5 Steps to Set up your Systems
In this post, I’m going to share how to organize your business and the 5 steps to set up your systems once you launch your virtual transaction coordinator business. If you're not quite sure what a Transaction Coordinator is and does check out my blog post here What is a Virtual Transaction Coordinator.
If you haven’t met me (Hey!!) my name is Joni and I am the founder of The Transaction Coordinator Bootcamp training and a Real Estate Broker. I help entrepreneurs like you launch and grow their own Real Estate Transaction Coordinator business working from home.
I have been selling houses for many years and coordinated all my own transactions so I know firsthand what it takes! If you want to learn how to create, launch, and run your own home-based business as an in-demand Virtual Real Estate Transaction Coordinator then you’ve come to the right place!
Organize your Business
I’m just going to admit it. I am a self-professed multi-tasker and for a long time, I was very proud of that fact. Especially when my kids were little.
I prided myself on having a baby on my hip, talking to a client on the phone, all the while I was making my toddler his morning snack. Sound familiar?
Multi-tasking is something that I considered productive for many years. Then one day I read an article about how much productivity is lost during the day multi-tasking between 2-3 things at a time.
I started to think about it and realized as much as I didn’t want to admit it, I wasn't getting as much done as I thought I was.
Starting a business isn’t easy but if you begin with organization and systems in mind, you will be more successful than if you didn’t. When you organize your transaction coordinator business starts with one system at a time. Complete that then go on to the next system rather than trying to do it all at once. Trust me...the (almost) reformed multi-tasker. I still have to remind myself, one thing at a time.
I’ve narrowed it down to 5 steps to set up your systems, so let's get started!
1. Set up your Business Email and Calendar
I start with email because you should always have a business email that is separate from your personal email. Ideally, it should reflect your business name in the body of the email. It should be something professional.
Setting up an email such as “firstname.lastname@example.org” just isn’t going to cut it. No one will take you seriously. It can be as simple as yournameTC@gmail.com
As a Transaction Coordinator, you are tracking timeline contingencies so some type of calendar tool is essential. It could be something such as Google calendar or I recommend Gsuite.
It just has to be something that you can track so you don't miss deadlines. Some TC’s use tools like Trello to organize their workflow. Some TC’s use tools that are more specific to the TC industry such as TCdocs .
2. Secure File Sharing
Having some type of secure file sharing process is important.
Depending on the agent you are working with they may have their own platform for you to upload all the documents to.
However, you should also keep a file of everything as well. I recommend Google Drive and Dropbox. I started out with the free version of Dropbox and quickly upgraded to the business version a long time ago.
Personally, I love dropbox, but I am using Google Drive more and more. Especially for spreadsheets that I share with my VA.
Not only will you be sharing the file with your client the agent, but you may also be file sharing with the buyer or seller. Whichever one the agent represents.
Not all TC’s file share with the agents' clients. Just sending them copies of all the documents via email could suffice.
3. Client Onboarding Process
Once you have a potential real estate agent client, you should have a routine onboarding process that each client goes through before you begin to accept any files from them.
There are a few items in the onboarding process that you will want your clients to be aware of and to sign.
Business Policies and Procedures
First and foremost you will want to send them a copy of your business policies and procedures.
This will spell out everything they need to know about how your business runs. Everything from, how you bill and collect payments, what is the best form of contact for you, your business hours, how quickly they can expect a response during business hours, etc.
The contract that the client signs will also cover some of these items such as billing, payments, and collection but it’s a good idea to put this information in both places.
Task List and Fees
The next thing you will want to provide is a list of tasks/services you provide along with your fees.
Some of those tasks will be specific to what state you live in. For example, California has more disclosures than Washington State which means a TC in California would be responsible for gathering different disclosures than a TC in Washington.
There also may be certain tasks that the agent you work with will require that other agents do not. For example, there are some brokerages that require agents to use brand-specific forms in all their contracts.
These brokerages will require these forms to be included in the compliance file. This means you will have some variances from client to client.
Some TC’s include certain tasks that other TCs do not do. For example, some TC’s include in their services setting up appointments for inspections.
Some TC’s do not want that task because it can be difficult sometimes to go back and forth between all parties to agree upon a time.
This will be something that you will have to decide on when you begin. You can always add small tasks to your services especially if you find it makes your agents' lives easier.
The more value you provide means your clients won’t be able to live without you 🙂 After all, you want a happy client so they will refer you to other agents!
Sign a Contract
Last but not least, part of the onboarding process is having your client sign a contract. This is probably the most important part of the onboarding process.
I would recommend that the client signs or initials your policies and procedures as well. That way there are no discrepancies. You and the client can refer back to policies and procedures if there are ever any questions.
4. Organize Finances
When you organize your business as a Transaction Coordinator understand you are considered an independent contractor rather than an employee. This means that you have to keep track of your income and expenses along with paying taxes to the IRS. Having a good bookkeeping system is very important.
When you're just starting out using something as simple as a spreadsheet to keep track of monthly income and expenses can work.
As an independent contractor, you will be paying your own taxes. Depending on your situation holding out 25-30% of your income each month will ensure that you will have enough when it comes time to pay the IRS.
I would recommend consulting with a CPA to ensure you're on the right track. If you can afford it, hire a CPA to help you with your taxes. If not, at the very least consult with one when your getting started.
5. Marketing for Clients
Gone are the days of cold calls and sending out flyers for your business.
Establishing an online presence is key. Decide where your target client hangs out and start there. Generally, two good places to find ideal clients will be Facebook and Linkedin.
Rather than trying to establish yourself on all the social media channels, start with one or two. Trying to be everywhere on social media will end up diluting your presence.
The other presence that's critical will be your website. It doesn't have to be a big custom expensive website.
You can easily start with a simple Square Space website and have one or two pages that explain who you are, what services you provide, what your fees are, and a way to contact you. Keep it simple.
How well you market yourself will, in turn, determine how fast you will be able to make the income that you desire.
So are you ready to start your online business as a Virtual Transaction Coordinator biz yet?
If you found these tips helpful in starting your own Transaction Coordinator business working from home please don’t be shy and let me know!
I would love it if you left a comment below letting me know your thoughts or you can always contact me directly at email@example.com. Every email that comes through I will read and reply to! Let me know if you have thought about making money from home and what is holding you back from getting started.
If you're interested in finding out more about the Transaction Coordinator Bootcamp you can check it out here.