The Real Return on Taking your Back Office Digital

July 03, 2020 | Sasha Hryciuk

If you’re a Brokerage still sitting on desktop software and paper-based workflows you’ve got to understand that while today it costs you time and money, it may just cost you your competitive advantage within a few short years.

2020 has had everyone reeling, a virus and a lockdown have not made it easy on Real Estate or the millions of Agents and their Brokers working in the industry. In a time where keeping remote is mandatory, it's hard to imagine that so many Brokerages are still not cloud-based. More importantly, Millennials and GenZ are becoming the most influential groups in the industry it's hard to imagine that desktop software and physical commission checks would pass the sniff test. Today, Agents and Admins want their data quickly and easily, not to mention accessible anytime and anywhere.

What is easy to understand is how much going digital can save you. We’ve summarized all the savings in our blog post: Desktop software costs you more than you think

Let’s run through an example of the time it takes to submit, create, review, manage, close and pay an Agent when using desktop software:

Our Agent, Adam, is stoked - he’s just received the accepted offer on his first deal of 2020!  He’s using dotloop so he’s got all the signed documents and requirements online.  But wait!  His Brokerage’s software doesn’t integrate.  He has to manually get the information to his admin. (For more information on integrations, see our post: What’s an integration - Really: )

Luckily his office has gone “paperless” so Adam can just email the office from dotloop.  Well, not exactly.  He still needs to download and fill in the transaction record sheet for the office documentation.

What could have been a 30-second data pull from dotloop to the back office software just cost Adam an extra 10 minutes.  One little delay, right?

The office now has his deal.  The “paperless office” admin downloads the document and enters it into their accounting system, taking a cool 5 minutes of paperwork and 10 minutes of keying in data.  Hmmm...some information doesn’t match the contract and there’s data missing from the transaction record sheet.  Adam and the admin now spend some time going back and forth over email to get it sorted out.  Another 15 minutes collectively lost.

The admin’s work is not done. After the initial sweep of the contracts and documents the admin compiles the paperwork into a single PDF to be shared with the boss. This PDF is sent over email and is reviewed by the Managing Broker as soon as they find the time. This process along with adding new instructions can take up to 20 minutes.

Once the admin gets the sign-off, they are finally able to record any deposits and review the commissions and fees assigned to the Agent. If you’re not digital that can also mean a trip to the bank to get that deposit in. Ugh, add another 10 minutes per deal.

Fast forward 60 days and the office is finally ready to pay out those commissions!  Reviews, approval and financial accounting entries take another 10 minutes to produce a check; shiny, new, and neatly filed away at the office.

Adam gets word from his admin: it’s time to come grab that payout.  Fantastic!

Given traffic, It’ll take about 15 minutes to get to the office, 5 minutes to grab the check and chat with his colleagues, and another 20 to get to his bank and make the deposit.

Tally that all up and we’re at 2 hours.  That’s right - 2 hours to load a deal and get funds to an Agent’s account.

Let’s be generous and assume that a typical Brokerage has already digitized at least half of these steps, that would speed it up to 1 hour per transaction.

Compare that to online systems and you wasted 40 minutes.  Yes, you read correctly! Loft47 clients boast they can bring in a deal from a transaction management platform and pay it out in under 20 minutes.  Start to finish.  (If you don’t feel like pulling out your calculator, that’s 67% faster!)

If you’re a Brokerage running 100 deals a month through the pipeline you’ve just saved yourself and the team 67 working hours a month. Let’s attribute an average hourly cost of $30/hr. What is costing $3,000 in people time per month now can be as low as  $990 when you choose systems that integrate successfully. Imagine what you can do with your $2,010 worth of time saved, that’s $24,000 a YEAR you can use towards building up your team!

If you value your time, and that of your Agents, you're not only saving time, you’re saving cash. A lot of it.

If you want to understand more on the cost of manual workflows, this calculator is a great summary from the team at TSheets. Your team is valuable, free them up to do the work that creates more value for your Brokerage.

Check out our digital platform by booking your one on one demo!

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