Automated Showings and Automated Follow-up? No Thanks! I Make My Own!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 311291


Automated Showings and Automated Follow-up? No Thanks! I Make My Own!

Last weekend I had a really good reminder of why I make my own appointments and do my own follow-up. Here's what happened.

Home Rome agentI made an appointment with the showing desk of a large brokerage for Saturday at 2:00 pm. At the appointed time, we went and spent an hour or so at the property with the buyers and some family members. As we were leaving the seller came home, and the buyers and seller had a very nice conversation about the home, the neighborhood, some repairs that had been made, complimenting the seller on his care of property, and so forth.

On Sunday, the agent called me for feedback, and I requested the Seller Disclosures (which have to be submitted with any offer), and made an appointment directly with the agent for a 4:00 p.m. showing that afternoon. 

Later on that same Sunday I got an email from the automated follow-up system asking for feedback on Saturday’s showing. I responded by email with "Please send me disclosures" even though I had already requested them by phone from agent.

In the afternoon we spent a couple hours at the property with the buyers - they brought friends this time - from 4:00 p.m. until it was so dark we had to go into the kitchen for some light. There was lots of discussion: Do we make an offer, what to offer, speaking with a lender, inclusions, settlement date, EMD, inspections etc., all pertinent information to writing an offer. Meanwhile, we were still waiting for disclosures.

Woman at computer confusedThe next morning, Monday, I received an automated confirmation for showing the house on Monday at 4:00 p.m. Nope, the showing already happened on Sunday! Once again I emailed the office and told them I was still waiting for the disclosures and had an offer to present.

House sold Monday at 4:09 p.m. I got a phone call from the agent – the property is sold! The seller signed the contract 20 minutes ago, and "I guess you are at the house now." Um…not really…that was yesterday!

Less than half an hour later at 4:31 p.m. I got an email thanking me for showing at 4:00 today…and saying, "We would appreciate some feedback." Here is the feedback I sent:

"John, as you know I made two appointments, asked for disclosures twice, once from you, showed the property both times on Saturday and Sunday. Was asked by email twice and a call from you, the  listing agent, for feedback. Wrote an offer, while still waiting for disclosures, and got a call from you yesterday stating that the property was sold.

Today I am being asked again what our opinion is.

How do you think I should answer? Wonder what the seller's opinion is? There must be a better system!"

Talk about wasted weekend time and not just mine, but the buyers', the buyers' parents', the lender, not to mention the emotional time spent for first time buyers.

Yes, I do, make all my own appointments, and this is a really good example of why I will not trust my clients and my business to an automated system!

Automated Showings and Automated Follow-up? No Thanks! I Make My Own!



Posted by

Margaret Rome
HomeRome Realty

Baltimore, Maryland

Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Sundays 12 noon.

Author: Real Estate The Rome Way

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(410) 530-2400


Comments (110)

Dana Scanlon
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Bethesda, MD
Bethesda MD- Award-Winning Bethesda Realtor

This does not sound like a problem with automated showings and feedback services, it sounds like a problem with an incompetent agent who does not read emails or respond to phone calls.

The main reason I use an automated showing systems for my listings is that when an agent calls for a showing they can screen the call and confirm the agent's ID number, brokerage etc. Ever been behind the wheel of a car when an "agent" calls you to show one of your listings in the next hour? Are you going to give them the okay to visit, or worse yet, give them the lock box combo if that's what you are using on that property without due diligence? How do you know the caller isn't just John Q Public or worse yet Mr Break N. Entering? Automated showing services are your first line of defense. After that, obviously you need to answer calls, provide disclosures and do everything else in a timely manner.

The automated showing system has its role -- but it does not replace competency.

Jan 29, 2010 06:37 AM
Tony Anderson
Century 21 Community Realty - Habersham, GA
Realtor - Serving Habersham Banks, White & Hall Co

What about an automated Realtor?  Sounds like she uses technology w/o knowing how to use it.

Jan 29, 2010 02:51 PM
Andrea Geller
HOT PROPERTY® The Chaz Walters Group at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Chicago, IL

I have read through many of the comments and agree and disagree. Disclosures are uploaded in our MLS which saves that communication. At this point in time the expectation is that as professionals we carry some sort of PDA and are getting our emails immediately. For that reason, I do like using the automated appointment system. It is just more efficient. 

I do not care for the automated messages for feedback. That is a case where a phone call or personal email works best to get hones answers. 

The reality is the only good feedback is an offer. No offers price and/or condition.

Jan 30, 2010 12:26 AM
Jean-Paul Peron
The Outer Banks Real Estate Copmpany - Corolla, NC
Carova Beach - Living & Working in 4-Wheel Drive

That is a shame.

i have been in similar situations and ended up having to write the offer up "contingent upon satisfactory review of the Seller's Disclosure". in order to light a fire under the other agent.

Jan 30, 2010 01:49 AM
Brian & Val Mayer
The Mayer Group of eXp Realty - Huntingtown, MD
Listing Specialist | Realtor in Calvert County MD

Margaret, this is the best post I have read all day. I hate anything that controls my image. Having an automated system represent me? -  No thank you!


If you are so busy that you cant do these things, you need to seriously think about your time management

Jan 30, 2010 03:10 AM
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

I think these are awesome.  I can't imagine doing these type of things myself.  Talk about something that you can outsource.

