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How to Choose the Best Real Estate Transaction Management Software

How to Choose the Best Real Estate Transaction Management Software

Transaction management is often used as a catch-all term to refer to many different kinds of real estate software—from offer management platforms to back office software. However, at its core, transaction management software is rooted in project and task management, helping agents and their teams stay on top of the many tasks associated with a real estate transaction. 

With confusion around what transaction management software is combined with the many tools that are out there on the market today, choosing the right software for your needs can be difficult. So before we jump into how to evaluate the software that’s out there, first, let’s take a closer look at how transaction management software is defined.

What is real estate transaction management software?

Real estate transaction management software is a tool to help real estate agents, teams, and brokerages streamline and manage the transaction process from start to finish. For agents, it helps them save time, stay organized, and keep transactions in sync. Transaction management software typically includes features like document storage, e-signature, task management, critical date tracking, client communication, and more.

Now, let’s go over a few definitions of software that’s commonly confused for transaction management software to better understand what it isn’t.

Transaction management vs. CRM vs. offer management vs. back office software—how are they different?

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software: Once you start acquiring leads, this is where CRM software comes into play. CRMs are used across all types of industries, including real estate, helping people track, manage, and build relationships with newly acquired leads as well as existing clients. At its core, a CRM is a lead management system and client database where you can track leads, send communications, and store and manage lead and client data.

Offer management software: Unlike CRMs, offer management software is unique to the real estate industry. Once a lead becomes a client, offer management software is used to help agents manage the offer process, whether they’re submitting offers on properties or receiving offers on a listing. The capabilities differ depending on the specific platform, but generally, offer management software should allow agents to draft and sign offer documents, receive and organize offers, present and compare offers for clients, and respond to and execute offers. 

Although there is usually some overlap between transaction management and offer management software, the primary difference is that transaction management software is used to manage the entirety of the transaction from listing to close, whereas offer management software focuses more on the activities that happen before a contract has been executed. Transaction management also covers post-execution activities from when a contract is executed up until closing, whereas offer management software generally does not.

Back office software: Once a transaction closes, back office software is used by brokerages to manage the post-closing process. This software is used to ensure compliance, pay agent commissions, and track brokerage performance.

Now that we have a better understanding of what transaction management software is and what it isn’t, let’s take a look at how it actually works and what features you should look out for when considering a transaction management solution.

How transaction management software works

When it comes to transaction management software, features vary from platform to platform, but some of the most common features you’ll find include:

Document management

Manage and store documents related to a transaction, including contracts, agreements, disclosures, and other relevant documents, to stay organized and ensure compliance.

  • Document storage
  • Electronic signature
  • Document editing
Task management

Manage and track to-dos and activities associated with a transaction to ensure transactions progress according to schedule and deadlines are met.

  • Transaction checklists
  • Critical date tracking and calendar sync
  • Contract to close timelines
Communication tools

Centralize and streamline communication between agents, teams, and clients to ensure every party is on the same page throughout the transaction.

  • Email templates
  • Notifications (SMS and email)
  • Statuses
  • Messaging

Maintain a record of each transaction and review transaction documents to ensure the necessary documents are included, signed, and completed.

  • Document review
  • One system of record
  • Built-in checks to ensure accurate and complete documents

The benefits of transaction management software

Transaction management software can be extremely beneficial to agents, teams, brokerages, and coordinators alike. All of the above features lead to smoother, more efficient transactions that result in time saved and a better overall experience for everyone involved.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits you can expect from adopting a robust transaction management solution:

For real estate agents
  • Save time with automated transaction workflows that reduce paperwork and streamline administrative tasks
  • Stay organized with all your transaction files in one place
  • Provide a better overall experience for your clients resulting in life-long clients and increased referrals
  • Communicate effectively with your team and cooperating agents
For real estate teams and brokerages
  • Better visibility into your team’s transactions and performance
  • Increase the efficiency of your agents and team admins so they can close more deals faster
  • Replicate your process and ensure your team is adhering to it through document templates, checklists, and standardized notifications
  • Ensure compliance with centralized document storage and a single source of truth for every transaction
For transaction coordinators
  • Easily access and manage transactions for the agents you work with
  • Streamline transactions with automated task management and notifications
  • Easily collaborate with your agents and their clients on a single platform
  • Keep everything on track and stay on top of key dates and deadlines

How to evaluate different transaction management software

When evaluating the different transaction management solutions that are out there, the first thing you should do is take stock of what tools you currently have in your arsenal, evaluate how they’re working for you, and use that to evaluate a new solution. To get started, ask yourself these questions:

What tools do you already have in your arsenal?

Do you currently have a transaction management platform that you use to manage your transactions or do you use a combination of tools to manage the transaction process? For instance, you may have a tool for drafting documents and another for collecting signatures and perhaps another for managing tasks.

What don’t you like about your current tools?

Once you’ve taken stock of what tools you’re using to manage your transactions, the next step is to evaluate them. Are they meeting expectations? Does your software do what you need it to do to make your life easier? What can’t it do that you wish it could do? Or what could it do better?

What are your must-haves in a new software?

At this point, you know what’s working for you and what’s not. You should have a fairly good idea of what key features you want from a new software—what the non-negotiables are, what would be nice-to-have, and what you can do without. Make a list of these features and bucket them into the above categories to help you evaluate different solutions.

What is your price point?

Last but not least, determine what price point you’re comfortable with. Transaction management software costs can range quite a bit, in dollar amount but also how you pay. Some softwares may charge a monthly subscription, a fixed annual payment, or a cost per transaction. Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few options, be sure to take a closer look at how much the software will cost for your specific situation. In most cases, it’s best to have a conversation with a sales rep to better understand the financial cost.

What to look for in transaction management software

Aside from the features we mentioned above, there are a few capabilities you should look out for when choosing transaction management software for your real estate business.

  • Automation: Software should work for you, not the other way around. Real estate transactions require a lot of manual work, whether it be drafting paperwork, emailing clients, or tracking important dates. Most of which can be automated, and that’s exactly what transaction management software should do. Automation eliminates the administrative burden of transactions, enabling you to get more done with less effort so you can focus your time on working with clients and growing your business. 
  • Collaboration: It’s no secret that real estate transactions often involve many different parties, from agents to clients, coordinators, title, mortgage, and more. Transaction software should facilitate the collaboration of these parties to ensure everyone stays on the same page throughout the transaction. A collaborative platform makes communication among these stakeholders more efficient—providing a better, more seamless transaction experience for everyone involved.
  • Compliance: At the end of the day, real estate transactions involve legally binding contracts. Ensuring these documents are accurate and complete is crucial, which is why compliance is so important. A transaction platform that can help make compliance easier by providing proper oversight, a single system of record, and accurate contracts is necessary in preventing costly compliance issues for you and your clients.
  • Flexibility: The truth of the matter is that no real estate transaction is the same. While software should provide structure and order, it should also be flexible enough to handle the different situations that might arise. Whether it be editing documents, adding additional parties, or modifying deadlines post-execution, your transaction management software should never prohibit you from getting the job done.
  • Mobility: When you’re an agent, you’re almost always on the move. But just because you’re bouncing between showings and listing presentations, doesn’t mean your other work stops. Real estate transactions often require quick turnarounds and your clients are relying on you to be on top of it, which is why mobile-friendly software is so crucial. Being able to easily manage your transactions on-the-go is a must.

Still searching for the perfect transaction management software to power your real estate business? See how Jointly can help streamline your transaction process from start to finish. Schedule a demo with our team to learn more.

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