Real Estate Agent's Tool Kit: How to Show the Houses To Home Buyers Circa 2010

By
Real Estate Agent with Local-n-Global Realty, Cleveland and International Real Estate Solution BRK 2007000844

Real Estate Agent's Tool Kit. Part 2.

How to Show the Houses To Home Buyers Circa 2010.

Showing the houses to home buyers is one of the most visible activities performed by Real Estate agents. Many people still perceive the Real Estate agent as the "Door Openers":). Even for simply opening the door for our buying clients we, the Real Estate agents do a lot of things behind the scene to make it happen.

Simple list of activities we do prior to showing appointment includes, but is not limited to:

  • Buyer's initial consultation, qualification in order to understand buyer's motives, needs , desires and ability to meet these needs
  • MLS data base search in order to find the best matches for our home buyers
  • Coordination of appointment time with the buyer
  • Creating a preliminary route for a showing tour
  • Scheduling the appointments with the listing agents and getting the showing instructions
  • Compiling the final route, printing out or e-mailing the map and driving direction to the buyer
  • Printing out the flyers for each home
  • Investigating the property history, checking out the current neighborhood marketing condition for each property 

Times changed, and the way we handle all these activities change, too. Not for everyone though. Thus, we are still in the transition between the 20th century way of doing business routine and the 21st century one.

Angry callerScheduling the showings and getting showing instructions is all about communication between Real Estate agents. Sometimes it's real time consuming, and even frustrating and exhausting. Listing agents can make the showings much easier for cooperating agents and buying clients.

I personally love one tool, which makes the whole process easier and a way more professional: Centralized Showing System. Our company Local-n-Global Realty uses this system for more than two years. Among the advantages the most important for me is a time savings. Besides saving a time, there are few more important benefits of using this or similar system vs. calling the listing office or listing agent:

  • Accessibility to the services. It's  available by phone from 8 am to 8 pm every day. Sunday hours are 8 am to 6 pm. Listing offices may be closed, agents may not answer the phones nor return the calls timely.


  • Internet access 24/7. We can manage our appointments at any time per our convenience. We do not have this privilege while using traditional approach to scheduling the showings.


  • One easy phone number to remember and dial for multiple houses vs. many different phone numbers to dial if listings to show belong to different brokerages.


  • Easy to identify yourself. If you call the office or agent who do not use this system, it's always a burden spelling first and last name, buyer's name, phone numbers, etc. Having 18 letters in my not-that-common first and last names, it's not fun to spell them at each attempt to set up an appointment for my clients.


  • E-mail notification and e-mail instructions We do not have this privilege while using traditional approach to scheduling the showings.


  • Easy to follow-up after showing. We can easily e-mail showing report to our buyers. System automatically generates a courtesy feedback request .We do not have this privilege while using traditional approach to scheduling the showings.

 

The other tool which listing agent can use is an electronic lock box - Supra box, IBox, whatever other names can be.

I personally feel that

it's much more safe for the sellers if their agents use electronic entry system for showing of the properties for sale.

Interesting, but here in Cleveland you can find the whole variety of different entry systems. If you show the houses in Solon, Pepper Pike, Twinsburg there is a very high probability that the listing agents use electronic IBoxes. Listing agents on West side of Greater Cleveland traditionally use electronic systems very rarely. You have a chance though to find numeric lock boxes, combination lock boxes with letter combo, even ancient camel key lock boxes!

I understand that purchasing and maintaining electronic entry system may be pretty costly for the agents but it's much more convenient and safe for our clients and for our fellow agents! Electronic entry systems provide a perfect tracking for each of our listings. Sophisticated system of registration, tracking , and notification does not leave any chance for unattended showings or for letting unauthorized showings be unnoticed.

Read our first post about Real Estate Agent's Tool Kit:

Real Estate Agent's Tool Kit: How Not To Miss Important Call

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Donald Bradbury 01/12/2010 09:46 PM
Topic:
Real Estate Technology & Tools
Location:
Ohio Cuyahoga County
Groups:
Active Rain Question Of The Week
Cuyahoga County Ohio Real Estate
Diary of a Realtor
Ohio Active Rainers
The Ninety-ninth Percentile
Tags:
ibox
centralized showing services
showing houses to home buyers
real estate agents in cleveland
real estate agents tool kit

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Rainer
11,758
Matthew Patrick
Bailey Properties Inc. - Scotts Valley, CA

Matthew Patrick

A stitch in time saves nine.  This is true for clients as well.  If they will let us have the time to find out what they really want, we can preview the inventory and find homes that they really want to see.  In reality, clients watch too much DIY or HGTV and see that it only takes three properties to find the "one you love."  Looking at 10, 15, or 20 or more homes that the clients "hate" only increases their flustration.  Of course, if we don't show them 20 homes they think that we are only pushing homes that give us the best commision.  Sometimes you are the windshield, sometimes you are the bug.

