Changes in the real estate industry appear to be reaching a breakneck speed at the moment. Almost every day, we are reading about a major acquisition of a real estate brokerage, MLS, or tech company. Change can be good or bad, but it always brings opportunity.

As a result, many MLSs, associations, and brokerages are having to re-think or re-shop the tech tools and software solutions bought from the company that was acquired. Firms are discovering that what they thought they purchased may not be the service they initially thought it was. It could be a culture change or something more significant: the motives of the acquiring company are incongruent with their own organization’s goals and objectives.

At Florida Realtors, we get it. Finding the right company to partner with today has never been more crucial in light of these acquisitions. When there are changes in ownership to essential software that helps agents and brokers run their businesses – such as their customer relationship management (CRM) or transaction management solution – it is time to reassess.

What do you do?

How do you select the right transaction management solution, for example, if you find yourself reconsidering what you have because of change?

At Florida Realtors, we own and operate Form Simplicity, used by more than a hundred thousand Realtors in Florida and hundreds of thousands of Realtors nationwide. Form Simplicity is a fantastic solution to help run a real estate business. Most importantly, it is now the only transaction management software solution that was created by Realtors for Realtors and is still owned by Realtors.

That provides significant value to an agent’s business because of how Form Simplicity is designed: with the Realtor in mind. Looking for the right transaction management solution isn’t just about features and benefits. When you compare the top five transaction management solutions side-by-side overall, you will see small differences.

How do you choose?

It comes down to how your members or agents and brokers adopt, embrace, and use a transaction management solution as a core function of their daily businesses. Gaining their trust is key. Partnering with Form Simplicity, owned by Florida Realtors, checks the trust box. They know that they are working with an organization that will always have their best interests at heart. Trust is essential to winning over and keeping agents and brokers happy today—and tomorrow.

Another critical factor in selecting the right transaction management solution is how well it can be integrated into your systems and deployed to your members or team. This is where Form Simplicity excels: talk to our customers about our rollout process and the personalized training we provide. We also have a seasoned team that excels at superior customer service. You will love our people and so will your agents and brokers.

Finally, buying any technology solution for the long run comes down to how excellent their tech support is. Fortunately for agents and brokers who use Form Simplicity, they are supported by the No. 1 tech support company in the real estate industry, Tech Helpline.

Will they be there when you need them?

Tech Helpline, like its sister service Form Simplicity, was created by Realtors for Realtors and remains owned by the Florida Realtors. No other tech support firm in real estate better understands how agents and brokers work. Tech Helpline also knows what they need in terms of kind, considerate, and thoughtful tech support.

Form Simplicity users get the best of the best: a US-based (Orlando) crew of top tech analysts offering support in both English and Spanish. Tech Helpline analysts have a combined 300+ years of tech support experience. They work with brokers and agents every day and make sure every question that comes in on a call or online is a positive and memorable experience for those reaching out for help.

The bottom line is every brokerage, MLS, and association today has many choices available for a transaction management solution. If you are reconsidering your decision—or making a selection for the first time—we ask that you look at Form Simplicity. It is the only industry provided solution that is owned and operated by Realtors for Realtors. Once you consider all the essential factors that can impact your business today and tomorrow, we are confident you’ll select Form Simplicity as your transaction management solution.

Did you realize that a dozen states allow or are testing a digital driver’s license? That’s right: no more fumbling in your purse or wallet to show your vital ID. It is digital, and all you need is your smartphone.

 

You don’t even need a paper passport at many ports of entry into the U.S. today with the Mobile Passport app. This is not a fad; it’s our future as experts predict that it’s just a matter of time that all IDs will be digitized.

 

The world is undergoing a digital transformation. Whether you like it or not, it’s a reality that for your business is worth embracing. Why? Because it will increase your productivity and that can be a big bump to your earnings, personal time, or both.

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At his moment in time, how many emails are in your inbox?  Today, one woman said 20,000 emails, and she just ignores most of them. 20,000 may sound extreme, yet many people have thousands of emails in their inbox.  We are talking about the number of total emails sitting there, not just the read ones.

An attorney I work with is completely up to date with all his emails.  His wife had only 22 emails in her inbox. That is a rarity.

As business people, and in our personal lives, the number of emails we get each day can be daunting. A disorganized inbox can hurt our business and productivity.

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Our smartphone is our constant partner. It is always with us. Although there is no formal agreement, “till death do us part” is not an unrealistic relationship when it comes to our smartphone. We use it to connect with our clients, friends, family, leads and just about everyone. It’s our GPS. It’s our news outlet. It’s our even our source of entertainment. When we go to sleep, it is next to us on our nightstand or not too far away.

In today’s age, we spend an average of 3 hours and 35 minutes on our mobile devices daily, and that number is growing.  We check it on average 47x per day.

As Realtors, we are in the communication, marketing and high-tech business. And when it comes to our business, our smartphone is our primary device for communication. (Many believe that we must be available for an immediate response when requested or suffer the loss of a client.) But as great as our smartphone is, it also has drawbacks. Technology addiction—a compulsive relationship with our mobile devices, social media and the internet—is one of the biggest threats to our health and relationships. And this addiction is not relegated to one age group.

