Back in 2005, long before the word transaction coordinator was common in the real estate industry, I got a wild idea and decided to become one. I had worked prior to launching my business as a paralegal in a law firm that exclusively handled closings and bank refinance work. Seeing firsthand what Realtors struggled with and having some knowledge of the process, I set out to change the world.
The first step I took was to create a task and document list that was based on the contract used in Central Florida where I started out. With these lists in hand, one for a typical seller side transaction and one for a buyer side transaction, I started meeting with agents in the area to find out what they thought of the list. The goal was to assemble a comprehensive list that would be used to manage transactions for local Realtors from contract to close. And I knew that without a detailed list, with specific dates each item was due, I would never be able to handle more than a few contracts at a time.
Once the lists were polished up, I began to study each and every item on them. The goal was to understand the steps inside and out. I wanted to make myself an expert on the process, and the geek in me also enjoyed learning. A friend of mine sent me copies of the contracts used at the time and I studied them as well. The goal was to know where on each document I would need to look for dates to track.
Lastly, I invested in a software platform. The only thing available at the time was SureClose. It was a robust platform that took me a long time to configure and learn to use. Thankfully for the hefty subscription fee to use it I was also given training. Since this time, other platforms have come along that my team and my TC coaching clients use such as TC Workflow, EZ Coordinator, Paperless Pipeline, etc.
Finally ready to go, I turned in my notice at the firm and picked a date on the calendar as the official start of my TC business. Within a few days I received my first contract and began to coordinate it for Jim, my very first client. Each day I worked from my inbox to stay on top of emails that related to this transaction and worked the task list previously created to be sure that all of the milestones were met by the contingency dates.
Another part of the role of a transaction coordinator is to manage all the parties, not so much as telling them what to do, but making sure that they are doing the things they are supposed to, by the agreed upon date in the contract. Lastly, I double checked that we had all the documents required by the broker Jim worked for and that they were all signed nice and neat. Back then everything was signed in person and occasionally via fax so missing signatures or initials happened a lot.
My goal was, and always has been as a transaction coordinator, to stay a few steps ahead of the items that were due. For instance, if the loan commitment is due on Friday, on Wednesday I am reaching out to the lender and the buyer’s agent to remind them. If they don’t respond, then on Thursday I’m doing the same thing again – and by Friday at noon, if we don’t have it, my agent gets involved and together we’re working on a solution. This way too, I was able to deliver exceptional service and never was waiting on direction from my agent clients.
I learned that the busier you get, the more you have to trust the systems you’ve put in place to keep you on task – the last thing you’ll want to do is go to bed wondering if you’ve done something, a good task list and system will help you ensure you did.
With each transaction coordinated I learn something new. While the process is similar on each one it never feels monotonous as the people are different and there is something unique about each one.
While I don’t think learning to be a transaction coordinator is hard, it does require patience, a keen attention to detail, a level head, and a willingness to learn. It can be stressful at times as well, especially when you have multiple closings happening around the same time, you receive several new contracts the same day, or when things go sideways, which is a whole other story for another post.
Over the years it’s been my pleasure to train more than 400 individuals in this career. Some take what they learn and work directly for a brokerage or a team. Others wish to be independent and create their own business like I did and work with multiple agents.
There is never a dull moment working as a transaction coordinator. If you would like to explore this career choice or perhaps wish to create your own business, the TC Academy has options to help you from courses to coaching.