How to Choose the Right Real Estate Transaction Management Software for your Brokerage
Real estate transactions involve a high volume of documents including checklists, appraisals, disclosures, inspection reports, listing agreements and purchasing contracts. Many brokerages have deployed electronic signature software for real estate agents to simplify document signing. But they rely on disconnected, paper-based processes for the other aspects of the transaction.
Real estate transaction management software can significantly simplify many of the workflows required throughout the transaction process. This allows real estate professionals, buyers and sellers to complete documents faster, with less risk, lower costs and better experiences.
The challenges of paper-based real estate transactions
Buyers and sellers today expect convenient, around-the-clock service and personalized, rapid buying experiences. Paper-based processes do not meet these expectations; instead, they lead to disconnected workflows, delays and errors that frustrate clients.
Real estate professionals’ time is valuable and is best dedicated to helping existing clients or finding new ones. When they have to manually complete each form, input transaction details and keep track of all the documents required during the transaction process, they’re wasting a lot of time at their desk that could be better spent with clients. In the hypercompetitive realtor job market, real estate professionals are moving to brokerages that offer the technology to make the process easier.
In addition to inefficiency, when agents, brokers and transaction coordinators must fill in so many different forms, they can easily overlook a field or enter incorrect information on a document which can lead to compliance risks.
On the brokerage side, when each agent and transaction coordinator uses a different manual method for managing real estate agreements, brokers can’t get visibility into what these professionals are doing. That visibility helps brokers understand where they can improve processes, better support staff, improve compliance and ensure a consistent process across their company.
Even when a brokerage has invested in some digital real estate tools —like e-signature or cloud storage—they’re typically individual solutions to address specific pieces of the process. Systems remain siloed and workflows are disjointed. This all results in an experience that can’t meet the expectations of clients, agents or transaction coordinators.
How a real estate transaction management system simplifies and connects the entire process
A digital real estate transaction management system (TMS) can be the glue that brings these siloed, manual processes together to simplify the transaction process from listing to close.
A TMS helps create a standardized, consistent, connected process and keeps everyone on the same page by collaborating from a central location. The TMS can automatically pull data from a CRM system to populate listing data, client information and other information for real estate documents. It can also connect with back-office accounting software to pull out and input data, allowing agents and brokers to get paid as quickly as possible. By creating a central repository for all data, a TMS gives real estate professionals a single digital system to work within and enables brokerages to monitor all agent activity.
A TMS also enables the broker to customize permissions in order to control who can see and do what in their transaction rooms–this is critical in a process where internal and external folks come together to collaborate, share and sign sensitive documents.
For example leading real estate transaction management solutions allow the brokerage to:
- Set specific task lists to ensure all steps are completed and all appropriate docs are signed
- Create pre-tagged form libraries to simplify agreement prep for agents and transaction coordinators
- Oversee all the transactions across their brokerage
- Connect to other systems such as backend accounting or front end CRMs to allow seamless data flow and a more streamlined user experience
What to look for in a real estate transaction management software
When evaluating your options, here are some features to look for:
- Pre-built integrations to the systems your team already uses such as CRM, accounting and other real estate apps.
- Open, robust APIs that make it easy to innovate and build custom applications to share data across systems.
- The capability to customize workflows to match how your brokerage operates, rather than forcing you to mold your processes to its system. Many transaction management systems have designated workflow and user roles limiting what an agent, broker or transaction coordinator can do within the system. You want the flexibility to customize what users can do and access and what roles they can take on.
- High security and privacy standards that ensure you retain ownership of your data. The TMS should offer data standards and policies that protect users’ privacy and data access rights. Your brokerage should be able to connect the data, dictate and automate where data flows and who has access to it.
- A robust e-signature solution. Most transaction management solutions include an e-signature solution, but not all e-signature solutions are created equal. Choose a solution that promotes a secure, trusted and convenient transaction process for your clients and your agents.
- Support through the setup process. A TMS is a more robust piece of technology than an e-signature solution. It’s a bigger project to set up and configure in a way that works for you. So, it’s essential to consider what help you’ll need during deployment, whether the solution offers defaults that can be used as a starting point or if the vendor provides a team to help onboard and consult with you about what works best for your brokerage.
Learn more about how transaction management software can help streamline the real estate transaction process.