The “Visual Pricing” and “Scattergram” ribbon tabs are missing.

In using the Visual Pricing system on the MAC 2016, we have seen a few times when the Visual Pricing and Scattergram tabs are missing.  When these tabs are missing you are unable to select any of the Visual Pricing buttons on the ribbon control, because they aren’t there.

We’ve noticed the when this is the case, it is because the Ribbon Control is not enabled.  As you can see from the menu below if you select the View menu item you will see the the Ribbon is not enabled.  When the Ribbon is enabled you will see a checkmark next to the Ribbon option (as you can see next to the Formula Bar option).

VPS_View_Toolbar

To enable the Ribbon option:

  1. First close the Visual Pricing System and quit the Excel 2016 program.
  2. Open up the Excel 2016 program, open up a default spreadsheet, and select the View->Ribbon option.  This will enable the Ribbon option.  You can verify that by selecting the View menu and noticing that the checkmark is next to the Ribbon option.
  3. Quit the Excel 2016 program and open up the Visual Pricing System.  You will now see that the View->Ribbon option is enabled and that the Visual Pricing and Scattergram tabs are present.

May 24, 2017 at 11:38 am Leave a comment

Can you please advise how I move the text boxes that I created for each of the properties on my scattergram? They are showing at the top of the scattergram but I want to move them to each property.

When you create the textboxes for the scattergram they are placed at the top left of the screen.  When we placed them near data points, they tend to hide other data points, and to make sure there weren’t data points being hidden you’d have to move everything off the graph to see and then move boxes back on.  So we decided to place the boxes at the top of the screen.

To move the text boxes:

  1. First select the text box by clicking on the text box you want to move. When you select the text box you will see smaller boxes that are shown near the edges and corners of the box that show that it is selected.
  2. Next move your cursor near the edge of the box, when you do you will see your cursor change to four arrows.  This shows that you are now ready to move the box.  Stay away from the corners (as shown by two arrows) since they will allow you to resize the box.  The boxes are already set to resize based on the text inside them and resizing them yourself will change this characteristic.  Once you get the four arrow you can use your left mouse button to drag the box to where you want it.

To see a demo of how this works, select this link and fast forward to the 10 minute mark it will show you how its done.   [Select this link to show the video now.]

Also be aware, that you may easily delete boxes that you don’t need or want.  To delete a box, just select that box, and then hit the delete key.  Be sure that you select the box by pressing the left mouse button when you see the four arrows.  If you see the “I-Beam” cursor you have text in the box selected (which you may also want to do) and hitting the delete button at that time will delete text.  You may also delete multiple boxes by selecting a box, holding down the shift key, and selecting additional boxes.  Once you’ve selected the boxes you want deleted, press the delete button.

May 18, 2017 at 8:49 am Leave a comment

Now that it is 2017, how do I get Visual Pricing System to show 2017 graphs?

To show 2017 data, no upgrade is necessary.   In most cases, the Visual Pricing System application shows data for only two years.  This is to help make identifying trends easier for you.  Once you move into a new year, the application will look to display data for the new year.  However, in the beginning of the new year, the amount of data is small enough that moving to the new year right away would not provide enough information to be valuable.  We think you would prefer to see the previous two years until there is enough data to make sense to move to the next year.

So, how much data is enough?  The program will wait until after the end of June (month 6) before it decides to move to the next year.   However, if you’d prefer to see the new year’s data plotted earlier (or later) you can adjust the Change Over Month value.   This is the month when the new year’s data will be plotted.  Of course, you may easily change the Change Over Month value back and forth if you’d like.  Once you modify the value for the Change Over Month you will need to read in the data again.  The new results will reflect the change that you made.

To change the Change Over Month you will need to reset configuration parameters.  The configuration parameters can be set using the Configure dialog box.  To see the Configure dialog box, first go to the Visual Pricing tab located at the top of the program.  Then select the Configure button as shown below.

Configure_Button

You will then see the Configure dialog box.  There is where you can change the value of the Change Over Month.

Select a month has already past (for example if this month is March, then select February [or 2]).  Then press the “OK” button.   The change will be effective when you read in your next export file.

May 17, 2017 at 10:55 am Leave a comment

The DOM (Days on the Market) that is reported on the MLS Data sheet differs from what is reported from my MLS. Why is that and can I make it the same?

We have found with our work that the DOM reported by MLS’s is not consistent.  While most Realtors believe that the DOM is the same as the Sold Date minus the List Date, we have found that, that is not always the case.  In some cases, the DOM stops incrementing when the property is put it a “pending” state but not when it is put “under contract”.  
 
As a result, we calculate the DOM by taking the Sold Date and subtracting the List Date and putting that value in the DOM column.  However, if you’d like you can place the actual DOM value that is provided by the MLS instead of the calculated value we provide.  To do that all you need to do is to set the “Use DOM from MLS instead of the calculation” option.  That option can be found on the Config dialog box, and then selecting the Pricing tab.  
 
You can find the config dialog box on the PC by: 
 
  1. Go to the start page (select the “start” tab below.
  2. Then at the top of the menus, select the “Add-Ins” menu and the “Focus 1st” menu will drop down below.
  3. Using the “Focus 1st” menu, select the “Configure” option.  
  4. Then select the “Pricing” tab on top to find the option.  
 
