Definition of transparent

  • able to be seen through
  • easy to notice or understand
  • honest and open : not secretive

What makes a transaction transparent and why is it important to brokers? It’s the ability to see all aspects of the transaction to ensure the data is reliable, hasn’t been altered, and is accurate. Although simple, it’s shocking how many brokers don’t have systems in place to ensure this. It starts with a good real estate transaction management program to manage the escrow process, and it ends with a back office system–like BrokerSumo–to manage the final closing pieces. It gives insight into the entire transaction; from the time a listing is taken or a buyer is procured, to when the transaction is closed and all parties are paid–which is critical when it comes to making sure your data is reliable. Everything you need to manage your office effectively is hinging on this data. The reports that give visibility into your agents and office performance depend on this information being accurate. So what’s the best way to ensure your data is transparent? Here are 5 steps:

  1. Only a few people should be responsible for updating this data. The more fingers in the cookie jar, the messier things can get.
  2. If you’re using anything other than a transaction management or back office application, like Microsoft Excel for example, stop immediately and find software solutions instead. Excel is ripe for mistakes.
  3. Make sure your software tracks changes in the transaction data so you can see which user updated the files.
  4. Audit trail – someone should be reviewing the file at closing to ensure everything is entered accurately. Ideally, this is a second person who is not responsible for the day-to-day tasks of maintaining the transaction file.
  5. Have a written process in place documenting these steps, so everyone knows what is required in each file to keep things consistent.

Pretty simple right? It’s really just a matter of getting the process in place. As Marcus Lemonis, from CNBC’s The Profit says, “The 3 keys to business success are: people, process and product.”