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When It Comes to Transaction Management, a Free Solution Can Be Costly
It's clear that the digital transformation of the real estate transaction can only be achieved when agents and brokers fully embrace a transaction management system. The latest NAR study showed the top tech tools for agents, excluding email and their smartphones, were MLS websites and apps (64 percent), lockbox/smart key devices (39 percent), and social media platforms (28 percent). Transaction management software (and document storage – arguably two very different things) ranked fifth. However, fewer than one-in-five rank it as a "most valuable tool." It should be no surprise that despite two decades of digital progress, our industry still is trying to make a paperless real estate transaction standard! The good news is that list of the top three tech tools agents want to see includes predictive analytics, CRM tools and transaction management software. So how do you choose a transaction management solution that's not only the right choice for today, but one that keeps your agents' or members' interests first in the future? Why free isn't really free Technology firms have fostered the process of enticing customers with a free offer to build market share. Apps for smartphones have led the way with the "freemium" model. In fact, 90 percent of all apps downloaded from the Apple App Store are free. More than 95 percent of all apps downloaded from Google Play are free. Now think of all the apps that when you first downloaded were free or advertising free, and then later that changed. Either you wanted more features, exceeded the threshold of a limited activity, or simply needed more space. Suddenly, free can become very expensive. Dropbox is a great example. It has more than 500 million registered users. Some 13.2 million Dropbox users pay an average of $121 a year, up from $114 last year, because it's not very hard to exceed its 2GB limit for free storage. Many real estate technology offerings, including transaction management, use what is basically a freemium model (they never call it that) to build market share—and eventually revenue—when users realize they need to upgrade. But when it comes to a vital program such as a full-fledged transaction management software solution, should it ever be free? The old adage "There's no such thing as a free lunch"  should be applied to any major offering that is "free." The truth is that there is almost always a cost – it just may not be apparent at first glance. Key questions to ask When evaluating any offering that is not "costing" you anything, you need to dig a little. Here are some of the questions you need to ask: Why is it free or so low cost? Does the free offering provide the services you really need? If you need more features or to exceed the free limit, what will it cost you? How long has the software provider been around? Has the software provider shown they can endure an economic downcycle? How trustworthy is the software provider: Would they sell their software solution to the highest bidder, regardless of what it means to you? If you look back at the history of firms that have offered software solutions to the real estate industry, you can see how important these questions are to limit the risk to a brokerage and their agents in the future. #1 question to ask When it comes to evaluating your transaction management solution, whether you are securing your first contract or a renewal, the number one question you should ask is: "How well is it supported?" A unique example in the transaction management space is Form Simplicity from the Florida Realtors®. Form Simplicity is unique, as it is the only transaction management software available today that was created by Realtors for Realtors and is still owned by Realtors. At Form Simplicity, we recently updated our software to improve transaction productivity and speed up the agent and broker workflow for hundreds of thousands of Realtors across the U.S. As a result, Form Simplicity has become easier to navigate and works on any device because that's what agents and brokers want. But most importantly, Florida Realtors also owns and operates Tech Helpline, the real estate industry's #1 tech support service, available to more than 600,000 in the U.S. and Canada. Tech Helpline provides tech support for Form Simplicity. Tech Helpline's office and staff of professional tech analysts have 300+ years of combined IT experience. Known for no-nonsense technical advice and warm, friendly, customer service, Tech Helpline analysts are U.S.-based (Orlando, Florida), providing technical support by phone, chat or email. Transaction management is no longer a nice to have, but a must have. Just as we need to offer tech support for all agents, we also need all agents to embrace transaction management. But the smartest path requires asking the right questions and making sure you understand what "free" really means. More information about Form Simplicity is available online at www.formsimplicity.com, and Tech Helpline at www.techhelpline.com. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns both Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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3 Key Truths About zipForm Plus
To anyone who's ever worked in a sales position, especially in real estate--the truth matters. There's real value in presenting the straight facts to a prospect or a client. As the North American leader in real estate technology, Lone Wolf believes firmly in the power of the truth supported with facts. So today, we wanted to take a few moments to share the truth about real estate technology—specifically the newest addition to the Lone Wolf transaction management family, zipForm® Plus.
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Form Simplicity Updates to Improve Paperless Transaction Productivity
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5 Ways Brokers Benefit from Transaction Management
It's one thing to know what transaction management does--from keeping track of paperwork and requirements to submitting forms for final approval. But it's quite another thing to know what it does for the people who work in a real estate brokerage every day. So when we talk to brokers about technology, we always like to ask. How do they use transaction management? Here are some of our favorite ways that brokers have told us they use transaction management⁠--including a few innovative ones we wouldn't have thought of otherwise!
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Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity are on the road again!
