Real Estate Blog by Windy Crutchfield, REALTOR®

Showing Time (Dis)service

As independent contractors, real estate agents make the choices for how they manage their appointments.  An unfortunate growing trend is to use an automated scheduling service so the agent does not have to be involved in this part of the process. This service also removes "follow up" from the agent's task list.  At the onset of setting up showings for a buyer, for a listing that utilizes the ShowingTime service, the Buyer's Agent is instructed to call an 800 number to schedule all appointments. They speak to a non-licensed operator who coordinates with the owners or tenants of the property and texts/emails that agent back with showing instructions (where to find lockbox/any special codes). The Listing Agent is completely removed from the process of setting up the appointment. After the showing, the Buyer's Agent receives an email with a few multiple choice options for providing feedback to the Seller.

It sounds simple, but the reality for the Buyer's Agent can be quite the opposite.  If the owner/tenant declines the showing, there is no follow up to reschedule by the Showing Time rep.  I've had this happen multiple times when attempting to show a property.  I have called the Listing Agent to be told that I have to schedule through the service. I have explained that the occupant has twice declined our attempts to make appointments with no explanation. Agent stated she would call me back to set up when they are available, but she never did.  On another occasion, Buyer and I were 15 minutes from our scheduled appointment, to have it suddenly canceled via email due to an illness. In this situation, an agent followed up with a phone call behind her ShowingTime notification to ensure that I was aware of the change. But I never received a call back when the occupant was well again for rescheduling.  I am quite certain the Listing Agent didn't intend to abandon the potential to sell her listing, but it...