos you shouldn't need to do any adjustments to the picture unless of course you're trying to cut something out. If you do not currently own a scanner, your office or a friend likely does. You can scan and store on CD or diskette as well as on the hard drive. You can have someone else scan them if you don't have a scanner and have them send you the pictures via email or simply load them onto your website from their computer.

    2. Photo Development Labs and Copy Shops: Most photo shops (even the 1 hour ones) or reproduction services such as QuickCopy or Staples will scan your hard copy pictures, and store the resulting electronic photos on a CD or diskette, or even email them to you.

  • From Film:

    1. Photo Development Labs: Most Photo Development Labs (even the 1 hour ones) will happily develop your film onto a CD.