RISMEDIA, August 17, 2010—Since bringing Centralized Showing Service (CSS) into his Severna Park, Maryland office last year, Champion Realty President & CEO Jon Coile has heard nothing but positive feedback from his agents. “While 40% of our entire market is using CSS, we are the only large brokerage in the area with 100% participation in the program,” says Coile. “In looking for a combination of how we could provide better customer service to our agents, in addition to providing better showings at the same time, CSS has been the single best technology service we have ever provided our company.”
One of Coile’s biggest fears in bringing CSS into his office was that the program would be too expensive and it wouldn’t be scalable to do an entire, company-wide program. But the past year has put his worries to rest. Not only has CSS changed the everyday activity within the office, it has also helped his agents better serve their customers in addition to changing the dynamics within the office…for the better.
Bringing on CSS has been a great decision from the start. “We finally decided that if we wanted to be a great company, we couldn’t manage at the lowest common denominator,” says Coile. “Working with CSS has raised the level of professionalism of our agents in addition to our company.”
By contracting with CSS, the burden is taken off of Coile’s agents who can work on raising their professional standards and focusing on the important aspects of being a real estate agent. “The biggest benefit to having CSS in the office is that our duty agents are no longer scheduling showings,” says Coile. “Instead of spending time scheduling showings, they can focus their attention on selling real estate and working with walk-ins or client calls.”
CSS has streamlined the company’s entire process of scheduling showings and has created a faster, more convenient way for Coile’s agents to set up appointments. “My agents quickly realized the advantages of being able to call one number to set up numerous showings—at any hour of the day or night,” adds Coile. “In working with CSS, my agents have found that they are getting more showings on their listings, which is allowing them to sell more homes—and being able to coordinate everything online has been a huge time saver for everyone involved.”
In an age when communication with sellers is critical, CSS’ feedback feature has given Coile’s agents an advantage in today’s market. “Today’s sellers are interested in immediate feedback and want to know what prospective buyers think of their home. CSS has allowed my agents to gain access to this information,” says Coile. Once a home has been shown, the showing agent receives an e-mail asking for feedback, and after the feedback form has been filled out, the information is sent automatically to the listing agent as well as the seller.
Not only is the feedback useful for the listing agent and the seller, it also provides insight into how the current market is trending. “The feedback generated from the CSS system enables me to see how many showings we have had on our listings each week, which gives us a sense as to what the market is doing.” By interpreting the data, Coile can get an accurate reading as to whether the market is going up, down, slowing or speeding up, which has been a huge help, especially as the first-time home buyer tax credit has begun to fade away.
According to Coile, the local reps at CSS have been a huge factor in helping his agents use the product to their advantage within their market. “From the beginning, they have worked closely with my agents during office meetings to make sure they are trained to use the tools CSS provides.”