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Desktop vs. Mobile: Can You REALLY Complete a Whole Transaction from Your Phone?
Here's a statistic that's truly a sign of the times: More Realtors use their smartphone daily than their laptop or desktop computer, according to NAR. That shouldn't come as too much of a surprise—smartphones are far more convenient for real estate agents who are constantly on the go, and today's mobile devices pack the power of a computer in the palm of your hand. On top of that, agents can use smartphones in ways they can't use a computer, like opening lockboxes with Bluetooth, getting directions while on the road, creating and sharing property reports during a showing, and even using their phone as a safety device. But as convenient as a phone is for all those activities, the transaction remains the most crucial part of your real estate business. That means the million-dollar question is, Can you complete an entire transaction from contract to close solely from your mobile device? To find out, we took a deep dive into the mobile app of one of the top-rated transaction platforms in the industry, dotloop. With an advanced set of features, dotloop's mobile app is at the leading edge of what a transaction app can do, and here we'll use it as an example through which to explore this question. (If you use a different transaction platform, that app may have similar features, but check with your provider to be sure.) Below, you'll find the features that are exclusive to a transaction management mobile app, which features can be found on both desktop and mobile, and which tasks can only be accomplished from your computer. Mobile Exclusive Features Your phone's built-in camera and texting capabilities means your transaction management's mobile app can do things that the desktop version can't, such as: Scan Documents Using Your Device's Camera Once upon a time, scanning a document meant using a large piece of hardware hooked up to your computer. Thanks to ever-advancing mobile camera technology, now you can just snap a photo of a document and add it to a transaction. In dotloop, this is as simple as tapping Scan document within the Docs section of a transaction and snapping a photo. (You can also simply import a document photo from your camera's photo roll.) From there, you can add more pages, edit the photo as needed, and convert it into a signable PDF. Keep the Transaction Moving via Text Messaging Today's real estate market moves quickly. Keep your clients on top of everything by leaning on your smartphone's text messaging capabilities. Dotloop allows agents to send documents for signing via text, and clients can sign directly from their own phones to keep the transaction moving at a competitive pace. Texts can be sent to individuals or groups, and all communications can be tracked or exported. Here's what that looks like in dotloop: Manage Tasks and Signings with Push Notifications Need to stay on top of important tasks? Does your client need help staying on top of crucial document signings? Your mobile phone's push notifications will instantly alert you, your team members, and your clients to tasks, document updates and more to keep the transaction on track. Overlap: What Both Desktop and Mobile Can Accomplish Your transaction management's mobile and desktop versions have plenty of capabilities in common, including: Creating a transaction Adding documents to a transaction eSigning documents Submitting documents for review Modifying document permissions Adding or completing transaction tasks Admin acting on behalf of an agent Features That Are Desktop Only While the vast majority of transaction tasks can be completed on mobile alone, there are a couple things that you'll need your regular computer for. For example, if you have duplicate transactions, you'll need to log in to dotloop's desktop platform to merge them. Likewise, you'll need your computer to submit to Greensheet/TRACS/Homebase. Other times you may need your desktop boils down to whether you have an iOS or Android phone. For example, you can remove a person from a transaction on iOS, but not on Android. In that case, Android users will have to use their computer to remove a person. On the flip side, both Android and iPhone users can submit documents for review, but only brokers using Android will be able to approve and return documents on mobile. iPhone-using brokers will have to use their laptop or desktop computer to complete this task. Learn more about the differences between dotloop's desktop and mobile versions here: iOS, Android. In Conclusion So what did we learn? Can you complete a transaction entirely on mobile? For the majority of agents, the answer is Yes. When you use a mobile app like dotloop, you can execute everything from your phone or tablet all the way from texting a new client a buyer's or seller's agreement to sending the final documents for eSigning and approval. How much of the transaction you want to accomplish on mobile is, of course, up to you. To learn more about dotloop's mobile app or to read reviews, visit the App Store or Google Play.
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Optimizing Your Workflow with Form Simplicity
Thursday, September 9, 2021 at 11:00 PDT This webinar will cover how to improve your Form Simplicity experience on the new and improved interface with time saving tips such as: Setting up Preferences Adding, Editing and Importing Contacts Adding, Editing, and Previewing Clauses Creating Forms Packages Creating Transactions Importing MLS/TAX Data into Transactions Inserting Clauses Tasks E-sign Archiving Completed Transactions Register now!
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Up Close with the Only Transaction Management Platform Made for Teams
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RPR Zips You through zipForm Integration
RPR's integration with zipForm offers yet another time-saving benefit for Realtors. With it, there's no need to jump from one platform to another when creating sales forms. Simply go directly to RPR's Property Details page from zipForm, and vice versa, with one simple click. The integration also allows Realtors to create new zipForm transactions using public records information from RPR. Take advantage of the RPR-zipForms interaction by: Logging in, selecting your photo, and accessing your RPR profile Clicking on "Connected Apps" (scroll down and it's on the right) Activating the RPR-zipForms connection, which you can now find in the "Additional Resources" box on the right Watch this under one minute video to see all of the above in action: To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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9 Automation Tricks that Will Rock Your Real Estate Business
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The Unexpected Benefits of Form Simplicity for Agents
When America locked down, real estate agents already using a digital transaction management program had an immediate advantage. As working remotely became the new normal for months, having every document, every email, and every text associated with each transaction located in one place, online and accessible 24-7, was a priceless timesaver. Overnight, transaction management software became the new "must-have" for every active real estate agent. For Form Simplicity from the Florida Realtors®, product training classes went online and were packed. As a result, a record number of agents attended training provided virtually by Form Simplicity in 2020. By mid-year, attendance exceeded all training provided the entire prior year. These were some of the unexpected consequences of the pandemic. As agents clamored to solutions that helped them work better remotely, real estate technology software saw record adoption rates as more agents went digital and paperless. Form Simplicity's growth accelerated over the last 18 months. From Alabama to Oregon, Georgia to Missouri, Form Simplicity continues to expand its presence nationwide. As one of the real estate industry's most popular and advanced digital transaction management solutions, Form Simplicity recently began providing services to nearly 100,000 Realtor members, including Missouri REALTORS, Georgia REALTORS, and Alabama REALTORS, and subscribers of Oregon Real Estate Forms (owned by the Eugene Association of Realtors and the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors). Unexpected agent benefits Support When real estate agents begin using Form Simplicity, they discover benefits they were unaware of before going digital. At the top of the list is the unparalleled support they receive from Tech Helpline, the No. 1 tech support service in real estate, with the exceptional customer service and rapid response times provided by all departments. Training Since its redesign, Form Simplicity has become one of the most intuitive, easy-to-use transaction management solutions that new agents pick up instantly. That reduces agent workflow disruption as brokers need to provide less training and avoid pulling agents out of their sales cycle. For agents who need extra help, Form Simplicity also offers outstanding training support for association staff and members to help maximize all the features it provides. Specialized Smart Forms Smart forms are at the heart of Form Simplicity – forms that allows agents to enter property data once and then automatically populate that information wherever it appears on other forms. The power of autofill in Form Simplicity is something agents covet as it reduces risk. Forms are programmed to perform calculations, conditional fields, custom mapping and more. In addition, agents no longer have to enter the same information repeatedly, which is a waste of their time and talents. It's why Form Simplicity spends so much time behind the scenes refining its technology to make sure its streamlined form programming process is unmatched in the industry. As a result, we can take custom forms an association has and turn them into Specialized Smart Forms, offering them as part of Form Simplicity – another huge benefit for agents. More than just convenient Security Turning a paper-intensive business into a digitally-driven process creates more than convenience. Having safe and highly secure (bank-grade) access to all your files in a single place online increases the productivity of every agent. Collaboration Collaboration is key to success in real estate. Unique to our business, competing agents must rely on each other to create a successful transaction. Embedded into Form Simplicity are features that enable a highly collaborative process – in real-time. Some agents want a clean document and to make sure everything is in place before sending it out for signatures. Form Simplicity's built-in collaboration feature allows an agent to share a form with another agent involved in the transaction to capture negotiated points accurately before sending out for signing. Customizable Email Signatures Another unexpected benefit Form Simplicity offers agents is offering an email signature that automatically populates. It takes just a few seconds to set up, and the agent's name and contact information are at the end of every email sent from within Form Simplicity. FREE Assistant Accounts Brokers benefit from the ability to create an "Assistant" account to help them manage forms. Also, Form Simplicity allows brokers to set specific permissions, giving them the ability to designate access for an office or a particular agent. Switch User The "switch user" feature that Form Simplicity offers helps keep busy brokers on task. For example, suppose a broker or their designated office assistant needs to take a quick look at an agent's transaction. In that case, the switch user function allows them to access the transaction, assist or provide an answer to the agent, and switch back to their Broker View. This feature is in addition to the more comprehensive Broker Review process, designed solely to allow brokers to respond quickly to urgent questions or agent needs. Is Form Simplicity for you? The final "unexpected benefit" that Form Simplicity offers both agents and brokers is an invisible feature. Form Simplicity is industry-run, operated by the Florida Realtors, the nation's largest state association. Unlike other leading transaction management software offerings, there is no influence from Wall Street or venture capital investors. At Florida Realtors, serving the needs of the real estate community and homeowners comes first, period. Associations/MLSs/brokerages can rest assured that our pricing model is fair and not inflated. Our pricing is also very straight forward unlike other companies on the market, making it easier for clients to get a very clear picture of what the pricing is, without having to account for multiple add-ons. Mobile compatibility, broker tools, and support are examples of this. Some 68 brokers from 16 Florida communities came together in 1916 to mark the beginning of the Florida Realtors. Today, Florida Realtors, now more than 205,000 members strong, continues unaltered in its mission to meet the needs of its members. That's why Form Simplicity and its sister firm Tech Helpline offer agents and brokers additional peace of mind, knowing that agents, brokers, and the Florida Realtor are always working together. To learn more about Form Simplicity, go to formsimplicity.com. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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5 Reasons Top Agents Love Using Transaction Management Software and Why You Should, Too
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Top Five Features Agents Want in a Transaction Management Solution: How does Form Simplicity stack up?
