Combining High Tech with High Touch: Benefits of a Feedback System

“Clients want constant and immediate feedback, even if nothing is going on,” says Mario Greco, Senior Broker and Vice President of Sales with The Mario Greco Group of Prudential Rubloff Properties in Chicago, Ill. “The biggest complaint I hear is, ‘the previous agent never communicated with me,'” he says.

And, with a team of 18, Greco, who finds that 80-90 percent of his business is listings, says it’s even more important to have a system set up for feedback. “We use the Leap RE software (www.leapre.com) which allows us to track and coordinate activities of all team members.” The system isn’t cheap. “There’s a $500 set-up fee and it costs a couple hundred dollars each month, but that’s peanuts compared to the $25,000 a year you would have to pay a person to do what the system does.”

While each of Greco’s team members has specific duties, he or she is also required to fill in on the spot. Because of this, and the fact that they close about 200 transactions a year, he wanted a software system that allowed every team member access to schedules, showings and property information.

The benefits are many, says Greco. “The client knows what people are saying about the property—pricing, condition, etc. This helps if we need to reduce the price or have things repaired.” In addition, he says, the client has access to the feedback and can see that Greco is working hard to sell the property.

Here’s how he uses the system to organize his business.

1. Sync schedules. With the Leap RE system, Greco can schedule a showing by email. “The software pulls data from the MLS system, so, if someone calls in for a showing, one or two clicks and you can set up the showing through email,” he says. “Then it automatically sends a confirmation email to us and to the other agent.” A few hours after the showing, the system then sends to the buyer’s agent a request for feedback. “If it doesn’t get a response, it automatically tries again the next day. I find that 60 to 70 percent of all buyer’s agents send back the feedback.”

2. Stay in touch. “Every one of our team members must know what prospective buyers and agents are saying about our listings. Each of our schedulers can easily look things up without me there,” says Greco. “We all have a BlackBerry, and we create memos by property address so if a question comes in by email, I or someone in the group can reply and/or answer objections, even if it’s not my listing. The system is centralized. Anyone can answer questions about the listings even the marketing person who’s never been [at the property].”

3. Follow through
. While Greco finds that more than half of all showing agents do provide feedback, he says it’s important not to ignore the ones who don’t. “Your feedback is only as good as your reputation for getting it. Just because it’s automated doesn’t mean you don’t have to do anything else,” he says. Greco personally contacts showing agents who don’t answer the automated response to get their feedback. Also, he says, “When you do get feedback, you might not get exactly what you need. For example, prospective buyers may say they don’t like the style, but that’s vague. It may actually be the paint color or furniture, so I try to get more details.”

“Sellers love feedback,” says Greco. “I can see a potential seller’s eyes light up when I tell him or her about the feedback we offer, explain our system, and show the detailed feedback spreadsheets we keep for each listing.” And, says Greco, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. “There are a thousand different things the system can do. We focus on the feedback and meshing the personal touch with the technology.”

Other similar products:

* Showing Suite: Showing Suite® is an all-in-one real estate productivity software suite to help real estate agents, real estate teams, and real estate offices harness their full sales potential by automating time-consuming tasks to allow more focus on sales.

* Real Estate Success Tools (REST): REST can handle up to 250 users simultaneously. Users can share access from anywhere in the world because REST uses the Internet in a more private way.

Greco is ranked No. 26 in the Nation by The Wall Street Journal and LORE Magazine’s 2009 Top 400 Real Estate Professionals
Written by Tracey C. Velt and reprinted with permission of REAL Trends. Copyright 2010