Looking Back: Our Top 5 Expert Takeaways from 2021
It’s almost 2022 and our heads are still spinning.
Real estate this year has been incredibly hectic, leaving even the most agile businesses with very little time to react. But there is good news.
If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that by giving your real estate clients and team members more information, more autonomy, and more visibility into the homebuying process, you can win their trust no matter what comes next.
Here at Preclose, we strive to help you deliver that experience.
This year, we had the pleasure of sitting down with real estate brokers, TCs, coaches and other top industry experts to learn more about what makes a real estate brand best-in-class as we move into this bold new era. We also worked closely with our own team and clients to implement transaction coordinator software features that help bring that vision to life.
Not using Preclose GO! yet? Now is the best time to re-evaluate your real estate tech stack and focus on the systems that make the biggest difference for clients. Find out how Preclose GO! makes the closing experience memorable with a free 14-day trial.
Our Top 5 Moments from 2021
Expert Takeaway #1: Prevent burnout, support your TCs.
“As you’re intentional about investing into your support staff, the potential for return can and will greatly outweigh the cost.” — David Breckheimer, Coach, Consultant, and Trainer at Cultivate Wins
One of our favorite expert takeaways this year has been to support your staff — especially your TCs.
Real estate has always been an industry with a high risk of burnout, but when you add in how hectic the housing market has been this year — you have a recipe for exhaustion.
With interest rates dropping, we’ve seen the number of homebuyers skyrocket. While this can create the proverbial “champagne trouble” for agents, transaction coordinators and the rest of your support staff may be feeling the brunt of the increased volume.
Of course, there’s also the fact that 75% of workers were actively thinking about quitting their jobs in Q3. 😬
No matter how much time you’ve invested in creating a killer culture for your real estate team, no business is immune from the impact of the “Great Resignation.”
Now more than ever, it’s important to ensure your team is well-rested, well-supported and ready to provide an exceptional experience for your clients.
Ready to start using Preclose GO! with your team? Communication and collaboration is made so simple and transparent, your buyers and sellers will be referring you to everyone they meet. Check it out for free!
Ways to Win: Creating a better work/life balance
"I wanted to be able to go home and be done with work.” — Catherine Evans, Director of Transaction Management, The Rawls Group - Keller Williams
Transaction coordination ace Catherine Evans sat down with us and shared how she uses Preclose GO! to create a better work/life balance for herself and her family.
Recently joining the industry with a goal of having more time for her family, Catherine was faced with the task of creating workflows that would help her make the most of her time.
Here are some of the ways high-impact TCs like Catherine are winning their time back:
Utilize repeatable TC checklists to organize tasks, documents, and deadlines
Find tools that allow you to keep and view all documents in one place
Set boundaries for yourself for after-hours communications
With the calendar view in Preclose GO!, you can filter all of your data — including deadlines, tasks, and appointments — and see everything in one streamlined screen. You can even color code your tasks based on what’s most urgent and important.
Expert Takeaway #2: Focus on friendships
“Past clients always say it's the friendships that are formed that sets us apart from other agents.” — Julie Harris, Real Estate Coach – TimAndJulieHarris.com
Buying a house is about more than just buying a house.
For some clients, this is where they’re settling in with their spouse after just getting married. It’s where they’ll be watching their children grow up. Maybe this is the first time someone in their family has ever been in a position to own a property of their own.
Whatever the case, buying a home is a big deal.
And it can be an emotional time. Between the joy that comes from finding the perfect property, to the chaos, fear, and anxiety that happens in between the first showing and final closing — in real estate, everyday transactions for you are major milestones for them.
Making the process an enjoyable experience makes all the difference to your clients.
Ways to Win: Scaling stellar client experiences
"I think I'm managing 38 transactions right now and there's a lot of dates. If we miss those deadlines, that looks bad for the agent, and it doesn't serve the client the best way.” — Keller Williams
With such a busy market right now, delivering a unique, white glove experience to each and every client might feel like mission impossible. Some days, even remembering the names of so many clients can be daunting — not to mention the important details and specifics surrounding their transactions.
As part of her push for a better work/life balance, Catherine Evans managed to create a system that supports customer relationships and allows her to scale the number of files the team closes each month, without sacrificing the client experience.
Here are some tips to help create a scalable 5-star client experience:
Keep communication strong with agents, clients, and other transaction parties
Try to keep everyone on the same deadlines
Aim to keep your inbox at 0 (or as close as possible!)
The Chat Experience from Preclose is a secure private messaging app that unites all your transaction messages within a single dashboard. Now, it’s easier than ever to stay responsive, and have a little more fun with each and every client. Just like a good friend would. 😉
Expert Takeaway #3: Create a consistently client-centric approach
“We know real estate is made up of transactions, but each relationship is one that should be fostered.” — Quentin Dane, “Cat Herder”, DASH Carolina
Clients are going to have contact with a variety of people throughout the homebuying process.