During 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.
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Why Agents Love Form Simplicity: Transaction Management Any Time, Any Place, Any Device
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How to Build a Successful Partnership with Your Transaction Coordinator
When growing your real estate business, one of the first set of tasks that you'll likely want to delegate is transaction coordination. This is an awesome strategy for leveraging your time and creating space to focus on making more sales. However, it's not as easy as just handing over the file and collecting a check at the end of the deal. While your transaction coordinator (TC) is there to handle the heavy lifting and help move the deal to closing, they still need your help to be successful. There's nothing more important than learning how to build a successful partnership with your transaction coordinator.
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How to Find a Transaction Coordinator
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3 Must-have Hacks to Save Time Using Form Simplicity
One of the most popular transaction management programs, Form Simplicity, is the only transaction management program owned by a Realtor Association -- Florida Realtors. Used by associations and brokerages across Florida and throughout the nation, Form Simplicity is also one of the most intuitive software programs helping brokers and agents manage all their transactions digitally. Whether you are new to Form Simplicity or an experienced user, you'll quickly appreciate both the ease and the power of its robust features, making working from home easier than ever. For agents and brokers who want to save even more time using Form Simplicity, we reached out to our own Kaz Cisowski, Technology Training Manager at Florida Realtors, for his best shortcuts. Since the pandemic, Kaz has been extra busy, holding virtual Form Simplicity training sessions for thousands of agents and brokers. In fact, the number of agents he's been training throughout 2020 has set a new total annual attendance record. Here are three of his best hacks to save time when using Form Simplicity, including step-by-step instructions and screenshots: Hack 1: Email Notifications Put Form Simplicity to do some of your transaction management work for you by having email notifications sent to the email address listed in the Account Information section. You can activate push notifications to your email address when using Form Simplicity's Email Notifications. Push notifications are email reminders that arrive in your inbox for events such as task reminders, collaboration comments with customers or participating third-party vendors, or broker review notifications. The notifications help to keep you on top of the paperwork and routine tasks related to your deals, giving you more time to focus on other vital work. 1. Once you log into Form Simplicity, go to the upper right side of the home page, locate, and click on the "Preferences" link. 2. Select the email notifications that you would like to receive by using the slider next to the various Notification options in the Email Notifications section. Note: Email notifications are sent to your email address that is on file with your association. If you would like to have your notifications sent to a different email address, type it in the Alternate Notification Email Address field and click the "Save Email" button. Hack 2: Create a Forms Package A forms package is comprised of a standard set of forms and files that are grouped together to simplify creating future transactions. Think of it as a template for future transactions of a particular type of deal. Group these forms together so you don't have to spend time searching for them over and over every time you want to create the same type of transaction. For example, you can create a forms package for Residential Listings. And when you have a new client for a residential listing, you can use your package to quickly add into your new transaction all of the forms and files you need. 1. The quickest way to create a forms package is to log in and click on the "Create a Forms Package" icon on the bottom of the Form Simplicity home page. 2. Name the package (i.e., Residential Listing Package), and click "Create Forms Package." Note: At this point, your folder will be empty. Add forms and files to your package next. 3. In the Forms Packages section, you will need to "Add a Form" and "Upload a File." Add and upload the Forms and Files that are customary for you to use in this type of transaction. Add Blank Forms to the Package 4. Click on "Add a Form" located below the Forms section. 5. When the Blank Forms Library window opens, click on the "Select a Library" drop-down arrow to select a library of forms, e.g., Office, State Association or Local Association. Place a checkmark next to the forms to be added, then click the "Add To Package" button. The forms you selected will now be available in your package. Upload Files to the Forms Package 6. After adding your forms to the Forms section of the package, then under the Files section, click "Upload a File." 7. You can access your files from your computer by using the "Click here to browse for files" button, then drag and drop your files in the File Upload window. Finally, give the file a description if you wish and click the "Save Files" button. Click on the "X" to remove a specific file. If you want to remove all the files, then click on the "Clear Files" button. 8. The file you uploaded will now be listed under the "FILES" section of your package. Note: Files you upload are static, i.e., not editable and will not auto-populate data. Now that you have created your Residential Listing Package, you may import this package of forms and files to your future Residential Listing transactions. For step-by-step instructions, visit the Help Center by simply logging into Form Simplicity and clicking the Help link on the navigation menu at the top right of the page. Hack 3: Create a New Clause Creating clauses will save you time by keeping the standard phrases or wording you use for your transactions within Form Simplicity. Once saved, these phrases can be accessed and used in multiple forms. The agents can create clauses for their personal use, or the broker can create clauses for all the agents in the office to use. And it's easy to apply the clauses to forms. 1. The quickest way to create a clause is to click on the "Create a New Clause" icon under the Useful Tools section on the bottom of the Form Simplicity home page. 2. This method will take you directly to the "Add New Clause" screen. Enter the name, the text of the clause, and click "Save New Clause." Note: You may repeat the process and create as many clauses as you need. 3. After creating a clause, agents will find them stored under the Personal section of the Clauses page. Clauses created by the broker will be listed under the Brokerage Wide section. As you can see, there are many ways to save time using Form Simplicity. By doing a little bit of extra work up front, you'll save time across many other transactions in the future. Kaz has even more time-saving tips that we'll share in the future. Email us your favorite at [email protected] Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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What Does a Real Estate Transaction Coordinator Do?
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Do You Have a Transaction Management Solution? 1 in 3 Agents Don't!
