Do You Give Usable Feedback or Meaningless Feedback?

By
Real Estate Agent with Donna Homes, PLR 0480809

In my market, we have a showing service who sets up all our appointments, Centralized Showing Service.  It's great.  1 call can set 10 appointments for the day, or you can even login to their website and schedule it from there. Very easy.

Within this system, they also send out an automatic email to showing agents from the listing agent asking for feedback on the showing.  You can have your system set to send out an email however many times you want.  I usually do 3. If they don't answer by then, they're not going to answer.

When I show properties, I always try to give feedback.  Not just basic feedback like, "Buyers liked the house" or "Not on short list." How is this feedback useful? I call it meaningless feedback as there is no meaning behind it.

Feedback like, "The buyers didn't like the size of the yard or that the master bedroom is at the front of the house" is something that the sellers can work with.  Feedback like, "The house was so cluttered, the buyers couldn't see past the sellers stuff" is something that the sellers can work with, or at least the listing agent so they know what their next conversation will be with their seller.

As many of you know, my house is currently on the market.  We had a showing on Saturday and the buyers were at the house about 25 minutes.  That's a good showing!

I got a call Saturday night saying that these same buyers wanted to come back for a second showing on Sunday afternoon.  FABULOUS!!  We spit cleaned the house and made it shine better than the day before, though it was already looking its best.

I waited and waited, and finally saw the feedback on the website, "Shows beautifully....it is on their short list."  And??  What the heck does that mean?  They were only at the house less than 15 minutes the second time.  In my experience, the second showing is usually longer than the first showing if they really like it.  How does that feedback help me?  How do I know how to help compete with the other properties on the short list?  Do you not like the color of my brick?  Do you like the openness of the floorplan?  Do you not like that you would need to clean 4 full bathrooms?  Do you like the huge backyard and covered patio??

Why couldn't you provide usable feedback so I know why my house doesn't fit their needs?  I appreciate you taking the time to give "feedback", but what you gave is meaningless.  It doesn't help me as the seller, but it also doesn't help you as the buyer's agent.  Maybe your buyer had a couple of concerns and that's why they aren't jumping to write an offer. If you don't ask about those concerns, I can't help you gather the further information.

If you're going to take the time to give feedback, please think about how your feedback impacts your own buyers as well.  And if you know these buyers ruled the house out, maybe give some constructive feedback in case you have other buyers you want to show the house to.

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
955,282
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

u have to remember that 80% of those licensed are incompetent of being a professional Realtor. I remind myself of this everytime I "deal" with a bonehead situation. This is no different. Try reading feedback like:

No Thanks!

or

Buyer didn't like street

or

feedback in spanish!

January 13, 2009 10:29 AM #42
Ambassador
1,091,992
Jim Crawford
RE/MAX Paramount Properties - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Realtor - Atlanta Real Estate

I do not give any feedback, not even meaningless... if I am representing the buyer as their buyers agent.

January 13, 2009 10:38 AM #43
Rainer
7,117
Sheila Santini
Waterfront and Boaters paradise Realtor! - Tarpon Springs, FL
GRI

When asked in a timely manner I always give detailed concise feed back to the risk of "pissing" off the agent.  However It does most bother me when an agent is phoning for feedback and it hasn't even been an hour or two from the time of my scheduled showing, as I'm always still in the car with my buyer, it's hard to give feedback in this case accept, we will not be considering it, or its still on our short list etc. etc. I do like responding to the email requests, especially when it includes the picture or the mls sheet of the actual property.

January 13, 2009 12:14 PM #44
Rainmaker
130,156
Olga Diaz
COLDWELL BANKER TOMLINSON - Pullman, WA
Potter, Mng Broker, CRS, ASP, ePRO, ABR

Donna,

I try to give detailed information without upsetting agent.  This can happen.... I appreciate honest feedback as you stated so that I know and seller knows what buyers are thinking.  It really is vital in being able to relay informtion to the sellers.  I will keep your post in mind and try to be even more detailed.

Thanks,Olga

January 13, 2009 12:23 PM #45
Rainmaker
244,238
Kristi DeFazio
RE/MAX Advantage - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468

I always give feedback because I try to respect the fact that the seller let us in their home and it is the least we can do is provide feedback. If my buyer is considering an offer, I try to protect them and their interests by saying things like it showed well, they have it on the short list, etc... I don't want to say OH- THEY LOVED IT and MUST HAVE IT- for obvious reasons. So, maybe your 2nd showing will pan out to an offer. Good luck!

January 13, 2009 12:25 PM #46
Rainmaker
620,771
Sandy Shores Broker, Melbourne Real Estate
M & M Realty of Brevard Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Brevard County FL Real Estate

Hi Donna, You know when I sold my own home and bought another home of my own, boy was that an eye opener for me.  I represented myself and I represented both of the other parties on both of the other sides of the transaction.  It was very emotional.  I learned so much, and now I can truly appreciate what buyers and sellers going through. I made me a better agent!

