Transaction coordinators are the “Little Engine That Could” of the real estate industry. You may not notice them much while they’re in the background – but you’ll know the difference when you don’t have them there to keep things running smoothly.
If you’re searching for a transaction coordinator to free up your time and make transactions run more smoothly, this article will help you get started. First, we’ll discuss why a real estate agent would need a transaction coordinator, talk about what they do, and then go over the general qualities that make a phenomenal transaction coordinator. From there, we’ll provide a sample of some of the duties that transaction coordinators have, why closing checklists can be helpful, and what transaction coordinators are being paid.
Finally, we’ll discuss why Close Concierge has proven to be the best choice when it comes to finding a transaction coordinator who gets the job done correctly every time. Let’s begin!
Why Would I Need a Transaction Coordinator?
As a busy real estate agent, you’ve got deadlines to meet and showings to attend with your buyer. You run around from one appointment to the next, struggling to maintain compliance and compile all of the necessary addenda and contracts for your clients. Despite all of that, you may wonder, “Why would I need a transaction coordinator?”
To put things simply, transaction coordinators help effective and determined real estate agents save time on their transactions. Instead of suffering through a mountain of paperwork and straining their eyes to ensure that every “t” was crossed, every “i” was dotted, and every signature made it onto the contract, a transaction coordinator takes care of it.
What do you do with all that extra time? That’s entirely up to you. We polled 200 agents to get their takes on why they wanted to save time and found some interesting insights:
- 34% would hire a transaction coordinator to execute more contracts
- 29% would hire one to save time from contract to close
- 27% would like to spend more time with their clients
- About 10% (9.6%, to be exact) plan to spend more time with their families
Whether or not your reasons fall under the above categories, no one can deny the value of gaining an extra 15 hours per transaction. If you’d like to get your time back instead of being stuck behind a desk all day, a transaction coordinator would be an optimal solution for you. Before you hire one, though, you’ll want to be aware of the tasks you can expect them to perform.
What Does a Transaction Coordinator Do?
Pro REA staffing sat down with Alex Marsolais, owner and founder of Minnesota Transaction Coordinators. She had a lot to say about the role of transaction coordinators:
“A transaction coordinator (oversees) any real estate transactions, and it’s typically from contract to close. For some TCs it’s from purchase agreement to closing, and for others, it’s listing rep/buyer rep all the way through closing. Without transaction coordinators, teams or individual-producing agents don’t function. We serve the most important role in the transaction process.”
Alex Kolominsky, a transaction coordinator on YouTube, talks about what transaction coordinator is:
“A transaction coordinator is the assistant to the real estate agent in the real estate transaction. The transaction coordinator is there to support the real estate agent and the client to ensure a smooth transaction all the way until the close of escrow.”
Transaction coordinator duties can be classified under four different categories:
- Communication duties. It’s the job of a transaction coordinator to maintain contact with all parties throughout the transaction. They can provide reminders to any and all parties, and obtain and relay updates to the parties involved in the transaction.
- Document duties. Ensuring that the documents are in tip-top shape and are neatly organized are some of the most important transaction coordinator duties. One of the jobs of the TC is to send completed documents and addendums to compliance within 24 hours of the time the contract is executed
- Scheduling duties. You never really think about how important a scheduling pro is until you try to do it yourself and run into scheduling conflicts. A proficient transaction coordinator will ensure that your appointments are all scheduled with clients and think about how long it takes you to get from one destination to another to make sure you aren’t running late everywhere you go.
- Transfer duties. Transaction coordinators make sure that all the utility information is given to the buyer and that the buyer gets the key from the seller once the transaction is complete. They can coordinate check-ins with buyers months after the transaction has been completed to ensure that your clients are completely satisfied and have no lingering questions about the transaction. (This can also be a great time to get them talking about a refinance if the cost of homes has gone down significantly in your area.)
What Qualities Should I Look For?
We’ve written a few articles that talk about what you should look for when choosing a transaction coordinator, but here’s a rundown of the personality traits to look for in a transaction coordinator:
- A microscopic view of transactions. Astounding transaction coordinators are able to pay attention to all of the details of a transaction, going over the contract with a fine-toothed comb to make sure that no signatures are skipped.
- A telescopic view of transactions. An incredible transaction coordinator can also look at the transaction with a telescopic view – an ability to look ahead of where you currently are in the process to spot potential snags before they turn into massive problems.
- Experience in real estate. Having industry-specific knowledge allows transaction coordinators to better understand the duties required of them. You’re hiring them to make your life easier, so it doesn’t make sense to hold their hand throughout the process. Save yourself a headache – get a TC who knows what earnest money is.
- Problem-solving skills. Speaking of holding a TC’s hand – your transaction coordinator will likely be faced with plenty of decisions throughout the process. If they don’t have great decision-making skills, it’s likely that you’ll wind up on the phone with them helping answer their questions. Ultimately, that won’t help you. Find someone with incredible problem-solving skills and your free time will be just that – free time.
- A great capacity for stress. Real estate is a stressful business, and transaction coordinators have it harder than anyone. They deal with multiple parties, working to coordinate and ensuring the process goes smoothly. Many TCs have multiple clients and are working on several transactions at the same time. They should have formidable stress-management systems and an ability to remain calm when others aren’t.
