Are you a NTREIS subscriber?
NTREIS is the MLS database for North Texas, and Matrix is the platform most subscribers use to access the NTREIS database. CSS is the acronym for Centralized Showing Services, the predominant service used by brokerages in the North Texas market to manage showing appointments.
This quick tutorial will demonstrate how listing agents can link listings to CSS, giving buyer's agents the convenience of being able to "click" to schedule a showing.
You will know you have set up your listing correctly when you see the CSS icon appear under the right hand corner of the main listing photo.
Under listing input, find the "Showing Info" tab.
It isn't enough to select CSS under the "Call for Appt" drop down...
To link the listing, the key action is to make sure the "Showing Instructions Type" box has "Centralized Showing Service" selected.
Don't make the mistake of selecting "Appointment Service." The "Centralized Showing Service" value must be selected and saved for the icon to appear on the listing report.
After the listing has been saved, you will return to the main listing input screen, where you can proceed to configure showing instructions and listing details within the Centralized Showing Services portal.
To get to the CSS portal, listing agents need to click on "ShowingsCSSManage".
In the CSS showing portal you can add photos, support documents, set up Seller access, and provide lockbox & entry instructions, just like you normally would do over the phone if you were calling in the listing information to CSS.
When the CSS link is not present, agents must either log in to CSS separately and look up a listing or call CSS, which interrupts efficiency and complicates routing and scheduling order.
As discussed in Susan Haughton's recent blog post, the easier a listing agent can make it for other agents to include and show their listed properties, the better it is for all parties.
AN IMPORTANT WARNING / SHORTFALL
Treating other agents as appreciated customers (instead of competitors) is an important part of becoming a successful listing agent. Be aware that agents who use online scheduling may miss notification regarding property status changes or offer deadlines due to the way information is shared (and not shared) across system channels.
To avoid misunderstandings and frustrated buyer parties, when offer deadlines are set, a best practice is to publish notice in the MLS listing, as well as announce through CSS, individually alerting agents who request showings after any blast announcements have been made.