Tammi Deinlein is a queen of transaction coordination.
With over seventeen years of real estate experience, she’s seen it all. From lugging around stacks of paper files to “simplifying” her process with an 85-step Excel sheet – Tammi is on a never-ending journey to peak efficiency, and it hasn’t always been easy.
“I realized I was chasing that Excel sheet more than it was working for me,” Tammi chuckles.
When she set out to launch her own company, Real Pro Leverage, she knew her ad hoc system of copy/pasting templates into Gmail wasn’t going to cut it. She decided to completely revamp her transaction coordination systems to make them more transparent, efficient and user-friendly – both for her growing team of rockstar TCs and the real estate teams they serve.
“I’m [now] able to close anywhere from 30-60 files per month, or 30 per transaction coordinator because I’ve got the systems, the models and the consistency,” says Tammi.
For anyone who’s counting, that’s about 700 files annually.
The key to Tammi’s success?
She’s always looking for ways to improve.
“Any tool that you use should provide you leverage,” says Tammi. It’s a simple statement, but one that has become a true mantra for Tammi and the team at Real Pro Leverage.
We sat down with the systems-loving co-owner and transaction manager to get the inside scoop on how she built an airtight transaction coordination system to empower agents to get back to doing what they do best: building relationships.
She’s breaking it down to what you need to know:
- Outsourcing Transaction Coordination: What Most Real Estate Team Leaders Get Wrong
- Leverage in Real Estate: It’s a Journey, Not a Destination
- How to Choose a Transaction Coordination Software that Helps You Leverage Your Genius
- From Excel to PrecloseGO!: Catering to the Tech-savvy Real Estate Agent in the Age of Uncertainty
- Better Transaction Coordination = More Commissions: How Real Estate Brokers Can Leverage TC for Better ROI
- What’s Next for Tammi and the Real Pro Leverage Team?
Outsourcing Transaction Coordination: What Most Real Estate Team Leaders Get Wrong
With nearly two decades in the game, Tammi has witnessed a variety of approaches to hiring and outsourcing real estate transaction management – some great and some…well, not so great.
So, we had to know:
What makes the difference between the real estate teams who leverage transaction coordination into more revenue for their business and those who keep spinning their wheels trying one admin after another?
Her answer? It all comes down to one thing.
“I’ve had a lot of agents that will come to me and say, ‘Okay, I want to hire an assistant. So I want somebody who can do marketing, somebody who can be an ISA, I want somebody who’s gonna be good at my transactions, I want somebody who’s gonna be doing my marketing, I want somebody to go pick up my laundry…’ I say, ‘Great, so you’re hiring five people, right?’ And they’re like, ‘What do you mean?”
Tammi laughs, but she’s not kidding.
As a transaction manager turned entrepreneur, she’s witnessed the power of intense focus firsthand.
For Tammi, harnessing your one key superpower is crucial to gaining real leverage in your real estate business.
“I walk away every day, tired, sometimes frustrated, not always loving lenders or whatever the situation may be, but happy. I love what I do because I’m in my zone. I’m in my one thing. Sure, I can do a marketing flyer, but it’s not something that’s going to turn out beautiful and sparkly because it’s not my one thing. If you’re going to hire an admin, realize that there are going to be some things that you may be spreading them a little thin on,” Tammi explains.
The way she sees it, it’s far better to leverage some of your marketing and admin tasks on a per piece cost-of-sale basis, rather than treat these tasks as a catch-all line item.
This way, you can scale your real estate admin up and down as needed, rather than trying to cram too many tasks into a monthly admin expenditure.
Here’s Tammi on the one thing every real estate team leader or broker needs to know to build a high-performance TC team:
Leverage in Real Estate: It’s a Journey, Not a Destination
In starting a business focused solely on the real estate transaction process, Tammi knew ‘efficiency’ had to be her watchword.
Her current system simply wasn’t scalable.
“I used to just use Google and my email templates, and I’d type in what goes to the title company, what goes to the lender and what goes to the other agent,” recalls Tammi.
She was spending way too much time manually typing in information, or copy-pasting it across multiple files and emails.
Plus, the real estate industry was evolving fast. Tammi knew that if she wanted to stay competitive, she needed to meet her agents on their turf, namely: their mobile phones.
Tammi needed a system that could provide her team with efficient, mobile-optimized communication features to help service agents, even when they’re on the move.
“I had to find a software that had an app for agents that are tech-savvy and want to work on the go, one that provides leverage for my agents, buyers and sellers,” she says.