Jan 30, 2010 09:55 AM
Gerry Banister
RE/MAX Showcase Homes - Beverly Hills, MI

Our MLS allows us to post the disclosures with the liting so that they are available to a buyer's agent 24/7.  The system also sends me an email whenever anyone has downloaded the disclosures.  In addiiton to the disclosures, in this same download, I have added a letter to the agent thanking them for downloading the disclosures and reminding them what I need in orderto present an offer--signed disclosures, amendments, condo amendments, pre approvals, FHA amendments, etc. etc. 

Jan 31, 2010 04:00 AM
Shanna Hall
Real Estate Solutions - Kirkwood, MO
I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311

I agree with you- I make adn take all of my own appointments- there is something so be said about a short conversation with the other agent- both buying and selling.  I love technology- I use it constantly, butn I want to either give or recieve some information form an indiviudal not a outsourced person that has no idea what I" am talking about.

Jan 31, 2010 08:37 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

I am a bit late to my own party! Being wonderfully busy, making my own appointments, listing, showing and going to a Ground Hog's Day party, I decided to be the 100th comment.

Thank you all for the numerous opinions. I will try to get back to all of you...maybe by making a comment on one your posts or giving you a call directly.

Jan 31, 2010 01:29 PM
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Margaret- I love your company name! What a great take on your name! 

We use our mls showing assist which sends us an email right away. We have mostly vacant properties which are set up securely within showing assist. We also have a lot of tenant occupieds, so they require 24 hour notice, which we also set up through email and showing assist. We gather the automated feedbacks that we get back to help us sell our short sales if they are to benefit our seller's situation. We also sell luxury properties. On all of our luxury properties they are 'listing agent accompany'. Our office, just me and Nestor and our listing manager, handle 50 listings. The phone rings off the hook and Milet answers the phone because even with all the instructions to set up their showings, many agents still call our office. But our position is that we would rather be on the phone with tbe banks getting those buyers into a house and our sellers out of foreclosure than to set up showing instructions which can be done automatically.

For years we set up each and every appointment but when the phone just does not stop ringing there comes a point where you just need to breathe:) If you only have a few listings, then by all means, the chit chat is great. We know all the agents in our community and most of them are our friends. In fact my 5 best of friends are all agents here. They can chit chat with me when we go to lunch:) 


Jan 31, 2010 03:39 PM
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Also, here sellers disclosures are seldom asked for from buyers agents. Of course, our buyers agents must get them! But here also, you can write an offer subject to getting the sellers disclosures within a set time frame from signing. Our sellers disclosure is also very short, like just 2 pages. 

Jan 31, 2010 03:41 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I'm with you - and while I believe in automated follow-up to visitors on your web site (via auto responders that keep you on their minds), this kind of automation just serves to make those people look stupid.

I'm sorry your buyers lost out - and hope the next home you find for them is listed by someone with real communication skills.

Jan 31, 2010 05:29 PM
Lisa Schlitz
Home Run Real Estate, Inc. - Wellington, FL
Realtor - Wellington, Florida Homes 561-214-3216

Margaret-I'm torn on this topic. Sometimes its easier to go through the automated when I get a quick response, other times I have to wait and sometime the appt passes before I even hear back.

Sorry your buyers lost out but there'll be another one better than that!

Jan 31, 2010 10:00 PM
Judy Jennings
Top Agent Plus - Middleboro, MA
Tap into Judy's real estate expertise & resources.


As with anything automated there is still a requirement that it be managed and maintained by the owner. It appears that this agent was either not paying attention to their listing, or was too busy working a deal which left you and your clients out in left field wasting your precious time. Grrr.

By the way, love your website.


Feb 01, 2010 03:03 AM
Rita Zarcone
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Hampden Township, PA
SRES, Realtor, CSP

I just had an encounter with this new "innovative" system.  It is horrible!!!  I called another broker to schedule an appointment, they then transferred me to their scheduling service.  Since I wasn't "registered" with them the rep had to input all my information into their system, then she couldn't get the spelling right on the address.  Now I keep getting these e-mails from this service to "confirm" my information.  I will steer clear of this firm and service if at all possible.

It's funny, when we were told as agents we would now have to make our own appointments, there  were lots of grumbles (the duty agent used to handle this).  But now we understand this great communication asset of this direct contact with your seller  at any time of the day...24/7.

This is just another example of dumbing down the society so that you don't have contact with anyone...that's right, only when you want to collect your commission!!!


Feb 01, 2010 08:11 AM

LOL...that is just plain bad business! I also think that agents nowadays pretty much need e-mail on their phone. That seems to be where the world is heading with instant gratification.

Feb 01, 2010 09:22 AM
clara Hahn
AgentOwned Realty - Mount Pleasant, SC

It looks to me as if the listing agent/company stalled with the disclosure so they could get the contract/offer in for their own buyers before you could even get your offer in. ? Perhaps I am wrong.

Feb 02, 2010 12:34 PM
Dana Devine
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Apollo Beach, FL

sadd  but funny

Feb 11, 2010 03:52 AM
Evelyn Johnston
Friends & Neighbors Real Estate - Elkhart, IN
The People You Know, Like and Trust!

I love that little Home Rome sign!  We had this conversation a couple of years ago where you were talking about being at all your showings.  I just listed my first listing tonight that brought that up before I did.  She said she wants me there whenever it is shown.  Smart Lady!

Jan 13, 2011 03:27 PM
Claude Labbe
RLAH / @properties - Washington, DC
Realty for Your Busy Life

I despise automated feedback requests.

If you call me, I'll tell you what I think.  If you email me directly & personally, I may write a quite response.

If you do an automated request, then it's treated as spam.

It's a shame the listing agent in your story completely took himself out of the process.

Nov 29, 2014 02:25 PM