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Why Lone Wolf Acquired zipLogix and What it Means for the Real Estate Industry
Today, Lone Wolf announced its acquisition of zipLogix. This news comes on the heels of other major announcements from Lone Wolf, including the release of real estate's first two-way integration for transaction management and the back office, Link, as well as the launch of a nationwide transaction management platform for Canadian real estate professionals, CREA WEBForms. Let's look at some of the details of the acquisition and what it means for the real estate industry.
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DocuSign Deepens G Suite Integration
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Buyers Force Change in Real Estate, Tech, and Everywhere
Every transaction has a buyer and a seller. The sale could be a new home, a tube of toothpaste, a smartphone, a digital movie rental, or your next take-out meal. No matter how big or small the transaction is, who is ultimately in the driver's seat? It's the buyer. Every time.
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12 Reasons Why Your Brokerage Should Use Transaction Management Software
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12 Ways to Use TransactionDesk in 2019
This month, we're looking at effective ways to set your brokerage up for maximum success in 2019. With our 12 days of business in full swing, let's take a look at TransactionDesk—and why it's a smart investment for your real estate brokerage. So how can you use TransactionDesk in 2019?
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Crye-Leike Integrates CRM, Transaction Management, and Accounting
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Simplify and Accelerate Agreements with Dropbox Extensions
Any time that DocuSign can simply life and accelerate business for our users around the world, we will. And that's why today is an exciting day: we get to showcase our latest integration with our partner, Dropbox, in the form of 'Dropbox Extensions.'
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What's the Difference Between Transaction Management and Going Paperless?
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The 5 Ws of Transaction Management Software
As a real estate professional, whether you're a broker/owner or agent, an administrator or office staff, there are tools you rely on to run your business. A website to create leads, a CRM to manage relationships, an accounting program to manage your back office. But what about a tool to manage your transactions? Why are we convinced that we need a website and a CRM to manage a real estate business, but in so many cases, the jury is still out on transaction management software?
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One Brokerage's Key to Success
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A Boutique Brokerage's High-Tech Secrets for Beating the Competition
"Small, but mighty," is how broker/owner Erica Ramus describes her firm, Ramus Realty Group. The numbers back up her claim: with just seven agents, this rural Pennsylvania brokerage closes over 200 transactions each year. Though their team is small, Ramus Realty Group's productivity dwarfs that of their larger competitors. So how do they do it? That's what we wanted to find out when we sat down with Erica during a recent webinar. Here's an in-depth look at what we learned: High Productivity Means High Expectations One key to Ramus Realty Group's success lies in their hiring philosophy: "I don't want people who don't want to work," says Erica. And work Erica's agents will. Ramus Realty Group only hires full-time agents and has a minimum production level of 24 sides per year that each agent must meet. The bottom third of her agents meet the goal of 24 sides, while the top third complete a whopping 60-70 transaction sides per year. When hiring new agents, Erica screens for a willingness to try new technologies and to follow their system. "We believe in slow to hire, quick to fire," she says. Even if someone says the right things, if they do not start using their processes and technology immediately, Erica is quick to let them go. "I want someone to fit with how we roll, and we're high tech," she says. Erica also considers the cost of someone who doesn't fit their culture. "She's costing you not just the systems and the tools that you're paying for, but she's costing morale. When people see that other people are not pulling their own weight in the company, or are not buying into what everyone else is doing, it hurts everybody." Smart Tech for a Small, Mighty Firm For agents that are willing to work hard, Erica offers plenty of support to help them meet their production goals. As an early adopter of technology and "a geek at heart," Erica began blogging and using ActiveRain shortly after her office opened in 2007. As a result of over a decade of blogging and promoting her firm's website, the site has excellent SEO, or "Google juice," as Erica puts it. Because the site brings in tons of organic leads by itself, Erica doesn't have to pay for leads. Her agents can cherry-pick the hottest leads and incubate the rest. Erica was also an early adopter of online forms. When zipForm debuted, Erica worked as an agent for another brokerage that, she says, "was still doing paper and carbon." She paid to use zipForm herself because "I knew that was the technology of the future." Technology like that, she says, makes her brokerage faster, better and stronger. Erica offers zipForm and DocuSign Transaction Rooms to create an online transaction that's not only more efficient, but also more transparent to the consumer. Her company prides itself on combining this technology with live guidance to clients about key elements of the documents they've been sent. For Ramus Realty Group, DocuSign makes it easier to close deals faster and give consumers full transparency on the steps needed to complete a transaction. "Paper and carbon and meeting someone in a coffee is great, but it's also great if my buyer is two towns away and they want to put an offer in immediately. If we can not only send it over through zipForm, but then have them DocuSign it, that's win-win." So what's on Ramus Realty Group's tech shortlist? According to Erica, it's: zipForm and DocuSign Access to the MLS Marketing tools for creating collateral like flyers and ads Trello for checklists; each listing has a Trello board RE Technology.com Two virtual