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Technology Takes Showing Approval Process to New Level

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By Paige Tepping

RISMEDIA, December 15, 2010—As the office manager for a large team of agents that manages about 200 active listings at any one time, Beth Lovell with RE/MAX Legends knows the importance of providing clients with the information they need while on-the-go.

As consumers continue to expect instantaneous feedback when it comes to anything related to the real estate process, Centralized Showing Service (CSS) has met this demand head on. With a focus on offering agents a quick and professional way to schedule showings since 1994, Centralized Showing Service has now simplified the process on the consumer end as well with the introduction of a feature that allows sellers to approve showings via text message.

Having worked with Centralized Showing Service for the last 10 years, Lovell has noticed an increasing trend toward clients requesting information through various means that will keep them connected while not in front of the computer.

“Over the past six to 12 months, many of our agents and clients have been saying ‘can you just text that to me?’,” she says.

The new text message approval feature allows the seller to receive text messages regarding upcoming showings, and respond back to those messages to either approve or decline the request. Here’s how the process works:

-Centralized Showing Service sets the seller up to receive text messages by entering the seller’s phone number.
-The showing agent calls Centralized Showing Service and requests a showing.
-Within seconds, Centralized Showing Service sends a text message to the seller asking for approval.
-The seller clicks reply, types either “yes” or “no,” and then hits send.
-Within seconds, Centralized Showing Service receives the response from the seller and processes the showing.
-Upon receipt, Centralized Showing Service will respond back to the seller (and any other phone numbers) informing the user that the showing has been approved or declined.

Since debuting in August, Centralized Showing Service’s text-to-approve feature has been right on target with what today’s consumers want.

“The new texting feature is great,” says Lovell. “Today’s sellers want a quick message that they can respond to with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ instead of having to read a full-length e-mail. The feature enables clients to continue on with their daily lives instead of having to place things on hold while waiting for an e-mail or phone call to come through.

“Sellers know that their home is going to be shown,” adds Lovell, “so they are watching for the text messages.”

Not only do sellers not have to pick up the phone and speak with someone to approve or decline a scheduled showing, but texting is an unobtrusive way to get in touch with sellers while saving time and adding convenience for everyone involved.

“People are using text messages in many instances these days—from getting coupons to entering contests—so it isn’t out of the ordinary for them to receive text messages,” she says.

The most important factor to clients today is being able to receive information on a timely basis, and Centralized Showing Service enables the company’s sellers to find the information they need on their own terms.

“We have seen our sellers take the initiative when it comes to receiving information,” says Lovell. “Not only were they proactive in signing into their accounts and changing their preferences to begin using the text-to-approve feature, they are also taking control when it comes to viewing feedback that is collected from showing appointments.”

Each seller is provided with their own log-in information so they can view any feedback from a showing appointment, and agents have the option of sharing information with the seller when they enter comments into the program, allowing sellers to get all the information they need on their own terms.

For more information, visit www.showings.com.

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