Real estate agents are faced with unique scheduling challenges given the limitations placed on indoor gatherings and the number of people allowed in a given space. Gone are the days of packed open houses and handshakes. Phone cameras and Zoom calls have taken the place of live showings. At x.ai, our team of scheduling solutions experts have come up with a couple of ready-made templates to get your sales back on track. Each Meeting Template generates a unique, brandable, real-time Calendar Page that can be embedded anywhere. Want more meeting templates? Find them in our Meeting Template Library!
In this article:
Scheduling a Virtual Open House
As a real estate agent, personalized service is a huge part of the job. However, no agent can show multiple properties at the same time, so in order to minimize travel time and maximize the utilization of your time, you can create virtual open houses for your properties.
In this example we will be using the x.ai Google Meet integration to schedule a series of 15 minute meetings back to back within two 2-hour time windows on a specific weekend. You can also use our Zoom integration or our Microsoft Teams integration if you prefer. It may sound daunting, but we’ve actually done all of the work for you. You can add this meeting template to your account here (no account? It’s free!):
How it works
This meeting template takes advantage of a number of x.ai features. First, the scheduling hours are set to a specific range on a Saturday and Sunday. In this case we chose noon to 2pm on Saturday and 1pm to 3pm on Sunday:
Obviously we do not want to hold open houses every weekend. Ideally one is enough and the property sells immediately. However, here in the real world, we have to adjust exactly when people can schedule this virtual open house. For this example we will use October 17th and 18th, 2020. You can change the dates to whenever you’d like by choosing, “Over a date range” and setting specific dates:
Finally, you’ll want to give some instructions to your potential buyers, both on the Calendar Page and in the meeting invitation. You can customize these to your heart’s content.
Finally, you’ll want to avoid getting stood up by your potential buyers. After all, time is money. To minimize no-shows, we’ve used our custom meeting reminder feature to send a reminder to each one of your prospective buyers. This meeting template comes pre-built with a custom reminder that will go out 1 hour before the appointment:
Pro Tip: When you copy this Meeting Template, you’ll get this custom reminder. When you upgrade to one of our premium plans you can customize this reminder and add more as well!
Scheduling a Live Open House
While technology has evolved substantially, there is still no substitute for for showing up in person, especially when making a decision as consequential as purchasing real estate. While open houses are no longer the same, they are still possible to hold in person. Rather than the free-for-all open houses of the past, you can now carefully schedule a sequential open house for buyers to view the property one at a time.
This Meeting Template will take advantage of x.ai’s favorite location feature to append the address to the meeting invitation. You’ll want to modify it as needed.
How it works
This Meeting Template is very similar to the virtual open house above but has some key differences. First and foremost, it is to be held live at the property. We’ll need to use x.ai’s favorite locations feature to add the address of the property to the meeting invitation. In this case we are giving it a name using the listing ID:
Pro Tip: You can add more than one favorite location with any of our premium plans. For our advanced users, premium plans also enable you to add the location to the URL when you embed your Calendar Pages on your website!
Next you’ll want to change the location of this meeting template to the location you’ve just created:
Next, we are going to make a few small changes to when this meeting can be scheduled. While the duration will remain 15 minutes, we are going to allow this meeting to be scheduled only every 20 minutes, allowing for 5 minutes of Breather Time. This gives you an opportunity to do any enhanced cleaning or re-staging of the property as needed.
Finally, we’re going to give people more advance notice with our Meeting Reminder. In this case, we’ll remind them of their appointment a full day in advance so we can plan our time accordingly should they need to cancel:
What Your Prospective Buyers Will See
When you have used these Meeting Templates and configured them to suit your unique needs, your potential buyers will get the beautifully designed x.ai Calendar Page experience, customized to your needs:
Scheduling a Private Showing
Sometimes a potential buyer needs the white glove treatment. No problem, you can manage your time to be efficient while still making yourself available to you clients. Simply use the property showing Meeting Template found here and customize it to your liking. Note: This Meeting Template utilizes some features, such as dynamic locations and custom redirects, that are exclusive to our premium plans.
First, we’ll set the location to be TBD. This does not really matter, as you’ll soon see, because we are going to override the location using an advanced URL parameter.
Next, we’ll set a 30 minute duration for the actual meeting but we’ll pad it with 15 minutes of breather time on either side to give us time to travel to and from the property. You can adjust this based on local traffic conditions.
We’ll need to set some restrictions on this Meeting Template and the Calendar Page based on it. First, we’ll hide it from our calendar homepage and we’ll allow guests to invite others when they schedule the meeting. But the fancy part of this is allowing the location of the page to be set using a specially-coded URL with our dynamic locations feature for embedded Calendar Pages. No more TBD! Note that this is a feature exclusive to our premium plans.
Next, we’ll use an advanced feature called Custom Redirects to forward the guest back to our website after scheduling the meeting. Again, note that this is a feature of our premium plans (starting at $8 a month!) and is not available on our free plan.
⚠️ Warning: Be sure that you update the Redirect URL before you start using this Meeting Template, you do not want to send people to example.com.
Time is money, so we’re going to set a custom reminder to send out to the buyer a couple of hours ahead of time to prevent no-shows.
Finally, we’ll want to do some reconnaissance on our potential buyer and use a custom field to ask if they have a buyer’s broker. It helps to know with whom we’re dealing ahead of time!
Pro Tip: When you embed your calendar page on your website, you can set the location from the URL based on which listing a buyer is viewing. This allows you to use the same Meeting Template to schedule multiple addresses! Coming soon: the ability to limit the number of showings per day.
Have a Meeting Template to Share?
We’re always eager to hear from our customers, so if you are a real estate agent and have a particular type of meeting you schedule with x.ai, let me know! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas!