Agent’s Guide To A Real Estate Transaction Coordinator

It’s a growing trend within the real estate industry. A decade ago, real estate Transaction Coordinators were barely heard of and a unique concept within real estate. Now, you hear “Transaction Coordinator” or “TC” constantly throughout the real estate industry.

Or, check out this search on Indeed. Just a quick search shows 368 jobs, this week alone, out there hiring for a TC

A strong real estate transaction coordinator can be a complete game-changer for your business & allow you to thrive, despite the competitive climate in real estate. In fact, real estate agents with TC’s almost always close more transactions than real estate agents without. The reason why is simple: a good TC will simply handle the closing process on the agent’s behalf.

In this post, we’ll walk through all the detail you need to know about transaction coordinators how they can help you grow your business, the types of coordinators, and how to find one.

What does a real estate transaction coordinator do?

We’ve covered, at a high level, that the transaction coordinator handles administrative work from contract-to-close (e.g: the entire closing process) in order to save the real estate agents time.
Let’s now look at some of the details of what a transaction coordinator will do within a transaction. It’s worth noting that every real estate transaction is different. Many differences can change the transaction details, such as:

What Is The Standard Transaction Coordinator Fee Structure?

There are three different ways real estate transaction coordinators can be paid:

Full-Time Transaction Coordinator Salary

If you are interested in hiring a full-time transaction coordinator, Glassdoor shows the average TC makes roughly $43,000 a year.
However, very few real estate agents look to hire a full-time TC. We’ll explain later why it does not make sense to do so for most real estate agents.

Per real estate Transaction Fee

Almost all transaction coordinators are paid on a per real estate transaction fee. While there are some slight differences based on the market, the industry norm is a $450 fee per transaction. If the transaction coordinator is assisting the real estate agent in a dual agency capacity, the per-transaction fee can be $700+. Think of this solely as a new real estate transaction means a new invoice from a TC.
This model can get confusing, however. Most TC’s add on additional fees if a deal falls out of contract for their time spent working on the deal. In practice, it can mean a real estate agent may be surprised at the exact amount they are billed for their TC.
Almost all transaction coordinators are paid under this model. In fact, (to our knowledge) most transaction coordination companies also charge under this model

Monthly fixed price

The reason we said “most” transaction coordination companies charge a per-transaction fee is that Close Concierge instead charges a flat, monthly fee of $1,000 a month per agent.
This model is different than how most transaction coordinators charge but was designed this way after consistent feedback from real estate agents made it clear that a fixed price was better for them and their business.

Why a monthly fee for transaction coordinators makes more sense for agents

There are two key reasons why Close Concierge listened to agents and has always charged agents on a monthly basis instead of a per-transaction basis.

Know your bill

With unclear rules and fees, especially on deals that fall out from contract, agents have historically never known exactly how much they will be billed by their transaction coordinator. This has been referred to as the “Comcast” problem, where unexpected charges can dramatically increase the actual investment.
At Close Concierge, our expectation is to the number one customer service business, regardless of industry. Any sort of ‘fees’ is completely against that goal, and why we went with a monthly price.

Agents aren’t penalized for growing

One complaint many agents have is they are ‘penalized’ for closing more deals as they then need to pay the transaction coordinator more.
Under the Close Concierge flat pricing model, agents don’t need to pay more simply because they grew their business.

Should I Hire A Real Estate Transaction Coordinator?

Most agents would benefit from hiring a transaction coordinator in order to free their own time so they can instead focus on growing their business.
The key number for agents to keep an eye on is the number of transactions they close per month. Once that number is consistently one or higher, a transaction coordinator is a strong investment.
Agents who shouldn’t hire a transaction coordinator are typically below that threshold of consistently closing one transaction per month. At this stage, an agent may still be new to real estate and could benefit from coordinating their own real estate transactions to learn how best to do so. Alternatively, these agents could also be part-time in real estate and an investment in a transaction coordinator does not make as much sense.

How To Hire A Real Estate Transaction Coordinator

As we’ve alluded to already, real estate agents look to hire real estate transaction coordinators to free up their time.
Hiring a transaction coordinator is a wise investment that saves you a lot of time and effort. Now that you’ve made the decision to move forward, let’s help cover the key things you should think about before hiring a real estate transaction coordinator.
To do so, we’ll first talk about the necessary skills a good TC should have & then discuss how best to find that ideal real estate transaction coordinator.
To note, this list will skip over some qualities that are assumed any good employee should have: honor, integrity, significant technical skill, being several that matter. These factors should be expected for the real estate industry and all real estate professionals.
Key qualities your real estate Transaction Coordinator should have
All of the below are criteria any transaction coordinator should have. This list is incredibly important to ensuring that your TC is truly able to save you significant time.
Implicit in saving you time is one key element: the transaction coordinator does not make mistakes. Mistakes cost your time and money. As such, you’ll see that’s one of the most important qualities of a strong transaction coordinator.

Second-to-none customer service

Why it matters: A TC exists to make your life simpler. Anything less than a phenomenal customer experience does not accomplish this goal. Secondly, TC’s will end up communicating with your clients throughout the transaction. As such, leading customer service is expected.

The solution: Hire a TC from a company like Close Concierge that has the explicit goal of being the number one customer service company in the world, regardless of industry. We study companies like the Ritz Carlton and Chanel to model our own service off of theirs.

Significant real estate experience

Why it matters: Real estate transactions involve legal contracts and the transfer of assets worth thousands, if not millions, of dollars. The best transaction coordinator has this experience.

The solution: The right TC should have spent years within the real estate industry, with hundreds or thousands of real estate transactions of experience

Dedicated to you

Why it matters: Your business is unique and your market is unique as well. As such, working with a different transaction coordinator for every transaction will complicate your business.

The solution: Work with TC or a company that is dedicated to you and will always be the one to work on your real estate transactions. Further, look for a company that keeps their transaction coordinators for years (see full-time with benefits section).

Works Nights & Weekends

Why it matters: Many transaction coordinators and companies proudly advertise that they only work 9-4 and won’t return calls or emails at night or on the weekend. However, as any top realtor will know, nights and weekends are incredibly important times to be working within real estate.

The solution: Work with a real estate Transaction Coordinator or company who is available at nights and weekends. Close Concierge, for example, is the only company that advertises that we work at nights and weekends. We’re there for agents when agents need us.

Well-paid, with fantastic benefits

Why it matters: Most transaction coordination companies only hire TC’s as 1099 employees with no benefits, like health care. This results in other companies struggling to attract the top talent & struggling to retain this talent. Often, it means agents who work with other companies will work with multiple transaction coordinators each year as their TC’s leave the company.

The solution: Close Concierge pays significantly more than market salary, provide fantastic benefits, and share profit between all employees. It enables us to attract the best, and ensure you get to work with the best.

Hire A Real Estate Transaction Coordinator ?

Does a real estate transaction coordinator need a real estate license?

One item you might be surprised to see not included in that list is a license. In fact, most transaction coordinators do not have a real estate license.

A transaction coordinator is technically defined as an “unlicensed assistant.” In practice, that means your TC can handle all of the responsibilities mentioned above. The notable exception is California, which looks for a transaction coordinator to have a license.

The items a transaction coordinator cannot do are items that agents would prefer to do themselves. Said plainly, a transaction coordinator cannot legally advise a client on what to do.

For a classic example, let’s say your clients are buyers. The inspection report just came back and there are significant issues identified. The transaction coordinator cannot advise the buyers what they should do. It’s not Close Concierge’s place, nor can we, tell your buyers to walk, ask for a big credit, or ask for the repairs to be completed immediately.
Instead, the agent would most likely talk with the buyers regarding asking for repairs or credits, and how much to ask for.
Hiring a transaction coordinator
Now that we just walked through the key elements to think about when you hire a transaction coordinator, we’ll now look into the different options for which you can hire a transaction coordinator. There are a few different options that you could pursue. Earlier within the article, we briefly touched on the different options. Now, we’ll explore them in more detail.