What's the number one way to successfully manage your business during a pandemic? Making sure you are as digital as possible. Going digital allows you to stay connected to clients while managing all the activities associated with a sale or purchase. To accomplish this, you must have a transaction management program. Yet, according to research by the National Association of Realtors, one in three agents don't have one. Let's look at all the benefits of a leading transaction management solution, Form Simplicity, to see why you need one now more than ever. 1. Works remotely, like you do Access everything related to your transactions 24/7, as everything is in the cloud. That means wherever you can connect to the internet, you can access and control your transaction. 2. Collaborate with others You can manage all your forms online and share them with your clients. You can give them access to review the forms they need to fill out and make comments on them, which you can see in real time. This allows you to stay on schedule and meet deadlines. You can also collaborate with other agents involved in the transaction and closing agents, title companies, lenders, and others. Everyone can add comments in real-time, eliminating back and forth emails. Everything is tracked—and retrievable at any time—online. 3. On any device Form Simplicity is mobile-enabled, allowing you to fill out forms, add to files, share documents with others, check your status and more—just about everything you can do on your laptop or desktop, you can do on your smartphone or other mobile devices. 4. One place for everything No more hunting for a missing document or paper client folder, as each document, email, comment, and notes are linked to the transaction, and it's all stored in a digital folder. You know exactly where everything is. 5. Work faster Smart form technology means you only have to enter data in a field once, and then it automatically populates into all other common fields throughout the transaction. You can easily import data from the MLS, reducing time spent typing and filling out repetitive data. You can get more work done in a lot less time. 6. Work smarter with digital signatures A transaction management solution would not be entirely digital without esigning. Digitally signing is a benefit your clients are going to love, and you will cherish. Intelligent forms mean no more missed signatures or initials—it automatically makes sure you won't miss a box or a line to sign. If a new form is required, that means no more chasing around trying to track down a client for a wet signature—they can do it remotely wherever they are. You don't have to leave your desk. And with bank-grade security encryption and tracking, it's the most secure way to sign. 7. Safer for you, your clients, and your broker With Form Simplicity, your library of forms always has the most current version available from your MLS, brokerage, or association. Using the most up-to-date forms protects you, your clients, and your broker from unnecessary risks. Brokers love Form Simplicity because it provides long-term storage and legal compliance. Brokers can track every stage of the transaction and sign off whenever required, instantly. And since everything is time-stamped, digitized, and well organized, it removes the fear of the work it takes to go through an audit, if one should ever occur. Going digital by adopting a transaction management solution like Form Simplicity makes your work life more manageable at a time when we all want predictability. With features like simple, intuitive navigation, built-in contacts and email, and reminders to keep everything—and everyone—on track, now is the time for everyone to use a transaction management program like Form Simplicity. If you or your broker wants to learn more about Form Simplicity, go to formsimplicity.com. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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How Much Time Can You Save with a Transaction Management Solution?
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Worth the Upgrade: How to go fully digital with the Ultimate Edition of Form Simplicity
When the vast majority of agents in America found themselves working exclusively from home, a new reality took hold. The more you could do digitally, the more likely you would remain successful throughout our health crisis. Agents and brokers who had been using a transaction management solution like Form Simplicity have stayed on top. They've been able to keep their business going by managing their transactions digitally, from listing to closing. As real estate begins its rebound, agents and brokers are looking for ways to work better remotely. For top producing brokers and agents, that means a robust, digital transaction management program. It also means using it every day. The Form Simplicity solution A transaction management program needs to be the cornerstone of going digital. But you also need to make sure you exploit all the benefits that it can provide you and your clients remotely. Form Simplicity, a leading digital transaction management solution owned and operated by Florida Realtors, is used nationwide by associations, MLSs, and brokerages. Beyond the ability to help you fully manage transactions remotely, Form Simplicity is the only leading transaction management solution created for real estate pros by real estate pros. Knowing what you need to improve your workflow and offer more remote services to your clients is what Form Simplicity does best. Every version of Form Simplicity – Starter, Professional, and Ultimate – provides these core features to help every agent work better – and faster – remotely: Everything is in the cloud and mobile-friendly: You can create, edit and store transactions online, on any device, and access anytime. Auto-populate feature – enter once: You no longer have to input the same information repeatedly on multiple forms. Get rid of clutter: Stop searching through stacks of paper files. You can find every transaction form instantly. Ditch your calculator: Eliminate math mistakes, as these smart forms do the calculations for you. Reduce your risk: All forms are always up to date, approved by the association, and are technically accurate. You won't make the mistake of using the wrong form. Do everything on your mobile phone: The newest update allows you to create and edit transactions on your smartphone or tablet, giving you total control from anywhere you are. Unmatched training and tech support: You get free and unlimited access to live and on-demand webinars along with an online library of how-to videos that walk you step-by-step through the most common tasks. If you ever need help, tech support is provided by the best in the business: Tech Helpline, also owned and operated by Florida Realtors. Tech Helpline is real estate's No. 1 tech support service, staffed by a team of the industry's most friendly, patient, and knowledgeable tech analysts who work with agents and brokers every day. The Professional Edition of Form Simplicity helps busy agents manage even more transactions remotely, providing them with up to 50 MB of online storage. And both the Professional and Ultimate Editions allow agents and brokers to do more with these additional features: Organizes even the disorganized: No more searching through countless emails and sticky notes for transaction details. Find what you need immediately. No more time spent downloading and uploading documents: Every email, text, and attachment goes directly to the right transaction, ready to view at any time. Collaborate online: You can engage clients and third parties in real-time, with comments online, again, all organized within the right transaction folder. Work in teams by giving read/write access to specific transactions to people you choose in your office. Tools for Brokers: Includes Broker Review—the ability to review, comment on and approve all forms digitally submitted by your agents. Create customizable checklists for agents to use when submitting their transactions' documentation for review. This allows your team to remain compliant. Visibility into each agent's transaction activity including email and SMS history. Ability to showcase your brand by adding your company logo to the forms your agents use in your transactions. And much more. But to go fully digital, you need the Ultimate Edition of Form Simplicity. The Ultimate Edition gives you unlimited electronic signing and unlimited online storage. For most agents, this upgrade is less than 20 cents a day. The Ultimate Edition of Form Simplicity: Solves your signature problems: No more driving around or hunting someone down to sign. Electronic signatures mean signing remotely, from anywhere, helping you close your deals on time. Bank-grade electronics signature features: It has all the security bells and whistles that makes digital signing safe. It uses advanced password protection, uses a Certificate of Authenticity (tracks date, time, email, and IP address), creates an Audit Log, and ensures every signature is legal and binding. Never worry about running out of space: Because every electronic signature session you send comes back as files that you need to store; you get unlimited storage. You also won't have to delete files to make way for new ones with unlimited document storage. You can retrieve any older file at any time. The popularity of esigning has never been higher. By investing a little more with an upgrade to Form Simplicity Ultimate Edition, agents can solve one of their most significant challenges – and time killers – when working remotely. Upgrading to the Ultimate Edition is the easiest way to go fully digital. Going digital is no longer an option; it's what your clients need – and expect. If your association, MLS or brokerage does not offer a transaction management solution, ask them to contact Form Simplicity today through our website at formsimplicity.com. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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Redesigned Form Simplicity Makes Working Remotely Easier than Ever
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Get Your Commission Check Faster by Transitioning to Virtual Transaction Management
Wes Womack from DocuSign joined us for a Coffee Chat on Monday to share some great life lessons, as well as the most compelling ways that moving to digital transaction management can help you be successful and GET PAID FASTER! Transitioning all elements of your transaction online not only simplifies the process for you AND your client, it also helps ensure that every one of your transaction folders is complete so you will not get in any trouble with your broker—or worse. Key takeaways: 1. Moving to digital transaction management will help you get paid more quickly! If you provide all of the necessary online paperwork to your brokerage, they can cut your commission check faster! 2. Free up time to spend time counseling your clients, not signing documents If you make it easier for your clients to sign documents remotely, you can spend time explaining the meaning and relevance of each form, helping to deepen the trust relationship with your client. With Zoom, GoToMeeting and other tools, you don't need to be sitting across the table from them to provide solid advice and feedback. 3. Write offers more quickly, win more deals! Even in today's uncertain times, there are still homes that are receiving multiple offers, believe it or not. Be the first to the table with a thorough, well-documented offer using digital transaction management tools. 4. Make it easier to expand your business in leasing In tough times, where residential real estate sales are slower than normal, many agents turn to rentals to provide an alternative revenue source. Upload your rental application forms and credit check forms and make it really easy for someone to rent one of your properties. Here's the recording. It's well worth the 35 minutes! FREE Digital Transaction Management Resources Still not sure about digital transaction management? Check out the links below to get started: FREE DocuSign Trial Offer 25% Discount from DocuSign FREE Training from DocuSign Don't Miss These Upcoming Coffee Chats! Thursday, April 23 How Your Digital Marketing Strategy Can Help Your Real Estate Business During COVID-19 and Beyond with Grier Allen, CEO of BoomTown Friday, April 24 Two Powerful and Effective Ways to Sell Homes with Virtual Open Houses with Kristi Kennelly, National Speaker at realtor.com, Richard McDonald, Senior Director at Matterport, and Andrew Dorn, National Speaker at realtor.com Monday, April 27 Digital Strategies for Success in Uncertain Times with Jed Carlson, CEO of Adwerx If you would like us to sign you up for all upcoming coffee chats, email [email protected] and he will get you signed up. If you would like to get notifications every time a Coffee Chat recording is published, subscribe to our YouTube channel, RETechnologyInc. Then hit the bell next to the Subscribe button and receive notifications every time we publish new educational videos. Get Recordings of All Coffee Chats If you would like to binge watch all of the Coffee Chat recordings, click here. If you would like a FREE 3-month trial of RE Technology, go to retechnology.com, click Create Account and then use one of these coupon codes: COVID-19A COVID-19B COVID-19M
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Digitally Complete Your Transactions End-to-end with Form Simplicity
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The Pros and Cons of Using a Virtual Real Estate Transaction Coordinator
Utilizing virtual real estate transaction coordinators has become increasingly more popular in the real estate industry. Many agents find their services to be extremely helpful, and will often invest in the help of one during busy months. The decision to outsource business activities is a tough one to make, though. Releasing some control over your business practices is never something that should be considered lightly. That is why we have prepared a list of pros and cons for you to review when considering hiring a virtual transaction coordinator. Hopefully, this list sets you on the right track to make the best decision for your business.
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3 Rules for Smoother Transactions and More Referrals
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Transaction Management Update: Form Simplicity gets a brand new look
One of the real estate industry's most popular and advanced paperless transaction management solutions, Form Simplicity, recently released its newly redesigned application to more than 200,000 REALTORS nationwide. The update to Form Simplicity is more than just a designed facelift. The changes improve transaction productivity and speed up agent and broker workflow. Florida Realtors®, the nation's second-largest Realtor state association that owns and operates Form Simplicity, rolled out the newest version in stages between April and July. Today, 187,000 Realtor members in Florida, 8,300 members of Arkansas Realtors Association, 2,300 members of Wyoming Association of Realtors, 7,300 members of Iowa Association of Realtors, and 10,300 members of Idaho Association of Realtors all have access to the newest version. A robust transaction management platform, Form Simplicity's Ultimate Edition includes unlimited access to eSign, its highly-secure electronic signature feature, an expanded set of broker management tools to simplify compliance and improve agent-broker workflow, and unlimited document storage. Form Simplicity's new, uncluttered look includes four key sections in the home page: Menu, Recent Transactions, Upcoming Tasks, and Useful Tools. Among the improvements: Menu: The navigation menu has been grouped so that there are fewer tabs while retaining access to all the features. Recent Transactions: A professional's most recent transactions are visible and accessible from the home page. He or she can also create a new transaction from the home page. Moreover, the flow to creating a transaction will be smoother, with colorful buttons that are easy to identify, and an expanding page to view all information together instead of toggling through tabs. Upcoming Tasks: All future tasks are color-coded and available on the home page for easy access. Useful Tools: Professionals can quickly locate the button to add a new contact, create clauses and more—right from the home page. The initial launch has generated an avalanche of positive comments, as it is being incredibly well-received by agents and brokers across the country. The most common observation: it's faster than ever. That's because Form Simplicity is running on a new and modern application architecture, from hardware to software. Change is never easy, especially when making major changes to something tens of thousands of agents and brokers use every day as the backbone of their business. But rank-in-file agents are expressing their support – and delight. Matthew Lemons, a South Florida real estate broker, notes that the new Form Simplicity has been a welcome change. "I just tried out the new Form Simplicity style now, and I have to say it is amazing. Love how convenient the new layout is. Extremely professional. I'll be sticking with you guys for a long time," Lemons said. Satellite Beach, Florida agent Peggy Hall added, "I began using the new and improved Form Simplicity...(it's a) super easy transition!" And Shermeka McSwain, a Cutler Bay, Florida agent said, "The recently updated changes are extremely great. Using the navigation, location of information and the program structure is very user-friendly." Real estate agents also appreciate what hasn't changed with the new Form Simplicity redesign. All the great features agents and brokers already love remains the same, and the new redesign is giving added attention to how important transaction management is today. Transaction management is no longer a nice to have but a must-have for real estate agents and brokers. For any transaction management solution to effectively serve the greatest number of agents and brokers possible, it needs to be easy to use and inviting. The redesign of Form Simplicity is all about making it easier to navigate, and making sure that it works on any device, because that's what agents and brokers tell us they want. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns both Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity are on the road again!
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Fixing the Last Mile in the Real Estate Transaction
Leading research firm Gartner conducted one of the most exhaustive studies into customer service to better understand what exceptional customer service meant to consumers. What they discovered was what consumers are truly looking for is an "effortless experience." The best real estate agents already know this. It's their differentiating factor. It is what drives their referral business model. It is what puts them on the REAL Trends and T3 Sixty lists of best agents. The last thing these top real estate agents want to do is jeopardize their stellar reputation for providing extraordinary customer service. The vast majority of them, ironically, do it almost every day. That's because real estate brokerages across the nation typically leave the "last mile of the real estate transaction" – when someone moves into their new home – to someone else. In effect, top agents are jeopardizing their 5-star ratings if their customer ends up with a 1-star moving experience. How can brokers fix the last mile of the real estate transaction? A new Concierge service A move is a lot more complicated than picking up the phone or going online and hiring a moving company. It involves dozens of tasks. For the average consumer, moving can often become a logistical nightmare. Many research studies in the U.S. and abroad note that moving can be one of the most stressful events in a person's life. It also can be a painful process. And because moving has so many different pieces in motion, things can go wrong; very wrong. MoveEasy fuses advanced technology with a human touch. It's a free Concierge service that real estate brokerages can offer their clients. A client can text or make a single call and change all of their utility and digital amenities, from internet to cable or satellite TV services. MoveEasy can handle anything moving related, from cleaners to painters. Heck, we even helped a client with a golf cart purchase and another one with a tzatziki recipe! Agents and teams don't have to lift a finger because the MoveEasy Concierge handles it all. White labeled to a Broker's brand Throughout the process, what the consumer sees is the broker's brand. Brokerages can add their affiliates and partners. If they own a mortgage company, title or escrow firm – they can add them all to a white-labeled MoveEasy platform. One of the principal motivations that have driven real estate firms to become a one-stop shop is to control the customer experience. By offering sales, mortgage, title, closing, insurance, and other home services, a brokerage can deliver exceptional customer service end-to-end. Remember, that's what consumers say they want: an effortless experience, before during and after a move. Making your agents and teams heroes Offering MoveEasy is how a broker can make their agents and teams a hero in the eyes of their clients. For the last mile of the transaction – the move (and beyond) – a broker can finally gain control. They ensure their agents' clients enjoy a five-star customer service experience until their real estate transaction is truly complete. After all, if you deliver 5-star customer service to your clients for three-quarters of a transaction, and then they get 1-star service at the end, it's pretty impossible to get a 5-star rating. Venkatesh "Ven" Ganapathy, Founder & CEO of MoveEasy, moving made simple by people+tech, at moveeasy.com.    