Jan 13, 2010 11:32 AM #46
Rainmaker
172,078
Svetlana Stolyarova
Local-n-Global Realty, Cleveland and International Real Estate Solution - Mayfield Heights, OH
Local-n-Global Realty, Broker 216-548-4663

 Rob - That what I call a smart approach to buyer's services. Good for you and your clients!

Susan - I would love the same rule to be implemented in our MLS system! Seller in the shower is a realtor's nightmare! LOL

Jan 13, 2010 12:08 PM #47
Rainmaker
172,078
Svetlana Stolyarova
Local-n-Global Realty, Cleveland and International Real Estate Solution - Mayfield Heights, OH
Local-n-Global Realty, Broker 216-548-4663

Dianne - Our clients indeed deserve to know what it takes to help them buy the right house. Once they know better, they become more cooperative and appreciative.

Scott - Sure, it takes time and sometimes we need to go extra mile even if it's not expected by anyone. Thanks for commenting!

Karen Pannell - Allien abduction is hillarious! Planning and pre-qualifying session is a right thing to do before you start  showing the properties.

Jan 13, 2010 12:19 PM #48
Rainer
6,891
Phyllis JC Anderson
Liberty One Realty - Phoenix, AZ
GRI

Very nice post and full of information. thanks for sharing. It's agents (REALTORS) like you, that help lots of others. I totally agree that we need to go the extra mile to help clients understand the process and know what to expect.  

Jan 13, 2010 12:48 PM #49
Rainer
63,112
Doug Patterson
Park Place Real Estate, Broker-In-Charge - Winston-Salem, NC
CRS, ABR, Broker-In-Charge

Thanks for your post, Svetlana!   We use Centralized Showings in our company and it works great...never had problems with them.  It's easy, $25 for the life of the listing and sellers love it because they can log-on as well and see the activity. 

Thanks for sharing.   I should have thought of this! <<<<<<    HA    >>>>   (:-0

Jan 13, 2010 12:52 PM #50
Rainmaker
172,078
Svetlana Stolyarova
Local-n-Global Realty, Cleveland and International Real Estate Solution - Mayfield Heights, OH
Local-n-Global Realty, Broker 216-548-4663

Karen Crowson - You are right about the seasoned buyers who know and appreciate our efforts much better. Regarding lack of informantion - sometimes listings, especially bank owned homes, look like a puzzle in MLS, not as a sales copy. In these cases our efforts double and tripple.

Karen Parsons-Fiddler - Lucky you are to work with so many buyers! We experienced the same thing here in Cleveland last summer when multiple bidding on some properties required immediate action for our buyers. No chance to preview !

Bill- That's great that it works for you and your clients. My clients love it, too!

Gene - Thanks for commenting. It sure is a very useful tool.

Jan 13, 2010 01:05 PM #51
Rainmaker
172,078
Svetlana Stolyarova
Local-n-Global Realty, Cleveland and International Real Estate Solution - Mayfield Heights, OH
Local-n-Global Realty, Broker 216-548-4663

Matthew - Clients may be tough and spoiled by availability of Real Estate related information. We, the agents, outsmart any public "resources" any way, don't we?

Phyllis - Thank you very much for your kind words! Sometimes I think that it's our duty to go extra mile:) When clients know what to expect they make a better choice and are more happy with their decision. Good that we can help!

Doug - Sellers really love this feature. And it's so-o-o much easier for us to explain them hoe other people perceive their pricing, condition of the property, etc. Feedback report for the sellers is another valuable tool! Thanks for your nice comment!

Jan 13, 2010 01:16 PM #52
Rainer
79,520
Gene perez
Greater Mortgage Solutions & Valley Hills Realty - Santa Maria, CA

nice blog with some good points ,,, good job!!!

Jan 13, 2010 02:48 PM #53
Rainmaker
129,257
Karen Rittenhouse
www.JKKPropertyInvestors.com - Greensboro, NC
Real Estate Investor

Thank goodness for the internet.  Don't know how it was done before all the online searches and information!  Even getting the routes is so easy now.

Jan 13, 2010 03:11 PM #54
Rainmaker
525,342
Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

Our MLS offers a scheduling service through ShowingTime that emails the listing agent with your showing request. It's easy to use and free, but like all systems, it's only as good as the agent on the other end. Sometimes they reply in a timely manner, sometimes they don't. Overall it's a good service though and can be a real time saver.