What can you do to liberate yourself from your smartphone and still be considered accessible, professional and a top performer? Good news! Here are 6 steps you can take.  They work! Give them a try. Think of it as falling in love again with your life and creating an outstanding new year, beginning now. Continue reading

Smart Homes and Green Homes are growing in demand in many parts of the country. Yet, when people think of a Smart Home, some may think it is the same as a Green Home.  Yes, they work beautifully together, but they are actually different. This article will highlight each and show you the key features that buyers are looking for now.

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September was officially REALTOR® Safety Month, and there was an abundance of news stories, blogs and social media posts filled with tips and tactics to help keep brokers and agents safe.

But let’s face it: agent safety is something that’s vital all 365 days a year. So here is a collection of the best resources we found to help keep you safe year-round.

 

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Old habits are hard to break. If you’re an agent or broker that still favors paper and ink, then you might have some misconceptions about this modern time-saving technology that has been holding you back. Once you understand the advantages of eSigning – what it can mean to you, your business and especially your customer experience – you’ll not only become a user, but also maybe even an advocate.

Benefits of digital signatures for agents and clients

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paperless real estate transaction management

Real estate agents and brokers know that having a paperless transaction management program is a must-have to remain competitive, compliant and become more productive. But there’s another huge benefit to a paperless real estate transaction that is often overlooked: it’s remarkably Earth-friendly.

Being more eco-friendly remains important to a vast majority of Americans. In fact, 79% of Americans “agree that they consider themselves an environmentally conscious person,” while only 6 percent strongly disagree, according to a Harris Poll conducted last year.

The impact of paper
Consider for a moment, the amount of paper the average real estate agent handles during a single typical transaction, from the marketing materials and often hardcopy of a CMA at a listing presentation, to the contract, addendums, title, appraisal and documents at the closing table, the stack of paper would likely be as thick as an old telephone book for a major city!

Now think about the fact that there are typically 5-6 million new and existing homes sales each year, and the fact that the typical sales transaction still provides multiple sets of paper documents for all the parties involved, and we are talking a huge negative impact on our environment.

Now according to experts, it takes a little more than half a tree to make 10 reams of 100 percent, non-recycled 20-lb. copier paper. One ream of 500 sheets of paper uses about 6 percent of a tree. The bottom line is that if every real estate agent went paperless, we could potentially save millions of trees each year.

But the positive impact on our environment is even greater when an agent and broker use paperless transaction management. That’s because the amount of energy savings also is huge. To produce one ton of paper, or about 400 reams, it takes more than 11,000 kilowatts of energy: that’s about the same amount of energy the average household uses in 10 months!  Continue reading

Real estate consept : Businessman touching the screen about real estate

In Part Two of this two-part series that looks at how electronic signatures work inside a transaction management solution, Tricia Stamper of Florida Realtors shows what the signature experience looks like from a home buyer or seller’s point-of-view.

One of the most powerful ways to quickly engage a new client is to show them something that will “wow” them. Digital signing can have that “wow” factor, particularly with home buyers and sellers who are used to signing paper real estate documents. The fact is, the more experienced your client is with a standard, paper-filled real estate transaction, the more they are going to appreciate – and be delighted with – the digital signing process.

And that’s a big misnomer in real estate: that somehow, your clients have to be tech-savvy to want to sign documents digitally. The only real impediment is not technology. The real barrier is the resistance we all have to doing something that we have never done before: the fear of the unknown. But if you show your clients what the digital signing process is like, and explain the incredible benefits it provides for them, you will find that every one of your customers, no matter what age or level of experience with new technology. In fact, digital signing is no longer considered a nice feature to offer. It has become so pervasive that buyers and sellers are expecting their agents to make it available to them, and not just Millennials.

Let’s look at how digital signing works for the consumer using Form Simplicity, a leading transaction management program that is Realtor-created and supported. The move towards a paperless transaction with Form Simplicity helps unlock the chains that keep agents tied to their desktop computers by giving agents access to all their documents from anywhere with Internet connection, anytime. With eSign built-in, Form Simplicity demonstrably improves the customer signing experience. Digital signing reduces both the time to sign and the number of errors. It eliminates the 11th hour scramble to get a missing signature, an unpleasant experience that can frustrate you, your customer and be incredibly stressful. Continue reading

Businessman pressing contract on a digital screen, concept about agreement in business

In Part One of this two-part series in looking at how electronic signatures work inside a transaction management solution, Tricia Stamper of Florida Realtors shows what the experience looks like from an agent’s point of view. In Part Two, Stamper will show what the signature experience looks like from a clients’ point-of-view.

Going paperless is the fastest way for agents and brokers to improve their businesses, increase their profitability and give clients a better experience. Real estate is a mobile industry and agents are always on the go: in their home office, in their car, or meeting with clients at their home.

Today, by using a transaction management program such as Realtor-created and supported Form Simplicity, agents and brokers have the mobile tools to put contracts together anywhere. Agents are no longer chained to their desk and with Form Simplicity’s integration with eSign, electronic signatures can save every agent literally hours per transaction. That translates into increased profitability and productivity for agents.

Let’s first take a look at how easy and fast it is for an agent to use eSign technology, as shown inside Form Simplicity:

First, an agent can create an eSign session and quickly auto-populate their client information from the transaction contacts already inside Form Simplicity: (If the contact is not already in Form Simplicity, the agent can manually add them later in the process.)

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