If you hit a bump in the road on your way toward the 100 percent digital transaction, it’s likely to jar you somewhere in between the agreed-upon offer and the closing, funding issues notwithstanding.
There’s that morass of tasks and to-dos that dart in and out of the literal and metaphorical inboxes of transaction coordinators, a mish-mash of vendor emails, voicemails, and required signatures all seemingly designed to up-end the one or two people hired to make sure they don’t. And this could be happening with two, five or 10 deals at once.
Preclose was created to remedy this. And it continues to become better at it, rolling out a series of upgrades and slick features that turn transaction turbulence into a fluid workflow.
Rebecca Guthrie, the app’s creator, demonstrated Preclose GO at Inman Connect New York back in January (in person!) the software’s chat-based pre-close process. That same interface is used by brokers and team leaders to create an intake workflow template for the transaction coordinator.
“Intake workflows basically allow a broker to easily set up a list of questions that ask the agent to answer to submit their file over to the transaction coordinator,” Guthrie said in a Zoom call. “Those questions translate into the chat experience.”
That conversation’s answers create the closing plan, a collection of checklists, required steps, and whatever else is needed to keep everything on track.
The Intake Workflows quickly smooth out the steps between deal agreement and escrow and ensure documents, data, people and vendors are handed-over in a singular environment instead of the industry norm of one-off emails, texts or piles of printed paper.
The transaction coordinator can also create and save Milestones, which can be a collection of tasks, or action plans, to be applied to transactions when needed.
Those Milestones then feed into the consumer experience, which Preclose is actively building into a more robust mobile solution. Currently, buyers and sellers can access Milestones and individual tasks.
Consumers will soon have the ability to see a white-labeled, brokerage-branded mobile Preclose interface. Brokers will be able to track consumer chats if needed and share with buyers and sellers any established partners, such as inspectors and lenders.
Guthrie’s team is also coding an embedded video-sharing feature for consumers.
“These will be milestone based, so if you’re waiting on the appraisal, you’ll have a video that’s associated with it, like, ‘These are the things you need to be thinking about,'”
“This isn’t rocket science; it’s about pulling the experience together in a way that clients are kind of expecting it today,” Guthrie said.
Because Preclose is a champion of the transaction coordinator, the app focuses on making their job more efficient. Its new email template feature is one such example.
Using something called “@ (at) tokens,” users can tag and import an ever-growing list of deal points, property information, documents, or people as they type through the in-app email compose window for inclusion in the message.
This sharp, inventive bit of productivity plays a more significant role than making emails faster to create; it ensures critical deal data isn’t in any way miscommunicated. From dates to next steps, clear communication is essential to a clean deal, and the volume of email in a typical transaction isn’t always conducive to that.
Throughout the software, there’s a colorful, well-designed UX that minimizes the clinical nature of the business process it’s driving. It’s very mobile-influenced, light and approachable.
The company is also establishing relationships with some notable transaction tech, one of which is dotloop. The company is expected to announce another soon.
In summary, Guthrie and her team are looking to transform how transaction coordination is defined, aiming to elevate a deal step long considered administrative. Yet, coordinators handle vital business intelligence and represent their brokerages to the public at a home sale’s most emotional juncture.
“We’re trying to pioneer a category and step away from the term transaction coordination because we tend to get grouped in with transaction management,” she said.
“We want to pioneer client experience, which is coordination plus the consumer, front-end experience … that’s our goal.”
Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe
Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.