How Important is Showing Feedback and How Do You Get It?

by Sylvia Crossland on February 6, 2013 · 6 comments

Showing FeedbackI have found showing feedback to be essential and extremely helpful in the sale of my listings. Feedback provides insight into issues or factors that I might have overlooked or not considered important enough to affect pricing. Obtaining good feedback from showing agents takes some preparation and follow through though. Here’s what I do.

First, every listing has a “supra” lockbox. This lockbox electronically records every showing, and sends me an email when it is opened by an agent. The email has the day, time of showing and the contact information for the showing agent.

I then go into my MLS login where I have a standard letter that I send to the agent with a link to the listing. I greet the agent by name and thank them for showing the listing at “specified neighborhood” on “specified address”. I ask if there is anything about the price or condition that they can give me feedback on for this specific home. I think the personalized email is vastly more effective than the robotic auto-requests that so many agents set up. Some agents, including Steve, won’t take the time to complete a multi-question online feedback form sent by a robot, but they will respond to a personal email or phone call from the listing agent.

I ask, “did the buyer’s like it?”, “are they considering making an offer?” I also explain that the seller’s disclosure and survey is online attached to the MLS listing for their convenience. Also, to refresh their memory, I provide a link to the listing. After this I thank the agent for his or her hard work.

I truly understand how much hard work goes into showing houses and working with buyers. I also say that I would be happy to return the favor to them in the future. This is so important. We as agents are all working together to do the best job for our clients. It is so important to be courteous and thoughtful to all agents because you may (and probably will) be working with them again down the road

With this strategy, I have found 80% of the time, I get a response to the initial email. Sometimes it is a very short “they didn’t like the kitchen”. Other times it is very detailed and specific. I always thank the agent for taking the time to provide the feedback. If the agent does not respond to my feedback request email within a day, I will give them a call and talk to them on the phone. If they do not answer, I leave a message and suggest that they respond to my email if that is easier, or give me a call back.

Eventually I get responses from agents probably 95% of the time.

Sometimes feedback is helpful and I try to remedy the situation if it is something we can change or alter. Feedback like “there is a strange odor” is one that can be remedied. Sometimes others smell things that I don’t. “The house is too dark” is something else we can do something about, by putting in brighter bulbs or opening windows. “The price is too high” is feedback that we definitely take into consideration if a pattern emerges about that. I’ll do another CMA and try to make sure we have the home at the right price.

Other times, we cannot remedy the problem. “I don’t like the busy street” or “the floor plan just does not work for my clients”. These are all common feedback responses and after awhile, the only remedy is a lower price to offset a busy street or awkward floor plan.

I feel it is my job to interpret the feedback and figure out if there is anything we can do, other than lowering the price to overcome the objection. In this way, between buyers, sellers and the real estate community, we can achieve a “win-win” for everyone involved.
Sylvia

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jason Grote February 6, 2013 at 9:06 am

Sylvia, that is an amazing response rate! This is a bone of contention with us when we go to market our flip properties. Our response rate has been like 20%. In hot neighborhoods, feedback is not really necessary because the DOM are short. However, when the house sits more than 14 days, we begin to say, “I wonder what the agents are thinking and their clients are saying?” If you don’t mind, we will be using your system. Also, my wife (our agent) always returns calls/emails for feedback. It is just the right thing to do!

2 Sylvia February 6, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Thanks Jason, I think being courteous and returning emails and calls helps everyone. As I usually put it, “I will be happy to return the favor to you someday”. This emphasizes the fact that we may run across eachother again down the road and the tables may be turned. Often, when I fill out a feedback request, I do in fact run into that agent again and they are more apt to return my feedback request. It is a win-win for everyone. The better job we can do for our clients, the better our whole industry is perceived.

3 Sara March 7, 2013 at 8:31 am

Hi Sylvia, I would think obtaining feedback from showings is one of the major benefits of hiring a realtor; I’m impressed that you work so hard to get it for your clients. I am curious about the bad floor plan feedback. I can see a buyer out and out rejecting a garage laundry space. And I personally would not buy a two-story with the master up. But both of those can be weeded out prior to showing. Is a bad floor plan where the owners opened up the breakfast area to the den and reduced the number of walls to back furniture against? Or no good place for a tv? Or is it converted garages or additions that create the bad floor plan? I am curious because most houses were builder homes designed for mass appeal, so you’d think they’d all have a decent floor plan, at least one that wouldn’t need to be discounted for resale.

4 Sylvia March 7, 2013 at 10:40 am

Hi Sara,
Older floor plans are usually the ones that get the “bad floor plan” comment most. These plans from the 60′-80′s have a formal living room in front closed off from everything else with a kitchen in the back, also closed off. These days, people want “open floor plans with lots of light and high ceilings”. This is usually not common in most 70′s houses. I try to look for the basic “bones” of the house and see if walls can be opened up to allow a better “flow” throughout the house. Also, I look for houses with the most “usable” space. Hallways in my opinion are not usable or efficient (except for walking from one room to another) so I consider a house with lots of hallways a poorly planned house. This is wasted square footage that can be incorporated into a room, like a bedroom or living area, to make the rooms bigger. Sometimes I get feedback from agents saying ” they want 4 bedrooms and your house only has 3″. Why was this house shown in the first place? It is a mystery to me. Even having the laundry in the garage is something that can be eliminated before showing since it is in the mls under “Laundry location”. Still this can be overlooked and is often a deal killer. Sometimes you have to look for what is the norm in the neighborhood? Is it typical for the laundry to be in the garage? If so, this should not be a discount in price. I have run across houses in areas where all the laundry rooms are in the house and there is one house on the street with the laundry in the garage. This should be discounted in my opinion. Thank you to all for all the good comments!

5 Sara March 12, 2013 at 8:49 pm

thanks for the reply. After I posted I searched ” bad floor plan” and there were a ton of discussions out there; but it was nice to hear your opinion. I visited some brand new homes off Brushy Creek and Parmer in CP a few weeks ago. I noticed open floor plans along with dark wood floors, stone type tile and lighter off white walls–as opposed to beige. But until you mentioned it I had not noticed a lack of long halls. One curiousity was that on a spec home the third bedroom also had French doors to the entry hall. I have seen that often with a fourth or fifth bedroom, but thought it seemed unusual on a third. Maybe working from home is more common than a second child.

6 Sylvia March 29, 2013 at 6:45 am

Hi Sara, I think floor plans with a room that could either be an office or a bedroom like the one you mentioned is really popular. I always point these type of rooms out to my buyers as good selling features in the future. Thanks for your comments!

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