assistants "[Agents] want to know that they bring the listing in, they bring the buyer in, and we're going to do the rest so that they can get in the car and go do the next deal," Erica says. Ensuring Agent Adoption Because she invests in so much technology, how does Erica ensure that her agents actually use it? "I think it depends on how important the program is to the broker. So, for example, zipForm and DocuSign -- to me, that's a drop-dead. They have to use it. If they're not using it, they're not going to be in the office." Erica is more lenient on other things, like their online lead generation program. She can see when agents are logging in to the system and collecting leads. When they don't, the system cuts them off from receiving more leads. If that behavior doesn’t change after training and coaching, the agent is let go. The key to agent adoption for Ramus Realty Group begins with agent recruiting. Erica doesn't recruit agents who show a reticence to using technology systems and processes. That's not just about efficiency, she says. It's about how today's consumer wants to do things. Selecting New Technology Erica has some advice for brokers who struggle with evaluating the myriad new technologies that debut every year--think about comfort. Are your agents comfortable enough with the technology to use it daily? The program they will actually use is the best. Also, consider if the technology solves all of your pain points. If not, look at others. As for Erica, she limits her experimentation to the types of technologies that will help her agents the most and that they are willing to use: CRM, marketing tools, lead gen and online transaction processing. The Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® provides zipForm as part of her membership, so it doesn't cost extra to provide it to her agents. Looking Ahead to Tomorrow's Tech When it comes to the technology of the future, Erica is intrigued by the promise of the blockchain. But "not necessarily for real estate sales," she says. Rather, it's the title and mortgage side of blockchain that she thinks could speed up transactions dramatically. "It could make our closings much faster if we don't have to worry about all these title issues and verifications because blockchain has enabled every step of the process." Want to hear more of Erica's thoughts on leading a tech-driven brokerage? Watch our webinar for the full-length interview. To learn more about building a technology platform for your brokerage, download this FREE guide from DocuSign.    
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7 Things to Look for in Transaction Management Software
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How Blockchain Technology Could Transform Real Estate Listings and Marketing
Tired of the redundancies, errors, delays, waste, and exorbitant fees that have been part and parcel of real estate sales transactions since the dawn of time? From portal conundrums that create property search snafus, to transactional miscommunications that lead to seemingly endless delays, it may finally be time to stop the insanity. Meet Blockchain Technology
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DocuSign Launches Strikethrough Feature for Real Estate
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Qualia Raises $33 Million for Transaction Management
It is always interesting to me when a company I have never heard of raises a pile of cash. Qualia, a real estate technology company that aims to make the closing process better for consumers, just closed a series B round, led by Menlo Ventures, with participation from 8VC and Bienville Capital. According to Qualia, the home closing is a $40 billion industry. Participants in the closing include lenders, Realtors®, title agents, escrow, home buyers and sellers—more specifically, title company, law firm, real estate agent/brokerage, mortgage lender, vendor, underwriter, home buyer/seller and institutional buyer/seller.
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[VIDEO] Lone Wolf's Virtual Meet and Greet
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MoxiWorks to Deliver LeadingRE Cloud Data Services Ahead of Big Franchises
In an announcement made to their membership, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LeadingRE) have entered into a definitive agreement with Moxi Works to provide LeadingRE Cloud to their 565+ brokerage members. Franchises and networks like LeadingRE have been providing data services for their brokers over decades. No doubt, the most notorious version is the legacy CREST system at Realogy Holdings Corporation. Keller Williams CEO, Gary Keller, has kicked off a billion dollar investment in technology. RE/MAX® is in the process to buy a company or outsource to a vendor. Berkshire Hathaway Home Services has projects underway but have not released their ambitions to the media. Remember, all franchise systems are required to have some sort of database for tracking payments from the broker to the franchise on transactions. They all need data systems to power up their franchise software solutions.
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Bitcoin Now Accepted for Real Estate Transactions in NYC and Miami
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How to Streamline Your Real Estate Transaction Using dotloop and iBroker
Integration to bring disparate technologies closer together is becoming an ever-more-popular trend as consumers come to expect increasing ease and fusion in their lives. Take the entertainment industry as an example — the Movies Anywhere platform syncs your Universal, Fox, Sony, Warner Bros., Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios digital media with Amazon, Vudu and other streaming platforms. And in health care, new electronic health records that can be more easily transferred and shared between physicians gives synchronicity to the patient experience. Those seamless technologies have taken longer to seep into real estate technology, however. Real estate brokerages and office managers typically have to juggle multiple tools and platforms in order to keep up with marketplace and consumer expectations, and that means a lot of duplicated effort — entering the same listing's information into several places, for example. But now, the ease of integration has arrived for brokerages in at least one big way: transaction management platform dotloop is now integrating with the powerful and simplified office management solution iBroker.
