What is Real Estate Offer Management Software?
You delivered a killer listing presentation, won over the sellers, and just launched their listing. What’s next? Perhaps you’re working with new buyers. You’ve shown them a few properties, they’ve found their dream home, and they’re ready to submit an offer. Now what? As a listing agent or a buyer’s agent, how do you handle the offer process?
Typically, the real estate offer process can be summed up in one word—emails. Lots and lots of emails. A buyer agent drafts up an offer, emails it over to their clients to sign, they sign and email it back. The buyer’s agent emails the signed offer to the listing agent and the listing agent emails the offer to their sellers—and then, more emails. All of which often results in miscommunication and wasted time.
It’s no surprise real estate agents are often drowning in emails and struggling to keep up. Fortunately, there is another (and better) way to handle the offer process. This is where an offer management system truly shines.
What is real estate offer management software?
Real estate offer management software is a tool to help real estate agents centralize and streamline the offer process. How does an offer management system differ from a CRM or transaction management software or a back office system? Let’s review the definitions of each and find out.
Offer management vs. CRM vs. transaction management vs. back office software—what’s the difference?
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software: Real estate CRM software enables agents to manage and build relationships with both potential and existing clients. It’s a lead management system and client database where you can track leads, send communications, and store and manage your client data.
Offer management software: Real estate offer management software helps agents and their coordinators streamline and manage the offer process. It allows agents to draft and sign offers, receive and organize offers, present and compare offers, and respond to offers all in one centralized system.
Transaction management software: Real estate transaction management software helps agents and brokerages streamline and manage the entire transaction process including managing listings, document storage, and compliance. Often used interchangeably with offer management, the two are different in the functionality they provide. Transaction management software focuses on managing listings and transactions, whereas offer management focuses solely on the offer process.
Back office software: Real estate back office software is used to help brokerages remain compliant and disburse agent commissions. Back office solutions are focused on managing and streamlining the post-closing process for the brokerage and their agents.
Now that we’ve cleared up the difference between the different types of real estate software, let’s dive deeper into offer management and how it can benefit you—the agent—whether you work with buyers, sellers, or both.
How offer management software works for buyer’s agents
As a buyer’s agent, you’re likely working with several buyers at one time and in a hot market, you usually have to write multiple offers for each client. That’s a lot of time spent writing offers. Not to mention, you have to do it all between showing houses and all the other work you do to keep your business running smoothly.
For buyer’s agents, offer management software helps automate your offer workflow so you can draft and submit offers faster and stay up-to-date on where your offers stand. Let’s explore how this happens at each stage of the offer process.
1. Manage clients
First and foremost, an offer management system helps you manage and communicate with clients during the homebuying process. We want to emphasize this last piece. An offer management system is not a CRM. A CRM is meant to manage leads who have yet to become clients and clients who you’ve already helped buy or sell a home. It’s not meant to handle the “in between” when you’re working with clients during the offer and home purchase process. That’s where offer management software comes into play.
With offer management software, you can add clients and work with them to digitally complete and sign documents and contracts. Oftentimes this is done with an e-signature tool, but that’s only a small piece of the puzzle. A true offer management system covers down on more than just digital signature. It allows you to assign tasks to clients, communicate information in one place, and collaborate with clients on agreements, contracts, and other documents.
2. Draft offers
Once your clients are ready to start submitting offers, it’s game time. There’s a lot to do and time is of the essence. This is where the right offer management solution can save you a ton of time. Offer management software should enable you to draft offers, while automating the time-consuming and duplicative work involved in the offer drafting process.
Unfortunately, many offer management platforms don’t allow for this. Instead, agents are forced to use their transaction management system to draft and sign offers, and sometimes, even an entirely different system just for signing. Then, they have to upload the offer to their offer management system and reenter the same offer data that they just input into their transaction management system. Whew! We’re exhausted just thinking about it, and none of this saves you any time. It’s no wonder most agents prefer their email inbox.
With an offer management solution like Jointly, you can draft and sign offers in one place. Not only that, but Jointly takes it a step further, automating the process by leveraging MLS and client data to autofill contracts and documents so you can get it all done faster. You can even create your own contract templates to speed up the process even further.
