Chicago-based ShowingTime, a showing management and market stats technology provider, has opened an office in Toronto to support its burgeoning growth in Canada.
The company says more than 50,000 real estate agents across Canada now use ShowingTime products and services, including the almost 5,000 agents at Right At Home Realty in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada’s largest independently owned and operated real estate brokerage. Right At Home’s 10 offices went live in April with the ShowingTime Appointment Centre and its Live Connect offering.
“The demand from our growing client base throughout Canada has never been greater, and our new office will help us support our product lines to meet that demand,” says Michael Lane, president of ShowingTime.
“In a nutshell, we provide technology and services that facilitate real estate showings. Our clients subscribe to software or a live showing centre that we host, which is a group of about 300 individuals who answer showing appointment calls 24/7/365,” says Lane. “Realtors tend to be pretty busy with clients or in their car going from meeting to meeting and they can’t easily pick up the phone at any given time to do the work that’s necessary to confirm an appointment…. The efficiency of handling that request is really critical.”
ShowingTime was established in 1999. The company first entered the Canadian market with a Realtors’ association as a client in the Kitchener-Waterloo area about four or five years ago. Now, ShowingTime is being used by 20 to 30 real estate boards across Canada.
“We’re supporting about 50,000 agents throughout Canada through our relationships with Realtor associations, brokers or individual agent subscriptions,” says Lane. “Canada has been our most rapidly growing area of clients.
“We felt it was time to have a team there because it’s so important when people call in for help to have somebody that knows the nuances of the market that we’re serving,” says Lane. “Real estate is a local business and they feel better if they feel that the team handling their needs is within the same area that they are.”
Besides Right At Home, ShowingTime customers include two MLS systems that have multiple boards as members, Ontario Regional Technology and Information Systems (ORTIS) and the Ontario Collective. The Ottawa Real Estate Board is also a client.
John Lusink, president and broker of record of Right At Home Realty, says the company selected ShowingTime for its focus on technology and all-in-one approach to handling showing management and agent/client communications.
“We were using multiple vendors to help us schedule showings, deliver messages and communicate with our agent teams” until they partnered with ShowingTime, he says. “ShowingTime has been making inroads in the Canadian market, setting up their service with some independent brokerages but also some MLS boards . . . We decided to investigate and lo and behold, they were at the same time interested in establishing a Canadian presence because this is a company that had people located in four or five different areas in the U.S. but no Canadian presence. At the end of the day, we came to an agreement to merge our call centre with their firm and we have now switched our entire company over to their service.”
Lusink says the company gives Right At Home “industry-leading software and applications for the agents…. They also have all kinds of statistical tools and other programs that our salespeople are really excited about.”
ShowingTime has more than 1.2 million active listings subscribed to its services. Its products are used in more than 250 MLSs, representing nearly one million real estate professionals across the U.S. and Canada.