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RE/MAX Northern Illinois takes their network digital: Learn their tricks
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What Lone Wolf's Acquisition of Instanet Solutions Means for Brokers and MLSs
The transaction management software space is one of the most competitive categories of real estate technology. Today, Lone Wolf, one of the leading providers of broker accounting and management solutions, announced its acquisition of fellow Canadian company Instanet Solutions. This is the second transaction management software acquisition in the past two weeks. Fidelity National Financial, Inc. recently acquired a majority interest in Skyslope, another highly regarded transaction management solution.
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Which Transaction Management Tool is Right for Your Brokerage? (Part 2)
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Which Transaction Management Tool is Right for Your Brokerage? (Part 1)
Document and transaction management solutions have become ubiquitous tools for real estate brokers over the past decade. It's no wonder—these platforms save brokerages time and money, thanks to reductions in paper use, physical storage, and compliance issues. So which transaction management solution is right for you? That depends on your needs. To help you evaluate your options, this week we'll be examining two transaction management tools highlighted in our 2017-18 Technology Guide.
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How to Create a Tech-Enhanced Brokerage that Wins
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Brokermint Matures into a Top Choice for Small to Mid-sized Brokers
Last year, we introduced you to Brokermint, an all-in-one back office platform that was just emerging as a serious contender in its niche. The article came right at the moment of Brokermint's "coming of age," so to speak, when the company was adding the crucial features—like eSignature support—that made it competitive with established tools in the back office space. A lot has happened in the intervening months, and Brokermint is now well down the path to maturity. They've spent the past year adding refining the platform, adding new functionalities, and making their reports even smarter. So what's new? Here's our exhaustive list of all the latest improvements from Brokermint: New Dropbox Integration Available
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Friday Freebie: 2 Back Office Tools Go Head-to-Head!
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Give Your Brokerage a Fresh Green Start
Starting a new brokerage? Let environmental advocacy and leadership differentiate you from your competitors. The results of a recent survey clearly show that home buyers and sellers now consider the environment in their decision making. So how can you make your new brokerage green?
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5 Overlooked Ways to Process Transactions Quicker and Easier
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DocuSign is a Lifesaver for the Home Industry—Here’s Why
We don’t exactly live in the Matrix yet, but homes are definitely getting the digital treatment. Every step in a home’s lifecycle has been touched by technology—from the first construction to the final sale. It’s not just home improvement—the construction and real estate trades have come to rely on online programs to manage customers, listings, and projects. Agents set up virtual tours to entice homeowners online, book showings through the internet, and search listings using industry applications. Remodelers have found no less benefit from moving more of their business online—they score new customers through their social media and marketing efforts, or simplify their planning process using project management and 3D rendering software that make difficult renovations proceed smoothly. With so much of our work lives going digital, paper contracts feel absolutely prehistoric, which is why so many Realtors and contractors have switched over to digital signing programs. Specifically, here’s what each trade stands to gain from a more high-tech contract process.
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Dotloop and NextHome Team Up with Back Office Upstart BrokerSumo
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DocuSign Transaction Rooms and Profit Power: Stop doing double work
Tired of doing double work? Re-entering data into multiple systems is a hassle agents, brokers, and transaction coordinators are all too familiar with. The DocuSign Real Estate team is working to put an end to it with our latest integration with Profit Power! DocuSign Transaction Rooms and Profit Power have come together to provide brokerages with a streamlined solution for managing real estate transactions – from lead to close. Import transaction data captured in Transaction Rooms into Profit Power to reduce data entry, minimize errors, and increase data consistency. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3: Get set up quickly. Reach out to both your DocuSign and Profit Power Account Managers to request the integration be turned on. Then simply link your accounts from within Profit Power one time. No additional cost, no fuss.
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3 Simple Ways to Find the Time to Grow Your Brokerage While Saving 8 Hours a Week
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Reesio Training
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 12:00 PM PDT This webinar is a full-length demo of our entire product. You will walk away from the demo feeling trained and knowledgeable on all of our great features. Webinars are 1 hour long, and we'll be able to answer all of your questions during it. During the webinar, you will learn how to: Create transactions in Reesio Create and add compliance and workflow templates including creating and assigning tasks Manage your documents including uploading, sharing, editing, and eSignatures and more! Register now!
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Keep Yourself Trending with the NEW zipForm® Mobile
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DocuSign Transaction Rooms for Real Estate: Broker Edition
Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017 at 1:00 PM PST 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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The Power of Automation: Sync your transactions to QuickBooks
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The value of becoming a 'Paperless Broker'
Tens of thousands of real estate agents have embraced the digitization of the real estate transaction by going paperless. By integrating transaction management software into their daily business routine - such as Form Simplicity from Florida Realtors® - it's saved them and their clients time and frustration, as many of the most tedious and cumbersome tasks for a real estate transaction have been streamlined. Agents going paperless have also given brokers greater visibility into their business: Brokers can track and view productivity, examine work flow processes and see the status of every transaction in real time. But there is an even bigger opportunity for brokers today: going paperless themselves. A paperless broker at no additional cost Late last year, Form Simplicity made it easier for real estate management to become "Paperless Brokers" when Form Simplicity added Broker Transaction Management to its cloud-based platform. The big value for brokers: it makes a big piece of mandatory compliance requirements paperless. The biggest news for brokers whose agents use Form Simplicity? There's no additional cost for its Broker Transaction Management features. Absolutely nothing. Form Simplicity users are used to seeing robust features like these being included at no extra charge because they know that Form Simplicity is the transaction management software created by Realtors® for Realtors and is owned by the second-largest state Realtor association in America.