How to Choose a Transaction Coordination Software that Helps You Leverage Your Genius
As you can probably tell by now, Tammi is on a mission to eliminate tasks that aren’t aligned with her core strengths.
If she was going to invest in any tech tool, it had to be one that amplified this philosophy.
“Focusing enables me to fine-tune my process. I also become highly proficient at it and can go twice as fast because that’s my habit, and that’s my mindset, and that’s where I constantly am. I love what I do because I’m in my zone. I’m in my one thing,” she explains.
Tammi weighed up several options before she found Preclose.
“I could’ve almost taken it out of the box, started with it and then modified it. I would call it consumer-friendly because once you know how to set up an email template, it’s very easy to use.”
Finally, Tammi had found a platform that allowed her and her team of TCs to manage contracts, documents, communication and a variety of key TC to-dos on the fly. It also meant that she could quickly react to any unforeseen changes – even ones as big as the coronavirus pandemic.
From Excel to Preclose: Catering to the Tech-savvy Real Estate Agent in the Age of Uncertainty
Originally, Tammi’s process meant that once she and the team started working on a file, an email went out to the various stakeholders – the title company/attorney, buyer or seller, agent, etc. From there, periodic touchpoints were manually scheduled.
But with the onset of the pandemic, the mode of conversations changed almost overnight.
“All of a sudden, I’m now asking my agent, ‘Hey, are you going to close? Are you allowed to go to closing? Do you want to pick up your check? Do you need me to have it mailed?’” she explains.
Here’s Tammi on how she used her leverage-first philosophy to help guide agents, buyers and sellers through the pandemic:
Tammi took advantage of Preclose’s easy customization features to quickly adjust her email templates for the new reality.
By pivoting quickly to keep the ball rolling, Tammi maintained her close rate of 60 files per month, despite the pandemic.
Not only that, Tammi’s TCs could now get better, faster answers from agents, clients, and third parties by communicating via chat vs. lengthy emails and voicemails.
The enhanced efficiency and visibility also meant less back-and-forth for all parties and a happier, more zen transaction management experience during one of the most stressful events in recent history.
Better Transaction Coordination = More Commissions: How Real Estate Brokers Can Leverage TC for Better ROI
With a better system in place, Tammi was also able to solve a perennial problem for real estate agents:
Being too swamped with admin to tackle high ROI tasks.
“They say it takes an average agent anywhere from 25 to 30 hours per transaction to do the administrative stuff that it takes to get from contract to close,” says Tammi.
If those 30 hours were spent generating and following up with leads, agents could easily see an extra $20,000 (or more!) in commissions each month.
So why don’t more teams outsource transaction coordination?
In short, real estate brokers simply don’t have the time or tools in place to train TCs well.
“If you’re running one transaction, you usually remember who’s on the transaction. Once you start running three or more, it gets tougher to manage,” Tammi explains.
Here’s how Tammi trains a team of TCs to carry a minimum of 5 files per month, with little to no oversight:
With a little help from Preclose, Tammi and her team can focus on what they do best and empower their agents to do the same.
For agents who want to go the extra mile, Tammi’s upgraded process lets them instantly access information on the go by simply logging into Preclose. With Preclose in hand, they never need to pick up the phone to call or email her.
“I knew there had to be a better solution to what I had, and Excel sheets just don’t cut it on our phones, so having that information on our phones is crucial. It not only makes me more mobile; I am also able to respond faster.”
Thinking about hiring a transaction coordinator? Check out our ultimate TC hiring guide for free job description templates and interview questions
What’s Next for Tammi and the Real Pro Leverage Team?
For Tammi and the team at Real Pro Leverage, the commitment to continuous improvement doesn’t stop here.
In 2021, they’re looking to double the number of files they close each month.
“For my business, by this time next year, I want to be closing anywhere from 150 to 175 transactions a month,” she says. “The [Preclose] Gmail integration is just going to double me – it’ll be like two of me working!”
In the meantime, Tammi has one piece of advice for real estate teams thinking about hiring an admin or TC:
“Don’t hire an admin out of pain. Don’t hire just because you need it right now. Finally, have a plan to train them.”
If Tammi’s story proves anything, it’s that, with the right tools and training, leveraging transaction coordination into real revenue for your real estate business is definitely doable.
All you need to do is stay focused.
Looking to close more deals in less time? Preclose helps brokers, teams, agents, buyers, and sellers enjoy a seamless real estate experience from start to finish. See why thousands trust our service with a free trial today!