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[Best of 2017] Friday Freebie: Stay Organized with Listing and Closing Checklists
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The Secret to Client Satisfaction (and More Referrals)
The road to a closed real estate transaction is full of starts and stops. Real estate attorney Scott Gartner knows this better than most. He's based in the Chicago metropolitan area, where lawyers participate in transactions nearly 100 percent of the time. Behind the scenes, he mostly acts as transaction coordinator, "so I have the perspective of somebody who's trying to coordinate all parties in the transaction. I found the process frustrating." Missed deadlines and lack of communication are the most frequent roadblocks that Gartner says slow down a transaction. But the biggest obstacle, he says, is how "buyers and sellers feel left out of the transaction and uninformed. For most people, this is the biggest transaction of their lives, and they have no idea what's going on behind the scenes." Overcoming this obstacle is a matter of improving both customer service and communication. This, in turn, results in happier clients as well as increased referrals and repeat business.
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4 Ways to Supercharge Your Closing Activity Plans
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How to Take Advantage of the RPR and zipLogix Integration
Big things do come in small packages. And when those simple, lightbulb kind of innovations do come our way, they are likely welcome changes to the ways in which we conduct business. Such is the case with one of the more popular features offered by Realtors Property Resource® (RPR®)––with notable regard for listing agents. Through a partnership with zipForm®, the nation's leading online real estate forms provider, REALTORS® who use zipForm® and RPR can easily jump between the two platforms via one simple click, providing instant access to forms and property data needed to complete your transaction. Moreso, the integration allows REALTORS® to create new zipForm transactions using auto-populated public records from RPR. The partnership is a neatly packaged bundle of benefits that not only saves time but alleviates the pain points of having to use two of real estate's most powerful platforms independent of one another. Here's how to maximize the integration to your advantage in two minutes or less... Set up the Integration Sign onto RPR at narrpr.com. Search for your subject property. Then, from the RPR Property Details page, most REALTORS® using zipForm will automatically see the zipForm Transactions button. If not, connect by way of your RPR User Profile. Choose Link Accounts and a series of simple prompts will help begin the process. Once complete, the zipForm Transactions button will display on the RPR Property Details page. You will then have the option to: Go to specific transactions for that property address in zipForm® Start a new transaction for the street address pulled up in RPR Go to the RPR homepage
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Reesio Training
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Keep Yourself Trending with the NEW zipForm® Mobile
Monday, March 13, 2017 at 8:00 AM PST Start a Transaction on the Go with the Mobile device of your choice. The new zipForm® Mobile brings many of the zipForm® Plus functions directly to your phone or tablet. Create a New Transaction Add a Template Add Property information Add Parties information Fill in additional information using MLS-Connect (optional) Start a digital signing with both TouchSign® and zipLogix Digital Ink® Register now!
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Friday Freebie: Stay Organized with Listing and Closing Checklists
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Going Green in 2017
Real estate agents and brokers know that having a transaction management program today is a must-have to remain competitive, compliant and become more productive. But there's another huge benefit to a paperless transaction that is often overlooked: it's remarkably Earth-friendly. Being more eco-friendly remains important to a vast majority of Americans. In fact, 79 percent of Americans "agree that they consider themselves an environmentally conscious person," while only 6 percent strongly disagree, according to a Harris Poll conducted last year. The impact of paper Consider for a moment the amount of paper the average real estate agent handles during a single typical transaction—from the marketing materials and often hardcopy of a CMA at a listing presentation, to the contract, addendums, title, appraisal and documents at the closing table—the stack of paper would likely be as thick as an old telephone book for a major city! Now think about the fact that there are typically 5-6 million new and existing homes sales each year, and the fact that the typical sales transaction still provides multiple sets of paper documents for all the parties involved, and we are talking a huge negative impact on our environment. Now according to experts, it takes a little more than half a tree to make 10 reams of 100 percent, non-recycled 20-lb. copier paper. One ream of 500 sheets of paper uses about 6 percent of a tree. The bottom line is that if every real estate agent went paperless, we could potentially save millions of trees each year.
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DocuSign Transaction Rooms for Real Estate: Broker Edition
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The Power of Automation: Sync your transactions to QuickBooks
Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 10:00 AM PST In real estate we know how important it is to keep your business and accounting streamlined, so we have a fantastic solution that we built based on our own customer's needs and feedback for just that purpose! Connect Brokermint transaction management to Quickbooks and pay agents, invoice customers and send all receivables and payables, eliminating double entry and allowing you to keep your books straight, seamlessly. In a few days, on January 18 at 10am PT, our team will be hosting a webinar to share best practices with you: Why QuickBooks is a perfect fit for thousands of businesses How to sync your transaction data to QuickBooksHow to cut checks and pay your agents How to setup recurring/monthly billing How to do direct deposits and much more... All attendees get 25% off the first 3 months of their Brokermint subscription. Register now!
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Selecting the Right Document and Transaction Management Solution
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Tired of manually managing transactions? (10/26)
Wednesday, October 26, 2016 at 11:00 AM PDT Our weekly 15-minute webinar covers all the basic functions of the Brokermint system, starting with document upload, task management to more advanced functions like e-signature, pdf split-merge and Google Calendar. How to use Checklists that provide consistency for all users. Create Custom Fields – it's your business – make it personal. Set automatic Reminders for the items that matter most. Tasks – allow the system to prompt you for the necessary items needed to complete a file. No thinking, just doing! Register now!
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Digital Transformation: Learn how leading brokers are going fully digital from lead to close. (10/25)
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How Digital Signatures Will Speed Up Your Business
In Part One of this two-part series in looking at how electronic signatures work inside a transaction management solution, Tricia Stamper of Florida Realtors shows what the experience looks like from an agent's point of view. In Part Two, Stamper will show what the signature experience looks like from a clients' point-of-view. Going paperless is the fastest way for agents and brokers to improve their businesses, increase their profitability and give clients a better experience. Real estate is a mobile industry and agents are always on the go: in their home office, in their car, or meeting with clients at their home. Today, by using a transaction management program such as Realtor-created and supported Form Simplicity, agents and brokers have the mobile tools to put contracts together anywhere. Agents are no longer chained to their desk, and with Form Simplicity's integration with eSign, electronic signatures can save every agent literally hours per transaction. That translates into increased profitability and productivity for agents. Let's first take a look at how easy and fast it is for an agent to use eSign technology, as shown inside Form Simplicity: First, an agent can create an eSign session and quickly auto-populate their client information from the transaction contacts already inside Form Simplicity: (If the contact is not already in Form Simplicity, the agent can manually add them later in the process.)
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Reesio Training (9/14)
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zipForm Plus Timely Tips and Tricks (9/14)
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 12:00 PM PDT Use zipForm® Plus and its time-saving features to get you up and running for your next deal! Enhanced User Interface, E-Signature Integration, Notifications, and Advanced Search Tools are all available to help create a smooth transaction process. Build consistency with time-saving templates Complete forms with Cloud Integration capabilities Quickly search and filter transactions and Save results Register now!
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DocuSign Transaction Rooms for Real Estate: Broker Edition (9/7)
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How to take your Office Paperless! The 'Qualifying' Broker Dashboard, Document Review and TransactionDesk (9/6)
Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at 1:00 PM PDT Find out how to take your office paperless with TransactionDesk--transaction files and document checklists! We will cover all of the tools and tricks to create content for the agents to use as well as the reporting and document management functions that offer you the visibility into all of the office files. Register now!
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Tired of manually managing transactions? (8/31)
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Learn Simple Paperless Transaction Processes with zipForm® Plus (8/29)
Monday, August 29, 2016 at 11:00 AM PDT Use zipForm® Plus and it's time-saving features to get you up and running for your next deal! Enhanced User Interface, E-Signature Integration, Notifications, and Advanced Search Tools are all available to help create a smooth transaction process. Build consistency with time-saving templates Complete forms with Cloud Integration capabilities Capture contact information from popular integration providers Register now!
