Three zipForm® Secrets!

by Jeffrey Raskin on August 9, 2010

As a certified zipForm® instructor who has taught this wonderful member benefit program to thousands of agents over the last five years, I have discovered that I use many features as a practicing REALTOR® that a surprising number of agents don’t know about.

Though there are many things I could go over here, as I actually give a three-hour accredited class on every function of zipForm® 6, I want to give you some main pointers that will help you expedite the way you do business, allowing you to be more proficient and professional.

Secret #1: Sync the desktop and online versions

My recommendation is to use the Standard (desktop) version, as you can work with or WITHOUT internet access. With the Professional (online) version, you HAVE to have Internet access to create a form, and your forms will only be saved for 14 months as opposed to having them FOREVER with the desktop version. Now, the good news is that you can have both versions at no charge, and you can sync them with a click of one button! That’s right–on the desktop version,  simply go to 1) File, 2) Manage File, 3) click on “include online files”, then 4) Sync All.

Sync the desktop and online versions of zipForm®

Now you can use both versions if you want to, though I still recommend using the desktop version on your tablet computer so that you can work anywhere in the world and still conduct a transaction.

Secret #2: Eliminate previously typed text from the drop-down menu

I know all agents have mis-typed an address or simply are tired of seeing addresses from several years ago that are now in a long drop-down menu. Well, you can get rid of this! You’ve probably noticed that every time you type something, it will not show up in the drop-down menu on the right side of the fillable field. Have you ever looked on the left side and clicked that question mark?

Question mark by fillable text field

When you click on that, it will not only give you an explanation of how to fill out the field but will give you the name of the field as well.

Explanation and name of text field

Now go to the Edit tool bar and click on LOOK UP FIELDS.

Edit tab - Look Up Fields

Choose the field name (in this case, “propstret”). All of the previous addresses will appear, and you can add, delete or change them. Be sure to hit SAVE and then CLOSE. You now have your new drop-down menu with the correct information!

Edit field contents

Secret #3: Populate information into your forms with MLS-Connect

Though this isn’t really a secret because AAR has made this a free member benefit, the majority of agents still don’t know about the wonderful feature known as MLS-Connect. With one click (and Internet access), you can now populate the address, APN#, city, county, ZIP code and listing agent information. AAR is working on adding the legal description as well in the near future.

This is how you do it:

Go to the Tools tool bar and click on MLS-Connect.

Tools tab - MLS Connect

After setting up your RETS number with your MLS, put in the MLS number, click Find and voila! It will now find all the information about the listing and populate your documents.

MLS Connect in action

I used to be able to type up an offer in about five minutes with the use of templates, but now I can do it in about three minutes! Feel free to join me in my next zipForm® 6 C/E class to get all the tricks and “secrets” to using this valuable program.

Elaine Beery August 10, 2010 at 8:33 am

Hello Jeff,
I love all your tips for us realtors!! You have an amazing gift to help others and I want to thank you! I have taken a few of your classes and have enjoyed every one…your share buttton for linkin isn’t working…not sure if it is something you can fix or if it is AAR’s end…just thought you would want to know! 🙂

Bill Cole August 10, 2010 at 8:37 am

I’ve taken Jeff’s Zipforms and Paperless classes. Both are great classes and I highly recommend Jeff and his courses. The sooner we all get to a paperless and PDF based business the better!

Sage Dillon August 10, 2010 at 9:42 am


Thanks for the heads-up! I updated the plug-in that controls the LinkedIn share button, but that didn’t resolve the problem. I’m off to do a little research. 🙂 I appreciate you mentioning it.

Sage Dillon
AAR Communications Manager

Jeffrey "Mr. Tech" Raskin August 10, 2010 at 9:50 am

Thanks for taking care of that Sage. Thanks for the comments- as my goal is truly to educate the REALTORS to be able to do their work more efficiently, more professionally with less money! Now go sell some home 🙂

David Bruce Larchez August 10, 2010 at 11:01 am

I had been using the online zipforms for the past year. I read about your suggestion to combine the online with the desktop version and loved it.

But, I downloaded the desktop version and tried to sync as you suggested with my online files, but that wasn’t one of my options UNDER File. Can you help? Thanks!

Sage Dillon August 10, 2010 at 2:24 pm

A quick follow up for anyone curious about the LinkedIn share issue: It appears that certain characters–from a trademark symbol (®) to a simple apostrophe (‘)–can derail the ability to share the blog post on LinkedIn using our current plug-in (Sexy Bookmarks, for those of you who blog). You should still be able to share it by copying and pasting the URL and going to LinkedIn yourself–not as convenient as just pressing that nice button at the end of each blog post. Hopefully they’ll fix this problem in a future plug-in upgrade.

Jeffrey "Mr. Tech" Raskin August 10, 2010 at 5:44 pm

You need to let the desktop version know that you have the online version, which at this point it doesn’t recognize. Go to Tools, Options, Account and put in your online account #. You might have to exit out and reboot the zipForm program, but the box will now show to allow you to sync!

NORA QORRI November 3, 2010 at 4:23 pm

i would like instructions on how to set up on zipforms

NORA QORRI November 4, 2010 at 9:36 am

i would need some guidence to set up with zip forms

Dee Psarros May 23, 2011 at 8:44 am

Hi Jeff,
Thanks for the zipform tips. I always find your input so valuable. During a recent GRI tech class, Realtors were asking the best way to organize their files and I highly recommended your ‘paperless (green) class’ and told them it was the best class I every took in my Real Estate career! Keep up the good work Jeff!!

Jeffrey Raskin May 31, 2011 at 10:05 pm

As always, I appreciate you spreading the word!

Dru Bloomfield June 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Wow! I’m just seeing these tips for the first time, and had no idea about the syncing capability.

I did have to go into Options first and add my login info for Professional and then it worked like a charm.

Thank you!

Jeffrey Raskin June 1, 2011 at 5:11 pm

I need to write up part II, as there are more AAR member benefits out there.

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