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As electronic forms and signatures begin to dominate the transaction landscape, these platforms will continue to evolve. Currently, companies like zipForm, DocuSign and DocuSign Transaction Rooms are working on integrating the process of creating, executing, and managing documents in the simplest possible manner.

With the zipForm MLS product, the forms can access the MLS and input the property information fields automatically, linking the property information to every document in the transaction. Everyone can use e-signatures to execute the documents, and then DocuSign Transaction Rooms to manage the documents, using checklists to manage the transaction. Dotloop offers similar integrations in some markets.

Although many transaction management platforms are available, these two were chosen because they are examples of two different organizational philosophies. In the dotloop transaction, you create a “loop,” and then you invite others to that loop to interact with the documents. In a DocuSign Transaction Room, the documents are circulated to the participants, who do not need to be in the “room” to execute, send or receive the documents.

BackAgent provides not only transaction management, but also a full-featured MLS search and company intranet, bringing another dimension to the platform and enhancing the company brand during the process.

At some point, you may need to choose a form provider, e-signature provider, and document handler that integrate most easily and work best in your market. Here are 10 questions you should ask about any transaction management software during your research:

  1. Does it manage documents?
  2. Does it track the tasks from listing to sale?
  3. Can it communicate with all of the participants in the transactions?
  4. Can it provide useful business intelligence through reports to help you understand your business and manage it through measurement?
  5. Can it track commissions, expenses, and commission payments to agents?
  6. Does the platform provide calendar-based reminders and automate tasks common to each transaction?
  7. Does the platform provide timely reminders as contingencies are due to all parties involved?
  8. Does the platform require the participation of the other broker or agent, or can those parties send and receive communications without adapting their business rules to yours? In other words: Do you have to go to the document to execute or make changes, or does the document go to you for these things to be done?
  9. Does the platform have the ability to monitor communication and timeline events via ticklers, reminders, and tasks to ensure that the transaction is managed properly all the way to closing?
  10. Is the program platform agnostic and adaptable to a variety of browsers?

For much more about e-office tools for real estate, check out our featured product this month at the Center for REALTOR® Development, the e-PRO® Day 1 and 2 bundle, which is the educational requirement for NAR’s e-PRO® certification and is on sale this entire month of December at 25% off. The certification aims to help real estate professionals broaden their technology skills to connect effectively with today’s digitally-savvy consumer.

For more information, please visit onlinelearning.realtor.

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