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Go behind the scenes with Reesio! (8/25)
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Transaction Management made easy: NAR & zipLogix New Member Benefit (8/22)
Monday, August 22, 2016 at 11:00 AM PDT In 2016, National Association of REALTORS® and zipLogix™ offer REALTORS zipTMS™ as a nationwide benefit. Each member will have access to technology that has been shaped from over 20 years of industry expertise and feedback from REALTORS® across the nation. See how zipTMS™ Transaction Management System allows you to optimize workflow offering a comprehensive set of tools that provide the essential online workplace for real estate professionals. Features of zipTMS™ include: Managing transactions with task checklists; Create checklist templates; Adjust the task view with calendar or list mode; zipForm® Plus notifications for tasks; Transaction history records all tasks and more! Register now!
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TransactionDesk Essentials (8/15)
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AuthentiSign and the Counter Offer (8/3)
Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at 10:30 AM PDT AuthentiSign and the Counter Offer will show the steps to Prepare a Counter Offer Form, Upload a 'Buyer Signed' Purchase Offer and prepare both for e-signing. We will highlight the signing participants steps to access and accept the prepared contract packet. AuthentiSign is e-Sign and UETA compliant as well as FHA approved! We look forward to 'seeing' you there!! Register now!
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Reesio Training (8/16)
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Learn simple Paperless Transaction processes with zipForm® Plus (8/15)
Monday, August 15, 2016 at 9:00 AM PDT Use zipForm® Plus and it's time-saving features to get you up and running for your next deal! Enhanced User Interface, E-Signature Integration, Notifications, and Advanced Search Tools are all available to help create a smooth transaction process. Build consistency with time-saving templates Complete forms with Cloud Integration capabilities Capture contact information from popular integration providers Register now!
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DocuSign Transaction Rooms for Real Estate: Broker Edition (8/3)
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DocuSign Transaction Rooms for Real Estate (7/20)
Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 1:00 PM PDT This webinar will cover the basics of how to use DocuSign Transaction Rooms for Real Estate so you can get started and accelerate your business! Register now!
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Reesio Training (7/20)
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How to take your Office Paperless! The 'Qualifying' Broker Dashboard, Document Review and TransactionDesk (7/8)
Friday, July 8, 2016 at 7:00 AM PDT Find out how to take your office paperless with TransactionDesk--transaction files and document checklists! We will cover all of the tools and tricks to create content for the agents to use as well as the reporting and document management functions that offer you the visibility into all of the office files. Register now!
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DocuSign Transaction Rooms for Real Estate: Broker Edition (7/6)
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Transaction Management made easy: NAR & zipLogix New Member Benefit (7/5)
Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 11:00 AM PDT In 2016, National Association of REALTORS® and zipLogix™ offer REALTORS zipTMS™ as a nationwide benefit. Each member will have access to technology that has been shaped from over 20 years of industry expertise and feedback from REALTORS® across the nation. See how zipTMS™ Transaction Management System allows you to optimize workflow offering a comprehensive set of tools that provide the essential online workplace for real estate professionals. Features of zipTMS™ include: Managing transactions with task checklists; Create checklist templates; Adjust the task view with calendar or list mode; zipForm® Plus notifications for tasks; Transaction history records all tasks and more! Register now!
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Advanced Authentisign for e-Signing and a Paperless Transaction File (6/30)
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DocuSign Transaction Rooms for Real Estate (6/15)
Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 1:00 PM PDT This webinar will cover the basics of how to use DocuSign Transaction Rooms for Real Estate so you can get started and accelerate your business! Register now!
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TransactionDesk Essentials (6/16)
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zipForm® Plus and Paperless Transactions (6/15)
Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 10:00 AM PDT Use zipForm® Plus and it's time-saving features to get you up and running for your next deal! Enhanced User Interface, E-Signature Integration, Notifications, and Advanced Search Tools are all available to help create a smooth transaction process. Create Templates Complete Forms Capture Contact information Register now!
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Reesio Training (6/15)
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Instanet Advanced: Faster Files with Form Templates, Documents in the Cloud (6/13)
Monday, June 13, 2016 at 11:00 AM PDT This session will cover how to set up transaction templates and start a new transaction file while automatically associating forms and features to have more efficient and consistent files. We will also cover: Documents Unlimited Online Document Storage in a Transaction File Authentisign Email Scan/Upload Print Drive or Fax documents Back into online files Pro View: The 'more is better' approach to file management, more functions, more features, more fun! Register now!
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Reesio Training (6/8)
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TransactionDesk Essentials (6/1)
Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at 8:00 AM PDT Join us for an essentials overview: MLS Integrations (how to access) Creating a Transaction File Using Integrated Authentisign for e-signatures Receiving signed documents back into the transaction file How to manage client files online with our web-based services Register now!
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2016 NAR & zipLogix® New Member Benefit: zipTMS™ (5/31)
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TransactionDesk Essentials (5/19)
Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 12:30 PM PDT Join us for an essentials overview: MLS Integrations (how to access) Creating a Transaction File Using Integrated Authentisign for e-signatures Receiving signed documents back into the transaction file How to manage client files online with our web-based services Register now!
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Reesio Training (5/18)
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Top 5 Secret DocuSign Mobile Features That You Don’t Know About
For those of you who are closing deals on the road--which if you aren't, you should be--here are the top five features that DocuSign Transaction Rooms users don't know are available with the mobile application. 5. Bulk Actions Bulk actions allow you to choose one or more documents and take an action on those items, like email, copy or delete. To use bulk actions, touch the bulk action icon circled below, and then touch the circle next to the corresponding items you'd like to take an action on. Touch the same bulk actions icon in the bottom left to select all or none of the documents. Touch either email, copy, or delete from the bottom right. Touch Done to leave the bulk action options.
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Behind a REALTORS® Digital Life: Musings from my Mobile
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Introducing DocuSign for REALTORS® PLUS
When DocuSign acquired Cartavi, it was easy to imagine great things as a result. We waited eagerly to see what DocuSign would do with this powerful new tool in its arsenal, and we were excited to see DocuSign for REALTORS® PLUS unveiled earlier this year. This week, we took a closer look with a guided tour—and we were not disappointed. So let me show you what DocuSign for REALTORS® PLUS can do for your business. Dashboard The DocuSign for REALTORS® PLUS dashboard is your cockpit for viewing and managing your transactions. From this home screen, you can see a quick snapshot of the latest activity related to your transactions, envelopes, and documents.
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Document and Transaction Management 101
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The Plus Side of Auto-Populating Forms (and the pitfalls!)
Here at RE Technology, we're huge advocates of anything that saves time for real estate agents. After all, saving time is one of the key benefits of real estate technology! If a tool is creating work for you, you need to take a hard look at the cost-benefit analysis. Today, I'm going to focus on just one timesaving tool, auto-populating forms, and the pitfalls you should be aware of in order to be successful with them. The Plus Side State real estate associations and the National Association of REALTORS® have worked with legislators to create forms that protect all the parties to a transaction. This is a huge leap from the days when real estate agents had to lawyer every document for every transaction. But forms are just the beginning. Modern technology has taken it a step further with the ability to auto-populate these forms. Depending on the complexity of a transaction, the total number of pages of documents can exceed 300. Some forms providers have replaced "dumb forms" with "smart forms." To clarify, dumb forms require you to enter the buyer's name every single time it is required – which is often as many as 20 forms in a transaction. Smart fields, however, allow you to enter the information just once and it populates everywhere else in the documents that that information is required.
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The Biggest Marketing Mistakes (and how to avoid them!)