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Which Back Office Reports Are Most Valuable to Brokers?
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Improving Transaction Efficiency with DocuSign's Integrated Solutions
Inaccurate or incomplete documentation can bog down productivity and even undermine a trust relationship with clients—but it is an inevitable problem when transferring data between multiple software solutions throughout a real estate transaction. However, the leading document and transaction management service provider, DocuSign, recently announced enhancements to their real estate product lines that provide a true 'lead-to-close' document management strategy. Through partnerships with other leading property data, customer resource management (CRM), accounting, loan origination, and title companies, DocuSign now offers Realtors the ability to manage and track transactions—completely digitally. These new efficiency gaining tools are available to Realtors through the already familiar DocuSign Transaction Rooms for Real Estate. Agents can access property data from 100 million property listings and create a secure online transaction room that is automatically pre-populated with with key details, for efficient collaboration with agents, clients, and other parties. Even better, single sign-on capabilities enables agents to more effectively leverage some of their other everyday transaction solutions as property and transaction details are pushed directly from DocuSign's transaction room—without re-entering the data. For brokers, DocuSign's paperless transaction management solution delivers end-to-end oversight compliance. Workflow templates can be tailored to include reminders, deadlines, and even customized notifications so that transactions can be kept on track every step of the way. The digital audit trail creates added security, ensuring that documentation is complete and accurate throughout each transaction. In fact, Dilbeck Real Estate, an independent, family-owned firm with 600 agents in 14 offices, realized enhanced accountability and business security after implementing DocuSign's transaction management solution.
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How Transaction Management Helps Brokers Comply and Track
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Strategic rollout fuels RE/MAX Ability Plus DocuSign success
Jennie Franklin knew her brokerage needed a way to help agents improve transaction speed, increase efficiency in day-to-day operations, and decrease the cost and problems associated with paper processes. "We already had a paperless solution in place that wasn't working very well for us," said Franklin, Director of Operations for RE/MAX Ability Plus in Indianapolis. "We were constantly being backlogged because there was still a lot of paperwork being turned in by the agent. We needed something much more functional." DocuSign's eSignature and Transaction Room capabilities were precisely what the brokerage was looking for. At the time RE/MAX Ability Plus made the switch, Franklin had already been using DocuSign for five years. She knew that once the brokerage's 150 agents saw everything DocuSign could help them do, they'd quickly understand the benefits. "I have a goal of 100 percent adoption of DocuSign in the office because I feel so strongly about it being such a great tool," Franklin said. "As agents start to see it, they say, 'I need to get on board with this.'" As with any new program, and a sales force the size of RE/MAX Ability Plus, the key to success was a carefully planned rollout strategy. That meant talking to agents and finding out precisely what they needed the platform to do – and then delivering a system that met those needs.
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[Video] Go 100% Digital, from Lead to Close
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Friday Freebie: Try Real Estate's Easiest-to-Use Back Office Solution for 30 Days
In the world of back office software, small and mid-sized brokers may feel challenged to find a program that "fits" their business. A lot of what's on the market today is either made for enterprise level firms, is overly expensive, or is simply too clunky and difficult to use. Today, we're going to look at a solution that upends the traditional world of back office programs--and scales to fit brokerages of any size, from small boutique firms to large, multi-office companies. Read on to learn more! Free 30-day trial of Brokermint, an all-in-one back office solution At RE Technology, we often say the best solutions are the ones that work for you, not the ones you have to work at using. What we mean is that any app or tech tool that you use should make your life simpler, and not be too complicated to use. Brokermint is a back office solution that fits this description beautifully. Not only does the app handle everything from transaction management to commission management, but it does it all in one easy-to-use interface that's clean and logically designed. Brokermint is relatively new to the real estate scene, but it's steadily building buzz and loyal users, thanks to benefits like: Complete contract-to-close management that keeps track of everything--from listings to lockboxes Tasks and transaction checklists to keep agents on track Complete transaction oversight and approval to solve compliance woes Automatically import MLS listing data to save time copying and pasting Automatically calculate and track commissions and disbursements Robust reporting capabilities to help brokers make smarter, data-driven decisions Seamless integration with Quickbooks and other applications to automatically generate invoices, checks, and more And much more! Brokermint is free to try for 30 days, and no credit card is required to sign up. If you like what you see, well, it's your lucky day! We've negotiated a special 10% discount just for RE Technology readers. Click here to start your free trial and claim your exclusive discount today!
