REALTOR Etiquette Tip of the Day: Showing Feedback: Give Some!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Elevations Real Estate, LLC

REALTOR Etiquette Tip of the Day:  Showing Feedback: Give Some!

This is one of the most overlooked courtesies in our business!  Every day, thousands of homes are shown all across America.  The Seller knows a showing has been set.  The listing agent surely knows a showing has been set.  Both wait anxiously for word from the showing agent.  And they wait.  And they wait.  The Seller calls the Listing Agent immediately after the showing and says “Have you heard anything yet?”  The Listing Agent says not to expect to hear anything at the earliest before the next morning.  The Seller still calls before the end of the day and asks the Listing Agent if they’ve heard anything.  The Listing Agent, trying not to sound annoyed says “Haven’t heard anything yet – I’ll be sure to let you know as soon as I know anything new.”Etiquette

Meanwhile, the Showing Agent, after showing 17 properties, a city tour, lunch, and a cacophony of noise and smells from his back seat is spent.  The last thing anyone wants to do at the end of a tough day of showing property is go back through the list of properties and send feedback on how the showing went.

It is all a matter of perspective.  The Seller sees the showing as one of the single most important events of the day (since they had to leave the house for it to be shown).  The Listing Agent is anxious to provide news - ANY news - to the Seller.  The Showing Agent is likely either writing an offer on one of the properties they saw that day or half-way through the first bottle of wine to numb the drudgery of finding another 17 properties to show this discriminating consumer because none of those seen so far have “worked”.

Early on in my career, Linda Norton (a top producing, high volume agent specializing in affordable housing who passed away several years ago) made an incredible impression on me when I had my first listing.  She would call, yes, call (after all, this was 2003) and provide verbal feedback on the houses she showed.  It wasn’t just a mindless checklist of cosmetic issues and thumbs up or down on pricing.  It was solid feedback on whether the floor plan was problematic, did the staging work, curb appeal, did the house smell, and whether you’re in the ballpark on price or might want to tweak it up or down (yes, UP!  She was AWESOME).  It was actually great info from a recognized expert.  Armed with this feedback I could proudly go to the Seller and let them know what we needed to work on to improve the positioning of this property in the market.  It made me look good.  It made the Seller feel like they had some control, and it sure didn’t hurt Linda’s relationship with me in the event she came back later with an offer.

So here’s my 2-cents: 

1.     Always give showing feedback.

2.     Provide it as soon as you possibly can. 

3.     Give the kind of feedback that you’d want to receive if it were your listing.  Don’t rely on a
        meaningless checklist.

4.     Be constructively critical AND complimentary of the property but NEVER be judgmental (yes, there’s a
        difference between being critical and being judgmental).

5.     If you’re the listing agent, deliver the feedback to your Seller in person or via voice.  DO NOT simply
        forward the feedback email or voicemail from the Showi
ng Agent.  This has proven disastrous in so many
        cases, I’ve lost count.

Courtesy is the highest form of demonstrating respect and building strong relationships.  Providing meaningful showing feedback is a key component to building great relationships with the cooperative brokers in your community and will be greatly appreciated and hopefully reciprocated!

Comments (18)

Malinda Montgomery RSPS AHWD TMS-Realtor
Gaffs Realty - Port Orange, FL

Hello Chris, I always ask the selling agent to send me some feedback after the showing, 9 out of 10 times, I never see it so I call the next day. We have showing desk so when an appointment is made, an auto email is sent to the showing agent asking for feedback. It's so easy to respond to it even if it's 3am!.....Thanks for the post.

Jan 03, 2012 09:12 AM
Malinda Montgomery RSPS AHWD TMS-Realtor
Gaffs Realty - Port Orange, FL

P.S. I will repost this.

Jan 03, 2012 09:14 AM
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Chris - You've made some excellent points here, and Mary & I try our best to give useful feedback via the auto-email forms from our MLS as soon as we have a chance. That said, one of my pet peeves is receiving feedback on pricing from agents who are not familiar with our market (and probably shouldn't be showing homes 150 miles away from their community). Condition, style, staging, floorplan utility, etc. - those things don't change much from market to market. But we work hard to get pricing right and it really annoys me to be second-guessed by someone with no local knowledge. So we're pretty careful on pricing feedback and won't have much to say unless we really know the neighborhood comps.

Jan 03, 2012 09:33 AM
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

I agree that feedback is useful. I find realtors that never get back to me, realtors that hound me for info i have already discussed with them personally on the phone... they continue to send me automated forms that mean nothing. I can't deal with those.. I am someone that gives personal constructive feedback and find it not always considered welcome.. believe it or not..
IF it doesn't fit on the form they just don't care.. go figure..

I would though appreciate those that show my properties to at least return a phone call or answer their phone now and again... especially if you want me to sell your listings.. go figure


Jan 03, 2012 12:28 PM
Cathy Criado
Criado Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Real Estate Profitable

Chris - yes, yes, yes! Thanks for blogging one of my pet peeves. I think most agents don't do it out of laziness and being disorganized. Half the time when I call to follow-up they don't even know which how I'm referring to.  Egads! Not who I want representing me. 

Have a super 2012!

