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“What’s the best CRM”? This question is asked a million times in Realtor Facebook groups. In my opinion, “What is the best real estate transaction management software?”
Crushing the transaction is critical for happy buyers and sellers. A TMS can help deliver that experience.
Furthermore, transactions and operations are not something many Realtors are that great at. Real estate agents are outgoing and considered “people” people. Most don’t want to sit behind a computer ordering pest inspections and writing repair amendments. Good transaction management software can ensure agents shepherd their clients to the finish line with competence and earn their referrals and repeat business.
$15+/mo. DocuSign isn’t just for e-signatures but has a feature called “Transaction Rooms”, designed as a transaction management platform. Transaction Rooms is closely integrated with DocuSign, making managing contracts a breeze. The user interface is not great, but worth considering if already have and love DocuSign as your e-signature tool.
$29+/mo. DotLoop is a ubiquitous Zillow owned transaction management software. It is a complete solution, including e-signature, brokerage tools, the forms library. DotLoop is a popular solution for brokerages.
FREE+. Folio is a product by Amitree, and is a bit different than the other transaction software. It is a Gmail or Outlook extension, meaning it works entirely within your email. It recognizes and groups emails by transaction automatically, and allows you to create checklists and coordinate a transaction right there and then. Consider Folio if you are a Outlook or Gmail user and want a lightweight and easy-to-use transaction tracker tool.
$25+/mo. SkySlope is a well-reviewed transaction management tool aimed at large teams and brokerages. It has its own integrated digital signature tool, DigiSign, as well as brokers tools like forms, compliance management, document storage, analytics, and numerous integrations. SkySlope is probably the best-in-class TMS for larger organizations.
$TBD. TransactionDesk is the transaction management piece of Instanet, a transaction and brokerage backend. Instanet includes AuthentiSign, forms, and brokerage tools. It is now owned by Lone Wolf Technologies (BrokerWolf). Often, Instanet sells directly to MLSs, who buy the package to provide for their members. So there is a chance you already have TransactionDesk and the Instanet suite of tools!
FREE+. ZipLogix is “free” for many Realtors thanks to their partnership with associations. It is more than just a forms database. ZipLogix includes tools for transaction management, as well as e-signatures Digital Ink and ZipCRM. Its user interface is inferior to competitiors, but might be worth exploring if you are looking for something you already own as an agent.
Some other real estate transaction management software options include:
All-in-one platforms are just that. All-in-one. In addition to lead generation, real estate websites, email marketing, and contact management, these platforms usually have tools to manage your real estate transactions. If you have a platform or considering one, it might have what you need already. When managing your transactions, all-in-one platforms usually have everything you need. With tools to manage listings, contracts, and payments, these platforms make it easy to keep track of your real estate dealings.
There is a blurry line between transaction management tools and brokerage tools. On this list, I’ve tried to limit it to tools whose primary focus is managing the contract-to-close. These tools often focus on the holistic view of your real estate business, including accounting tools, compliance monitoring, setting required documents, and more. Examples include:
Some CRMs are equipped with transaction management functions and might suitably serve as your real estate CRM and transaction management tool. Some CRMs with decent transaction tools include:
This list is software, but if you are looking for virtual transaction coordinators or a service to do it for you, there are plenty of options.
One unique option is Transactly, a (free) transaction software, and transaction management service. You don’t have to pay for a transaction coordinator (TC). You can use the software if you like.
Many State associations partner up with one of these systems as a member benefit. For example, in my glorious state of Texas, the Texas Association of Realtors provides zipForms (and zipTMS) for all Realtor members. TransactionDesk, zipForms, and dotLoop are the three main products often provided by state associations.
There is another consideration when choosing a TMS based on your state. If your TMS is essential to be your form software, then TMS needs to have a licensing agreement with your association. Only with that agreement will they be able to have the full range of your association forms available within the TMS software.
Or, you can do what I do and have your form software (zipForms) and TMS software (Realvolve) separately.
Should you use your free, member-benefit TMS? I certainly recommend trying it, whatever it is. In my experience, the TMSs with the best UI and usability (Folio, Skyslope) are not the ones partnering with associations. But if a free version you already have meets your needs and the needs of your agents and clients, then there is no reason to spend money!
A smooth transaction is critical if you are a real estate industry professional. That is where your reputation with your buyers and sellers is made or broken.
Fortunately, there are great tools out there to fit your needs and style. Whether a simple real estate transaction tracker or a full-blown transaction management ecosystem, there is a technology to meet your needs.