A local North Carolina Realtor trade group has changed its showing service provider after the founder of its former provider was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.

The Jacksonville Board of Realtors has more than 600 members and operates its own multiple listing service. Last week, Charles Smith, the founder and former CEO of multistate real estate showing appointment service eShowings Inc., headed to prison after pocketing his employees’ payroll taxes instead of handing them over to the government. Before Smith’s incarceration, he reported eShowings had lost about 30 percent of its business, including that from Jacksonville MLS.

The Jacksonville board has chosen Overland Park, Kan.-based Centralized Showing Service Inc. (CSS) to replace eShowings as its exclusive showing service provider for all of its Realtor members.

CSS counts more than 141,000 Realtors in 70 markets nationwide as clients, including 11 associations that have contracted with CSS to provide the service as a benefit to all their members. The showing management company maintains six call centers that schedule nearly 20 million showings per year, the company said.

CSS allows real estate agents to call one number during extended office hours to schedule showing appointments or to go online at any time to schedule showings. The company’s online tools are accessible across electronic devices, and agents can view showing feedback and reports that detail showing activity.

“After having experienced CSS, I can tell you that not all showing service providers are created equal. The attention to detail and friendly customer service representatives at CSS are second to none,” said Jamie F. Cooper, association executive of the Jacksonville Board of Realtors, in a statement.

“The quality of personal service is greatly appreciated by our members who also find Showings.com to be an excellent management tool. This convenience translates to greater productivity for our agents and better service for our clients. It was a very easy decision to make.”

Earlier this year, South Central Kansas MLS, operated by the Wichita Area Association of Realtors, selected CSS as its showing service provider, prompting an MLS dues increase that rankled some members.

EShowings has also lost some business to showing management tech company ShowingTime, whose appointment center Prudential Fox & Roach (now Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, Realtors) recently chose for its 62 offices and 4,000 agents.

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