- Tech-savvy. Transaction coordinators often use transaction management software (TMS) to handle contracts, and if they have multiple clients, there could be multiple TMS going at a time. Spectacular transaction coordinators are able to handle changing software and understand it in order to do the job efficiently and proficiently.
What Transaction Coordinator Duties Will They Have?
The duties of a transaction coordinator differ depending on whether they live in an escrow state or an attorney state. According to a Pro REA Staffing video, transaction coordinators in escrow states are responsible for:
- Opening escrow
- Coordinating the mortgage loan, appraisal process, and title/escrow
- Scheduling inspections and following up with parties
- Making sure repairs are made, helping with repair negotiations
- Monitoring the contingency period and sending out reminders
- Sending updates to clients, lenders, agents, and more
- Facilitating a smooth transition for the seller leaving the home and the buyer moving in
- Sending all documentation (contract and addendums) to the office broker for compliance
- Scheduling and coordinating the closing process
- Coordinating follow-up calls for clients after closing (and asking for referrals)
- Update the MLS when the home is sold
- Order a closing gift for your client
Each task mentioned above is a great starting point, but transaction coordination is far more multifaceted than the list makes it seem. In the next section, we’ll do into a bit more detail about the jobs that a transaction coordinator can perform.
A Closing Checklist for Your TC
Real estate agents have different responses to the idea of handing off transaction coordinator tasks to another person. Some are all too happy to get rid of that component of their business, but others can struggle with the idea of trusting someone else to take care of it.
Honestly, it can be a bit difficult to let go of the reins after you’ve spent so much time on transaction coordination tasks. It can be especially intimidating to do so when you’re well-acquainted with the consequences of flubbing the process.
If you would benefit from hiring a transaction coordinator but are nervous that they could miss something, feel free to create a closing checklist template for your TC with specific-to-you instructions. Transaction coordinators love checklists, so finding a template or making one can be a great way to ensure your own peace of mind and make it easier for them to feel confident as they get to know you better.
To give you an idea of the tasks-within-tasks that transaction coordinators handle, we wanted to provide you with a sample of some of the duties they might do during the loan process phase on the seller’s side:
- Contact the buyer’s lender every week to make sure processing is still on track
- Follow the buyer’s loan processing to the underwriter
- Let the seller know when the buyer’s loan application has reached final approval
- Work with the lender to find out what discount points are being locked in with dates
- Confirm all money deposits and the buyer’s employment
- Add the lender and other vendors to the transaction management program
Of course, there are plenty more tasks that a transaction coordinator could do – this is just a small sampling of their abilities.
How Much Should I Pay?
Pay for transaction coordinators can vary greatly depending on the type of TC you plan to use, the company you hire them from, what state you live in, and how heavily involved you’d like them to be in your real estate business.
That said, a full-time transaction coordinator in Austin, Texas can be paid up to $51,210 a year, and that doesn’t include the cost of full-time benefits, insurance, paid leave, etc. If you calculate benefits according to the MIT Business School model of 1.3 times the annual salary, the total cost of a full-time transaction coordinator comes to $66,573. If you factor training costs and turnover rates, you’ll find that the number is closer to $68,484 a year.
Considering an option that won’t put a huge dent in your wallet? There are two other choices, both with pros and cons:
- Freelance transaction coordinators. Freelancers charge per contract, usually at a rate of $400 per transaction. Buyer beware: freelancers sometimes lie about their knowledge and expertise in the hopes of making some quick cash. In fact, this happened to an agent we know, who said their freelancer claimed 5 years of experience and didn’t even know what earnest money was.
- Transaction coordination services. Transaction coordinator services also charge per contract, and like freelancers, charge about $400 per transaction. The TC service vets the employees before they hire them, so you won’t have to worry about getting scammed. That said, most TC services hire their coordinators as 1099 employees, which goes to show you that they’re not valued very much. Employees at these TC companies learn to do the bare minimum – which generally isn’t great for your real estate business.
Close Concierge for Conscientious Coordinators
Are you looking for a transaction coordinator service that’s a step above the rest? We don’t simply meet the status quo – we like to reach higher than that. At Close Concierge, we carefully vet all of our transaction coordinators, making sure they plenty of experience before they’re hired on. When we do hire a TC, we make them full-time employees, give them six-figure salaries (double what most coordinators are paid), and provide them with generous benefits.
We treat our coordinators with care because we know that doing so will motivate them to treat your transactions with the utmost care and consideration. We know that there’s no better way to attract conscientious coordinators than to offer them competitive salaries and benefits – and we only want the best for our real estate clients!
Because of the way we treat our employees, they are willing to go above and beyond what any other transaction coordinator would do – working weekends and after hours to ensure your real estate transaction goes smoothly, even if a real estate emergency comes up.
Top agents don’t leave their transactions to chance. They know that $400 per transaction sounds good until you find yourself double-checking and fixing transactions that the TC was supposed to handle. Top agents know it’s worth it to pay a little more to get a transaction done right – and really smart agents know that Close Concierge offers greater value to agents that close more deals.
For $1,000 a month, you could be matched with your own transaction coordinator. They’ll be there for you every step of the way and they’ll do the job right the first time so you can free up your time. This flat fee of $1,000 never goes up – so you can get out there and start closing more deals each month right away. Talk with our team to get started!