3. Sign and submit offers
After you’ve finished drafting the offer, it’s time to get the paperwork signed. Most of the time the process of drafting and signing an offer are done in two separate systems (recall the scenario above). An offer management system bridges that gap so everything is done all in one place and clients can easily e-sign any document needed for the transaction. No need to download, upload, or email anything.
The same goes for submitting an offer. Offer management software streamlines the process of submitting offers to listing agents so you don’t have to worry about emailing back and forth. The entirety of the offer drafting, signing, and submission process can all be done in one system.
With Jointly, once an offer is drafted, the process of gathering client signatures is seamless. When you’re ready to collect signatures, we notify your clients to e-sign their offer on the platform. Once they’re done, you’re automatically notified, at which point you can choose to review the offer before submitting or have it sent to the listing agent automatically after your client signs. Whether the listing agent is on Jointly or not, they’ll be notified of a new offer with all the required offer documents, an offer summary, and a personal message from the buyer’s agent.
4. Track offers
As a buyer’s agent, one of the more challenging parts of the offer process—aside from writing the offer—is knowing where it stands after you submit it. It’s an emotional and stress-inducing time for your clients as they wait anxiously to find out if they can have their dream home or not (oftentimes, texting or calling you for an update that you don’t have). The only way to find out the offer’s status is to call, text, or email the listing agent. One of the biggest benefits to using an offer management system is that you always know where your offers stand, and so do your clients. It brings transparency to the offer process for everyone involved.
Offer management software like Jointly keeps everyone in the loop by letting you know when an offer is successfully delivered, reviewed by the listing agent, and presented to the sellers. No need for any calls, texts, or emails. Everyone knows where things stand.
The benefits of an offer management system for buyer’s agents:
Hopefully by walking you through a typical offer process from the lense of an offer management platform, you can clearly see the benefits it has. Aside from showing homes to clients, the offer process takes up a huge portion of a buyer’s agent’s time. It’s often tedious and stressful, but an offer management system can help change that. Let’s recap some of the benefits.
For buyer’s agents, an offer management system:
- Streamlines your offer workflow within one system
- Keeps every offer for a client or property stored and organized in a centralized location - no more searching your email inbox!
- Enables you to draft, sign, and submit offers faster
- Eliminates multiple systems - you only need one tool for the job
- Provides a better, more transparent client experience - that gets you referrals!
- Keeps you and your clients in the loop every step of the way
- Helps you stay compliant with built-in checks for missed documents, fields, checkboxes, signatures, and initials
How offer management software works for listing agents
On the listing side, offers are what it’s all about. After all, that’s why your clients hired you for the job. They’re looking to get the best offer for their home. Winning over new clients and preparing a listing are only half the battle. What comes next is just as important.
When you’re a listing agent in a seller’s market (which these days is most markets in the U.S.), you’re likely dealing with an abundance of offers. Sometimes an overwhelming number of offers. Keeping track of all the incoming offers while juggling phone calls and texts from interested buyer’s agents and helping your clients navigate the home selling process is a lot of work.
For listing agents, offer management software streamlines the process of receiving offers, helps you stay organized, and makes presenting and comparing offers to clients significantly easier. Let’s see how an offer management platform can help you at each stage of the offer process.
1. Manage clients
Just as offer management software helps buyer’s agents manage clients, it also does the same for listing agents. We’d argue even more so since there’s a lot more upfront paperwork that needs to get done with seller clients. Remember, an offer management system is not the same as CRM. It’s not meant to manage seller leads or nurture existing clients after they’ve sold their home, it’s meant to help manage clients during the home selling process.
Once you’ve locked in a new listing and the sellers officially become your clients, there’s a few important items that need to get done. This includes completing required documents like listing agreements, seller’s disclosures, and more. Oftentimes, this paperwork is handled within a transaction management system, but we’d argue documents like the seller's disclosure are more closely tied to the offer experience since that’s where they come into play.
