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Top Five Features Agents Want in a Transaction Management Solution: How does Form Simplicity stack up?

March 23 2021

document mgrDuring the pandemic, brokers and agents pivoted to embrace technology swiftly. Digital tools for agents made working not only safe but also easier. It's one reason that real estate remains one of the few silver linings in the U.S. economy.

After a record-setting year, it's clear that transaction management solutions have become a "must-have" digital tool for brokers and agents. Brokers and agents using transaction management solutions can work from home or just about anywhere else, saving time, increasing productivity, and making sure closings happen on time.

For agents, it is the little things that count when working remotely. The ability to offer electronic signings instead of having to be there in person saves a tremendous amount of time while removing the hassle of coordinating everyone's schedule. It also means no more hunting down clients for initials and "wet" signatures in blue ink, then driving back to the office to scan and copy the documents, and then distribute them to all the other parties involved in the transaction.

But we also have learned that agents need a transaction management solution to do more than provide electronic signatures.

What do agents want – and need – from their transaction management solutions?

From candid conversations with real estate agents across the nation, real estate agent Janice Zaltman assembled a list of what agents want from a transaction management solution. Here are the agents' top five features and how Form Simplicity – a leading transaction management software from the Florida Realtors – meets those needs.

1. Ease of Use

Many agents complain that the programs they are using are cumbersome. When asked about what they mean about cumbersome, agents said there are so many features, and they lack the knowledge about how to use them in the best way.

Every agent learns differently. Some are okay with video training, while others prefer live training where they can ask questions. Many agents prefer step-by-step guides along with videos and/or live training. Others wish their system was more intuitive.

Form Simplicity meets these needs in various ways. First, Form Simplicity is now more intuitive. In 2019, Form Simplicity underwent a complete overhaul of its layout to update the user experience both on desktop and mobile devices and continues to make improvements.

Second, Form Simplicity offers live training on-site and via webinars. Both options provide agents and brokers the opportunity to ask questions. In fact, in 2020, over 18,000 individuals took advantage of our live webinar training because it was an excellent opportunity to learn and learn safely. Finally, Form Simplicity's Help Center is available 24/7. In it, users may find short video tutorials, step-by-step instructions, and recorded full webinars to access on demand. Go to helpcenter.formsimplicity.com for more information.

2. Live Tech Support

When preparing transactions, time is of the essence. Having a live support staff available to answer any problems or concerns can be an enormous help. It could be to resolve an issue with the transaction management program, a question about using it on a computer, tablet, or smartphone, or a problem with their computer, laptop, or smartphone itself.

Does the brokerage's transaction management solution provide customer support that understands the questions agents are asking? Real estate agents do not want answers from a bot or read from a script by a customer service agent. That approach hurts the provider and leaves agents feeling frustrated.

Form Simplicity offers stellar support via the Tech Helpline team. Tech Helpline, owned and operated by Florida Realtors, is the No. 1 tech support service for real estate, uniquely experienced to support agents. Because Tech Helpline is fully immersed in the real estate industry, its friendly analysts can quickly understand agents' questions. With Tech Helpline, you don't get a robot. You get someone, live, who is familiar with real estate transactions. See for yourself at techhelpline.com.

3. Fillable Forms That Can Be Completed Before Signing the Contract

Some forms, such as applications to the HOA or Property Disclosures, need to be sent for clients to complete. These forms can often be quite lengthy and may require giving the client the ability to review them carefully over a couple of days. Can the documents be sent to a prospective buyer or tenant for completion without requiring a signature? Can these forms be partially worked on, saved, and then completed at a later time?

With Form Simplicity's Ultimate Edition, the answer is yes. Fillable forms can be sent to clients via the eSign feature (even if they do not need to sign it). And the clients can save the form and come back to it as necessary to complete it. Once the client completes the form, PDF copies can go to both agents automatically (when set up to do so within the system) for their records.

4. Ability to Be Reviewed by Outside Party Before Client's Signing

Does the platform allow documents to be sent to an outside party, such as an attorney or family member, for review before signing?

Form Simplicity's built-in collaboration features allow agents to give outside parties and clients permission to review and add comments in real-time to forms and files before sending the final document for signatures. It's the easiest way to track negotiation comments from all parties and keep all the information together in your transaction. Others can't make changes to the forms or files themselves. Their comments will be logged separately and visible simultaneously. Once everyone agrees on the language, you can then make any necessary changes to the final forms/files so that what the clients sign accurately reflects what all parties agreed to. Users may learn more here and at this link.

5. Total Document Storage with Downloads Available

Having all documents in one place for each transaction is essential. It creates an aptitude for being organized in a fast-paced real estate environment. It eliminates the need to look through multiple files for each document or on your computer. All of your work is in a single place – in the cloud and protected.

As an additional crucial feature, real estate agents also want to download all the documents once the transaction is complete (as a zip file or single PDF) so they can store a copy of it on their external hard drive or computer.

Form Simplicity allows you to keep all your transaction documents in a single location. It's easy to find and safely stored digitally. Form Simplicity also enables you to select all or specific files within a transaction you wish to download. The file is download as a .zip file to your computer. More information for users is here.

Do you have a suggestion?

Form Simplicity continues to solicit input from agents and brokers on ways to make improvements. By listening, Form Simplicity can make improvements that are needed in the real world – not features created by developers who never sold a home. If you are an agent or broker who uses Form Simplicity and has feedback to share, we're listening! Please send us an email with your suggestions to [email protected]

Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity. Janice Zaltman is a Realtor, LEED AP, marketing coach and writer with more than 20 years of experience in the sales, marketing and media fields.