Jan 13, 2010 03:42 PM #55
Rainmaker
172,078
Svetlana Stolyarova
Local-n-Global Realty, Cleveland and International Real Estate Solution - Mayfield Heights, OH
Local-n-Global Realty, Broker 216-548-4663

Gene - Thanks!

Karen Rittenhouse - Internet is our best friend. Funny, I remember how we discussed in our office in 1999 how it will look with the Internet property search. All other services which we get today would sound like magic that days!

Pat and Wayne - Thanks a lot for your right definition: like all systems, it's only as good as the agent on the other end.

Jan 13, 2010 04:34 PM #56
Ambassador
1,568,175
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M

I would love to have a Centralized Showing System.  Dallas uses one, and I've seen how efficient it is for my sister to use.

Jan 13, 2010 11:08 PM #57
Rainer
10,213
Nic Silvester
Keller Williams Biltmore Partners - Goodyear, AZ

I really have to disagree with all of you about "previewing" homes for your client.  This might even have worked before the internet.  Now, even if you set them up in the MLS to receive emails, or a portal system like our MLS provides, the client has access to Realtor.com and other portals, often on your own website.  How do you justify not showing them a house that they liked on there, but you decided not to show it.  To me, this is more than arrogant on the part of the buyer's agent.  Show your client what is available and let them make the decision.  What if one that you deemed unshowable turned out to be the one they like the best? 

Slightly off topic, I know, but is it really the best use of your time?  The tools that Svetlana are describing are meant to save time and aggravation, and yet you are wasting a day to look at property by yourself, and then with your client?  Not good use of time or money.

Jan 13, 2010 11:37 PM #58
Rainmaker
517,201
Todd & Devona - Garrigus Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Kivett-Teeters - Beaumont, CA
Southern California REALTORS®

Svetlana-

Completely agree! One of the most important preparations is research on mere availability of properties. If its not available or viable for your buyers, what's the point?!

www.GarrigusRealEstate.com

Jan 14, 2010 03:20 AM #59
Rainmaker
333,353
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON

To practice real estate on our board you must participate in lockboxes and electronic messaging services.

Ty

Jan 16, 2010 09:55 AM #60
Rainmaker
172,078
Svetlana Stolyarova
Local-n-Global Realty, Cleveland and International Real Estate Solution - Mayfield Heights, OH
Local-n-Global Realty, Broker 216-548-4663

Christine - It's real efficient for many agents to use this or similar system. Thanks for commenting!

Nic - Thank you for your very serious comment! I would agree that previewing would be not necessary at the era of Internet if all listing agents were diligent to put thorough and detailed descriptions, multiple photos, video tours, etc. In many cases we just don't know what's exactly offered for sale!

You are totally right about a danger of making decisions instead of buyers. However, good pre-qualifying session and one or two showing tours usually let us understand our cliets' needs and desires. Preciewing lets us eliminate obvious mismatches. In the real world we need to optimize our pre-showing activities in order to pick the right homes to show and use our and our clients' time wisely.

Jan 17, 2010 06:06 PM #61
Rainmaker
172,078
Svetlana Stolyarova
Local-n-Global Realty, Cleveland and International Real Estate Solution - Mayfield Heights, OH
Local-n-Global Realty, Broker 216-548-4663

Todd and Devona - I agree with your point about mere availability of the houses. With all this bank owned homes, short sales, etc. we witness a lot of inaccurate information on status and availability in our MLS system. It's a shame, isn't it?

Ty - Good for your Board! I think it's a right approach to making Real Estate services more professional.

Jan 17, 2010 06:12 PM #62
Rainmaker
262,665
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

We have electronic entry here and it's great. We can get a print out of all showing activity.

Jan 19, 2010 06:17 PM #63
Rainmaker
192,303
Jirius Isaac
Isaac Real Estate &TriStar Mortgage - Kenmore, WA
Real Estate & loans in Kenmore, WA

I think Nic is right on.  Previewing is not only a waste of time, but is ultimately not in your clients best interests.  The only eception is if a client is almost ready to come from out of town to see a particular house and they want you to preview it for them so they can decide if it is worth the trip.

Jan 24, 2010 03:08 PM #64
Anonymous
Anonymous
Michelle Statham

It may be great for the buyer and the realtor but for the seller the CSS is a nightmare ..But then its not about the seller is it :)

Jun 19, 2014 03:02 PM #65
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Rainmaker
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Svetlana Stolyarova

Local-n-Global Realty, Broker 216-548-4663
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