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4 Things to Look for When Selecting a New Transaction Management Platform

November 03 2021

If you are following my articles, you may have noticed a theme here. I have talked generally about Strategies to Running Your Real Estate Business, how to find a Technology Solution that Works for You, and most recently, how to find training for technology tools. Now I am going to be a bit more specific: four things to look for when selecting a new transaction management (TM) platform. I choose the word "platform" instead of "software" for a very specific reason. A TM platform is a tool that should be way more than just e-signing documents. I digress. But first, what is a transaction management platform (transaction management platform)? And why should you care?

Before talking about what you should be looking for, let's discuss the why. Why should you care about finding a new transaction management platform? For the simple reason that at the end of the year, the National Association of Realtors® member benefit, zipLogix, is going away. There is no time like the present to be looking for its replacement.

What Is a Transaction Management Platform?

documentsTo keep things simple, I am going to use dotloop throughout this article.

A transaction management platform is way more than just a place to get signatures. A transaction management platform is a piece of software that should enable the entire team, from the broker and the agent to the admins and transaction coordinators, to know where each and every transaction is in the process. It should be connected to whichever CRM you are using to save time for everyone involved. And it should be usable from the field (i.e., mobile-friendly).

Now that you have a general idea of what a transaction management platform should do, let's discuss the four things that you should be looking for in a transaction management platform: training, if the software is right for your business, functionality, and third-party reviews and ratings.

Training

In the article 4 Places to Find Training for Your Technology Tools, the first place that you should look for training is on the technology company's website. There should be options for live training, articles, videos, and much more. Having such options are key when selecting any new piece of software. You should feel confident that any and all questions that you need an answer to are readily available.

Keeping with dotloop as the example, they do all of these and much more. They provide online training, private training, and videos, all of which you would expect from a technology partner. But, they also provide certification, templates, and even CE courses (in most of the 50 states).

Is the Software Right for Your Business?

Asking yourself the hard questions should be the first step in determining if a piece of software is right for you and your business. Figuring out the problems you are trying to solve is a key first step in determining whether a piece of software is right for you. From experience, this is the hardest step in the process to determine if the software is right for your business.

The second step is to determine your options. There are many great transaction management platforms out there, but they are not for everyone. Each has its own specialties. What each transaction management platform specialties are is outside of the scope of this article, but it might be something we write about in the future. Only you can determine what is right for you.

Step 3 is to narrow down your options. Pick a top three and demo each and every one. While checking out the software, ask yourself three questions:

  • Does this product help me today?
  • Will this product still work for me in three to five years?
  • And will the time and money investment for this product help grow my business?

The last step in finding the right software for your business is to use it!

Functionality

There are three key benefits of a good transaction management platform: connectivity, mobility, collaboration. You will find each of these features in dotloop along with other transaction management platforms.

A good transaction management platform should be connected with any Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software that you are using. When it is time to start the process of buying or selling a home, the information you have on that client should automatically populate the forms in your transaction management platform, allowing for more transactions to be processed in less time.

We live in the smartphone era. Just about anything and everything can be done from a mobile phone or tablet. This means a good transaction management platform should also work on a mobile device. Nothing is more frustrating than being limited by the software we are using to conduct business. Our clients expect that we should be able to easily conduct business from our phones.

Collaboration—this word is used a lot when talking about software these days, be it Slack, teams, or transaction management platform. There is an expectation that our software will make it easier for agents, admins, brokers, TC, and team leads to work together. The transaction management platform should tell its users when there is a new task for them to complete instead of having to wait for an email from the agent.

Third-party Reviews and Ratings

Once you evaluate a TM solution according to the three criteria above, the final step is to find out what impartial third parties think of a solution. These metrics act as health indicators that a transaction management software is not only a good platform but also a good long-term partner. Here are some metrics to look at:

  • Customer retention rate: When evaluating a TM platform, ask the sales team what their customer retention rate is. The higher the rate, the happier their users are with the solution. Dotloop's retention rate, for example, is 98%. If a company hesitates to answer this directly, they may be trying to conceal an unfavorable retention rate.

  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) score: Another metric to inquire about is the Customer Satisfaction Score. This score is typically determined by an internal survey of a company's customers. According to dotloop, their CSAT score is 93%. Again, if a company fails to give you a clear answer to this question, be wary!

  • Online reviews and ratings: Finally, find out what a platform's customers have to say for an unbiased look at what the user experience is like. A good place to start is at review sites like Capterra. If a TM program has a mobile app, be sure to check out the reviews on the Google or Apple app stores.

It's Your Turn

It's your turn to schedule time on your calendar during the next couple of weeks to determine what your transaction management needs are going to be going into 2022. This is the time of year to plan ahead so you can grow your business, and there is no better software for you to be reviewing than your transaction management tools.

If you have any questions about what to look for in a transaction management platform or have suggestions for other articles, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or on LinkedIn.