Recent items shortcode is used for Properties and for Articles. Only some options apply for articles.
Use reveals ID plugin to see Ids in lists easier – http://help.wpresidence.net/2015/10/29/how-to-see-ids-for-shortcodes-and-widgets/
To use the shortcode go to Visual Composer and select the Recent items shortcode. You can also use it from the editor.
For Properties you can specify Category Id(s), Action Id(s), Area Id(s), City Id(s) or County/State ID in any combination you wish:
If you wish to show properties in horizontal mode, select this here
You can select if you wish to show just Featured Listings or all properties.
You select what number of properties to show in total and per row
You can select if you wish to show featured listings first. If you choose no, then properties will list by first publish date. If you choose yes, you will have featured properties first and by first publish date next.
You can choose if you wish to show your selection in random order (will load different properties on page refresh)
For Recent Articles you can specify Category ID(s) and list blog posts only from those category(s)
You can choose how many posts per row and in total.
You can choose if you wish random order or not.
You can choose if you wish to show articles horizontal or vertical.