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Tired of manually managing transactions? (10/26)
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Transaction Checklists: The Magic Pill for Compliance
"Plan your work and work your plan," is a phrase we hear around the RE Technology offices a lot. It's a sage reminder that setting up processes and following set tasks is the most effective way to handle large projects. It's advice that can greatly simplify real estate transactions for agents, too, and keep brokers in compliance. Having a predetermined set of steps that agents can follow for each of their listings can greatly speed up a transaction's timeline by preventing missed documents and deadlines. This can also boost a brokerage's bottom line. If a transaction closes in 60 days instead of 90, that's 30 extra days of capital in your bank account. One way that real estate professionals are planning their work and working their plan is via transaction checklists. You may have seen similar checklists for marketing listings in your CRM, but transaction checklists are focused specifically on the steps and documents needed to keep transactions on deadline and compliant. "With transaction checklists, brokers and administrators can sleep well at night and make sure they have all the needed files, so if something happens, they know they're safe," says Andrew Chishchevoy, founder of Brokermint, a back office and transaction management solution that offers built-in checklists. "That's exactly what brokers say when they talk to us. 'I'm really worried about my business, I have 15 agents, and I want to make sure everything is structured, safe and secure.'" So what exactly should brokers include in the transaction checklists they build for their firms? Brokermint offered us insight into the items they include in their customizable checklists. Here's an overview.
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Digital Transformation: Learn how leading brokers are going fully digital from lead to close. (10/25)
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A Tool for Visualizing Your Transaction Pipeline
If you walked into any brokerage 10-15 years ago, you probably would have seen a board somewhere on the wall that listed all of the office's current transactions. With more agents working remotely today, those transaction boards are quickly becoming a relic. However, there are digital tools available that can help you visualize your brokerage's sales activity in a similar (and often superior) way. One recent favorite of ours is Brokermint, a young company based in San Diego that offers a back office and transaction management platform. What caught our eye is the prominent transaction pipeline on Brokermint's welcome screen. At a glance, brokers can see all of their active, pending, and closed listings, along with the net value of each. "The pipeline is about giving brokers more visibility into their business," says Andrew Chishchevoy, Brokermint co-founder. The company updated the pipeline feature in May, adding new filters that lets brokers view numbers like total office net, office sales volume, and office gross for all transactions. Brokers can click into individual transactions in each funnel section, and from there see everything about the transaction--including commission details, documents, actions that need to be taken, a complete activity log and more. It's an easy way to keep an eye on your bottom line and the progress of each transaction. (For more details on Brokermint's transaction management capabilities, read our product review.)
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Reesio Training (9/14)
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What DocuSign's New 'Lead to Close Strategy' Means for Brokers
DocuSign revealed a new 'lead to close' strategy for real estate at last month's Inman Connect conference in San Francisco. But what does that actually mean? Here's a breakdown. What is a 'lead to close' strategy? "Lead to close" is a succinct summation of DocuSign's new mission: to make real estate transactions 100 percent digital, from lead generation through recording of the deed. The heart of this strategy is integration with other major tools that brokers use. For example, one of DocuSign's newest partnerships is with Realtors Property Resource (RPR). Thanks to the integration, DocuSign users no longer need to enter property data into the program. That information is automatically pre-populated into DocuSign Transaction Rooms from RPR's database. Another new integration is with Lantrax's back office and accounting solution, Profit Power. All data about a property sale is pushed from DocuSign into Profit Power. By connecting transaction data to financial performance, this integration gives brokers greater insight into their business performance. DocuSign launched a similar integration with brokerWOLF, Lone Wolf's back office solution, last November.
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zipForm Plus Timely Tips and Tricks (9/14)
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DocuSign Transaction Rooms for Real Estate: Broker Edition (9/7)
Wednesday, Sept. 7, 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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How to take your Office Paperless! The 'Qualifying' Broker Dashboard, Document Review and TransactionDesk (9/6)
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Product Review: Brokermint Offers Complete Back Office Management to Small and Mid-Sized Firms
There's a new player on the back office management scene, and its name is Brokermint. We first started hearing buzz about this product almost a year ago in a handful of real estate groups that we frequent online. The software has grown up a lot since then--in April, they added electronic signature capabilities and, in November, integration with QuickBooks--making it a serious contender to replace existing systems as the back office platform of choice. Now that Brokermint has "come of age," so to speak, let's take a look at what it has to offer brokerages. Full Insight Into Your Business Brokermint bills itself as an "all-in-one" back office platform. And with the recent addition of eSignatures and accounting software integration, this is more true than ever. The solution handles everything from commission management, transaction management, reports, and more--all with the goal of increasing your firm's operational efficiency. Of course, to increase efficiency, a program must be easy to use. We've seen a lot of legacy back office solutions at RE Technology and, while powerful, too many feature interfaces that are clunky and confusing. This is not the case with Brokermint. The interface is streamlined and modern looking, and easy to figure out. We're particularly fond of the main page, which prominently displays your company's sales pipeline. Right from the get-go, brokers can see the sales value of their active, pending, and closed listings for the current month, as well as an overview of previous months. Users can click any section of the funnel to see the transactions involved; in the image above, for example, clicking the top section shows all active transactions. Click "Pending" and you'll see all pending transactions. You can access transactions directly from the pipeline screen, or you can navigate to the Transaction section.
