As a 25-year veteran in the Boston residential real estate business, I have experienced remarkable changes firsthand. For some sectors of the industry, the technological advances we have witnessed in the past three months outpace changes that have occurred over the last three years.
Our DepositLink team meets with companies that want to empower their agents with tools to work virtually, and become more profitable by eliminating the inefficiencies caused by paper checks. DepositLink is a safe, secure, and easy way for real estate companies, their agents, and title companies to request earnest money deposits and commissions electronically through the ACH network.
With DepositLink, agents can request earnest money from their buyers from anywhere using any device that connects to the internet. They can also request earnest money through another agent who is connecting a buyer, and direct that money wherever it needs to go.
So a process that would normally take upwards of a week, can be done in minutes.
For example, on the very day she used our service for the first time, we heard from Brandi Peyatt with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Professional Realty in Brunswick, Ohio.
“All I have to say is YES!,” she told us. “So easy to use, such a time saver, and seriously simple. My client loved being able to use it in only five minutes. No more checks, no more wasted time for all involved. I especially loved the follow-up email letting you know exactly what is going on without all the extra time spent on the phone or emailing parties. Thank you for bringing real estate up to date!”
Kathy Divine from ERA Key Realty Services of Woburn, Mass., had similar thoughts. “I had a great first experience! At the start, I had a question which customer support addressed very quickly. I was pleasantly surprised when the selling agent didn’t need to call me with any questions. He had no trouble getting it to the buyer and the buyer had no questions about the process either! Thanks for making it so simple,” she said.
Differentiate your brokerage and your business
Today, many agents still make their buyers drive to a real estate office to drop off an earnest money check. Or the agent drives to pick up that check and then brings it back to a real estate office to process. In many cases, the accounting department has no idea what the check is for. Sometimes it is mailed to the wrong company, and sometimes the check is even lost.
It is an antiquated practice that conflicts with the technological advances the industry has attained in other areas. The Zillows and the Redfins have already changed the way information flows, allowing anyone involved to access information quickly.
That means the next frontier of innovation revolves around making the transaction more efficient — and efficiency is about the experience. The experience will be a differentiating factor on two levels.
The first is when an agent chooses a brokerage. New agents entering the industry, and agents looking to make a move, are looking for a brokerage that offers best-in-class technology to help them save time, win more business, and deliver premium service. They also want to make sure that the brokerage will pay them quickly and seamlessly.
The second differentiation factor will be with buyers. In 2019, millennials represented 40% of the buyer pool in the United States and that percentage will only increase. At the same time, 82% of millennials do not own a checkbook. The trends indicate that checkbooks, as was the case with fax machines, will become obsolete in the very near future. Instead, all buyers will expect their agents to offer tools like DepositLink to help them buy a home.
“DepositLink has saved me, and clients, hours of time,” said Martha Brown of Leading Edge Real Estate in Belmont, Mass. “Gone are the days of fighting traffic to drop off a deposit check! I have been extremely impressed with DepositLink’s customer service. They are incredibly responsive.”
Debbie Miller works out of the Melrose office of Leading Edge Real Estate and was equally impressed. “The ease and convenience of DepositLink is not only time saving, but it is also another reason why my business thrives.”
It is hard to imagine more upheaval than what we have experienced in the last quarter, but change is the one constant we can count on. As you look to the future of real estate, you need to find ways to improve the experience. To do that, you need to offer agents and clients a way to do more in less time and reduce the stress associated with buying and selling a home.
The best part is that DepositLink is not going to require a massive financial investment. On the contrary, DepositLink is absolutely FREE for brokers and agents to use. Schedule a demo and see it for yourself.