Showing Scheduling by Email: Having a broker who ignores this powerful buyer showing generator will cost you: Ignore it at your own risk!
More and more Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) give buyer agents the ability to schedule showings by email. From a real estate agent perspective, this is a major convenience compared to the old school method of dialing the phone number, waiting for an answer, repeating the address, time of showing, agent contact information, etc. Then having to wait, regularly check voicemail, writing down which showings confirmed and which did not, as well as individual showing instructions. The traditional call to schedule a showing is no easy task, and a lengthy one at that. Agents frequently schedule more than two homes for sale in an outing with their buyer, so organizing the route, sequence, and timing adds even more time and inconvenience to the home showing process.
Buyer agents were thrilled when the option to schedule showings by email was offered, because of the time savings and convenience. Showing appointment scheduling, a task used to require 10-15 minutes per listing, with frequent monitoring and check backs, now became a few seconds of point and click at the computer. When asked to go back to the “bad old way” of calling in a showing request, many agents will simply look for a different MLS listing to show. Especially in a buyers market, where many homes for sale are available, or where their seller didn’t request to see that particular listing, an agent will likely skip showing that property. Add in the chances that voicemail doesn’t get checked in time, the agent forgets/is driving their car when the showing instructions are received, the risk of a no show is substantially greater.
Showing Scheduling by email is not available in many MLSs, and the systems, procedures, and rules can differ greatly from one MLS to another.
At BuySelf Realty, we strongly recommend using scheduling by email where it is available when selling a home. Keep in mind that some agents will still call to request showings. In most areas, there is a call service option where the seller can be called when an agent requests showings by email, some areas even have a SMS text message option. Most systems do not require the seller to watch their email 24/7 to use this feature.
The best showing scheduling systems will email any showing requests that are the next day, and call the seller if the showing request is the same day. That system enables a seller to get the home selling benefits of automated showing scheduling by checking their email once per day in the evening after 5:30 pm, without having to constantly monitor their email.
When we look at other flat fee brokers, we are surprised at how many of them simply deactivate showing scheduling by email on the MLS listing, and don’t discuss it with their sellers.
On one level it makes sense, because automated scheduling creates more work for the real estate brokerage, particularly at times when they would rather not work or have staff working. It requires a level of 7 day per week vigilance that is expensive to provide. 99.99% of flat fee MLS sellers have no idea of existence of showing scheduling by email, much less its importance in getting the most showings. That is the nature of the agent friendly listing, and why BuySelf Realty includes the most important part of selling a home: the education on how to be effective.