Build a showing time competitor? How hard can it be?

So I don’t know all the features of Showing Time, can someone tell me what made it such an awesome piece of software? What were the main features?

Seems to me that it would be a really good time to build this feature since so many folks are upset about Zillow Buying it.

What made Showing time such a $500M darling?

What would you need us to build into your platform in order to get rid of it?

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I don’t think the technology part will be the hard part. It’s managing the call center (although that’s gotten easier with technology too).

There are a lot of sellers that aren’t tech savvy and still want the operator to call to confirm the showing.

Oh good lord! I am NOT building a call center (been there, done that) texting it is!

ShowingTime is used by our board in Central Alberta, I believe Calgary as well (ask Justin). Central AB just recently switched from Touchbase because of its poor security & ancient interface. I’ll be honest ShowingTime does work quite well for us, but I know REW could do it better!

The main things we’ll need is:

  • No call center, busy agents should hire an assistant for that!
  • Needs to integrate into our IDX in some way, we’ve recently migrated our entire province to Pillar Nine, which might make things easier to address us in Alberta :slight_smile:
  • When an agent books either a single showing or a series of multiple properties (ShowingTime calls this a “cart”, should be called a tour in my opinion), they can do it from their Pillar Nine dashboard (Matrix). It does redirect to an actual page within ShowingTime to do this. Or the agent can log into ShowingTime directly & look up listings to build a “cart” from there.
  • Times/dates can be specified for each property & then requested all at once at the end. It also lights everything up green once all agents have approved the requested showings, unless certain listings have been preset to approve automatically (property vacant, etc).
  • Notifications for showings are sent according to preference to home owners, both agents & the buyers (who are entered when building a cart or requesting a single showing), plus any pertinent info they’ll need, offer in play, wear a mask, etc… or any other important showing instructions. These can be an identifiable text or fancy email with a link back to the dashboard.
  • Sellers have the option to approve their own showings. All listings are setup by the listing agent when entered into MLS, enabling or disabling a variety of features.
  • The system also generates a map of the tour (using Google Maps) to either print off or send to you buyers, includes showing instructions populated from Pillar Nine.
  • The app follows your location & actually knows when you arrive at your showings… don’t need that.
  • Track all showings for each listing & continuously request feedback from the showing agents until it is received. The feedback can be automatically sent to the sellers or edited first, then logged & sent to them.
  • Geez I could go on & on

I’d say it would be best to view an agent’s screen over Zoom to see how ShowingTime works & to see how to help save us more time!

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The big thing for us that’s missing in ShowingTime is the two-step showing request - the ability to ask the listing agent a question before requesting a showing… ie - have there been any offers on the property? Have there been any pets in the property? Or whatever other questions your buyers want to be answered before viewing. Depending on the answer the buyer’s agent could then request a showing or not.


Why not use the messaging service built into Showing Time?

That is a great idea @livrealestate

Why not just text the agent? Which is what they do and then what’s the point of ShowingTime?

I’m sorry perhaps I misunderstood. There is a question window when agents request a showing. I’ve seen agents use this option to good effect. The real value of showing time is that it takes the listing agent out of the equation, streamlines the process and gives the seller control. The feedback reporting tool is pretty helpful too. Most of our clients really enjoy it. Cheers :slight_smile:

Showing Time is definitely not awesome - it’s outdated and clunky, and their support is not free or great. BUT there is a lot to unpack - first priority being the security of the home, how accounts are vetted/confirmed as licensed agents only.

Second would be convenience for both the agent and the client.

Third would be pricing - in our market, Showing Time has a dozen different pricing plans and then a bunch of pay to play options which really should be included.

I agree, managing a call center would be another big challenge.

I’m betting that most MLS’s, markets, brokerages and agents choose to stick with it if that remains an option under the Zillow Group umbrella, even if they are riled up about it right now, our of pure convenience/lack of a better option.

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How does showing time do this now? One would assume (with MLS partnership) we could do this by creating accounts that needed to be verified via email (matching the email on the MLS) something like that.

I’m assuming this is texting with an email backup and no required signup for the sellers

What is the typical pricing for the service in your area?

I don’t think a cash center is necessary at all. The agents are that if someone’s desperate enough to call.

You need a shareable calendar wherein owners and their listing agents can respond to calendar requests and give instructions while also blocking out times that showings aren’t allowed.

Then record the data and process reports including sending automated template emails and texts to encourage feedback.