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Interest in Instashowing soars: Is it the next ShowingTime?

02/12/2021

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Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

Instashowing is property showing management app.

Platforms: Browser, mobile-responsive Ideal for: All brokerages, independent or franchise

Top selling points: Sharp, efficient user experience Encourages feedback Calendar integrations Easy time/date controls for showings Text alerts to buyers and property occupants Top concern:

With the onset of interest in this app in the wake of Zillow’s ShowingTime acquisition, aspiring users should be patient with onboard times and support availability. However, expect that to subside with time.

What you should know

A showing management solution for brokerages and multiple listing services, Instashowing does a terrific job of not overcomplicating the process of arranging a showing.

Think about it: A showing is merely a few people coming together at a common spot at an agreed-upon time. It doesn’t need to be an enterprise effort. It’s like a lunch meeting — or should be, anyway.

At the time of our demo, Instashowing’s founder, Will Schoeffler, (who’s 22, evidenced in part by the fact that he launched the app while in college) said he had about 1,000 users.

He emailed me the day after Zillow announced it had imbibed ShowingTime to say he’s suddenly become a little busy. “It feels like the entire industry is trying to onboard on our site overnight. I have had dozens of MLS with +10,000 requesting a quote,” he said.

I’m not surprised.

The app swiftly intakes listing information, asking for an image, address and few details. Users can lock in availability times and required duration and customize the required notification period for each.

It’s easy to indicate if a listing is vacant or occupied, and you can control if approval is required by the agents or their sellers. The booking screen is clean, reflecting the app’s overall mobile-inspired aesthetic, and it has its own URL to be shared.

Showing statuses are sorted in the interface by color-coded tabs for Pending, Approvals, Reschedules, Buyer Reschedules and Feedback. It’s a straightforward horizontal menu structure atop a collapsible list of active properties. Open, edit, save, close. Awesome.

Approved showings immediately populate your calendar and trigger a series of text alerts to all parties.

One exceptionally irritating aspect of showings is the lack of interest on the part of the buyer’s agent to share feedback or at least feedback that offers actionable insights.

Instashowing makes feedback central to use of its app, sending buyer’s agents a short, customizable web survey that sends automatically one hour after the showing.

Survey recipients need only click a few buttons under brief questions such as, “Did your buyer like the property?” and “What did you think of the price?”

Feedback can be shared directly with the occupants via text link if desired.

The app includes links to appropriate COVID-19 disclosures and related documents, and it can include the names and contact information of assistants to be notified. Agents can also notify each other of updates directly from within the app, helping keep communications grouped by property.

Instashowing was birthed by the hassles its founder observed when his family was moving from wildfire-stricken California to Bend, Oregon. He couldn’t believe how much work it took for their agent to simply get into a home. His initial development funds came from a business school grant and some of his own scholarship money.

For its short tenure in the space, Instashowing solves all the most upfront challenges of handling home showings, and its founder’s fresh approach pays off in spades. There’s no bloat or attempt to be more than a fast, intuitive scheduling tool.

Enhancements and industry-pushed value-adds will no doubt come as the software ages. And given the person behind it, it has a long time to mature.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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