Skip to content

Don’t get pulled over for bad (or no) driving directions in your listings

If, as the old saying goes, “getting there is half the battle,” including good driving directions with your property listings is pretty important.

January 18, 2023

It’s what gets buyers and other significant parties to a property—which is critical to your ability to deliver the successful transaction your seller expects.

To help ensure good driving directions are included in NorthstarMLS listings we have both electronic mechanisms as well as subscriber reporting capabilities that let our Rules + Regulations team know when problems arise.

While we typically see about a dozen issues flagged in our system in an average month, we were a little surprised to kick off 2023 with a whopping 25…on January 3!

No, this wasn’t the work of one crabby agent—we can attest that most people who bring non-compliant driving directions to our attention are more interested in helping potential buyers get to the listing than getting you in trouble.

What are the rules?

So what gets you flagged in the NorthstarMLS Rules + Regulations system or complaints from your peers? Here’s a list of WHAT NOT to do in the Directions field:

• Give brief, vague statements like “See Maps,” “Google Maps” or “GPS”

• Listing only the property address

• Putting “TBD” in the Directions field or leaving it blank

Tips for creating good (and compliant) driving directions

Your ultimate goal is to provide clear, specific driving directions that best get people to your listing. Here are four tips for writing great directions:

1. Don’t leave it to Google or GPS. We’ve all been sent on wild goose chases by our friend Google, who is fond of routing us away from direct thoroughfares that have been in place for decades as well as sending us on roads that have been long closed or altered. And our pal, GPS, which can choose to suddenly go silent when you need it most, isn’t much help either.

Save prospective buyers, whose time is often limited, from these headaches.

While Google or GPS may provide a good initial resource for your Directions field content, you will want to validate the suggested route when creating a listing.

2. Suggest a well-known street or highway as starting points and include proper road names along the way. Consider this example:

From northbound 35W exit at Hwy 96.

If it makes sense, you can include landmarks that can be easily identified. For instance:

Go past St. Katherine Ukrainian Orthodox Church, is helpful given the unique, Baroque-domed building that stands out from the highway.

3. Reference directions. Going back to our example starting point example, it’s good to reference an compass direction (North/South/East/West) to start:

From northbound 35W exit onto eastbound Hwy 96.

But don’t forget that it’s easy to lose a sense of that direction if the road curves or multiple turns are made. After indicating a compass direction from your starting point, use left and right for your following directions.

Take a right turn onto N. Snelling Avenue.

4. Don’t forget road construction! When it’s not winter in the upper Midwest, it’s Road Construction season.

Consider how roadwork or road closures impact your listings’ driving directions and update them if necessary to avoid missed showings.

Wondering if it’s right?

The NorthstarMLS Rules + Regulations team is here to help! We’ve compiled great information addressing important compliance topics including Driving Directions, MLS Field Requirements, Photos, Virtual Tours, General Rule Policies, Rules Statistics and more! Check them out today at our Rules + Regulations Site or contact us.

By Mandy Boldt

Related Insights

Stay up-to-date on the latest information from NorthstarMLS. From Subscriber Benefits to industry news, our articles have insights and analysis to help expand your real estate knowledge.

Ask David: How do I schedule showings for listings outside of NorthstarMLS?

Agents seeking to show properties listed with another MLS may be able to utilize ShowingTime for scheduling rather than having…

Four Reasons to Love Clean and Accurate Data

“Love” and “Rules & Regulations” are not common parings, but in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, it turns out clean…

Stay Violation-free in 2024 with this Look Back at 2023 Rules Enforcement Data

Educating you by bringing issues we see to your attention is one way we drive down the number of violations…