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7 Tools For Working With Clients Remotely
Have you ever had to work with an out-of-town client? If you have, no doubt you've thanked your lucky stars for digital tools like digital signatures and transaction management software. Sometimes, however, your buyer or seller may need a more personal touch. So what's a far-away agent to do? Consider looking into web meeting applications. Most solutions will let you share your computer screen with clients, or chat face-to-face using a webcam. You can use these programs to review documents in real-time with clients, or simply to add a human touch that remote digital transactions can sometimes lack. There are a variety of different web meeting apps on the market, both free and paid. We've rounded up a few of our favorites below. To Download or Not to Download? That is the question and, next to price, it's probably the biggest consideration when choosing the right meeting app for you. Web meeting apps come in two flavors: those that require you to download and install software before joining or hosting a meeting, and those that work right in your browser, no installation required. Those that require installation typically offer more robust features, like the ability to record a session. However, if those features are not important to you, browser-based apps may be the way to go. GoToMeeting - If you've ever attended one of RE Technology's webinars (or most of these), you're already familiar with this program. GoToMeeting is one of the most widely used online collaboration tools. It offers desktop sharing, high-def video conferencing, the ability to record sessions, and more. The program requires software installation and a monthly subscription fee. However, there is a new free version with fewer features and no installation required. This version only works in Google Chrome for up to three participants.
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When Systems Integrate, Agents Win
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Friday Freebie: EZ Coordinator
It has been far too long since I wrote a Friday Freebie. I've seen some great offers come up during my "dry spell," so I'm very excited to have my turn again, especially with such a special freebie. You see, today's Friday Freebie is actually a bit of a twofer: two offers in a single article. The first is a free trial of EZ Coordinator from Sequent Systems, and the second is an exclusive 20% off the monthly fee once you sign up – only available to RE Technology readers. Free Trial of EZ Coordinator EZ Coordinator is more than a CRM; it is a cloud-based, paperless solution for managing leads and transactions. It all begins with a profile for each lead, where you'll store their contact information and select their status. Once they're in the system, you can easily track their progress, report showings, and monitor offers received. Meanwhile, you can create custom task lists for all your prospects and transactions with due dates, priorities and email alerts. Integration with Google Calendar allows you to keep all of your appointments in one location. Once a transaction has progressed, you can collaborate with other parties to review documents. One of the unique benefits of EZ Coordinator is the ability to create customized fields within the solution. As Sequent explains it, "You know your business best, and that's why we give you the freedom to manage your clients and transactions the way that's best for you, while providing a secure way of doing so. Best of all, there's no additional cost and our team is available to assist with customization." Other benefits include user permissions, report building, commission breakdown, and integration with DocuSign®, Mail Chimp, Infusionsoft®, Google Calendar and Google Contacts. You can read more about these features on the EZ Coordinator website: www.ezcoordinator.com. Experience everything EZ Coordinator has to offer for free during a complimentary 14-day trial. During that time, you can explore all of the features and benefits we've discussed, and the many we haven't had the time to mention. To get started, click here. 20% Off EZ Coordinator Once you've completed your free trial and decided that EZ Coordinator is right for you, we have another offer. It's exclusive to RE Technology readers! You will receive 20% off of the monthly fee with the code FREEBIE. Just click the Upgrade button at the top of your page when you're logged into EZ Coordinator.
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New Features Added to zipForm® Plus
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Friday Freebie: Transaction Management from Reesio
We frequently highlight free trial offers in our Friday Freebies column. Today, however, we're bringing you something even better--a product that's free all the time, no trial required. The best part? It's a core real estate solution that's available at no charge. Free Online Transaction Management from Reesio Transaction management platforms are one of the most effective technologies an agent can leverage to make sure their business runs smoothly. So when we heard that Reesio offered theirs for free, we decided to investigate. It's easy to assume that a free solution will cut corners or offer limited features. This is not the case with Reesio. Their platform offers a multitude of features available in more expensive solutions, like unlimited transactions and users, unlimited document storage, document management, and even eSignature integration with DocuSign. This is thanks to a business model that you can learn more about here. Additional Reesio features include: Full Compliance Management for Brokerages Customizable Workflow Templates Task Management Activity Log Public Listing and Marketing Offer Management Notes and Messaging User-level Permissions Control Click here to learn more about Reesio and get started!
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Friday Freebie: Realty Commander
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Product Review: Form Simplicity
There is a world of solutions available to agents and brokers. It's no surprise, though--real estate is one of the largest sectors of our economy, and many technology companies have recognized our industry for the opportunity that it offers. While there are plenty of solutions offered by industry "outsiders," a smaller number are created by professionals with hands-on real estate experience. Today, we're going to introduce you to one such solution. Form Simplicity is a transaction management solution created by a professional real estate organization, Florida Realtors®. Its ongoing development is, in part, shaped by a panel of REALTOR® members who ensure that the program stays in step with what agents and brokers need to be successful. A Closer Look True to its name, Form Simplicity is simple. Right from the home page, users will notice its pared down interface that offers only what agents need to work fast.
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Introducing Realty Commander
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Introducing Realty Commander
There's a wide variety of transaction management software on the market today. And it's no wonder--using a great solution is probably the easiest way agents can save themselves time and hassle, and better communicate with their clients. The key is finding the product that works best for you. Today, we'd like to introduce you to a transaction management solution that should be on the radar of any agent or broker. Realty Commander covers all the necessities of a solid transaction management platform--document sharing, task manager, calendars--but it's the extras that differentiate it. The solution excels in handling multiple different file types, like a buyer, regular listing or short sale. Other notable features include: Customizable File Flow Integrated Quick Search Daily E-Mail Reminders Task Management Paperless Document Management Smart Drag-and-Drop Calendar E-Mail Integration with Smart Tracking Lender Forms Library Short sale package builder HUD Editor Client / Guest Access Login Showings Manager for Buyers and Listings Multi-User Access Levels for Teams or Brokers
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Product Review: Form Simplicity
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Product Review: zipForm® Plus
Have you heard about zipForm® Plus? It's the new web-based version of zipForm®, the flagship product of real estate forms pioneer zipLogix. zipForm® Plus takes all the functionality that users are accustomed to and wraps it in a new, more attractive package. The updates are more than just superficial, though. zipForm® has always been a powerhouse of a solution--sometimes to an intimidating degree. zipForm® Plus' clean new interface makes navigating the program simpler, more efficient and, yes, more enjoyable for the end user. Here a quick rundown of what's new in zipForm® Plus: 100% browser based - no plug-ins or software installation required Ability to personalize files and emails Full screen form-filling capability Real-time search Integration with third party real estate applications (for the most up-to-date information, click here) zipVault integrated document storage Advanced search capabilities with real time results Feedback link for instant suggestions
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Cartavi Adds Gusto to Version 3.3
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The Cloud is for Collaboration
Most people are familiar with the Cloud primarily for its storage capabilities. From music and movies, to documents and other files, the Cloud has become the place for saving the things you care about but don't want to store on your computer. In industries like real estate, however, the Cloud also serves another essential purpose--collaboration. Real estate transactions involve many parties--not just agents and their buyer or seller clients. There are appraisers, loan officers, attorneys, and home inspectors, just to name a few. You can pick up the phone and call any of these people easily, but what happens when you need to share documents or have forms signed? Do you really want to drive all over town, or wrangle everyone's schedules to have a meeting in some central location? What if one of the parties lives out of the area? The solution is simple: take your collaboration to the Cloud. Web-based products for transaction management, document management, and electronic signatures make this possible. With mobile technology and the use of permissions to grant the appropriate level of access to the appropriate parties, Cloud technology can allow you to collaborate with anyone over any distance for a more efficient transaction. The best way to clarify this concept is to use some examples.
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This Tuesday: Learn How to Increase Productivity and Save Time
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Checklist: Are You Using These Tools for Customer Service?