Jan 03, 2012 02:37 PM
Chris Hardy
Elevations Real Estate, LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Real Estate

Malinda- Thanks for the comment.  The automated reminders are great but wish more agents would simply just pick up the phone and leave a voicemail.  I can't be the only one who knows about SlyDial?

Dick- Agreed!  Out of area showing agents typically don't know enough about the hyper local market to comment intelligently about price.  That's where the non-judgmental part comes in.  I've seen agents try to negotiate price simply through rude and unscrupulous showing feedback!  Sheesh!

Janis- my hope is that just as Linda Norton set the example for many in our community, I hope we can set the example for others in our industry.  Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do!

Cathy- oh those deadly sins!  Sloth is one of the worst for sure!  I guess I'm probably preaching to the choir here in the 'Rain.  Glad you liked the post, though!

Jan 03, 2012 05:25 PM
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA


Thanks for the thoughtful blog. Certainly, it's a habit worth building, but by the same token, we expect that when we give feedback, that the listing agent also acknowledges that we gave feedback. I've emailed some agents about my observations, but some never even acknowledge they received the comments!

Jan 03, 2012 05:57 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Chris -- this is always a popular topic.   While professional courtesy is always appreciated and should be reciprocated, I believe setting expectations for sellers is also crucial.  As standards are set for the marketing of their home, sellers need to be informed that an agent may show any particular buyer three-five-seven homes in one outing and there may be multiple showings by a single agent in a day.

If a buyer has a question or needs more information, they will ask.  Listing agents need to know this as well --- please no feedback requests prior to me showing your listing nor while I am in the house showing it or while I'm driving to the next property.  Email works very efficiently for follow-up but what is the best feedback --- yes, an offer -- then you really know what a prospective thinks of your home -- and isn't that a good thing?

Jan 03, 2012 06:02 PM
Ron Cooks
The Real Estate Marketplace - Killeen, TX
Texas Real Estate, Ft Hood/Killeen Homes for Sale

Chris, it's the small things that separate good agents from the great ones!  Admittedly, there has been a time or two where I didn't contact the listing agent after a showing.  But now I'm committed to becoming a great agent, by doing routine tasks very well.  Thanks for the kick in the butt!

Jan 03, 2012 06:53 PM
Blatt + Cutino
Coldwell Banker Realty - Monterey, CA
Broker-Associate 831/206-8070*Call today*

Perhaps there should be a required class on this topic for Realtors! Time and time again this is a repeated offense in my area. I live and work in a high-end small community and everyone knows everyone. Feedback should be a simple  and important detail. It not only helps the seller, listing agent etc. but the relationships for the you said in your post.. So so important yet most reltors fail at this part of the business..thank you for the post!

Jan 03, 2012 11:42 PM
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Good morning Chris,

Great post, and important topic as so many agents just don't take the time to leave feedback (or, leave poorly written feedback).

Jan 03, 2012 11:51 PM
Maggie McFarland
RE/MAX Pearland - Maggie McFarland - Pearland, TX
Pearland Realtor, Homes for Sale in Pearland Texas

Hello Chris,

Great points! You nailed it on the head with this one. Have a great day!

Jan 04, 2012 01:20 AM
Chris Hardy
Elevations Real Estate, LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Real Estate

Pacita - I agree!  The listing agent has equal responsibility in the courtesy arena!

Michael - You've touched on a future blog topic, for sure!  Proper preparation of the Seller is HUGE and can alleviate so many problems down the line.  Excellent communication wins out most often.  Over eager feedback requests are certainly annoying but again, hopefully a balance can be struck through consistent, highly professional behavior.

Ron-  Often these things I right are reflections of what I'd like to do better as well.  Glad you found this one motivating.

Angelica, Lisa, Maggie - it is a crusade of mine to help REALTORS find a path toward systematic execution, professionalism, courtesy, and truly cooperative competition (co-opetition).

Jan 04, 2012 02:39 AM
Team Randy & Jenny Thomas
Team Thomas Realtors - Springfield, MO

Ditto...I wish all Realtors would read and then re-read this!  Thanks for posting!

Jan 04, 2012 02:48 AM
Cathy Criado
Criado Realty - San Antonio, TX
Making Real Estate Profitable

To Pacita's comment .... It is very courteous to reply back when you get a feedback and it encourages them to continue to be diligent.

Jan 07, 2012 04:54 PM
John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Chris,  All excellent point no doubt and well presented.  I will always provide feedback to those agents that call or email requesting it.  If they are not pro-active enough to ask for it, I'm not going to volunteer.  I know I appreciate good articulate feedback on my listings and I do try to provide the same.  And yes, I have been guilty a few times of forwarding comments to my seller from showing agent. Not ever again! That was simply irresponsible on my part!

Jan 15, 2012 06:24 AM
Rose King
David Tracy Real Estate - Friendswood, TX
Friendswood / Pearland / Houston Bay Area

Hi Chris! This should be required reading for anyone getting a real estate license! Excellent post!!!

Jan 26, 2012 04:54 AM
Chris Hardy
Elevations Real Estate, LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Real Estate

Thanks, Rose!  I appreciate you stopping by!

Jan 26, 2012 07:27 AM