Showings….Make them Easy

Napping baby

by Jay Zenner on October 8, 2011

Geez….I’ve got new buyer clients…great folks, very well qualified and looking in an area with a lot of inventory that isn’t moving very fast. I’m actually kind of amazed at how much house you can get for the money. It’s pretty clear that there hasn’t been much appreciation in the last few years, if any.

In other words, a fairly typical post-boom market.

What blows my mind is how difficult it is to schedule a showing on some of the properties that we are trying to see.  In this MLS we use Centralized Showing Service which has made the job of the showing agent much easier. Maybe I’m just getting spoiled but when I hit a glitch I find it very annoying.

Admittedly, the first time out I was trying to schedule appointments for a Sunday afternoon that morning.  I understand that people still live in a lot of these homes and can’t just leave without a little notice in most cases.  However, the second time out I was scheduling a full day in advance.

I had a route planned out. Two of the three houses required an appointment that had to be confirmed by the seller. It happened that the one in the middle of the route declined the showing. The word back was that there would be no showings until the following Tuesday. Huh? My first thought was that the agent should change the status so I don’t waste my time trying to schedule it.

With a gap in the schedule I tried to schedule another home in the same area that my clients had indicated an interest in. This too was declined. The explanation was that there were no showings allowed between 1:00 and 3:00. Nap time.

The next option was vacant and I scheduled it easily.

Now I could have rescheduled the other two appointments to work around nap time but I’d already spent more time than I had planned preparing for this.

But more than that, something subtle happened that I might not even have noticed if I wasn’t blogging about home marketing.

A little red flag went up in my mind that essentially said, “This buyer and this agent are going to be difficult to work with.” This doesn’t mean that I would recommend my clients avoid considering this home but I’m certainly not going to push it either with lots of other choices.

The listing client is the CEO…the boss. The listing agent is the marketing director. It is the listing agent’s job to get showings and the sooner those showings happen the sooner the home will be sold. Getting showings is the priority.

Minimizing the inconvenience of the owner is secondary. It is important that the seller understand this because the more difficult the home is to show, the less effective are all the other marketing efforts that you undertake to sell the home.

Banks used to all close their doors in the middle of the afternoon to take a break and catch up on operational things. But when things got competitive and one or two started using regular retail hours, eventually everybody did. I blame agents and brokers for not reacting to a different competitive climate.

Nobody wants to tell a client that they should bundle their little sweetie into a car seat for her nappy nap and get out of the house but it needs to be done.

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