person-woman-desk-laptopA little over 10 years ago, in January 2006, we were heading into a tumultuous housing market. But a few years before things got crazy, the Florida Realtors did something brilliant – it launched a new service for its members called Tech Helpline.

The concept for Tech Helpline was pretty straightforward. Technology tools for agents were coming to market at a rapid pace and many agents admitted to needing technology assistance. Just a year later, the first iPhone would be announced and that little computer-in-your-pocket ushered in a flurry of both opportunities and challenges for agents as it quickly became the smartphone of choice for most agents in our industry.

Florida Realtors saw the need to help provide a tech support service early on because it listened to its members. What was created with Tech Helpline was a kind of virtual “Genius Bar” for real estate agents, who could connect with a trained tech expert by dialing a toll-free number, opening up a chat window online, or simply shooting out an email if they had a less urgent question or need. The cost to the member: It was included as a member benefit, covered by their annual association dues. In other words, it didn’t cost them an extra dime. Continue reading

broker risk managementLast fall, Form Simplicity added Broker Transaction Management as a standard feature at no additional cost to customers.

The reason this is significant is that perhaps no task is more mundane – yet more important – than the compliance issues that brokerage management faces. Broker Transaction Management creates a single place for real estate broker-owners to manage, review, approve, track and store every agent’s transaction activity from beginning to end.

It was also the motivation behind deploying these features without any additional costs to Form Simplicity customers because this need is universal: Every brokerage must deal with compliance issues every day. Broker transaction management tools shouldn’t be something you have to pay for separately; it should be a standard feature within every transaction management system.

Risk management
Reducing risk through compliance is a key role for real estate management. These new broker tools reduce risk through a customizable, automated, paperless review process that helps safeguard brokerage transactions to remain compliant.

First, brokers can collaborate with their agents throughout the transaction review process to ensure accuracy across a streamlined workflow. Second, these tools also offer office transparency: brokers track email and text correspondence for every transaction. This not only gives brokers visibility into each agent’s transaction activity, it also allows brokers to evaluate, comment on and approve all forms digitally submitted by their agents. Continue reading