“Hey, did you get my offer?” In residential real estate, brokers and agents hear this question all too often. Especially when the market is hot, a new listing can generate a frenzy of offers. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, 82% of properties that closed in October of this year sold in less than one month.
In an exclusive interview with The Real Deal, Michael Lane, Vice President & General Manager, and Erik Lovell, Senior Principal Manager of the Offers Platform at ShowingTime, discussed how the traditional offer process hasn’t kept pace with a competitive real estate market.
“Even though technology has transformed many other areas of real estate, the process of sending and receiving offers hasn’t changed in decades,” explained Lane.
ShowingTime is modernizing this process with an intuitive platform and app, which has been used to manage more than 120,000 offers in the past year. With a central place to manage offers, ShowingTime Offer Manager gives sellers’ agents and the buyers’ agents they work with a smoother, more transparent experience.
An Offer Process Overdue for Change
A significant problem agents face is managing offers through email, texts, and calls. Manually juggling offers can be stressful and inefficient — especially when an agent has several listings, each with a multitude of offers. It’s exactly the situation they want, but managing it is problematic.
Lovell explained, “Every agent gets tons of spam and has a very noisy inbox. The agent gets overwhelmed with all the activity and communication, can’t easily separate offers from the rest of their emails, and the entire process is frustrating for everyone involved. We knew there had to be a better way.”
Describing his experience, Michael Barbaro, broker/owner of Huntsman, Meade & Partners Comp, noted, “Before Offer Manager, it was the ‘Wild West’ and agents were inundated with multiple modes of offers. Some people didn’t even follow up. So, if you weren’t expecting their offer — and you’re fielding another 15+ other offers — it could just be overlooked. The lack of a system was the worst possible scenario for the industry.”
Saving Listing Agents Time at Every Stage in the Offer Process
Recognizing the need for change, Lane said ShowingTime decided to create Offer Manager to give agents a single platform for complete offer management, fueled by automation and supported by an easy-to-use app.
The first thing seller’s agents notice is that they don’t have to scour their inbox for offers.
Seller’s agents using Offer Manager have a “Submit an Offer” button buyer’s agents can click or tap from any device to submit their offer with relevant documents and comments attached. The seller’s agent receives the offer within the ShowingTime platform, which also facilitates quick and easy communication.
According to Lane, the transformation is an ah-ha moment for both seller’s and buyer’s agents.
“Anytime there’s a new process, you hope it’s easy for all parties to start using right away,” he noted. “With Offer Manager, the buyer’s agents just get it. The platform is intuitive and user-friendly, so buyer’s agents jump right in.”
Never Miss an Offer
Seller’s agents appreciate that offers never get lost in the sea of emails that often overtake their inboxes. When an offer is submitted, the seller’s agent receives a notification via app, email, or text so they can review it as soon as possible. The buyer’s agent who submitted the offer gets a read receipt so they are no longer in the dark.
All offers are accessible 24/7 in Offer Manager on mobile or desktop, and they’re automatically organized by listing. The streamlined process immediately brings time savings. Even if one listing has 20 or 30 offers, Offer Manager helps them easily see, manage, and compare each offer.
Joe Kipping from Keller Williams Tampa Bay Home Team said he can’t imagine life without Offer Manager. “I can view the offer quickly and I know the buyer’s agent will be sent a notification letting them know the offer was received, saving me a lot of time.”
Easy Offer Comparison for Your Sellers
Manually sending offers to sellers is a time-consuming task, and it’s often difficult for them to parse through all the information to make the best choice.
Solving this challenge is another way ShowingTime helps agents work efficiently — and wow their clients in the process. The platform’s side-by-side comparison tool helps agents send a concise comparison in about 30 seconds. The professionally-formatted report aggregates and summarizes offers, so sellers can easily see the most important information and decide which offer to accept.
“The side-by-side comparison is a game-changer,” Kipping said. “I customize it and share it with my client right from my phone.”
Professional Communication Made Easy
No agent wants to let their clients down, but in a hot market, waiting for a response can trigger frustration.
“All agents want to conduct themselves professionally, and communication is a big part of that,” noted Lovell. “But when agents have multiple properties for sale at one time, the sheer volume of offers can cause a delayed response. Offer Manager automates and streamlines much of the communication, helping agents convey professionalism at every step.”
Kipping called it one of his favorite features. “It’s easy to mass email all agents that have shown my property and ask for ‘highest and best.’ Then all I have to do is mark an offer accepted and all the other agents get a notification their offer was declined.”
The Impact for Brokers and Buyer’s Agents
Offer Manager presents many positives for seller’s agents, but what about buyer’s agents and brokers?
For buyer’s agents, the draw of easily submitting an offer and getting a timely response is clear. The buyer’s agent doesn’t need to subscribe to Offer Manager to submit an offer and receive updates. But, once they experience the process, many ask how they can get it for their listings.
“I’ve had hundreds of offers submitted through Offer Manager, and the buyer’s agents love submitting offers this way,” noted Kipping. “Many ask how they can get the platform.”
Similarly, brokers rely on Offer Manager to help with tracking and compliance. The platform gives them visibility into all the offers submitted on their office’s listings and logs every piece of information in an easy-to-generate audit trail.
With such a positive response, Lane says ShowingTime plans to continue adding new solutions and app features to better serve the growing real estate market.
“We have top 10 teams in the U.S. using Offer Manager, but it’s extremely effective for even a single busy agent — and everyone in between. No matter the size of your office or team, you’ll never want to manage offers the old way again,” Lane said.
To see how Offer Manager can transform your offer process, click here to request a demo.