4 Ways to a Stress-Free Real Estate Transaction | Dotloop

How Real Estate Agents Can Help Ease Client Pain During a Transaction



September 26, 2018 | comments

4 Simple Ways to a Stress-Free Transaction

Once a home is under contract, agents breathe a sigh of relief. But for clients new to the real estate transaction, the anxiety may just be starting.

For a real estate agent, a signed offer by a qualified buyer might seem like the finish line. But for clients, it can be a completely different story. The buyer may have lost out on three or four homes before having their offer accepted on this one. The seller may be facing a tight window with their next purchase contingent on this sale, not to mention the prospect of a disruptive move.

Bob Bednar, managing broker with RE/MAX Heritage Properties, Chelsea, NJ, says it’s common for clients to feel anxiety during the transaction process. Sometimes, they imagine that a lack of communication from their agent means the deal is off.

In Bednar’s experience, any step in the transaction process is a potential pain point for clients:

• Making or accepting the offer
• Requesting documentation for mortgage
• Going through the appraisal process
• Negotiating after the inspection report

In each case, it’s the agent’s job to anticipate clients’ questions and immediately address their worries.

Bednar finds that using an all-in-one transaction management system like dotloop allows his agents to easily keep their clients updated on the status of the deal to help allay those fears. Dotloop’s transaction management platform, he says, makes it easy for the agent to stay abreast of every detail in the deal and readily communicate that progress to their clients.

Here are 4 simple ways that experienced brokers and agents recommend to make the weeks before closing as stress-free as possible for everyone involved.

1. Find the Preferred Channel of Communication

The key to client satisfaction is ongoing communication. Jackson Cooper of Jensen and Company Realty in Park City, UT, suggests establishing the customer’s preferred communication medium upfront.

“Younger millennial clients tend to prefer text updates, while some older clients tend to opt for phone calls. First-time homebuyers can become particularly stressed by the process of buying a home, so it’s important for you to maintain regular contact with these clients.” – Jackson Cooper

Texts allow clients and agents to quickly receive updates on the transaction while they’re on the go and respond in-kind without stopping what they’re doing to make a phone call. In fact, according to Mobile Marketing Watch, texts have a 98% open rate compared to emails’ average 20% open rate. Also, whereas the average person takes 90 minutes to respond to an email, most take only 90 seconds to respond to their texts.

As a result, dotloop created the first-of-its-kind text Messenger, a free feature available on the iOS and Android app, which allows agents and clients to share, edit and eSign documents with real-time notifications and improved client response times.

2. Set Expectations

People’s biggest fears are of the unknown. When they don’t have information about an issue, they’ll often assume the worst.

“As real estate agents, we counsel our homebuyers through a very emotional, and often stressful, period.” – Jill Schafer

If clients know the steps in the process, what their responsibilities will be, and the kinds of hangups that might cause delays or require additional information, there’s less chance of unwanted surprises.

Here again, dotloop can help by offering Tasks, a checklist that keeps agents, admins and clients on task with next steps in the transaction management process. For instance, an agent might set Tasks to add a listing to the MLS, host an open house, get an appraisal or remind the clients to schedule movers, while an admin might set a task to submit for review, then set a date for the task and share it. The Task checklist can be saved as a template, such as Buyer’s Task List or Seller’s Task List, for future transactions as well.

3. Stay on Top of the Process

It’s simply best-practice for the agent to stay on top of the transaction every step of the way, whether or not the client has contacted them with a question. If there’s a problem that goes several days without being addressed, the delay could ultimately affect the closing schedule.

Debra Haskell, broker/owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Olive Branch, Lakeland, FL, recommends that agents speak directly to title, mortgage and the co-op agent at least once a week to ensure everything outside the agent’s direct control is progressing as planned. By viewing the Loop status, agents and admins can easily view what’s been completed, what’s in progress and next steps. Dotloop provides filters, activity logs, custom sorting features and notifications settings to help you easily Manage Your Loops.

4. Establish a System that Eliminates the Pain Points

According to Bednar, clients really don’t care about the systems and processes behind the scenes. What they’re really concerned about is knowing they got a great deal on their home purchase or a good price on their home sale.

In fact, Hank Miller, an associate broker and licensed appraiser of The Hank Miller Team of North Atlanta, believes that the best agents try to make their work in the process look boring.

“They make problems go away before their clients get wind of them. They’re anticipating problems and have solutions ready.” – Hank Miller

Every transaction is unique because every property is unique, but even the most experienced agents will struggle to remember the status of a particular deal at every little step, especially if they’re working with multiple clients at once. Here’s where a little tech automation can help.

As the industry’s all-in-one transaction platform, dotloop offers a comprehensive process, helping to ensure everything happens on time, is compliant and, most of all, that the agent has the resources needed to provide outstanding service.

When clients buy or sell a home without the added stress of a chaotic transaction process, they’re happier and more likely to tell their friends and family about the agent who made it all seem so easy. After all, it’s those agents who regularly communicated the status of the transaction that clients remember long after the transaction has closed.