New real estate agents often ask, “How many hours Realtors waste with transactions?”
The answer varies as every client, property, escrow company, lender, attorney, inspector, appraiser and others do things requiring more time with a transaction.
The best source for an answer comes from real estate agents and Realtors® themselves. The quickest way to access such information online is from real estate forums. Let’s explore some of these forums to see what they wrote.
How Many Hours Realtors Waste With Transactions
The Quora, ask an expert site, recently tackled this question: How many hours Realtors waste during transactions? Most answers regarding hours spent with transactions resulted in an average of 40 hours. For example, one broker complained about:
- Coordinating disclosures;
- Appraisal issues;
- Scheduling and attending home inspections; and
- Dealing with repair requests, pest control issues, etc.
Now, 40 hours may not seem like a long time. However, when you multiply it by 25 transactions per year, the Realtor® wastes around 1,000 hours per year with transactions.
Do real estate agents want to spend so much time with transactions? Is this even a problem?
Lack of Understanding the Problem
Placester, a real estate marketing academy, recently conducted a survey of nationwide real estate agents. Their survey results showed that only 16% of the real estate agents recognized transaction management tools as an important technology for their business needs.
Do only 16% of all real estate agents recognize a problem with the time spent on transactions?
Solutions for too many Hours Wasted with Transactions
The City-Data real estate professional’s forum asked, “How many hours per week real estate agents worked”? The many wide-ranging replies revealed some complaining about the time it took to see a transaction through from purchase contract signing to the closing of escrow. After several complaints about spending up to 80 hours per week with nearly half of that time spent “babysitting closings”, some offered solutions. Such as:
- Using a closing coordinator which helped one agent from running around with “my hair on fire”.
- Another uses an online transaction management system making his transactions paperless. He claims it saves him a “ton of time.”
Is an Online Transaction Management System Foolproof?
Sure, an online transaction management system saves time and creates a paperless transaction. But, are they foolproof?
- Once an accepted offer goes under contract, the work begins.
- So many things can go wrong.
- Agents follow up on buyer and seller providing all documents.
- Everyone must fulfill their transaction obligations on time.
- Lenders require frequent communications.
- Every document must reach the escrow agent.
- Unexpected situations occur like financing snags, and home inspection issues.
- Agents must possess problem-solving skills to see transactions through closing.
Most of these situations cannot be solved with an online transaction management system.
How Many Brokerages Use Transaction Monitoring Software?
In 2018, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) published a “Real Estate in a Digital Age 2017 Report”. It revealed that 63% of residential brokerages utilize some form of “document preparation management” software while only 52% of the commercial brokerages used one. In addition, the report emphasized that only 48% of all firms keep up with technology. In fact, the vast majority of real estate brokerages report one of the biggest challenges they face in the next two years is the ability to keep up with technology.
According to The College Investor, providing investing and personal finance advice for millennials, a real estate agent must, “Monitor the sale process, renegotiate as needed, and resolve issues prior to closing”. Regarding whether agents actually monitor the transaction in 2018, The College Investor states nowadays the agent only performs some of the monitoring. Instead, the “new trend is using real estate transaction coordinators”. In reality, once the offer is signed by both parties, “the real estate agent disappears” and the buyer and seller deal with the transaction coordinator.
Therefore, only a small majority of brokerages use a document preparation management software tool. The vast majority fear the inability to keep up with new technology trends.
In addition, more brokerages use transaction coordinators than before.
Multitasking Nightmares Solved by Transaction Coordinators
In 2016, Realtor Magazine published an article titled, “Transaction Coordinator: An Answer to Your Prayers?” Realtors raved about how a Transaction Coordinator (TC) helps members unable to multitask transactions. Members too busy with other tasks appreciate how a TC takes the burden of keeping track of transactions off their shoulders. Too much paperwork and running around to make sure everyone fulfills their purchase contract obligations just takes too much time.
Another Realtor Magazine article praised how a TC helps with “Getting Deals Done”. TC’s help members with meeting deadlines while freeing up their time to focus on business development.
The number of documents and new regulations just become too much for the average agent. Hiring a TC saves time and money in the long run as transactions close with fewer problems.
The TC juggles numerous transactions while being on top of every detail. A computerized alert system reminds TC’s of upcoming daily deadlines. Possessing keen organizational skills and monitoring every stage of a transaction through closing immensely helps real estate agents. Successful closings mean paid commissions.
Third-party communications management related to transactions is another skill required of every TC. Precise record-keeping helps prevent lawsuits.
In the previously mentioned College Investor article, TC’s are “smart, organized and efficient”. They know what needs to get done. In fact, calling the agent to inquire about the status of a transaction results in a call back after the agent checks with the TC.
The question: “How many hours Realtors waste with transactions?” answered here reveals too many. In essence, many real estate agents spend too much time with transactions.
Real estate agents prefer spending their time developing their business than monitoring transactions. Some do not perform multitasking well. Others prefer not to babysit closings.
The solution requires hiring a real estate Transaction Coordinator (TC) to monitor all transactions and solve their problems. Getting all parties involved with a closing to fulfill their obligations takes time best suited for a TC than an agent. TC’s track down all required documents, signatures, and make sure to meet all deadlines.
Contact Us to take the burden off your shoulders for a fast successful escrow closing. This way, you can devote your time to increase your business while we seek a fast closing so you can pick up your commission checks sooner.
Steven Rich, MBA – Guest Blogger
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Transaction Monster – Real Estate Transaction Coordinating Company