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After 28 years in the real estate industry, Craig Volding, a real estate agent with RE/MAX of Santa Clarita, says he has seen a lot of well-intentioned and hotly promoted systems, products and tools claiming to make his work as a real estate professional easier and more profitable.

But until he began using the predecessor of Showing Suite, and much more as the company has refined and improved its core product, Volding and his partner Sandy Troxell—and a growing number of the 150 agents working at the company’s two offices—are using the sophisticated productivity software suite with great success.

“We are always on the lookout for products that will make our work go more smoothly, and as a company, we’re always trying to provide the infrastructure to help our agents be more successful,” says Volding.

“Showing Suite is a tool we make available to all of our agents, but it’s something I came across five or six years ago, and I found that it helps us handle one of the biggest and most frustrating challenges we face—trying to provide better feedback to our sellers.”

Every agent who has properties being shown to prospective buyers wants to be able to provide feedback to their seller as quickly as possible, but therein lies the rub.

“Agents are so busy on a day-to-day basis that even after multiple calls, we were lucky to get 10 percent of those agents to provide feedback. It’s low on their priority list,” Volding says. “But try telling that to a seller. They don’t understand why it’s so challenging to complete that circle of communication when their agent is otherwise so responsive.”

While it’s not the case in all regions, in Santa Clarita, Showing Suite is set up so that it integrates with the local MLS system. So when an electronic lockbox is activated by a showing agent, the integrated Showing Suite software detects the action and immediately notifies Volding’s agent, and sends an email to the showing agent with a photo of the property and a short, easy to complete survey.

“The most important question within the survey has to do with the price of the home and whether the showing agent feels it is fair or too high,” says Volding. The system will then make three attempts in order to get a response from the showing agent. “It takes the pressure off of our agents, yet we get credit for the follow-up, even though the entire process is fully automated.”

Showing Suite also takes the pressure off if the seller’s agent believes the asking price of a property is too high.

“Sellers are not as motivated or satisfied making a price adjustment if the advice is coming from their own agent,” he says. “But you should see how quickly they act if the information is coming from outside feedback from one or more showing agent.”

Within months of introducing Showing Suite at RE/MAX of Santa Clarita, the response rate has jumped from around 10% to as high as 70%, and that percentage continues to grow as agents come to realize the advantages that working with Showing Suite provides.

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