10 Ways to Save Time Managing Real Estate Transactions


At Paperless Pipeline, we help real estate companies save time. We build features that streamline and simplify real estate transactions so that brokers, admins, and transaction coordinators, and team leads can all get more time back in their day. 

For some, Paperless Pipeline helps optimize an established process. For others, Paperless Pipeline is the replacement for paper folders and manual processes. 

While each company using Paperless Pipeline is different, there’s one similarity among them all: Saving time by simplifying their real estate transaction process is a top priority. 

Saving time is critical for a growing company

For smaller offices managing 1-5 transactions a month, repetitive tasks may only happen 1-5 times a month. That often equates to once or twice a week spending a few extra minutes. 

For larger high-volume real estate companies and teams, these same kinds of repetitive tasks happen multiple times each day—and dozens to hundreds of times each week. A savings of just minutes per task turns into hours each week. With those kinds of time-savings changes, brokers, admins, and support staff have more time to do things that produce more significant value.

No matter what size company you manage, saving time soon is always essential. Smaller offices looking to grow can establish best practices and ensure continued efficiency as they recruit real estate agents and close more deals. Larger offices can find immediate impact and huge time-savings with just a few changes to their processes.

Here are 10 ways to save time with your real estate transaction workflow:

10 ways to save time managing real estate transactions 

1. Use browser tabs more effectively. 

Internet browser tabs are handy. Some of us keep too many tabs open. Others hardly know the feature exists, instead opting for new browser windows rather than new tabs. 

The truth is that when used effectively (and consistently), browser tabs are a great way to streamline and organize your real estate management workflow. Think of tab organization like additional computer monitors—you can reference something in one tab without closing the primary source. 

Using tabs is a great way to work between your email inbox, form systems, a reporting spreadsheet, and even your real estate transaction management software’s different pages. Simply open new pages as separate tabs—always keeping the primary tab available.

You can further optimize tabs by pinning tabs to the left of your browser, setting default pages to open whenever you launch your browser or using new “grouping” features to organize tabs by category. 

2. Set up automatic due dates for your tasks

Think about the beginning of a new transaction: You review the contract and begin writing down the critical transaction dates. Each date is based on a milestone, such as the Acceptance Date, Contingency Date, Financing Date, Close Date, or something else. You can add those to a calendar, send them to your agent, and update your buyer or seller.

Save hours each week by automating tasks and their due dates based on typical transaction milestones. Even though things change, establishing due dates on the acceptance or close date is an easy way to assign due dates and apply them to calendars quickly. 

A free and straightforward way to do this is with Google Sheets, Excel, or another spreadsheet program. With formulas, you can easily define the rules by which a new date should be calculated. Or, check out our real estate transaction management software to see how simple automated task due dates can be. 

3. Use drag and drop features. 

Clicking through pages, documents, and files can take up far more time than many people may realize. To help alleviate that time drains, modern software products often offer drag and drop functionality. These drag and drop features allow you to simply drag information or files to where they need to go—no searching, copy and pasting, or document migration necessary. 

With Paperless Pipeline, real estate admin and agents can drag and drop almost anything into and inside the software. For example, you can drag your contacts and contact information, agent information, checklists, tasks, and more directly into emails and notes. You can also drag documents directly from your desktop or device into your transactions. 

4. Create email templates

This is a big one, if not the single most significant way to save time: Create email templates for the most common messages you send. 

Think about how often you send updates and requests to your agents, update emails to new buyers, or timelines to your new sellers. Creating and using email templates can save you and your admin team hours every week. Rather than writing the same emails over and over again, you can apply nearly complete email templates and then customize just a few items within it to make sure it’s correct and personal. 

Some products allow you to do this with your existing email client—even Gmail. However, templates are rarely used as effectively as they could be. It takes time to create templates, and often, people try to make them work for every situation. 

The fact is, email templates are a great way to save time, but they’re not right for every message you send. Don’t waste time creating emails that have a great deal of personalization or are only occasionally sent. Instead, focus first on creating email templates that are nearly the same each time except for a few data points. 

With Paperless Pipeline, you can also add auto-fill tags to your email templates so that the system can customize your messages with transaction information, contact information, important dates, and more. 

5. Aggregate relevant information 

People spend hours every week just trying to figure out what needs to be done or how to start their day. Save time and find ways to aggregate important information in one place. 

You can often use your calendar system to do this. Many calendars and email products allow you to manage events, tasks, and reminders. For newer real estate companies, these are great tools that are also free. For larger companies, real estate software like Paperless Pipeline will automatically pull together tasks due today, closings this week, and more for you to see in real-time on one page. 

