The role of a real estate admin or transaction coordinator has never been more critical than now as the industry faces a new virtual world and relies on these critical roles to keep the deal moving forward.
Top-producing agents and busy brokerages rely on their transaction coordinators and admins to perform everything from scheduling photography and running compliance checklists to notifying customers of deadlines and creating social media posts. The tasks are wide and varied, and the time constraints can be increasingly challenging. Therefore, it is paramount for transaction coordinators to follow a reliable checklist to ensure nothing falls through the cracks as deals progress.
Download free transaction coordinator checklists for both the seller and buyer sides.
Fortunately, there are tech tools that can help streamline the real estate admin’s and transaction coordinator’s job, including digital checklists that help ensure every document is accounted for and that the closing meets compliance. For example, a real estate transaction management software allows transaction coordinators to create Tasks Templates, which they can add to any transaction loop, assign due dates and tasks to specific people. Best of all, admins and transaction coordinators can customize the templates to include forms and documents specific to their associations, teams, brokerages and market requirements.
Ask any agent or broker how they define their admin or transaction coordinator role, and you’re likely to get two completely different answers. In some markets, the terms are synonymous, while in others, an admin may refer to someone who helps with transactions but may also order lockboxes and assist with photography. A transaction coordinator is often an independent contractor, though they can also be members of a brokerage staff.
Despite the many differences in these roles, both admins and transaction coordinators are relying more and more on digital transaction management checklists to:
Clint Muhlenberg, owner and founder of Level, a recruiting and staffing company that focuses on helping agents hire remote admins and transaction coordinators, has worked with more than 100 real estate agents and teams to find the right talent.
He says that, first and foremost, admins and transaction coordinators should bring an emotional intelligence and self-awareness to the job. “If I’ve learned anything through COVID it’s that it’s not just about skill sets anymore,” says Muhlenberg. “You’re hiring not just for the good times but for the hard times too. Before the pandemic, everybody got kind of complacent with how things are. It was easier to get clients. Now it’s more important to hire someone who can play in the tough times.”
Because buying and selling real estate presents one of the most stressful times in a customer’s life, a great admin must be able to manage not only their own emotions but also be able to read a customer’s emotional state and manage the situation with calm, clear communication.
They also need to be self-aware and demonstrate the initiative when they’re feeling overwhelmed. “I’ve worked with so many admins who faced difficult times that could have been better managed if they had just spoken up,” says Muhlenberg. “So many will work themselves to death and would rather say ‘I’m done, I can’t do this anymore, I quit,’ rather than speak up and bring it to the table.”
Second, hiring managers should seek candidates who can help improve the team or brokerage’s current processes by enhancing the organization’s collective productivity and efficiency. “Look to their past and see how they’ve improved the productivity of their previous organizations,” says Muhlenberg. “If you can find a pattern, those are the ones who are quick to adopt new processes and find the opportunities to automate and the digital tools that make the most sense. It’s not solely about looking at a checklist and seeing if a checkbox is there.”
As some teams and brokerages face layoffs, it’s more important than ever that admins and transaction coordinators self-advocate their successes. Agents can back up their productivity with numbers, but most admin work is harder, though not impossible, to quantify. Therefore, a great admin will be able to prove their value by demonstrating how they’ve helped the organization decrease errors, lower expenses, increase repeat referrals and save the team or brokerage labor hours by implementing automated processes.
Everyone else is keeping the score but the admin. What is a touchdown in the admin world? Is it closing a file? No. It’s about improving the collective productivity and innovation of an office.
— Clint Muhlenberg, Owner and Founder of Level recruiting and staffing company
The right digital tools can go far in helping the admin or transaction coordinator to perform at maximum efficiency. As a former member of an expansion team, Muhlenberg found the dotloop for Teams dashboard (watch recorded demo) particularly helpful for giving admins a universal log-in that lets them easily toggle between agent profiles without having to log in and log out constantly. The platform also gave admins clear visibility into transactions so they know who sent what when, while allowing the creation of custom compliance workflows to speed up the review process.
“When we switched over to the Teams platform, it was a night and day difference of the workload it took off our admin teams,” Muhlenberg says.
J. Michael Manley, CEO, Founder and Owner of the J. Michael Manley Team, agrees. “Our transaction has been one of the smoothest pieces through all of this,” says Manley, as he reflects on operating during a pandemic.
At that point, I had three admins logging in and logging out [of individual dotloop agent accounts] on average 30 minutes per day. I was paying admins $15/hour … multiply that times three and we found that it was costing us $45 per day [not being on the teams-specific platform]. So when dotloop for Teams rolled around, we jumped on it.
— J. Michael Manley, CEO, Founder and Owner, J. Michael Manley Team
Dotloop makes it easy to build a transaction coordinator checklist by using Tasks templates. Admins and transaction coordinators can create one template for the buyer’s side and another for the seller’s side and then incorporate those templates into any loop, where they then assign due dates and people to specific tasks. Real estate pros can also create separate Tasks templates for marketing items or customer checklists that can be assigned with due dates to keep clients on track.
An open API and direct integrations with CRMs and accounting software help keep the entire transaction process seamless and on one platform.
With dotloop Business+ and dotloop for Teams admins and transaction coordinators can easily create transaction templates containing all necessary forms, tasks and people for agents to use and accelerate the compliance process with automation.