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Showing Suite offers free showing scheduling system to MLSs

By January 14, 2015 One Comment

Real estate showing management service Showing Suite has launched a new automated showing scheduling system for multiple listing services for a price that can’t be beat: free.

In rolling out its new MLS-integrated system, Showing Suite catches up to competitors ShowingTime and Centralized Showing Service Inc. and adds a twist that other companies have found successful in driving adoption.

Rick Bengson

Rick Bengson

“MLS boards who don’t currently have a showing solution can now add this to their solutions menu,” said Showing Suite CEO Rick Bengson in a statement.

“MLS boards who currently pay for a showing service can switch to Showing Suite and save that money to either reduce dues or offer additional services. We think we have the model that makes the most sense for the MLS and their customer agents and their agents’ clients.”

Of course, Showing Suite still needs to make money, so the company offers a paid enhanced version of its MLS system, as well as a package of showing management products collectively called Showing Suite Ultimate.

The Greater San Diego Association of Realtors (SDAR) is the first to sign up for the enhanced version of Showing Suite’s MLS-integrated system. The 12,000-plus member association is one of three shareholders in regional MLS Sandicor Inc., which has more than 18,000 members total.

Sandicor will integrate Showing Suite as an option on all listing information pages, and all Sandicor members will be able to use the scheduling system for free, said Showing Suite spokeswoman Michelle Costa.

Agents who opt to use Showing Suite can add the MLS scheduling phone number to their property signs for buyers to view information about that property and schedule a showing directly from their phone, the company said.

When buyers call or text the number, the showing is then set up automatically through email, text, automated calls, or any combination thereof according to the the contact preferences of the seller, listing agent or tenant, the company added.

“It replaces a human call center or the need for dedicated staff to schedule showings,” Showing Suite said.

Buyers or their agents can choose from available times on a showing calendar or tap an “InstaShow” button to request an immediate showing. Agents can also ask questions about the listing before scheduling a showing.

“The Showing Suite system will be a great member benefit that will help our Realtors save time and provide additional service to their clients,” said Mike Mercurio, CEO of SDAR, in a statement.

Michelle Costa

Michelle Costa

In the free version of the service, showings are confirmed via email only. SDAR is paying for its members to have access to an enhanced version that will let them have their showings confirmed via phone call or text message in addition to email, Costa said.

All SDAR agents receive Showing Suite’s free “Showing Note” mobile app, which allows buyers to save pictures, videos or notes taken during home showings; collaborate with their co-buyer or agent; and opt in to receive email, text and push notifications to let them know when price changes and other updates occur for homes they have visited.

SDAR members will also receive three credits that will allow them to use Showing Suite Ultimate on three listings for free. Showing Suite Ultimate includes HomeFeedback, a tool that facilitates feedback to listing agents from other real estate professionals who have shown their listings; email marketing system Home Followup; customer satisfaction surveys; and Listing Sync, which imports MLS listing information into a user’s Showing Suite account, among other tools.

Once agents use those three credits, a monthly subscription to Showing Suite Ultimate is available at a special rate for SDAR members, Showing Suite said.

The company has previously noted that MLSs have the option of generating non-dues revenue through Showing Suite by offering Ultimate at a discount to their members and receiving a cut of the subscription revenue produced in exchange for marketing the product to their members.

Non-SDAR members who wish to upgrade to the enhanced MLS product and to Ultimate can buy a subscription at the standard retail price. Ultimate costs $39.95 per month with a 30-day free trial; discounts are available for teams and offices.

Showing Suite began discussing its upcoming MLS product with MLSs in late 2014, Costa said. She declined to say whether other MLSs had taken Showing Suite up on its offer.

The company also plans to combine its MLS offering with “the most popular MLS online stores for single sign-on integrations,” but Costa declined to offer further details.

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