Nearly all full-time real estate professionals have the same goal in mind: increase sales.
Accomplishing that goal can be done in a number of ways, but one of the most important steps toward reaching it is working faster and smarter, which can help lead to more productivity.
As more and more people search for homes — showing activity continues to climb, according to the ShowingTime ShowingIndex — keeping track of and scheduling showing appointments continues to become a bigger burden.
But it doesn’t have to be.
ShowingTime works to automate and simplify the showing management process, with products engineered for all types of real estate professionals. More than 190 MLSs, 190,000 offices and 900,000 agents use our products to help take their minds off mundane, everyday tasks so they can better focus on more important things to help grow their business.
Here are five ways we help them do just that:
Today, 95 percent of offices have websites, with property listings serving as the site’s main feature, according to NAR’s 2017 Real Estate in a Digital Age.
But regardless of how a consumer or a buyer’s agent finds your listing — from your site, a yard sign, sites like Zillow or Realtor.com – the agent will eventually look it up in the MLS to take the next steps to schedule a showing for his or her buyer.
The good news is that all of the listings you enter in your MLS are automatically available in ShowingTime for the MLS, if your MLS offers online scheduling; for listings being managed with ShowingTime Front Desk or the ShowingTime Appointment Center, those are also immediately available for showings, and are synced every 15 minutes with your MLS.
The same goes for the roster of buyer’s agents calling your office (if you’re using ShowingTime Front Desk) or calling the ShowingTime Appointment Center; the agent will already be in the system, so the scheduling process is extremely fast.
When a buyer expresses interest in seeing a listing, an old, outdated process begins, and usually goes like this:
That's six steps and six calls between four parties to schedule one showing. Not to mention the delays that occur if calls go to voicemail.
The idea of communicating through technology certainly isn’t old, but it’s becoming more and more prevalent. In fact, 94 percent of agents prefer to communicate with clients through email, with 90 percent preferring texting, according to NAR.
Scheduling real estate showings online and communicating on your smartphone via the ShowingTime mobile app natually follows, and is a time saver for buyer's agents.
Also, consumers are likely to have been on your website or have accessed the public view of the MLS website, if available, so you’ve given them a clear way to proceed — they’ll tell their agent they want to see you listing. And if your website is set up to deliver buyer leads, the prospective buyer’s contact information is immediately delivered to you.
This creates a quicker avenue to follow up, and gives consumers a good feeling about your brokerage.
A common concern among agents who have yet to fully embrace technology is that they'll lose their personal touch by doing so.
This is easy to refute.
ShowingTime’s appointment specialists answer calls as if they’re sitting in your own office, while all emails and notifications sent from ShowingTime are personally branded with your office logo, colors and the agent's picture.
Simply put, clients won’t be curious about where these materials come from; they’ll be amazed at the promptness of communication.
The feedback process is also automated, and can be customized by upgrading to Enhanced Feedback.*
Among other features, both feedback options allow listing agents to automatically send feedback requests to showing agents. With Enhanced Feedback (included for offices or agents using ShowingTime Front Desk or the ShowingTime Appointment Center), the form is customizable and can consist of a single comment box or several multiple-choice questions personalized for each listing. Personalized questions provide the best feedback and can help shed light on where your listing stands compared to others.
*Enhanced feedback is included for ShowingTime Front Desk and ShowingTime Appointment Center subscribers. Some ShowingTime for the MLS subscribers in some markets may only have access to standard feedback.
Other than asking agents to handle showing requests themselves, the two most popular ways offices manage showing requests are hiring a receptionist or front desk staff, or outsourcing to a real estate appointment service or call center.
Which option is best for you? As with any buying decision, there are many factors to consider: goals, features, budget, etc.
To help you get started, we've put together a very basic cost comparison on what it costs to schedule showings in-house versus outsourcing. We’re using an assumed average price, based on a broad range of known pricing from multiple vendors.
For this example, let’s consider a 15-agent office with 40 listings. Keep in mind the purpose of the comparison isn't to provide actual pricing, but simply to help your real estate office think about costs that factor into the decision.
*prices vary based on vendor, market, upgrades, promotions, etc.
This is, of course, just one example. But it could be an eye-opening one depending on how your office currently handles showing requests.
Feedback requests for listings that use ShowingTime services are automatically sent to buyer’s agents. This allows the listing agent and homeowner to gain valuable insights.
Questions can be customized to obtain the most relevant information for a particular listing. This helps the homeowner in the long run by helping the listing agent maneuver faster towards closing a sale. The more input received about a home, the more efficient the listing agent can be in selling it.
Getting feedback after a showing can be a difficult task. However, it’s an essential piece of the showing process and makes pricing conversations with your sellers much easier. Feedback from potential buyers helps convince sellers of the next steps (such as a price change) and can lead to a quicker sale.
Agents know their time should be focused on prospecting, generating referrals and marketing themselves and their listings — not scheduling and confirming showings. ShowingTime's services are cost-effective solutions that free up your time so you can focus on higher-payoff priorities. Click below to learn more.