Freelancer Transaction Coordinator

When you look into a freelancer transaction coordinator, you can find a more affordable solution that is substantially more flexible. However, the freelancer option is not without cons themselves. Let’s look into more detail about how to find them and their pros & cons.
How To Find A Freelance Transaction Coordinator
There are multiple ways to find freelance transaction coordinators. The best strategy is often referrals, as that way you can ensure someone has a good reputation and can deliver a great product as a result.
However, that’s not always possible. Many realtors have gone to job market sites like UpWork to search for a transaction coordinator.
While these strategies can help you find someone, it is always more difficult to ascertain quality. Even more so, it’s hard to guarantee that a freelancer will stay with your team for the long-haul.



Transaction Coordinator Company

The last option to consider for hiring a transaction coordinator is looking to hire a company. Multiple companies exist that function as ‘transaction coordination as a service.’ In short, they are designed to grant you access to professional TCs, without having to pay their high salary.

How To Find A Transaction Coordinator Company

There are many companies out there now that are solely focused on transaction coordination as a service. Many agents start looking for a TC company the same way most buyers start looking for properties: online. A quick Google search reveals dozens of different options. Close Concierge, for example, comes up when you search for “Transaction Coordinator”
Similar to how clients learn about great agents, referrals are another great way to learn more about different transaction coordinators.
Finally, many TC companies have designated customer success sales teams that reach out to individual agents who could be a great fit for coordination services.



Why a transaction coordination company is your best bet

In looking at all of the above options, working with a transaction coordination company is a clear leader for the best options for agents looking to save time and grow their business.
The largest reason why is a company can provide you the ‘best of both worlds’ when you evaluate a full time employee vs a freelancer. For example, you have no commitment & incredible flexibility when you work with a company. You can pause or cancel service when needed, which simply isn’t possible without laying off a full-time employee.
Similarly, a company is often the most cost-effective option. A full-time employee requires a significant salary and benefits, while a company instead will charge a fee for working with you and/or your agents.

How to evaluate transaction coordination companies

Earlier, this article talked about a few qualities that transaction coordinators should have. All of those qualities, such as the incredible attention to detail and willingness to work outside of 9-5, are still extremely important to consider.
However, there is one extremely important factor to consider when evaluating different companies: how they treat their transaction coordinators.
For example, most TC companies “hire” transaction coordinators as 1099 contractors
The unfortunate reality is that many transaction coordinator companies do not treat their employees particularly well. As a contractor, the TC makes less, ends up needing to provide their own health insurance, and does not get to enjoy a company culture.
When these elements add together, it does not create the best working environment for transaction coordinators. A sub-optimal working environment does not attract the best talent and does not retain the best talent.
As an agent looking to hire a transaction coordination company, these facts do not bode well. It means you might not be working with the best and may not have the best experience.
This doesn’t make any sense at all. A transaction coordination company has one key asset, and that’s the quality of its coordinators. Anything other than the best possible work environment doesn’t lead to the best quality of coordinators.

Close Concierge

Close Concierge is a new kind of transaction coordination company. Our goal is to be the number one customer service company in the world, regardless of industry. To provide agents that incredible service, we hire the absolute best by offering the best possible place for transaction coordinators to work.
If you are in the market for a transaction coordinator and would like to learn more, schedule a meeting here with our team

Updated February 2022

 Sean O'Dowd

Sean O'Dowd

Sean is CEO at Close Concierge and actively coordinates transactions for some clients. Sean took the agent license course at 18 and has been actively involved in real estate for over a decade, with experience across transactions, investing, and property management. Sean's professional career began at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) where he consulted for senior leadership of Fortune 500 clients. Sean graduated with honors from Wharton Business school. Sean lives in Chicago with his wife and son

Updated February 2022

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