How secure is Showing Times?

Hi there. Do you guys have a service on your MLS called Showing Times? We do. Our MLS, MLXchange, has had this for awhile but now it is included in our dues and is available on all our listings. I've always been a little hesitant to use it but finally broke down and stated using it a few weeks ago.

Supposedly it is a secure way for REALTORS® to receive and give showing instructions without having to make a phone call. You just click on the link and the showing instructions are right there. Plus it sends the Listing Agent(LA) an email letting them know a REALTOR® has looked at the instructions and intends to show their listing.

The Buyer Agent's(BAs) info is right there so the LA can just save it for their records. It also automatically sends the BA a feedback request the next day. Sounds great doesn't it?

I have to admit that I'm a little old fashioned when it comes to lox boxes and showing instructions. I still use combination boxes and I still require REALTORS® to call me before they show my listing. It's never been a problem for me. I always answer my phone or return their call quickly so I NEVER miss showings.

I don't use electronic boxes. In my market REALTORS® feel these electronic boxes give them cart blanc to go in whenever they want. I don't like that. I want to know who they are, BEFORE they go in, not after the showing. By making them call me it gives me the opportunity to sell them on the property or add a property to their list that they may have missed. I can't even count how many times a REALTOR® has called me on a listing only to end up selling another one of my listings instead, just because I talked them into showing it.

Anyway, let me get back on the topic of Showing Times. I tried this service for three weeks. I only used it for my vacant properties and put the code to the lock box into the Showing Times system.

I still wasn't 100% comfortable doing this so every time I received an email, about a showing, I would pick up the phone and call the agent. And you know what? On two occasions I reached a disconnected phone line AND had my emails returned. On another occasion the office I reached didn't know the BA I was calling for!! In fact, they had never heard of her before!! So what's up with that?

I've only had about 10 Showing Times "hits" over the last few weeks and 3 of them (30%) were from BAs, who based on their info in the system, could not be located!! Wrong phone numbers, wrong email addresses and in one case even the wrong office.

After these instances I decided to not place showing instructions in the system any more. I did a little research and found many listings with lock box codes and alarm codes available in Showing Times. I wonder who is really using this information? It's kind of scary to think about it.

So, it's back to being "old fashioned" for me. If you want to show my listings you will have to call me. I promise to get you in. The human touch is far better anyway. Maybe, by having to call me, I'll make your job easier. Maybe I'll have some info about the property or area that will help you and your Buyer. Maybe I'll have another property that is just what your Buyer is looking for. Maybe we can actually communicate like humans should.

Technology can be a very good thing. Just be sure to do your research before you embrace every new tool that's out there. Just maybe….the "old fashioned" way is best. What say you?

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Copyright © 2008 | All Rights Reserved

Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker
***The content of this blog is my opinion***

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