As the real estate tech race increasingly shifts toward listing technology, the Houston Association of Realtors is throwing its hat in the ring with the launch of ShowingSmart, a proprietary platform that helps agents schedule and manage home showings on the go.
“The ShowingSmart tools were developed by tech-savvy agents to simplify the business needs of all HAR MLS subscribers,” HAR Technology Advisory Group Chair Jennifer Vickers said in a prepared statement on Thursday. “ShowingSmart went through extensive testing over the past six months and will continue to improve with agent involvement and feedback, but we believe this product already is the best showing tool on the market based on the feedback from our testers.”
To access ShowingSmart, HAR members must complete an introductory training course that explains the nuts and bolts of the platform. After completing training, members can finish the onboarding process on the ShowingSmart homepage or HAR’s Members Only Portal by entering their phone number and email address.
From there, HAR members can automatically view all of their listings on the ShowingSmart desktop dashboard through MLS data and MLS Single Sign-On integrations. Next, they can begin scheduling showings by clicking the ‘Enable Showing Service’ button on the right side of each listing address.
After enabling showing services for a listing, agents must provide basic information about the listing, such as its occupancy status, the presence of pets and how to access the lockbox. Agents can also set limits for tour lengths and times, enable or disable overlapping tour appointments, require buyers to be accompanied by an agent and provide other pertinent information in the Showing Agent Instructions field.
Agents can’t create showings for pending or coming soon listings, nor can they make a showing for a listing that’s already on another showing service platform.
“You may only have one showing service for your listing at a time, so you may choose to move all of your existing listings over to the ShowingSmart platform, or you may choose to just activate individual listings—or just new listings,” HAR explained in ShowingSmart’s FAQ section. “If you do continue to use another showing service while testing ShowingSmart, we would recommend contacting your current service to tell them you are not using them for that particular listing.”
Once agents save the showing settings, homebuyers will be able to request tours through HAR’s search portal or the ShowingSmart consumer app that will launch on iOS and Android the week of Nov. 15. Agents will have to wait until early 2022 for their version of the ShowingSmart app; however, HAR said the platform is mobile-friendly.
“HAR is renowned throughout the real estate industry for its innovations and ShowingSmart is the latest example of how our MLS has harnessed new technology to streamline business for subscribers while providing better customer service to consumers,” HAR Chairman Richard Miranda said.
ShowingSmart will be free for HAR members through early 2022, as the association finalizes its pricing. “We do not know how much it will cost yet because we need to calculate our total operating costs to determine the cost to subscribers,” HAR explained. “We will provide at least 90 days’ notice of the cost prior to implementing any fee.”
“We know that there are many different pricing models with other showing services, so our goal is to be priced lower than what most members are currently paying,” they added.
HAR CEO Bob Hale said he’s proud of the feedback the organization has gotten while noting 28,000 agents scheduled more than 153,000 listings showings during beta testing alone.
“I could not be more enthusiastic about the positive response we are getting to this new product,” he said.