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.
Scheduling 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: