• Chelsea Donovan

How a New Mom Went from Starting a New Career to Running Her Own TC Company in Just 4 Years

There’s no better time to start a new career than…right after having a baby?


It might not work for everyone, but for Kelly Blackmon, it was the right move. In the last four years she’s gone from real estate newbie to entrepreneur—nevermind the global pandemic that gave her the push she needed to make her dreams a reality.


We sat down with Kelly to find out how she transformed her natural knack for details into a successful transaction coordination business she loves. Check it out!


Ready for a transaction coordination system you can count on? Preclose GO! Helps you and your TCs monitor all your transactions in one place. Try for free today!


A peek into Kelly’s story:

  • Finding Her Niche in TC

  • How to Coordinate Transactions Like a Boss

  • Essential Skills of a Great Transaction Coordinator

  • What's Next: Building the Dotted Line Team

Finding Her Niche in TC


Kelly fell in love with real estate when she bought her first home, but it wasn’t until her child was born that she decided to make the leap and turn that passion into a career. She got licensed to do listing management, and then took on the role of closing coordinator at Keller Williams in Charleston, SC. It was a clear fit right from the start.


“I’m a super detail-oriented person,” she explains. “I’ve been doing customer service my entire adult life, so it was such a great fit for me.”


But it’s not just organizational and customer service skills that she brings to the table: Kelly is made for TC.


“I discovered that I had a super high capacity for transactions,” she says. “I enjoy doing it—I love doing it. And I realized, this is my niche.”


Once she made that realization, starting her own business was inevitable.



On the Dotted Line


Despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, at least one good thing has come out of it for Kelly: “Starting my own company is something the whole COVID situation kind of pushed onto me…but in a good way,” she says.


With her new company, Dotted Line Transactions, Kelly is leveraging her past experience in the real estate office to build her client list. “I’ve been lucky to work on so many transactions over the years,” she says. “I’ve worked with so many Realtors and made a name for myself, so I’ve been able to collect a lot of clients.”


It’s still taken a lot of hard work, but for Kelly, the effort is totally worth it. And with a mere six months as an entrepreneur under her belt, she’s moving forward with gusto.


“Currently, my goal is to maintain between 30 and 40 transactions and close between 25 and 30 a month—and so far so good,” she explains.

“The market's extremely hot right now, so everyone's doing a ton of transactions. And there's enough business for everyone ten times over right now. It’s awesome.”


How to Coordinate Transactions Like a Boss


Despite her natural aptitude for transaction coordination, it still took a while for Kelly to find and create a process that actually made her life easier. Over the course of her career, she’s tried every solution under the sun to manage transactions—even the low-tech, physical paper approach!


“I’ve done it the paper way, printing literally everything, scanning everything like it’s 1985, and it’s extremely difficult to go that route,” she says. “I’m a very meticulous, organized person, so I managed it. I just wouldn’t say my stress level was very well managed at that time.”


The free tools couldn’t cut it either: “It just ended up duplicating my work,” she explains. “It made things a little bit more challenging for me. I had to go through my emails and type in every little detail.”


No matter which solutions she tried, nothing delivered the simple, seamless experience she was looking for…until she found Preclose.


The One That Gets the Job Done


For Kelly, Preclose has been an absolute game-changer: “Between my experience and Preclose GO!, I have a higher capacity,” she says. “Honestly, I have the ability to work 70-80 transactions a month—so I’ve got plenty of room for growth.”


So what is it about Preclose that’s making Kelly such a transaction rockstar?


“With Preclose, everything’s already in the system,” she says. “Agents are sending me contracts within the system, and that way, I don’t have to duplicate any work. All the little details are already there. It streamlines everything for me.”


Preclose has been particularly helpful with one of the most challenging concepts for transaction coordinators: the intake process.


“The intake is amazing. It’s like texting, it’s like chat. You can do it from your phone,” she says. “I think the intake is the coolest feature ever. It would be difficult to even consider switching to anything else because no one else has that. It’s the easiest, coolest thing.”

For Kelly, it’s simple things like showing up where your customers are, in this case on their mobile phones, that go a long way in ensuring that they’re happy and ready to refer their friends. She uses Preclose to to keep customers in the loop in real-time, but with so much on their plates, it can sometimes be difficult to get busy agents to respond to customers quickly.


4 Killer Tips for Getting Agents On Board


Sometimes, agents are iffy on whether they want to tackle a new piece of technology when working with a transaction coordinator. But Kelly knows how to sell them on it. Here are her four top tips for getting agents on board with using Preclose.



1. Show them how simple it is to use.


When it comes to adopting new tech, some agents may be wary of the learning curve and how much time it will take to get comfortable with. But if you can convince them to take it for a test drive, they’ll quickly discover that it’s a very user-friendly tool. “It’s intuitive and it looks pretty,” Kelly says.


To take things a step further, “I always recommend that agents add it to their home screen on their phone,” she explains. “They’ve loved it, honestly, because it truly is so quick and easy to do. And once it’s there, the process moves forward almost automatically. I get a notification in my email, and I can literally start working on it right then and there. It couldn’t be more simple.”


2. Let them know it’s going to save them time—and peace of mind.

Agents may underestimate how much time they spend on administrative tasks and communication throughout the traditional closing process.


“The main thing you want your agent to grasp is that Preclose is going to save them time,” Kelly explains. “It’s going to keep me from asking them a million, jillion questions that pull them away from clients or lead generation or whatever they want to leverage their time for.”


Preclose also gives agents the opportunity to easily log in and track the progress of a transaction for themselves. They never have to worry or wonder about what’s going on.


3. Emphasize the value-add for their clients.

Agents aren’t the only ones who benefit from increased visibility and streamlined closings. Buyers and sellers can log in to follow the transaction status too. Best of all? There’s no additional cost or management required from the agent. All they have to do is log in.


(Of course, as a real estate agent, you can leverage Preclose to create a phenomenal customer experience for your buyers and sellers too.)


For Kelly, being able to offer her clients (and their clients) such an effortless value-add has been huge for her transaction coordination business.


4. Be the agent’s biggest advocate.


Above all, getting agents on board with a new piece of tech is just about connecting with them.


“Something I tell my agents when they first sign on with me is that I’m their biggest fan,” Kelly says. “I will 100% advocate for their success because that will hopefully equate to me being successful as well. We’re a team, we’re a partnership.”



Using Preclose isn’t just getting through transactions more smoothly—it’s about creating a customer experience that’s worth talking about.


“My main goal when I work with any of my clients is for them to get referral business because their buyers and sellers had such an amazing streamlined, visible, transparent experience and they’ll be telling their friends about it,” she says. “We want to make it super easy and stress-free for everyone involved.”


Essential Skills of a Great Transaction Coordinator


Kelly knows what it takes to be a great transaction coordinator. Being organized is an obvious requirement for success in this role. But Kelly has a few other tips for new or aspiring TCs:


  • Learn how to manage stress. “I think if you're going to go into transaction coordination you definitely need to understand that it takes a high level of adaptation. You have to be able to manage your stress at a high level. That's something that you can learn. I think that I wasn't always so great about those things when I first started out. But I am ever-learning and ever-growing.”

  • Be a problem solver. “Being able to roll with the punches is so important because every transaction is different and unique. Some are super easy and smooth. But there are hiccups that can come up in any contract that you could never control. And I think you have to learn how to just kind of relinquish that control, do what you can to mitigate any stress within the transaction, but understand it's not always going to be easy. You have to be super adaptable to those issues as they come up and be a problem solver.”

  • Get tech-enabled. “Change is hard. But we're moving into a society in general that is really tech-enabled and everybody really wants to have everything at their fingertips. And you have to keep up. Preclose GO! is a really easy way to do that. If you want to streamline your business and take on new business, you have to keep up with the times, and being tech-enabled is really important. There are a lot of other programs out there, but they take a lot of time to get started. Preclose GO! is just really easy. Everything's just right there. So it's definitely a go-to (no pun intended). For somebody who's really scared to take that leap, it's the best product out there.”





What’s Next: Building the Dotted Line Team


Though she only opened the doors of her own transaction service in mid-2020, Kelly is already looking to expand her business in 2021.


“I’m getting ready to train and coach new TCs to create a team, so my goal for this year is to implement some coaching strategies and put together a training manual specific to Dotted Line Transaction Management and the brand I’m trying to create,” she says.




“I want to give new TCs the advice, training, and coaching, and be the resource to help them actually establish and grow their own business within Dotted Line Transactions. That’s my goal.”


Preclose GO! will be a key tool in her leadership toolbox. Because Preclose GO! allows you to manage a team, it will give Kelly the high-level visibility to track progress and monitor the numbers of new teammates within one system. She also has a vision for how it’ll help her in training.


“Preclose GO! can assist with that level of training you want to provide to a new TC because everything is just so well thought out. It’s super intuitive to use, so you could run through a couple transactions with Preclose GO! and really get a sense of what’s in any contract-to-close. It’s an excellent training tool.”


With her skills, commitment, vision, and tools, it’s clear Kelly has what she needs to grow and succeed with Dotted Line Transactions:


“It’s growing so super fast,” she says. “I’m really excited with where I’m heading.”