I am experiencing a growing trend in the Chicago area; listing agents are instructing buyer agents to email or text an appointment request to the listing agent. And the listing agent affirms the appointment by email or text back to the buyer agent.
The listing agent has no way to really know who is sending the email or text, and seems to not be interested in verifying that only licensed agents are going into the listed property.
Sure, it's perhaps a more streamlined way of setting appointments, and it's easier for me as a buyer agent than using the old fashioned phone call technique (or even an automated online system) to request a showing time. But at the same time it makes me nervous for the seller of that property. And is that listing agent actually keeping track of who shows the property so that the seller can be kept up to date on the listing traffic? Maybe, maybe not.
I'm just sayin' .....
My listings are ready for any showing with an electronic lockbox on the premises, giving me the ability to track from any computer exactly who enters the property, and when. And all appointment requests are made only through a centralized appointment service that logs in all showing appointments into an internet-based database that becomes a permanent record for me and my sellers to reference.
With the listing of a property comes a very high level of responsibility to the property owner. Anyone who plans to list their home for sale and draws up a list of questions for the agent at the listing presentation should add these to the list:
- how do you handle showing requests?
- what must a buyer do to acquire keys and get into my property?
- how do you keep track of showing appointments and agent feedback?
- what system do you use to verify that appointments are kept, and which agents actually are going into my property?
As I keep reminding myself (as often as I can remember to remind myself!), most clients do not know enough to even ask those questions. So I guess it's up to me to put that information "out there" in the listing presentation, and to remind the sellers that the company where I hang my license is taking every possible precaution to ensure the security of their home and to maximize their ability to have the property be shown.
I'm just sayin' ...