I have never subscribed to a Centralized Showing Service. I know some agents like to pay for them. Each agent has the right to choose whether a showing service is right for him/her or not.
For me, I prefer to handle the calls personally. If I were crazy busy, maybe it would be something to check into but I enjoy taking the calls and making arrangements to have my listings shown. I feel like it gives me a more personal connection to my listings.
When I am representing a buyer, I occasionally run across a listing that requires I call a service to show a property. In the past, it has never been a problem. A few times, it has been a little annoying as I sometimes have a question I need to ask on behalf of my buyer which would determine whether or not that client even wants to see the property after all. The service has never seen the property and doesn’t have any information on the property that the agent has not given them, so an off-hand question is out of their realm.
In these cases, I end up waiting an extra long time for the service to ask the agent the question then get back to me. Okay, so that is one glitch with the showing service system, not as a client of theirs but as a consumer of thier product, a product they are charging their clients for.
Next, there have been times when I try to make appointment after usual business hours. REALTORS® often work long hours starting in the morning researching properties and go throughout the day, often showing houses at night as well. When a buying client calls and says, “I just saw a house I must see tonight!” What do you do?
If the agents paying for the service are working long hours, I guess I don’t see how the services think they are providing something that is worth the cost if they do not at least try to match the hours of their clients.
Finally, I was recently trying to make appointments for a buying client of mine. One of the listings was using a showing service. I called and gave them the number of the home I wanted to show. Once they had all the information they needed to make the appointment, they asked me for my “Code”.
I have never subscribed to a service. I don’t use them myself nor do I plan to use them. I asked, “My code?”
“Yes, before I can allow you to show this property, I need your code.”
After asking if she was looking for my association number, my NRDs number, my license number, to no avail, I finally told her I couldn’t imagine what my “code” could be.
She grew very testy and said, “Ma’am, if you want to show this property, you must give me your code. If this is Susan Jackson with CENTURY 21 Bushnell, then I need your code.”
I was hanging to civility, (barely maybe, but yes I was) and said, “I don’t understand how I could have a code if I have never subscribed to a showing service?”
“Well Ma’am, if you don’t know your code, you can’t show this property!”
“Okay, I guess maybe I won’t be showing it then because I don’t know my “code”. ”
She then proceeded to chew me out, non-stop, not letting me get a word in or ask more questions as to how I could go about getting the secret “code”. I finally grew so offended that I just hung up. I am sure I am twice as old as this rude girl, (Did I just admit that?).
First, I didn’t think I had done anything to warrant getting scolded and second, REALLY?
Someone is paying that girl to insult the agents for just trying to help them sell their listings.
If I were the Seller on that house, I would be concerned that the showing service requires every agent that wants to show my home to have and keep sacred, some secret code. I don’t know what it would be.
I did not show the home to my buyer because I didn’t have, or as I was accused, remember my “code”. If I have never subscribed to this service, I wouldn’t think I should have a code or be required to remember one but the service, a service I do not pay or subscibe to, thinks I should.
This is a Buyer’s market. There are a lot of listings out there to compete with. I made appointments to see the 7 other homes on my buyer’s list. Sadly, that home was not one of them.
In the future, when I see that service listed as a contact for showing the home. I will call the agent directly because I will NEVER call them again. I won’t volunteer to be insulted by a company claiming to be serving our industry.
Sellers, when you are interviewing an agent to list your home, may I recommend you ask if they plan to use a Showing Service. If they do, you should make sure you ask questions about or set guidelines as to how the service might limit showings of your home. If a buyer can’t get into your home, they will never make an offer.