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DocuSign Tips for Real Estate: It's All in the (Configurable) Details
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Tired of manually managing transactions? (8/31)
Wednesday, August 31, 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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Learn Simple Paperless Transaction Processes with zipForm® Plus (8/29)
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Go behind the scenes with Reesio! (8/25)
Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 10:00 AM PDT As the market remains hot and agent production numbers continue to skyrocket, staying in bounds with each and every transaction can get tricky. That's where digital transaction management becomes paramount. As Reesio's co-founder, Mark Thomas has spent years perfecting the closing platform, including creating seamless integrations for Top Producer®, zipForm® and even your MLS. In this webinar, Mark will cover Reesio's: Responsive, compliant templates and workflows Deal room collaboration tools Best-in- class e-signature integrations Integrations with Top Producer, zipForm® and your MLS Register now!
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Looking for Peace of Mind from Transaction Management Software
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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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Leverage Smart Forms to Save Your Agents Time
In real estate today, we've overcome the tiresome burden of having to 'lawyer' documents for every transaction we undertake. A commonly used document in real estate is commonly referred to as a form, and is so-called because its language has already been written by a lawyer. Frequently, state associations and NAR work with state legislators work to create forms that meet needs of all parties. In olden days, when an agent was about to process transaction, they would drive to their local association office and pick up something called a forms packet. Things are significantly more complicated today. The good news is that agents don't have to drive across town to grab forms; they can simply log-in to your brokerage's transaction management software and use the forms there. That's where things can get labor intensive, however. Depending on the complexity of the transaction, the total number of pages can easily exceed 300. Those pages may incorporate any number of forms. Fortunately, software companies recognize the value in turning "dumb forms" into "smart forms" that auto-populate with your client's information. Form Simplicity, one of the transaction management tools featured in our 2016-17 Technology Guide, excels at this. The company can program your brokerage's forms to auto-populate with information from your MLS and synch with the forms in your Form Simplicity library.
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20 Years and Counting: Still Waiting for Digital Real Estate Transactions
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Tips for Real Estate: Give Your Transaction Rooms More Than an Address, Give Them a Name
Many customers have asked in the past, "What happens if we want to create a Transaction Room for our clients, but they haven't chosen a property yet?" I would always suggest for the user to add the client's name into the address area, rather than the property address. This wasn't a perfect solution, but one that worked for many people. As of our June 2016 release, we now have a simple solution for that situation—give the Transaction Room whatever name you'd like. With the new "Name" field in the Create New Transaction modal, you can now name the Transaction Room as you wish. You can name it the property address, the client's name, or whatever you see fit. This new feature may seem somewhat trivial, but the opportunities now available within DTR are quite significant. Here are two ways to use the new Name field within Transaction Rooms.
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DocuSign Transaction Rooms for Real Estate (7/20)
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Reesio Training (7/20)
Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 12:00 PM PDT This webinar is a full-length demo of our entire product. You will walk away from the demo feeling trained and knowledgeable on all of our great features. Webinars are 1 hour long, and we'll be able to answer all of your questions during it. During the webinar, you will learn how to: Create transactions in Reesio Create and add compliance and workflow templates including creating and assigning tasks Manage your documents including uploading, sharing, editing, and eSignatures and more! Register now!
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Why Customer Service is Key to Selecting the Right Transaction Management Program
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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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How Brokerages Benefit with Transaction Management Customization
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2016 NAR & zipLogix® New Member Benefit: zipTMS™ (5/31)
Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at 10:00 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 (5/19)
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Reesio Training (5/18)
Wednesday, May 18, 2016 at 12:00 PM PDT This webinar is a full-length demo of our entire product. You will walk away from the demo feeling trained and knowledgeable on all of our great features. Webinars are 1 hour long, and we'll be able to answer all of your questions during it. During the webinar, you will learn how to: Create transactions in Reesio Create and add compliance and workflow templates including creating and assigning tasks Manage your documents including uploading, sharing, editing, and eSignatures and more! Register now!
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A Realistic Way to Manage Real Estate Transactions in a CRM
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What Are the Advantages of Technology Made for Realtors by Realtors?
