Showing feedback…why should something so easy be so confusing? After seeing hundreds of showing feedback remarks during by career, it’s pretty easy to understand why sellers have a love/hate relationship with the anemic remarks they get after a showing.
Yes, we are lucky to have an automated system that request feedback on the showing immediately following the event. This saves an immense amount of frustration and time over the way we handled it prior to today’s “instant” technology.
But years ago, when every minute used on your cell phone ran up your monthly bill, giving showing feedback was relegated to the times when you could use a landline…i.e. the next time you were in the office and had a minute of uninterrupted time – “uninterrupted” being the operative word.
In the busy season, it could be days before this task got completed.
So how did we know when it was a good showing and that particular buyer was interested?
We received an offer – either by fax, email or hand-delivered – proof positive that it was a good showing.
If we didn’t see an offer, and couldn’t connect with the showing agent, we pretty much knew the home wasn’t a good fit for that particular buyer.
But with today’s technology, it’s a different story. The minute the agent walks out of the door with their client, a “showing feedback request” appears in their inbox. It’s a little bit creepy how it’s timed so perfectly – almost like the showing service is watching every move – but they definitely get points for promptness!!
And what Seller doesn’t love prompt feedback…they’re feeling pretty exposed right now and could use a little love.
So what could be the issue? Why wouldn’t this be far better than waiting days to get the same information? I’ll just say…
Newer, Faster, Easier is NOT always better!
In the past, when agents talked directly, we were more likely to find out why our listing wasn’t a good fit for their client…give us something with “meat” in it so we could take it back to our clients with some real action items.
With the emphasis now on speed, what use to be a valuable two-way conversation has turned into a quickly composed message “spoken” into the response box of a mobile App. Knowing it is going directly to the seller as well can keep an agent from telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
For the most part, unless it says “We’re writing an offer“, these hasty comments don’t give us much to go on.
To show you what I mean here is some real feedback received on a home that went on the market the last of September:
“My client has an interest in this home. However, he would first like to have a copy of utility bills particularly for the winter months over the last 12 months.”
They Are Interested : all he needs is the utility bills to consider making an offer. The seller jumps on it and we get the requested information to the agent in less than 6 hours. And then…crickets. No response to emails, texts or voice mails.
Were the bills to high? What does “interest” mean? Is there anything we could do to help make our listing his first choice?
I guess we’ll never know as we never did hear back from this agent!
“Buyer has a few other properties they want to see but this is on their shortlist”
The BIG Maybe: Sure, the buyer may be interested, but what about this house? What did they see (or didn’t see) that would put our house on this infamous “short list”? The list must have gotten shorter and we didn’t make the cut, because we never heard from them again.
Come on, guys. Maybe it isn’t the one for your client, but could you at least sneak in a little of the buyer’s thoughts?
“Buyer was a no show/no call”
Rude: Call it like it is…with all the preparation and time involved on the showing agent and the seller’s part, not bothering to show up at all is just plain rude. But at least we know where they stand!
“On the top 2 of her list. Really likes the inside. Does not like XXXX street”
“Liked location felt it was a bit dayed (pretty sure she meant “dated” – darned auto-correct)”
What’s a Seller To Do?: A buyer will either like the location or they won’t…not much a seller can do. Don’t stress over something that you can’t change.
“Home had a little bit of a chemical smell, maybe from carpets just being cleaned? Wondering if the basement has had any water intrusion. Also is basement heated and cooled? Some interest but looking at a few more”
Looking for a Reason: But clean carpets? Really?? To their credit, they are letting the seller down easy, but why not say “Nice home…but it just isn’t ringing my chimes.” Would be totally easier to understand from a seller’s perspective.
“This couple will have their house listed soon. They are still putting finishing touches on it and will send me a copy of their listing contract once they have it this week. I will then proceed to write a very strong contingent offer in hopes of acceptance and that their home will sell quickly enough to have the contingency released to move forward. They love this home and they want to buy it. It is perfect for them.”
The Love Note: Like a present under the Christmas tree, this one gives hope. And they really knew how to play the heartstrings by including how much they loved the home…how perfect it would be for them! Sure, there’s that little issue about their current home needing to sell first…but LOVE always finds a way!
And it did! This quality home is soon to have a new owner who will love and cherish it exactly as like it’s current owner.
Sadly, there is seldom any real substance in showing feedback that could’t be said with a simple yes, no or maybe.
Occasionally I will get some feedback that reminds me of those long-ago direct conversations we use to have. Showing feedback that is specific, provides likes and dislikes, and provides the final verdict.
“buyer liked the floor plan … but the sump pump kept coming on which scared them …. did not like the corner lot … but did like the kitchen.. bathrooms needed updated… No interest at this time”
For my seller’s sake, I wish they were all like this…