With this single-source of truth, you can better prioritize your day and week and ensure that you won’t waste time trying to see what needs to be done. Instead, you can start getting things done today. 

6. Type less, with type-ahead

Another feature of modern products is type-ahead. Sometimes you don’t even know it exists, but it’s often working behind the scenes. Essentially, type-ahead will help you stop searching up and down to find what you need. 

Instead, when you come across a list of items, such as when you need to select your state or perform a document search, start typing the first few letters of what you need, and the list will find items beginning with those letters. 

WIth Paperless Pipeline, type-ahead exists for our drop-down menus as well. You can find your email templates, checklists, document names, and more all offer type-ahead functionality. You can also start typing in the search bar on your homepage to find the transaction you need.  

7. Filter to see only what you need

We are inundated with information every day. Our inboxes are a source of constant news, our devices rarely stop pushing notifications, and our phones just keep ringing. 

This kind of constant information is both distracting and deprioritizes whatever it is that we’re focused on. Use filters to organize incoming information, such as emails, calls, and data.

Your email inbox likely has powerful filter options that you can customize. Newer phones allow you to screen calls. And with Paperless Pipeline, you can filter your transactions and tasks only to see what you need: Listings, Sales, Tasks due this week, overdue items, and more. You can also create custom real estate report shortcuts like these and save them for future use within seconds. 

8. Automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks

Every so often, it’s essential to reflect on how you spend your time. It’s not always clear what tasks you do more often than others when you’re neck-deep in real estate transactions. To automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks, first, consider what those tasks are. 

It’s also important to consider the value of the tasks. Some are repetitive and time-consuming but invaluable to the process or highly necessary to your service’s value. Others should be automated as quickly as possible and taken off your plate. 

Understanding what tasks are repetitive and which ones should actually be automated is critical. Consider how much customization is needed for a particular task, what insight the task provides you by doing it yourself, and what negative impact there may be if the automation fails. 

Once you’ve identified a few tasks that are an excellent fit to be automated, you can set up the process in a few different ways.

Tools like Zapier are a great way to connect products and design workflows between multiple tools. For example, when a transaction closes, you could trigger an email to your client, send a Slack message to your team, add the sale price to a spreadsheet, and add your client to an email drip campaign in Mailchimp. 

That’s just one example of a workflow that can save you time. With Paperless Pipeline, you can automate your real estate workflows just like these with thousands of other apps.  

9. Focus on the low-hanging fruit 

Saving time is essential. The entire premise is why we’ve written this article. However, saving time requires adjusting your current workflow and building out new processes. In many ways, this means you need to invest time to save time. 

The best way to get started is to begin by fixing the easy things first. These kinds of easy-fixes, or low-hanging fruit, are less glamorous, but they yield immediate time-savings that you can use for larger long-term projects.

Often, real estate companies start with the reverse. New or smaller companies seek to automate the entire process from start to finish before focusing on the little things that would help them recruit better agents and close more deals.

On the other hand, larger companies tend to focus on the big picture and ask executive or leadership roles to undertake time-saving initiatives. While valuable, leadership-driven projects tend to overlook the low-hanging fruit that would make a happier and more efficient admin who performs the daily. 

10. Experience a new product and see the impact before signing up. 

If you’re evaluating new real estate software as a way to save time, money, and effort—there are ways to save time and make even that process far more productive and worthwhile. 

Many people start with a sales demo, but what’s better: Sales demo or a free trial?

Instead of opting for the sales demo first, try the product with a free trial. For many, this tip feels like it’s wasting time—after all, you may be wanting a demo because you don’t have time to test them all out. 

Here’s the truth: Investing 10 minutes upfront with a free trial can save a year or more of frustration. 

How? Because most sales demos are designed to sell, not to help. In other industries, products offer monthly plans and free trials. However, in real estate, annual contracts, holding data hostage, and quota-driven salespeople are still ubiquitous with many software products. 

Instead, start with a free trial. Starting with a free trial allows you to see what the system looks like to a new user (think about how your agents and admin will experience it.) You will have a chance to come up with questions, test usability, evaluate their support team, and get a much better sense of what you’ll see when deciding to schedule a demo. 

Paperless Pipeline transaction management software is different. Pricing is upfront, and every plan includes unlimited free users. There are no long-term annual contracts. You can cancel anytime and keep your data. We’re not selling your information or competing against your business. We offer a free trial, free setup, free training, and free support. Even if it’s not the right fit for your company, there’s absolutely no commitment or risk to see for yourself.

Watch the video: 10 Ways to Save Time with Paperless Pipeline

From the Paperless Pipeline Pro Webinar Series: The top 5 tools in Paperless Pipeline that can save you and your team huge chunks of time every day.