Thursday, January 28, 2010

Automated Showings and Automated Follow-up? No Thanks! I Make My Own!

Automated Showings and Automated Follow-up? No Thanks! I Make My Own!

Last weekend I had a really good reminder of why I make my own appointments and do my own follow-up. Here's what happened.

Home Rome agentI made an appointment with the showing desk of a large brokerage for Saturday at 2:00 pm. At the appointed time, we went and spent an hour or so at the property with the buyers and some family members. As we were leaving the seller came home, and the buyers and seller had a very nice conversation about the home, the neighborhood, some repairs that had been made, complimenting the seller on his care of property, and so forth.

On Sunday, the agent called me for feedback, and I requested the Seller Disclosures (which have to be submitted with any offer), and made an appointment directly with the agent for a 4:00 p.m. showing that afternoon.

Later on that same Sunday I got an email from the automated follow-up system asking for feedback on Saturday’s showing. I responded by email with "Please send me disclosures" even though I had already requested them by phone from agent.

In the afternoon we spent a couple hours at the property with the buyers - they brought friends this time - from 4:00 p.m. until it was so dark we had to go into the kitchen for some light. There was lots of discussion: Do we make an offer, what to offer, speaking with a lender, inclusions, settlement date, EMD, inspections etc., all pertinent information to writing an offer. Meanwhile, we were still waiting for disclosures.

Woman at computer confusedThe next morning, Monday, I received an automated confirmation for showing the house on Monday at 4:00 p.m. Nope, the showing already happened on Sunday! Once again I emailed the office and told them I was still waiting for the disclosures and had an offer to present.

House sold Monday at 4:09 p.m. I got a phone call from the agent – the property is sold! The seller signed the contract 20 minutes ago, and "I guess you are at the house now." Um…not really…that was yesterday!

Less than half an hour later at 4:31 p.m. I got an email thanking me for showing at 4:00 today…and saying, "We would appreciate some feedback." Here is the feedback I sent:

"John, as you know I made two appointments, asked for disclosures twice, once from you, showed the property both times on Saturday and Sunday. Was asked by email twice and a call from you, the listing agent, for feedback. Wrote an offer, while still waiting for disclosures, and got a call from you yesterday stating that the property was sold.

Today I am being asked again what our opinion is.

How do you think I should answer? Wonder what the seller's opinion is? There must be a better system!"

Talk about wasted weekend time and not just mine, but the buyers', the buyers' parents', the lender, not to mention the emotional time spent for first time buyers.

Yes, I do, make all my own appointments, and this is a really good example of why I will not trust my clients and my business to an automated system!

Automated Showings and Automated Follow-up? No Thanks! I Make My Own!

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