A robust offer management system streamlines this process and helps you and your clients complete and sign these documents before the offers start rolling in. With Jointly, when you add a new listing client, you can assign specific documents like those mentioned above for your sellers to complete and sign directly on Jointly. No need to print out PDFs, email documents back and forth, or upload them from another system. Jointly makes it easy for you to collaborate with your sellers in one place, as any offer management solution should.
2. Collect and track offers
Once your listing is live, the doors open and offers begin to pop up in your email inbox. When you have a really hot listing, this can quickly become unmanageable. Before you know it, you’re frantically sifting through emails trying to track down a particular email chain while more offers keep coming in. In reality, it’s a good problem to have, but when you don’t have a system for receiving offers, it’s a stressful problem to have.
An offer management system gets you out of your inbox and provides you with a centralized place to collect, store, and review offers. It enables you to direct buyer’s agents to submit offers to the same place, the same way.
With Jointly, every listing is assigned a unique link which you can share with buyer’s agents and add to the MLS remarks. The link routes agents to a dedicated listing portal where they can review information about the listing—including any additional information you’ve provided (for instance, if the seller will require a leaseback)—and write and submit their offer. Not only does this streamline the process of receiving offers, but it also enables buyer’s agents to craft more relevant and impactful offers that are better aligned with your seller’s needs. Plus, you’ll (hopefully) have less calls and texts from agents looking for more information. When a buyer’s agent submits an offer, you’ll be notified by email, text, or both and be able to easily view new offers right from your phone, tablet, or desktop before presenting them to clients.
3. Present and compare offers
Presenting offers to clients is a challenge in and of its own. Offer management software makes it a piece of cake. With an offer management tool, emailing offers to clients is a thing of the past. Instead, you can manage offers all in one place—reviewing, presenting, and comparing them. Offer management software allows you to easily share and present offers with your clients in a uniform way.
With platforms like Jointly, you can review offers as they come in and send them along to clients with any notes you might have. Clients are notified and can review offer documents, as well as a simplified summary of offer terms. A robust offer management system will also make comparing offers easier than ever before. When you have multiple offers in the running, simply check which ones you’d like to compare and you can generate beautiful offer comparisons in seconds—without the need for spreadsheets.
Another added benefit to using an offer management system is compliance. The Code of Ethics dictates that an agent must present every offer to the seller in a timely manner. Offer management software automates this process. With solutions like Jointly, you can see whether you still have offers to present to your clients, helping you remain compliant when it comes to presenting offers in a timely manner.
4. Respond and execute offers
You’ve helped your clients navigate the difficult decision of choosing the right offer and they’re ready to sign on the dotted line. Two things need to be done: the contract needs to be signed and all the other buyers need to be notified of the decision. Offer management software simplifies this process eliminating the need to dig through your email inbox in order to track down and respond to every offer. Since all the offers are already in one centralized location, you can respond directly from your offer management platform. With Jointly, you can even request backup offers and counter with the option to send a personal note to the buyer’s agent.
When your clients are ready to accept, you can formally accept the offer and send it to your sellers to digitally sign. With Jointly, there’s no need to drag and drop initial or signature fields on dozens of pages. Offer documents are premapped so you don’t have to do a thing. Once all parties have signed, everyone is automatically notified with a copy of the executed contract.
The benefits of an offer management system for listing agents:
As you can see, there are plenty of upsides to adopting an offer management solution. As a listing agent, you can worry less about the logistics of receiving and presenting offers and focus more on helping your clients choose the best offer for them.
For listing agents, offer management software:
- Provides you with greater control over the offer submission process
- Keeps everything—disclosures, agreements, and offers—in one place
- Makes it easy to handle multiple offer situations and generate offer comparisons
- Provides your sellers with an unmatched client experience (and hopefully more referrals for you!)
- Streamlines communication with your clients and buyer’s agents
- Keeps you compliant with the Code of Ethics
When it comes to managing the offer process, there’s no right or wrong way to do it, but there is a better way. Whether you’re a buyer’s agent, listing agent, or both, the right offer management system will do wonders in making your job easier and your clients even happier.
Interested in using an offer management system for your real estate business? Learn more about how Jointly can help streamline your offer process. Schedule a demo with a member of our team.