Transaction management is often used as a catch-all term to refer to many different kinds of real estate software—from offer management platforms to back office software. However, at its core, transaction management software is rooted in project and task management, helping agents and their teams stay on top of the many tasks associated with a real estate transaction.
With confusion around what transaction management software is combined with the many tools that are out there on the market today, choosing the right software for your needs can be difficult. So before we jump into how to evaluate the software that’s out there, first, let’s take a closer look at how transaction management software is defined.
Real estate transaction management software is a tool to help real estate agents, teams, and brokerages streamline and manage the transaction process from start to finish. For agents, it helps them save time, stay organized, and keep transactions in sync. Transaction management software typically includes features like document storage, e-signature, task management, critical date tracking, client communication, and more.
Now, let’s go over a few definitions of software that’s commonly confused for transaction management software to better understand what it isn’t.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software: Once you start acquiring leads, this is where CRM software comes into play. CRMs are used across all types of industries, including real estate, helping people track, manage, and build relationships with newly acquired leads as well as existing clients. At its core, a CRM is a lead management system and client database where you can track leads, send communications, and store and manage lead and client data.
Offer management software: Unlike CRMs, offer management software is unique to the real estate industry. Once a lead becomes a client, offer management software is used to help agents manage the offer process, whether they’re submitting offers on properties or receiving offers on a listing. The capabilities differ depending on the specific platform, but generally, offer management software should allow agents to draft and sign offer documents, receive and organize offers, present and compare offers for clients, and respond to and execute offers.
Although there is usually some overlap between transaction management and offer management software, the primary difference is that transaction management software is used to manage the entirety of the transaction from listing to close, whereas offer management software focuses more on the activities that happen before a contract has been executed. Transaction management also covers post-execution activities from when a contract is executed up until closing, whereas offer management software generally does not.
Back office software: Once a transaction closes, back office software is used by brokerages to manage the post-closing process. This software is used to ensure compliance, pay agent commissions, and track brokerage performance.
Now that we have a better understanding of what transaction management software is and what it isn’t, let’s take a look at how it actually works and what features you should look out for when considering a transaction management solution.
When it comes to transaction management software, features vary from platform to platform, but some of the most common features you’ll find include:
Manage and store documents related to a transaction, including contracts, agreements, disclosures, and other relevant documents, to stay organized and ensure compliance.
Manage and track to-dos and activities associated with a transaction to ensure transactions progress according to schedule and deadlines are met.
Centralize and streamline communication between agents, teams, and clients to ensure every party is on the same page throughout the transaction.
Maintain a record of each transaction and review transaction documents to ensure the necessary documents are included, signed, and completed.
Transaction management software can be extremely beneficial to agents, teams, brokerages, and coordinators alike. All of the above features lead to smoother, more efficient transactions that result in time saved and a better overall experience for everyone involved.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits you can expect from adopting a robust transaction management solution:
When evaluating the different transaction management solutions that are out there, the first thing you should do is take stock of what tools you currently have in your arsenal, evaluate how they’re working for you, and use that to evaluate a new solution. To get started, ask yourself these questions:
Do you currently have a transaction management platform that you use to manage your transactions or do you use a combination of tools to manage the transaction process? For instance, you may have a tool for drafting documents and another for collecting signatures and perhaps another for managing tasks.
Once you’ve taken stock of what tools you’re using to manage your transactions, the next step is to evaluate them. Are they meeting expectations? Does your software do what you need it to do to make your life easier? What can’t it do that you wish it could do? Or what could it do better?
At this point, you know what’s working for you and what’s not. You should have a fairly good idea of what key features you want from a new software—what the non-negotiables are, what would be nice-to-have, and what you can do without. Make a list of these features and bucket them into the above categories to help you evaluate different solutions.
Last but not least, determine what price point you’re comfortable with. Transaction management software costs can range quite a bit, in dollar amount but also how you pay. Some softwares may charge a monthly subscription, a fixed annual payment, or a cost per transaction. Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few options, be sure to take a closer look at how much the software will cost for your specific situation. In most cases, it’s best to have a conversation with a sales rep to better understand the financial cost.
Aside from the features we mentioned above, there are a few capabilities you should look out for when choosing transaction management software for your real estate business.
Still searching for the perfect transaction management software to power your real estate business? See how Jointly can help streamline your transaction process from start to finish. Schedule a demo with our team to learn more.