Updated: 5 days ago
In this article, I wanted to share the top issues I find with Homesnap Showing that it is an option available for agents (often freely if their MLS covers their Homesnap Pro accounts), but that I typically don't recommend due to the issues with it, & how other Showingtime competitors like Instashowing have similar issues.
I was willing to work with some of these issues, but as long as the only increments for showing are in the max showing time allotted & only at set times based on the first available showing of the day combined with that increment, I don't recommend it.
Image courtesy Homesnap.com
Below I'll be going over primarily options that don't include ShowingTime. ShowingTime, while more expensive than alternative showing services like Homesnap & Instashowing, is the best option available in my opinion. I am one of a handfull of agents at my roughly 100 agent firm who bit the bullet and pay for it for my own listings.
Biggest Positives with Homesnap Showings, Showingtime, & Instashowing: Immediate Controlled Contact from Buyer's Agent to Occupant Exclusively for the Purpose of a Showing Request in a Systemized & Organized Fashion
With any automated showing service, these are going to be the strongest features, and this case is no exception, with a variety of options for notification.
The biggest problem I find with Homesnap Showings (& likewise, the biggest problem I have with Instashowing) is the limitations on when you're able to schedule a showing & how long you can schedule it for. As of the time of this publication, you can only schedule showings based on the starting time of daily showings and the max duration of the showing.
For instance, with the property represented in the picture below, they've established a max time of 30 minutes, so if a buyer's agent will only be showing for 15 minutes, the remainder of that time will be consumed needlessly. Likewise, if they need to show from 3:45-4:15, they will need to take up an extra 30 minutes of time by booking 2 separate 30 minutes showings from 3:30-4:30:
Image Courtesy Homesnap Pro
Workaround Within the Program: 30-minute showings with a message that agents wanting more than that can book a 2nd & 3rd 30-minute showing if desired. If you don't say that, they may assume that they can only do 1 short showing if getting there exactly at a 30-minute interval doesn't work for them. That said, agents may be unwilling to go through the trouble if they're very short on time or have a generally short fuse.
Workaround Outside of the Program:
If any seller would prefer that Homesnap Showings not be used, agents can set up a Google Sheet of Showing Times available to sellers and can do any one of the following:
1. text sellers with a showing request time
2. call sellers with a showing request time
3. Help sellers establish automatic notifications that get emailed (& texted if they want to go through a few extra steps) to them as the spreadsheet is updated.
Automated Feedback Sent Directly to Sellers, with Issues for Homesnap Showings
Automated feedback requests in theory are wonderful while not completely necessary. "Wonderful" diminishes greatly if the execution is poor. This one sadly is one of those cases. I wouldn't rule it out for this reason due to not being completely necessary with manual requests (i.e. via text) possible, better, & warranted.
Having automated feedback itself is great, and this one has multiple requests possible before stopping.
Agents being able to actually provide feedback is problematic due to errors with the program's execution. Here's what a feedback request email looks like, which looks fine:
Once you attempt to provide feedback, the problems start. Clicking on stars doesn't do anything by itself. It looks like the stars are "just for looks" & you can select a star but that doesn't actually provide that info to the listing agent I suspect since doing that doesn't take you anywhere:
When I click on "Give Feedback" here's what I see:
The address at the top of the screen, the picture of the home again with the price, the map, but I don't see anywhere to actually leave feedback.
You might think, "Maybe it's the "send Message" button." That puts me at a sign-in screen, so at this point the time required to establish an account or find login information means many agents won't even attempt anything further if their sign-in information isn't automatically populated.
Guess what? Going through all that didn't lead me to anywhere to provide feedback. The message I'm able to send there is to myself.
Another Problem: No Templates Possible for Homesnap Showings
I wouldn't rule it out for this reason, but on the listing agent side, the absence of templates means every time a new listing is created you have to redo a lot of things, especially if you have better templates than most which will be more complex. Because no templates are possible, it does have a direct negative impact on the seller because there is a longer delay between when the listing goes live and when the showing page is live because you can't create the showing page until after the listing goes live (see next issue).
Another Problem: No Showing Setup Until Entered into MLS for Homesnap Showings
The showing website can't be set up until the listing goes live. Because templates are not possible, it exacerbates this problem.
Workaround: Start the listing with buyer's agents contacting the listing agent, and immediately after listing goes live, establish the Homesnap Showing website. Once it's ready, request that the MLS coordinator change the agent remarks to reflect the live Homesnap Showing Site in each MLS where it's entered. That could take hours though if they're busy, & just hope it's not late in the day on a Friday before a holiday weekend...
Another Problem: Issues with Multiple MLS
When there are multiple MLS that you're inputting into, I've seen where more than one Homesnap Showing page was created for the same listing. Separate pages means that exclusive appointments could conflict, while it's not a problem for non-exclusive showings that allow overlap.
Showingtime has options to merge multiple MLS, but with Showingtime, not every MLS is compatible. For instance, I have access to CVR & CBRAR via the co-op of CBRAR & CVR. Because of that, and not native access to CVR, because CBRAR isn't possible with Showingtime, neither CBRAR nor CVR listings have access to my Showingtime account.
I really wish that there were more options with showing services other than Showingtime. The problems with Homesnap Showings have caused my dad, Greg Garrett, who has led one of the top 50 Real Estate teams in the nation, to not use it. He currently doesn't use any showing service but the old-fashioned way of reaching out directly to someone at GRP (an assistant in his case). I typically use Showingtime & pay monthly for it.