Switching to ShowingHero: Good, Bad, and Beautiful
Technology can be the solution, but that’s after first defining what the problem is.
Thanks to the loss of two once-great showing agents over the course of three months, Royal Rose Properties found itself faced with a dilemma: hire new agents and deal with all of the trial-and-error that comes with it, or find another option. We did our research, and we chose a service called ShowingHero.
ShowingHero offers three essential services:
1.They act as a collection point for communications from applicants — all texts, phone messages, advertising clicks, and emails about properties and showings (ideally) go through them. Also, they have a fairly sophisticated system of automated texts and emails that go out to agents, applicants, and administrators.
2.They offer a really excellent system that allows showing agents to arrange for showings in an extremely flexible manner, and also allows a management company to utilize electronic lockboxes to enable applicants to show themselves a property.
3.Finally, they have pretty good tracking and reporting on the leads, inquiries, showings, and applications that go through them.
We chose ShowingHero over hiring another agent primarily because both of the agents that departed from our company left behind a trail of missed appointments. We figured that if we used the self-showing option, we would never have a missed appointment again. (Similarly, we wouldn’t be paying an agent to show up at showings that the applicant didn’t make it to!)
How Did It Work Out?
Mostly well. With any service, of course, there’s a learning curve, but ShowingHero’s learning curve is a little intimidating. There’s no documentation about how things work, so your only option is to learn everything live, with someone from ShowingHero online with you as you go. That said, once you grasp the basics, it’s pretty intuitive.
We do also have problems with applicants who don’t understand exactly what some of their instructions mean. For example, when at a self-showing, there’s a point at which the applicants have put a code into their lockbox, and it comes back with a message that says “Push to Release.” Several of our applicants have called us bewildered because they keep pushing the door of the house, and it doesn’t move! (The thing they’re supposed to push is a small drawer on the lockbox that will then pop open and reveal the key to unlock the door.)
The Big Problem
By far and away the biggest problem we’ve had, though, is how difficult it is to get the data about leads, inquiries, showings, and applications…in a useful format. The data existed, to be sure, but in no coherent format. Three different reports, each covering different aspects of the situation, each of which had arbitrary limitations, one of which couldn’t be exported at all.
…And the Solution
Fortunately, while ShowingHero has a few issues, they have one overwhelming positive that is worth all the struggle: their people are amazing. Our pleas to have the reporting options revamped weren’t just listened to, they were responded to — and it took less than three weeks from our first complaint to the initial steps they took to give us what we needed, and they’re still working to make things easier on us.
And that’s not even the only change they made for us. When we first signed onto their service, you couldn’t assign a Security Deposit amount larger than the rent for that property, and you also couldn’t assign a Date Built before 1970. Both of those requests took them less than a week to fix up.
In the end, we believe the decision to switch to ShowingHero was a good one. You can compensate for an imperfect system, but you can’t compensate for employees that aren’t engaged and willing to go to bat for their clients. ShowingHero might have an imperfect system, but it’s getting better and better every week, because those beautiful people are worth every dollar they ask.