Our business is all about referrals, and gaining referrals is all about providing optimal customer service. Now, I know your time is limited so I'm going to make this really easy for you. I've talked to David Lester of Sequent Systems, an efficiency expert of sorts to get his top tools for customer service – and I've compiled them into a checklist so you can see how well your practice measures up. 1) Digital signatures. This tool offers obvious benefits for you and the environment; however, it also offers significant benefits for your customers, as well. According to David, the foremost of these is timeliness. A real estate transaction involves quite a bit of "hurry up and wait," so anything you can do to speed up the process will result in a very grateful client. "Digital signatures reduce time during closings by allowing immediate signatures, no matter where the parties to the transaction may be located," says David. "In fact, digital signatures have become a truly integral component of the real estate process. That's why we decided to integrate DocuSign (a leading digital signature solution) into our real estate transaction management solution, EZ Coordinator." You can learn more about digital signatures and DocuSign in our product directory.
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Where are Your Tech Pain Points?
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Choosing a Document and Transaction Management Solution
This is the latest in a series of 'Buyer's Guides' that feature questions to ask and options to consider before making a new purchase. See our previous guides to purchasing a CMA and CRM. What are document management and transaction management? Document management and transaction management represent two distinctly different product categories. However, some companies have chosen to offer solutions that combine the two categories into a single solution. Thus, we are discussing them together here. Borrowing from our previous article on this very subject, here's a quick review of these product categories. Document management technology is intended to help real estate professionals manage documents with functions that support: digitally storing documents, sharing documents with other interested parties, organizing documents, tracking the status of documents, and (in some instances) electronically signing documents. Transaction management products are intended to help real estate professionals manage a transaction through functions such as: contact management, a calendar tool, some degree of document management, and a wide variety of other features. It provides a collaborative space for working with all the parties to a transaction through tasks (for instance ordering home inspection, coordinating mortgage, etc.). Forms management is also often a component of products that fall into this category.
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zipLogix to Preview Next Generation of zipForm at NAR Midyear
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Friday Freebie: EZ Coordinator
Our latest Friday Freebie couldn't have come at a better time. Just this week, Sequent Systems announced that their lead-to-close transaction management solution, EZ Coordinator, now integrates with Google Calendar/Contacts, MailChimp, and Infusionsoft CRM. No more double data entry! See how your favorite tools work with EZ Coordinator, risk free, with a free two-week trial membership. Read on to learn more. Free 14-day Trial of EZ Coordinator Real estate transactions begin far before it's time to sign a document. EZ Coordinator recognizes this, and that's why this transaction management solution is designed to manage the entire lifecycle of your clients from lead to close. With EZ Coordinator, you can add leads, flag them for follow-up, track showing and offers, share documents, sign, close, and more--all in one place. Additionally, EZ Coordinator works with best-in-class solutions that you already use, like DocuSign. Other features include: Unlimited Transactions, document storage and uploads Task Manager CRM (Client Relationship Manager) Calendar Integration with DocuSign, Mailchimp, Google Apps, and Infusionsoft Advanced task functions Link documents to a task In addition to their free trial, EZ Coordinator is also offering a 20% discount off the monthly charge when you use the code FREEBIE at checkout (price adjusted after you complete the sign up process). Click here to get started today!
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8 Resources for Saving 'Green' this Earth Day
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Spring Clean Your Business Processes
How organized is your work life? If you're like a lot of agents, your desk is probably scattered with random paperwork, sticky notes, and more. Your unofficial other office--your car--is probably not faring much better. You're not alone. According to a survey by staffing firm Adecco, 57% of workers admit to judging colleagues based on the tidiness of their workspace. Your co-workers, however, are likely to be far more forgiving than potential clients. Luckily, spring is finally here, and now's the perfect time to get your professional life and space organized. Deep Clean Your Business Processes Spring cleaning your work life should, yes, include your physical space, but should also be a time to take a critical eye to your business processes and technology use. Why? Because while it's easy to get organized, it's far more challenging to stay organized. Start by honestly examining your weaknesses. What are your obstacles to staying organized? Are there technological tools you can use that would help? If you find yourself buried in mountains of paper, for instance, consider purchasing a solution like zipForm® 6 that digitizes transactions and eliminates unnecessary paperwork. Conversely, are there any tools that you're paying for but not using that you could eliminate? Cleaning up your bottom line is as important as cleaning up your personal space. For the most efficient use of your time and budget, focus on acquiring tools that integrate with each other. For example, when your transaction management solution offers digital signature capability, just think how much easier it would be to collect signatures from all parties, and how much faster you could submit offers or close a deal.
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Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan
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"The Cloud" 101
Prabakar Mahalingam of GoPaperless Solutions says: You've heard so much about "the cloud," but do you really understand what it is and what the impacts are for your business? Maybe it's time to get back to the basics – with a crash course in Cloud Computing 101. Definition The cloud isn't up in the air; it's actually a bunch of servers in a data center, somewhere on the ground. What most real estate agents need to understand about cloud computing is that it is essentially any form of computing (particularly applications or storage) that takes place on the Internet. It's obviously more complicated and technical than this, but that other stuff matters for our developers – not for you, the end consumer. Use in Real Estate Each industry leverages cloud computing in a slightly different way. Some of the primary uses for real estate include: Storage – Saving and accessing data is one of the primary applications of cloud computing in any industry (just look at the popularity of Dropbox). In real estate, this is certainly true as agents seek to store signed documents, forms, contracts, photos, and other crucial information. The online vault is an example from our Real Estate Dashboard solution, where agents can access their contracts and documents anywhere, anytime, plus provide permission-based access to their clients and contacts. Fax – Sending and receiving fax electronically with cloud-based systems can help agents reduce the waste and inconvenience of paper fax. This is one of the popular features in our REDfax solution.
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Follow the Leader - Stewart Morris, Jr.
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Friday Freebie: Merge
Merge is a new technology built to help real estate professionals report listing activity to sellers. The company recently announced the release of Version 2, as well as a free 7-day trial. Free 7-Day Trial of MergeReal estate professionals can now try Merge for free for 7 days. No credit card is required in order to sign up for the trial, so you don’t need to worry about being automatically billed. To sign up for the trial, click here. About MergeAs Merge is relatively new on the scene, many of our readers may not be familiar with the technology. So, we’re going to republish their recent press release here: Activity Reports for Sellers Made Easy with Merge This exciting new platform has recently emerged from beta, launching Version 2 and gaining cross-industry buzz. Lakewood Ranch, FL (June 2012) – Merge, released new software today to support the real estate agent in reporting listing activities to their seller. Real estate listing agents accomplish an astonishing array of tasks throughout  the process of representing a home seller; relaying all of these activities to the seller informs them of the valuable services being provided by their agent. “Real estate agents are constantly having to justify their commission,” explains Joel Beasley, Merge Founder and Developer. “Yet, they’re not doing this effectively. In fact, research indicates that the typical agent communicates only 31% of what they actually do for their sellers. If you’re only explaining 31%, how can you justify 100% of your commission? That’s what I had in mind when I created Merge.”
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Product Review: myFirstAm
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Product Review: Instanet Solutions Suite
RE Technology usually tries to keep product reviews simple, focusing only on a single product from a single company at one time. However, we are deviating from our usual routine for this review with very good reason: the suite of products from Instanet Solutions integrate so seamlessly that to try to cover each separately would be doing a disservice to readers and to the product. Still, it's important to note that each of the products mentioned in this review can be purchased separately, if you so choose. The Basics To make this as easy to visualize and understand as possible, we will first walk through some of the most basic tasks related to a new transaction. We'll begin in TransactionDesk, Instanet's transaction management solution. There are several ways to create a transaction: If you're a member of certain MLSs, you can use the one-click transaction option from within the MLS to automatically import all the information. You can also create a new transaction from within TransactionDesk by entering a transaction name, a data source, a property type, and an MLS or APN number. This method of creating a transaction will also automatically import information from your MLS or a tax service. Here's an example: Whether you're using the one-click transaction option or creating a transaction manually, Instanet will automatically load the property information, the parties involved (including contact information, in many cases), and the forms necessary to complete the transaction.
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