January 13, 2009 12:34 PM #47
Rainmaker
1,371,691
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, PLR - Austin, TX
Realtor, CDPE & ASP - Hill Country Lakeway Austin

Chad, Yeah, that can happen. I've had agents yell at me before, but they need to learn to take emotion out as this is a business transaction.

Greg, Spanish feedback would be an interesting one to receive.

Jim, I'm speechless and have no idea what to say to that statement...

Sheila, Yea, what's up with calling right afterwards. I've actually gotten calls before the showing, and I'm like, did you see the time of the appt?

Olga, Thank you for your comments.

Kristi, You make a good point of it being a courtesy for allowing the showing.

Sandy, Dang, it sounds like you had your hands full!

January 13, 2009 02:12 PM #48
Rainer
6,018
Eugénie Eckler
Right At Home Realty Inc. - Oakville, ON
Oakville, Ontario

Great discussion, comments, opinions above.

If my feedback is solicited - I will give it, so long as it does not comprimise my buyer's position.

Simply put, if my buyer isn't interested in that home- then I definitely have no issue in stating why not.  If it helps the seller then great...

January 13, 2009 03:33 PM #49
Rainmaker
973,783
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - Fleming Island, FL
Your Fleming Island Relocation Agents.

Wow, Donna, what a discussion you have elicited! I do give feedback as a courtesy, but not to my buyer's detriment. If there are issues with a house that need to be addressed, I give constructive criticism but never gush about a house a buyer is in love with. For that, I would probably say that the house was on their list but not give too much more information. After the fact, if they had bought another house, then I would feel free to discuss the house with the listing agent as to why they did not select it.

What I really dislike is those 'fill in the blank' forms where you list whether the price is 'too high, just right, too low' - if we're not interested, what does our opinion matter?  And often it's hard to say off the cuff if a house is properly priced when you're covering a lot of neighborhoods. I like to help agents but I don't really have time to do a market analysis on every home I show.

January 13, 2009 04:28 PM #50
Rainmaker
385,490
Robert Schwabe
Keller Williams- First Coast Realty - Orange Park, FL
Orange Park Real Estate

Donna - I try to give the selling agent good feedback. I notice the sometimes sellers are real quite. I need to pry the information form them.

January 13, 2009 10:06 PM #51
Rainer
8,778
Karl Lueders
Realtor w/The Kentwood Company at Cherry Creek - Denver, CO
Realtor - Denver

Hey Donna, Interesting timing on your post on feedback. I was asked to contribute some feedback on feedback (har har) for my weekly sales meeting and this is what I came up with... it's a little long for this comment but maybe there's something in there for you.

I posted my answer as my latest blog entry here.

IF you get a chance to read it, let me know what you think! Thanks.

January 13, 2009 10:25 PM #52
Ambassador
990,602
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

Here in the Raleigh area we have CSS as well.

The automatic emails that are sent out for showing agents to leave feedback is customizable. So, on the showing instructions and on the feedback email I put in:

"Please remember to leave constructive feedback. You know it's the right thing to do AND I'll do the same for you when I show your homes!"

I think it's working as I have a much higher rate of return since I've incorporated this tactic.

January 14, 2009 10:54 AM #53
Rainer
4,604
noname lastname
Salt Lake City, UT
notile

Before You Condem The Buyer's Agent, Walk a Mile in My Shoes -

Your article is great from a listing agent's perspective, but let me give you the buyer's agent's perspective.

First I want to address the person who suggested that if my clients aren't talking I haven't built a relationship with them...shame on you. Adjusting styles to fit with my client's communication preferences makes the client more comfortable and more trusting. I will never force feedback from someone who wants to play their cards close to the chest. Also, I work with people relocating from all over the world and many times it is a cultural thing. Many countries negotiate for everything, and I mean everything.

Second, I know how important feedback is for my listings, but as a previous post said, "feedback is a courtesy and not a requirement". Rest assured if I have information you will get feedback.

It is impossible after showing 50+ homes, to one or several clients over the weekend, to remember each listing. Please send a link to the MLS listing, or flyer in the email body, but don’t send me an attachment. Sometimes that just won’t help, showing that many properties they can blend together and unless it was something major, sorry I probably won’t remember it.

Sure I could write down all the pros and cons, how it price compares, etc. on the listing sheet, and many times I do, but my job is to work for the buyer, not concentrate on what the listing agent wants.

Sure feedback only takes a couple of minutes for you, but after showing 50+ homes if I spend 3 minutes on every feedback x 50 = 150 minutes, that is 2 1/2 hours spent on someone else's business not mine. As a busy buyer's agent I don't have time to find the file and dig out the listing to give you feedback.

If I remember it I will tell you what I think but, I prefer to concentrate on things that generate income for me and my family.

