Define MLS Import Templates


The first time you import data from an electronic data source like your MLS, you must tell WinTOTAL how to accurately import the information.  Once you’ve done so, WinTOTAL automatically imports the data from your first file.  Then, for future files that you’ve downloaded from your MLS or other electronic data source, you can simply re-use the template you’ve already created. To define your MLS import template:

  1. Obtain the comp data file from your MLS provider and save it on your hard drive.
  2. In the Comps Database, click Import in the toolbar.
  3. Select Import property data from external source and click Next.
  4. Click Browse, find and select the import file from your hard drive, then click Open.
  5. Type a description for your template so that you can quickly refer back to this template when you import additional data from the same source in the future.
  6. Select either the Residential or Commercial option to reflect the type of property you’re importing.
  7. If necessary, check the Search for Duplicates box and tell it how to handle any it finds. Options are:
    • Don’t Add Duplicates
    • Update the Existing Comp
    • Preview each duplicate found and let me decide what to do
  8. Click Next to continue.
  9. Since WinTOTAL automatically guesses the correct delimiter, it should already be selected for you. If WinTOTAL is unable to guess the correct delimiter, choose a different delimiter from the selection box. You can also select a Text Qualifier if your data source uses a particular character (most often a quote “”) to designate text fields.
  10. Ensure that the data looks correct in the sample window and click Next to continue.

  11. Now you need to choose the data fields that you want to import from the source file, and tell WinTOTAL into which WinTOTAL fields you want to insert each MLS field. WinTOTAL always makes an educated guess about what data belongs in which fields.  When it knows, it automatically maps those fields for you.  In the event that WinTOTAL is unsure about where to place the data from your MLS, it makes those data fields available in a drop-down list so that you can choose which WinTOTAL field maps to your MLS field.
      Note: You can select as many fields as necessary and you can insert the same field more than once. This is useful if your data source has information in one field that you would like to divide up and place in multiple fields.  

  12. To map the remaining fields, click Pop-up unused fields at the top and review the list of fields you still need to map.
  13. Find a field in the sample form that WinTOTAL provides to map any of the remaining fields from your MLS file.
  14. When you’ve found a field on the WinTOTAL sample form that correlates with a field from your MLS file, just click it and choose the appropriate field from the drop-down menu.
  15. Repeat this process until you’ve mapped all the remaining fields from your MLS file and then click Next.
  16. The spreadsheet-like tool that appears next is useful for manipulating data from your source file before it is imported into your Comps Database. For example, you might need to consolidate data from several fields into one item. Or, you could find a “code” in a source field that indicates a feature of the property. You can use the power of the spreadsheet’s text handling formulas to find this information and put it into a format that is more useful to you in your appraisal practice.
  17. Enter the desired formula in the cells and click Finish.
  18. If you chose to preview duplicates, use Add New, Update Existing or Skip options.
  19. When the Import Complete message appears, click Close to complete the process.