The real estate industry has benefitted greatly with the evolution of technology over the last two decades; brokers and independent agents alike are devising communication strategies and expanding their use of mobile technology to stand out from the competition. The ultimate goal? Delivering real value to the personal relationships they’re fostering with buyers and sellers.
While developing meaningful relationships is all about sharing value and building trust with clients, an agent’s effectiveness is ultimately determined by the relevance and timeliness of the information being shared. That’s where Centralized Showing Service (CSS) becomes an essential part of an agent’s life, every day. With a steadfast commitment toward seamless integration of personal service and user-friendly technology that delivers accurate information in real-time, CSS is continuing to improve the way real estate professionals interact with their clients.
CSS has transformed the way agents schedule appointments and manage showing activity. They’ve done this with courteous and knowledgeable customer service representatives, an easy-to-use mobile app and the website Showings.com. For Anita Colletti, president of the Bonita Spring-Estero Association of REALTORS® (B.E.A.R.) and a REALTOR® with John R. Wood Properties in Florida, the benefits offered through CSS go a long way toward helping her provide a greater level of service to clients with less time and effort—whether she’s in the office or out showing homes.
Appointments on CSS member listings are easier for showing agents because they can schedule an entire day of multiple showings with one quick phone call. CSS Customer Service Representatives take calls on behalf of listing agents to schedule and confirm all appointments, cancellations and reschedules. Agents can even schedule online at Showings.com, or through the CSS Mobile App—without making a call—24 hours per day.
“As a longtime user of CSS, I have relied upon them to schedule all my showings,” says Colletti. “One call gets me through to a real person. They’re always prompt, courteous and knowledgeable and all my showing information is stored in one place online. Sharing showing activity through Showings.com and the mobile app keeps me closer to my clients than ever before.”
With more prospective buyers and sellers going online for their real estate needs, keeping up with mobile technology is more critical than ever. Agents are conducting business 24/7 from anywhere. The CSS Mobile App, for iOS and Android, allows agents to provide their clients a higher level of communication and service.
“The CSS Mobile App allows me to schedule an entire day’s worth of appointments at one time. Other features of the mobile app are critical in my day-to-day workflow, such as the ability to manage my showing activity, view upcoming appointments, access showing instructions and lockbox codes, map a showing tour, and even provide feedback. CSS makes it so much easier for an agent to work in the field,” adds Colletti. In addition to scheduling and showing properties, the CSS Mobile App allows the listing agent to manage their listings, edit showing instructions and access seller contact information. In addition, the app also provides a seller portal, allowing sellers to approve showings on-the-fly and monitor showing activity. All communication is processed and shared immediately for all parties.
Keeping the lines of communication open among everyone is crucial. “CSS allows me to set contact preferences that work best for each individual client,” says Colletti. Sellers insist on having convenient and instant communication options available to them. CSS will notify the seller of showing requests directly by phone, text message and/or email. Sellers greatly appreciate the ability to quickly approve or decline a showing request from their mobile devices. “That means no phone tag, no missed showings and no more lost sales opportunities,” continues Colletti. There’s also the option to provide sellers with access to the reports generated on Showings.com. “Or you can opt to send the reports yourself, which acts as a good conversation starter.”
Many MLSs across the nation have seen firsthand the tangible benefits associated with the widespread adoption of a centralized system to schedule, organize and manage showing appointment activity.
In addition to offering full-service and mobile options for agents and brokers, CSS provides an MLS solution as well: CSS Scheduler. Adopted by many MLSs nationwide, CSS Scheduler can be integrated directly into the MLS, providing a single interface that can be used by the MLS’ subscribers to schedule showings on all listings. “This online showing management system is a huge benefit for agents,” says Colletti. “They can book showings directly from within the MLS. Quick showing notifications are sent automatically. Agents can access the information they need in the MLS and choose how they wish to be notified. There’s no more phone tag.” Colletti was instrumental in adding CSS Scheduler to the B.E.A.R. MLS, which was launched in October 2014.
Nearly two decades ago, CSS was created to address the issue of home-showing inefficiencies within the residential real estate community. The structured way CSS handles showing requests is concise, consistent and reduces the opportunity for error. CSS currently services close to 100 MLSs and markets, serves more than 155,000 subscribing full-service members, and more than 400,000 REALTORS® touch their system each month to book showings.