I have a policy of replying to feedback via email only, that way I can reply in my own time without disrupting my work flow. Telephone calls take too long, some agents don't take negative comments well and become very defensive, spending lots of time telling me all the details about their CMA and why this house backing to a busy road is good for my client.

Form requests are offensive because they convey that you only want certain feedback, many forms are time consuming and many times do not address the feedback I would like to convey to you.

As far as calling me right away for feedback, all I can say is thank God for caller id. If my client senses that you are a calling they sense desperation, I don’t think that is the feeling your seller wants you to convey. That hurts both of us if your property is “the one”.

As sometimes the house and the price are OK, it just didn’t work for my clients, didn’t give them a good feel or was just a house, blah.

Off my soapbox now...

January 14, 2009 06:20 PM #54
Rainmaker
1,371,691
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, PLR - Austin, TX
Realtor, CDPE & ASP - Hill Country Lakeway Austin

Eugenie, Thank you for your comments.

Sharon, I agree completely!

Robert, Man, none of my buyers are quiet.  Before we leave each house, I ask them "what do you not like about this house because it's the negatives that prevent you from buying."  Many want to say what they do like, but I always get them to turn it around to the negative.

Karl, I'll take a look at  your blog later today.  Just trying to catch up from being in an all day class yesterday.

Craig, That's smart to write that.  I wish I had that idea sooner.  Since I won't have CSS in Austin, I won't be able to take advantage of it... but I'm looking into some other kind of showing service there.

Kim, I u nderstand your concern, and 2-3 minutes for feedback on each property is way too long.  With CSS, all the showings are right there on the screen, and you just go one at a time typing in the feedback, and I would say about 10-15 SECONDS per listing.

January 15, 2009 07:19 AM #55
Rainer
42,330
Blowing Rock Real Estate Boone Real Estate
Blowing Rock Investment Properties - Blowing Rock, NC

I tend to be pretty straitforward but I do sugarcoat a little sometimes so as not to be really harsh. I live in a really small town so I definitely try hard not to ruffle any feathers if I can help it.

January 15, 2009 10:49 AM #56
Rainmaker
1,371,691
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, PLR - Austin, TX
Realtor, CDPE & ASP - Hill Country Lakeway Austin

Meris, That makes sense.  Thanks for contributing.  And with the fabulous feedback I received, the buyers still have not submitted an offer and it's over a week later. 

January 19, 2009 09:35 AM #57
Rainmaker
955,282
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

No Thanks..

To Expensive..

Buyer still getting approved

Buyer didn't like the size of the home

Buyer is blind and so is the agent

January 19, 2009 05:41 PM #58
Rainer
59,277
Patty Peck
RE/MAX Diamond - Flagstaff, AZ

So glad to hear that you do this by email - I would think it's the most effective way to get a response - I know it is for me as I'm much more inclined to respond in a timely manner, rather than faxing a piece of paper to the office that sits in my mailbox for a week because I work from home.....I like the automated sites that show you photos of the listing - my memory doesn't recall addresses - I'm a visual type. 

I've never been afraid to be totally honest - there was one home that as soon as I walked in, I had a bad feeling.  My buyers went about their business and I had to stay at the door - I couldn't be inside.  After wards, their only comment was how creepy they felt and that the house had a bad vibe! When the listing agent called for feedback, I suggested she get a smudging stick (dried herbs, usually sage that are tightly clumped together, tied and then burnt/smudged - so the smoke will get rid of the evil spirits - a Native American practice) and conduct a ceremony to get rid of the vibe. (luckily I knew her) I think she took my other advice to get rid of the wallpaper and paint though. 

January 22, 2009 10:41 PM #59
Rainmaker
247,421
Mike Klijanowicz
Baltimore & Harford County Maryland - RE/MAX AMERICAN DREAM - Perry Hall, MD
#1 Baltimore & Harford County Maryland REMAX Agent

We use the same system here in Maryland in my area and it took me a while to really learn it.  I discovered that as a listing agent we can set it so a "SURVEY" is sent instead of a blank email requesting feedback and I have had more positive results obtaining feedback this way.  I use the 8 question survey and it also breaks down the answers in statistics to show the sellers how many thought it was in excellent, fair, poor shape, etc...

January 23, 2009 08:04 PM #60
Rainmaker
1,371,691
Donna Harris
Donna Homes, PLR - Austin, TX
Realtor, CDPE & ASP - Hill Country Lakeway Austin

Patty, Too funny!

Michael, I do not like the surveys as they are usually not relevant.  Rating condition and curb appeal still doesn't mean anything if you give it a 2 yet don't explain why it's a 2.

January 24, 2009 12:57 PM #61
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Rainmaker
1,371,691

Donna Harris

Realtor, CDPE & ASP - Hill Country Lakeway Austin
Are you Packed for Austin? I can help!!
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