Updated: Jan 20, 2021
The term "Transaction Coordinator (TC)" is being heard more and more during real estate transactions (yay!) but since the job description is pretty broad, there are a few assumptions made about the role. We attempt to set the record straight below by busting the Top 5 Myths about Transaction Coordinators.
Myth #1 - They're like an assistant
An assistant is there for YOU but a TC is there for the TRANSACTION.
The main focus of a transaction coordinator is compliance & risk management. We are there to keep all parties in line with contractual deadlines & to make sure all documentation is compliant with the standards of your broker & the DRE. In order to do that, the TC completes tasks that can also have the advantage of assisting the agent.
Sending off requested documents to lenders or escrow companies, uploading or submitting files to the agent's broker, being a resource or contact for Buyers & Sellers. These are all individual tasks that can be completed by an assistant, but they are not the only tasks of a Transaction Coordinator. Your TC has a bird's eye view of the transaction from listing to close & is always thinking 10 steps ahead. Your TC knows the domino effects of every deadline & every document. Not only that, but most TCs close more files in a year than the average agent closes in their entire career, so their experience is invaluable.
How do you know if a task is for an assistant or a Transaction Coordinator? Ask. For the most part, your TC will be guiding all parties through the escrow process so there shouldn't be a need to direct them on what to do each day. If there is something you could use a hand with, just reach out! Your TC will gladly help or let you know if that's something outside the scope of their services.
And when that happens, don't be angry! Your TC has curated & fine tuned their systems & tasks to be as efficient as possible, so when they decline a task, it's not personal. They just want to provide you with the best service they can, and sometimes, that means saying NO.
Myth #2 - They are mind readers
It seems obvious, but it's also one of the top things that most TCs want you to know, so not obvious enough. This myth evolves from not setting up clear expectations. See our Beginners Guide to Using a TC for more on what your TC needs to know about you & what you need to know about their services.
If you start your thought with, "Well I assumed..." then you're wrong. This goes for more than just getting answers to questions you never asked. It also applies to status updates, emails, text messages, etc. In the same way you have more than one client (hopefully), your TC has more than one file, which means it helps to clue them in on what file it is that you're talking about.
Some of our favorites are:
Did you get that one form signed?
Can you send me a copy of that report?
What's the phone number for escrow again?
I need a form drawn up for this credit amount.
When in doubt, be specific. We know you're busy & moving fast, but when your TC has to track you down & bug you for more detailed info, it wastes time for everyone.
Myth #3 - They work when you work
There is NO emergency in real estate!
Many agents will tell you that the job of a Realtor is 24/7. Weekends are for open houses. You've got to be ready to show property at the drop of a hat. Add in time to preview inventory & lead generate, and you'll be lucky if you catch a few hours of sleep.
While you're out focused on getting new transactions, your TC is coordinating with the other parties (escrow, lender, title, etc) to keep things running smoothly in your current transaction. And most of those other parties have typical business hours & don't work on weekends. And if no one is at work, then there's no one to coordinate with.
Some might say, well I want to get it over to them so they have it first thing...but by the time they get into the office, there's already a stack of emails piled up on top the one you sent at 10pm.
Also, there's a good chance your TC will have other documents to include, so give them a chance to review the file & kill 2 birds with one stone.
Myth #4 - That you don't need one
Yes. Yes you do.
Agents make their money by being out in the field, not living behind the computer. In order to maintain your momentum, you don't want to wait for your current deal to close before you start looking for the next one.
A real estate transaction is like an operating room. Everyone there is highly trained & has experience in their specific field. You don't want your surgeon to also be your anesthesiologist while also running around grabbing instruments and then sticking around to clean up after.
Same thing in real estate. Escrow/Title is the money middle man, agents handle negotiations & remain up to date on the market and Transaction Coordinators work with the documents & compliance. Yes, you can do it all...but don't you have better things to do?
Myth #5 - They do the agent's job for them
Agent: "Oh! I could never do what you do. I hate paperwork"
TC: "It's a match made in heaven because I could never do what you do!"
When you think about doctors or police officers, your first thought isn't about the charts they complete or the reports they fill out. Yes, it's part of the job. Yes, it's important to the job. But it's not the whole job. Your client doesn't hire you because of the CRM platform you use, the fancy car you drive, or the way you say "sign here". They hire you because of your negotiating skills, market knowledge, experience, etc.
The skills & personality type it takes to be a top producing real estate agent are almost the complete opposite of a top producing transaction coordinator. So hear us when we say:
We don't want your job. At all.
Many TCs hold their real estate license but it's not always for the reasons you think. It could be because maybe they started as a real estate agent & found they preferred the paperwork side of things. Some states require the TC to be licensed. Some of the tools that a transaction coordinator utilizes are only accessible with a real estate license or membership to an association (MLS, health insurance, etc).
So the next time you hear someone convinced of these myths, make sure you BUST them with all the info you just learned!
Have you heard of other TC Myths that need busting? Share it below in the comments.