Rasheedah Hancock received the request on a Saturday while running errands at Target. As director of administration and accounting for the 200-agent Chicago brokerage Conlon Christie’s International Real Estate, she’s used to helping agents usher transactions to close and ensuring they meet her firm’s standards and procedures.
An agent needed to send earnest money receipts to a lender, and asked her to send them.
As head of Conlon’s 10-member admin staff, Hancock fielded the request. She pulled out her phone, accessed the firm’s DocuSign Transaction Rooms (DTR) account, a cloud-based workspace where documents from all the firm’s transactions are stored, and quickly sent the agent what she needed within a few minutes.
Before Conlon brought on DTR in January 2016, this speedy response would not have been possible. Hancock would have told the agent to wait until Monday morning when she could dig up the paper files she requested and either scan and email them or make copies and deliver to the agent.
With DTR, brokers provide a powerful tool to their admins, agents and clients that allows them to collaborate on transactions through a shared cloud workspace they can access from any device, anywhere at any time. In addition to reducing a reliance on paper and increasing admin and agent efficiency, the tool ensures transactions comply with brokerage procedures and real estate laws.
It also reduces paper. Instead of five filing cabinets filled with paperwork, Conlon now has just two thanks to DTR.
DTR has also made Conlon more efficient.
The tasks related to preparing contracts that once took 20 minutes, now take Hancock less than 10 minutes. This efficiency has freed up admins to assist agents with other tasks such as creating brochures and coordinating marketing campaigns, and has allowed the firm to support a growing number of agents with the same number of staff.
“So much of the real estate market is electronic; it just makes sense to use a platform like this,” Hancock said. “The days of having to physically come in and sign paperwork is not how people are living their lives right now. It makes life easier for everyone.”
In one fell swoop, DTR helps real estate brokerages realize all the benefits that come with going digital: increased efficiency, cost-savings, compliance, advanced reporting and automation.
DTR has streamlined Conlon’s contract workflow by bringing all its agents and staff into the digital age. All agents use the platform to sign documents and manage transactions for one big reason: it’s how they get paid. (Learn more about the nuts and bolts of DTR for brokerages here).
With DTR’s customized workflows, brokers can set up their own compliance requirements, which automatically alert parties in a transaction when their input is needed or incomplete, highlighting what needs their attention in each document. Based on the processes the broker designs, DTR automatically sends emails to parties when it’s time for them to take action.
This compliance feature has increased accountability at Conlon, according to Hancock.
It has also sped up transactions and eased agents’ work, as they can now see everything they need to complete at the beginning of a transaction. Before DTR, they only learned what they needed toward the end of the contract process, which lead to scrambling, delays and stress at later stages of a transaction.
With many transaction timelines stretching to beyond 30 days, brokerages, agents and other transaction parties can find it difficult to remain organized and on the same page. DTR helps Conlon, its agents and staff remain on the same page and on track, according to Hancock.
Hancock also uses the DTR broker dashboard to monitor the firm’s pipeline, which allows her to pinpoint potential setbacks and develop solutions quickly. For example, if the dashboard shows the firm’s lost transaction count spikes in a month, Hancock looks for causes within the brokerage and suggests fixes.
More efficient agents
DTR also makes agents’ lives easier, as they can do their job quickly, from wherever they are.
Christian Moisio serves as the transaction coordinator for a five-agent Conlon real estate team. Before DTR, the printing and filing involved in managing his team’s paperwork vacuumed up a lot of his time. Thanks in part to the efficiency and speed DTR facilitates, the team’s production has jumped 15 to 20 percent since the team adopted it a little over two years ago.
“Many times we’re drowning in paperwork,” Moisio said of his high-volume team. Before DTR, he often had to remain at the office until 7, 8 or 9 p.m., skipping dinner at home. Now he can leave the office at a reasonable time and handle requests and process paperwork on-demand, quickly at home.
In addition, Moisio said DTR has freed his team up to do more prospecting and to begin experimenting with digital media, producing videos and experimenting with better ways to reach and engage prospects.
DTR has also enhanced Moisio’s perception of Conlon. “It feels like we’re on the cutting edge of technology,” Moisio said. “Not a lot of brokers have this technology.”
To learn more about a digital lead-to-close strategy for real estate brokerages, visit DocuSign for Real Estate’s resource center for case studies, webinars, video tutorials and more.