On the MAC, select the settings wheel, and the “Configure” dialog box will show.  Select the “Pricing” tab on top to find the option
 
NOTE: If you do not have this option in your version of the Visual Pricing System, you may need to download the latest release (version 04.16.1106 or later).  

November 7, 2016 at 8:49 am Leave a comment

How do I change how Under Contract properties are used in the Odds of Selling calculations?

The Visual Pricing System Odds of selling chart will automatically calculate the Odds of Selling by adding up all the properties that were For Sale during that period and then dividing them into the number of properties that Sold.  With this data, you can have a good idea on how well homes are selling for the data you exported.  Additionally, it will calculate the Absorption Rate by dividing the number of properties that sold in that period by the number of months in that period (in most cased this would be 12 months).  It then uses the Absorption Rate calculation to determine the Months Supply, but dividing it into the number of properties for sale.  Of course, we don’t refer to Absorption Rate or Month Supply to avoid confusion to your customers.

In making these calculations, the Odds of Selling graphs will treats properties that are Under Contract the same as properties that are For Sale.  This is mostly due to the fact that it’s never done until it’s done.  In most cases, this makes sense.  It obviously made sense when there were a lot of short sales, where in many cases they never closed.  However, there are times where you may want to change how they are treated.

The Visual Pricing System allows you to treat them in three different ways on the Odds of Selling chart.

odd_c_view

  1. You can choose to treat properties that are Under Contract the same as properties that are For Sale.  This is the default.   So in the Odds of Selling calculation properties that are Under Contract will add into the Months Supply.  In the example graphic above, there are 10 properties Sold, 1 properties Withdrawn/Expired and 7 properties that are treated as For Sale.
  2. Or you can choose to treat properties that are Under Contract the same as properties that have Sold.  This impact of this will increase the Odds of Selling calculation (more properties that Sold), will increase the Absorption Rate and decrease the Months Supply. Be aware that this will NOT impact the other graphs.  Setting the parameter to treat the properties that are Under Contract the same as Sold properties will only  be in effect for the Odds of Selling calculations.  So you won’t see them in the Buying Pattern or Time to Sell graphs.  Additionally they will be identified as Under Contract elsewhere in the Visual Pricing System.  In the example graphic above, there would be 14 properties treated as Sold, 1 properties treated as Withdrawn/Expired and only 3 properties treated as For Sale.
  3. You can choose the ignore the properties that are Under Contract in the calculations.  This means that the Odd of Selling percentage will increase since ignoring them in the calculations means it will look like there were not listed during that period of time.  It also means that the Month Supply will decrease since they will not be For Sale.  In the example graphic above, there are 10 properties Sold, 1 property Withdrawn/Expired, and only 3 properties that would be treated as For Sale (the 4 Under Contract would be ignored).

So if you want to change how properties that are Under Contract, how do you do that?

  1. Open the Visual Pricing System Configure dialog box.
    1. Go to the “Start” page.
      1. On a PC, at the top of the page, select the “Add-Ins” menu.
      2. Once you do that a “Focus 1st” menu we show just below the top menu on the left. Select Focus1st->Configure
    2. On the MAC, select the “Settings” wheel and then select Configure.

When you’ve opened the Config Dialog box, you can change how the Odds of Selling calculations will treat the Under Contract properties.

odds-calculation

 

October 10, 2016 at 12:22 pm Leave a comment

Just wondering how I export my graphs as pics into an email.

The best way to send graphs via email is to send them in PDF format.

Using a MAC:

This is easy enough to do on a MAC.

  1. Bring up the chart you want to export.
  2. Select the print option.
  3. Once the print dialog box appears, in the lower left area of the dialog box is a “PDF” option with a down arrow.
  4. Click on the Down Arrow and select the “Save as PDF” option.
  5. The Save As dialog box will appear and you set the name of the PDF file and you can save it where you’d like.
Once you have a PDF file, you can easily send them via email by attaching them to your email.
Using a PC:
If you’re using a PC, you will need to download a PDF driver.  The PDF driver works just like a printer.  When you print, you will select the PDF driver and then instead of printing to paper, the driver will display a dialog box allowing to set the name of the file.  While there are several PDF drivers available, one PDF driver that we like is the primopdf driver.  We like this one because: 1) it’s free; 2) it produces good quality PDF files; and 3) it allows you to append pages (if you save the current print out to the same file, it will give you the option of appending the print out to a new page at the end of the same file or overwriting the file).

January 21, 2016 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

I’m on a PC, and nothing seems to happen anymore when I press the big “Start Here” button. How can I run the Visual Pricing System?

It seems that a recent Microsoft upgrade for Office 2013 (we believe) has created a problem that occurs when you press the “Start Here” button that you generally use to read in an export file, it no longer works. While we believe that the problem will be fixed, there is an easy workaround that you can make use of.  Just use the “Focus1st ” menu and select the “Start” option.  The “Focus 1st” menu can be found by selecting the “Add-In” top menu item.  Once you select that, the “Focust 1st” menu will appear to the lower left.  Then select the “Focus1st” menu and the “Start” Menu will appear.  Select the “Start” menu.

Featured image

Pressing the “Start” menu will allow you to select your export file just as pressing the “Start Here” button does.

December 11, 2014 at 11:21 pm Leave a comment

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