That also means there is a ton of information that gets thrown at them from all different angles. Some of our favorite expert advice this year revolves around improving communication within your team, so that the client’s experience can be made more consistent.
After all, the last thing you want is two people within your organization telling a client two different things.
When you foster relationships between your own team members, and take the time to train your TCs on using a similar approach and language, you help cut down on the information overload that plagues modern real estate clients and build in more trust throughout the process.
Ways to Win: Getting your team to sing from the same hymn sheet
“They all bring their unique personalities to the table, but for the most part, they all do business the same way.” — Steven Rovithis, Broker/Owner at Rovithis Realty, LLC
Steven Rovithis worked really hard this year on creating an exceptional customer experience, starting from within his own team.
He began by finding the right people to hire, and worked diligently with them to ensure they were in the correct roles. From there, Steven’s focus shifted to ensuring his team felt comfortable creating strong lines of communication, both within the team and externally with clients.
Here are some tips for hiring and training people who are just as client-obsessed as you are:
Get to know the person’s DiSC profile during the hiring process
Pay attention to their skill set and attitude
Ask the right interview questions
Consider how they manage stress
Support them with the right tools and templates
With multiple people involved in multiple transactions, communication can get dicey. We created the Preclose GO! Ultimate Client Experience to help give your team easy access to all your email templates and make sure everyone is speaking the same language.
Expert Takeaway #4: Set your team up for success
“The best thing I ever did was allow my transaction coordinator to solve problems without involving me.” — Michael Stott, Head Coach at Your Coaching Matters
You spent all this time finding the right people for your team. Now it’s time to make sure they have the tools and autonomy they need in order to be successful in their roles.
No matter which way you cut it, there’s a lot of independent work in real estate.
Most of the people you bring in are going to have their own ways of doing things. That’s why robust, easy-to-learn systems that everyone feels comfortable using are key to empowering your team to do their best work.
Whether it’s fighting tech resistance within your team, or simply integrating with the tools they already know and love — there are simple ways to make sure your real estate tech stack serves your business (and not the other way around).
Ways to Win: Making workflows goof-proof
“The @tokens just save me so much time, they save me from calling somebody the wrong name” — Amy Newcomb, Closing Manager, The Andy Bovender Team
Transaction coordinators have a lot on their plate.
They need to be able to answer a ton of questions quickly, and constantly remind everyone of what needs to happen next. Staying organized can feel impossible in a role with so many tiny details.
One of our favorite wins this year has been hearing Amy Newcomb of The Andy Bovender Team talk about all of the ways she has been able to set up systems that prevent mistakes from happening.
Here are some tips to help transaction coordinators wear all of the hats:
Use tools like Loom videos to teach everyone how to use the same software and systems
Work to improve transaction visibility by using a system where all sensitive documents can be uploaded without a security risk
If you’re using software to manage your day-to-day, reach out to the vendor and tell them about any new updates you’d like to see
Everyone has a different style when it comes to keeping organized. Smart Views let TCs create a workflow that works for them and instantly pull information and documents to see everything in one place. You can create multiple views to manage specific clients, view all escrow payment statuses at once, and more!
Expert Takeaway #5: Education is everything
“There has never been more opportunity for our TCs, listing managers, ops managers, and more to find and receive amazing support, training, and coaching than there is today.” — David Breckheimer, Cultivate Wins
Whether you’re empowering your team to get licensed, or providing one-on-one coaching sessions, education is the key to delivering consistently awesome client experiences.
Not only that, educated team members will feel empowered to meet any challenge with a smile and get creative when it comes to solving problems in the business.
Ways to Win: Less minutiae, more knowledge.
“I still learn something with every transaction, and it's an ever-evolving system.” — Amy Newcomb, Andy Bovender Team
The right tools can take the daily stress of organization out of the way, and really make room for team members to absorb and learn from what’s happening.
Among many other gems she shared with us, Amy says she leans on her systems to do the heavy lifting with deadlines and emails, while allowing more room for learning the details of the business.
Here are some tips to help empower your team to learn more and do better:
Set up regular trainings on the tools and systems you have in place
Encourage communication between team members to allow for a seamless knowledge share
Provide opportunities for staff members to get relevant licensing and external training
What’s your biggest takeaway from the year?
Whether you focused on improving your internal systems or finding more ways to elevate the client experience and secure your place as one of the leading real estate brands in your market — there was a whole lot to learn in 2021.
So, we want to know.
What was your biggest takeaway from the year?
As we move further into the new era of homebuying, what are the areas of your business that deserve the most attention?
Because while task management and automation can make a huge difference in the day-to-day stresses of working in real estate, it’s the experiences you provide your clients and team members that will set you apart for years to come.
When you’re ready to hit the next level for your clients and team, Preclose GO! can help.
Our smart transaction coordination platform includes features like instantly customizable client email templates to help transaction coordinators increase workflow efficiency, gain better visibility, and improve the experience for agents and clients. Learn all about it with a free 14-day trial