I have been showing a lot of property lately. This is great, I love to do it and it is at the heart of my job. There are however some side effects which throw up a bit of a speed bump as far as personal productivity goes.
Before I go forward, I’d like to take a few steps back into history. In the old days, new listings were couriered on a weekly basis by taxi to each of the offices. At that point, all the agents knew of the new inventory and there was a rush (of sorts) to get their hot buyers into the hot new listings. In those days the information cycle was much slower and Realtor’s had a choke hold on the information that would make Hulk Hogan proud.
Today we have transparency. When new listings come out the whole world knows about them within 15 minutes. Emails are automatically sent to interested buyers who instantly begin comparing list price to a proprietary “market” price spit out by an inaccurate algorithm. An algorithim which has one thing in common with the buyer, it hasn’t seen the house either. The blind leading the blind.
Back to my main story. When I set showings for buyers I need to find, sort, route, schedule and then call each listing office for approval. This last step has changed a bit lately. First the good, many offices, mine included, have outsourced the setting of showings to Centralized Showing Service (CSS). All CSS does is set showings, and they do so for 12 hours a day. As more companies use CSS, we who set showings have to make fewer calls to fewer companies. Yea!
Now the bad, there is a trend out there called limited service listings. Basically this means that an agent is hired by a seller to do no more than put their listing in the MLS. I have many problems with this, but will stick to the topic at hand. When I call to set a showing on one of these limited service listings I have to call the seller directly to get approval. Let’s just say that this process doesn’t usually go as smooth as a call to CSS.
The other speed bump to my productivity when showing property, are the flood of feedback emails and calls I receive. They start coming in the minute I set the showing and continue to be sent daily until I have time to respond. I don’t mind doing it but it isn’t my top priority when I have buyers in from out of town. When I am showing 20 or more listings over a weekend, I can find over 40 requests waiting for me on Monday. On a limited service listing I get a call from the owner of the home looking for feedback on their house. I have learned to keep these interactions brief because without the buffer of a competent agent, any constructive comment I make is taken as a personal insult. Yikes, I’m only trying to tell the truth.
I have also found that many of the homes in the limited service genre are over priced. Obviously they are looking to save a buck but many are not getting the advice from an agent which is so desparetely needed. In the end, going with a professional Realtor who knows their area and market will net a seller more money.