When training new agents, one of the things they have the most difficulty with is, planning the route of the homes they are showing. Our market exists within a rural area with a senseless system of dirt roads, back roads, secondary roads, highways and roads that look like driveways. Making your way around can some times be difficult, let alone keeping a schedule.
The problem . . .
The way it works here is that a buyer agent would have to call the listing office of each listing he or she plans to show, make an appointment for each and hope to arrive at each listing around the time the appointment was made (or the seller usually gets upset). To do this correctly the buyer's agent would first have to geographically select the properties in a logical route to eliminate back tracking. Secondly the buyers agent would have to know the entire drive time, the drive time between each listing, exactly how long the buyer would see each listing as well as the length of time required for any stops i.e. lunch, bathroom, etc. All in all, a logistical nightmare.
The Solution . . .
The way I train my agents is to route the listings before even making the appointment. We do this using a piece of software called Microsoft Trips and Streets. Most MLS providers have routing capability, but Microsoft Trips and Streets is far better than any I've seen.
With Microsoft Trips and Streets we use the office as a starting
and ending point. Second, we feed the addresses into the
software in no particular order. This can be done a few
different ways. You can manually enter each address or you
can export a spreadsheet from your MLS and import it into Microsoft
Trips and Streets. With the click of a button, the software
will organize the listings into the most efficient route
possible. Once the listings are in geographical order you can
put in how much time you will be at each listing as well as any
bathroom or lunch stops along the way. The software
calculates the drive time, plug in a departure time and you have a
complete itinerary. You can then use this itinerary to make
your appointments knowing almost exactly when you will be at each
listing. The software can be further customized to your
driving style, speed and preferred road types. What makes it
even better is that you can save the trip for later editing in the
event that one of the showings cancel or change the time the home
will be available for showing.