A little over 10 years ago, in January 2006, we were heading into a tumultuous housing market. But a few years before things got crazy, the Florida Realtors did something brilliant - it launched a new service for its members called Tech Helpline. The concept for Tech Helpline was pretty straightforward. Technology tools for agents were coming to market at a rapid pace and many agents admitted to needing technology assistance. Just a year later, the first iPhone would be announced and that little computer-in-your-pocket ushered in a flurry of both opportunities and challenges for agents as it quickly became the smartphone of choice for most agents in our industry. Florida Realtors saw the need to help provide a tech support service early on because it listened to its members. What was created with Tech Helpline was a kind of virtual "Genius Bar" for real estate agents, who could connect with a trained tech expert by dialing a toll-free number, opening up a chat window online, or simply shooting out an email if they had a less urgent question or need. The cost to the member: It was included as a member benefit, covered by their annual association dues. In other words, it didn't cost them an extra dime. Tech Helpline was originally started as a service solely for Florida Realtors. But we quickly realized there was national need for this service and we had created a system and infrastructure that made Tech Helpline easy to scale. We began offering it as a service to other associations, and today, it is the #1 real estate tech support service in North America, making support from Tech Helpline available to almost half the Realtors in the U.S. and Canada.
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Automating Compliance: How Powerful New Tech Tools Protect Broker-owners
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Splitting PDFs in DocuSign with Fewer Clicks
If you frequently split PDFs in DocuSign Transaction Rooms, I have great news for you–splitting just got easier! With our new multiple select capability, you can now easily split large files without clicking on every single page. See how painless splitting can be by following these four steps: 1.  Open the PDF you need to split 2.  Click on Document Actions and select Split
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[INFOGRAPHIC] 5 Signs You’re Ready for a Paperless Office
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[Video] It's Your Business, It's Your Data!
Do you know how, where, and when your transaction data is being used? Brokers are overwhelmingly turning to cloud solutions to manage and complete transactions, and the handling of that transaction data is a top concern. As the facilitators of the real estate transaction, brokers are responsible for the care of sensitive client information. Are your technology vendors transparent about how and where they store your business data once it has been entered into their system? If you're not sure, watch the video below. It's a recording of a live webinar we hosted earlier today on how to evaluate technology vendors for data security. We were joined by special guests Glenn Shimkus and Georg Gerstenfeld of DocuSign, a global leader in the push for standards in digital transaction management. Brokers from across the nation tuned in to the webinar to learn key considerations and questions to ask technology providers. If you were unable to join us, don't worry. You can watch the full recording below:
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Real Estate Brokerage CRM and Leads: Working in the Old vs. NEW
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Top 5 Details to Fill Out in Your Transaction Room
When you get a new listing or your buyer finally finds the perfect house, there are a lot of details about the property you have to have at your fingertips to keep the transaction moving. Keeping the numbers and dates straight for one property can be difficult, and if you're juggling several deals, it can feel overwhelming. Filling out the Details tab in your Transaction Room can help you easily access all the information you need, anywhere, on any device. Not sure what to fill out? Check out what we suggest! 1. Transaction Information Some of the information in this section may seem like stuff you should know off the top of your head, but the item I want to highlight here is the Origin of Lead. When you have multiple deals at the same time, it can be difficult to keep track of how you attained those clients. Having this detail as part of your transaction record allows you to recap your year—how many deals did you get by referral? Was a large percentage from the lead gen tool you pay for? Take inventory at the end of the year and see where your business is coming from to help you budget for next year!
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DocuSign Transaction Rooms and Apple Watch: It Just Makes Sense
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Real Estate Transactions Are Now on Top of the Stress List
It may or may not come as a surprise to most real estate professionals that it is now public knowledge that—with respect to stress—participation in a real estate transaction is now on par with death, terminal disease, divorce, airline travel and computer repair. An article published in the October 2015 edition of the Harvard Business Journal by Leonard L. Berry from Texas A&M University and Scott Davis from Rice University reports that services such as cancer care, airline travel, computer repair and home buying and selling can trigger powerful human emotions. Even more surprising is the fact that the vast majority of the entities and individuals delivering these services are not sensitive to the level of stress their consumer experience generates. Nor are they provided with the training necessary to either demonstrate sensitivity or reduce the amount of stress their performance is largely responsible for. By this point, some readers will be rolling their eyes and not so subtly pointing out: Hey, what's new? This is the way it has always been, this is the way it will always be and, as a hyper busy real estate professional, I can't be responsible for the client's mental health. Buck up, consumers! While there may be no lack of support for this macho position, hopefully there will be a few souls who will want to better understand the big picture, because there is one. Let's start with a few facts. First, this is not our parents' real estate marketplace. A strong argument can be made to support the idea that, as a market, we are in the last vestiges of that era in which real estate agents and sales representatives have the absolute power to design and deliver the consumer real estate experience. From a consumer and regulatory perspective, we are now in an new era in which the only thing that matters is what experience the real estate consumer gains from their buying, selling and transactional experience and how they can customize that experience to make it a positive one.
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