Should your MLS provide Transaction Management services?

In our recent study on Transaction Management Adoption, it is clear that many of the component parts of full Transaction Management are being used successfully today by a growing number of real estate professionals. The key point is that they are adopting this technology step-by-step.  Some vendors today offer the different component parts of Transaction Management separately, including:

  • Internet Fax
  • Document Management
  • Online Forms/Contracts
  • Transaction Scheduling/Managment
  • Digital Signature

Transaction Management technology makes sense for many reasons.


It provides better service to consumers, reduces risk and helps the environment. The problem, however, is that to jump into it 100% all at once is difficult for most real estate professionals unless they are being supported by a full time transaction coordinator.  An answer that may make sense for MLSs considering this technology is to take baby steps first, adopting the “high use” technology such as Internet Fax and Document Management.  Most MLSs already have an online forms/contract solution but certainly this falls into this category as well.  Providing these services to your members creates immediate value and lets your members get their feet wet without overwhelming them with more than they can handle.  As they adapt to these features, vendors that offer tiered services can turn on the additional services when you are ready.

Here are some other tips taken from the 2009 WAV Group Transaction Management Adoption Study for MLSs

  • MLSs should continue to educate themselves and their members on the value of available online transaction processing components. Understand the real benefits of these modules.
  • Offering this technology is not “leveling the playing field” but rather raising the bar for all real estate professionals.The MLS is the ideal organization to offer online transaction processing services. The more community-wide participation in online transaction processing the better the system for all involved. This can be another area where the MLSs encourage collaboration and cooperation.
  • Transaction Management works best when it is well integrated with the MLS system to take advantage of data content and will allow for easy auto-populating from listing data and public records.
  • When looking at any component product, such as forms or document management, remember that eventually these are pieces of a bigger system. Before you choose a vendor and product look at how well this vendor and product fit into a longer-range solution. Don’t make decisions today that create blocks to more integrated and advanced technologies in the future. Choosing a Transaction Management provider in some ways is more difficult than choosing an MLS system because ideally it will be integrated into every broker’s business processes.
  • Understand the positive impact Transaction Management offers both in savings to your members and in protecting our environment and communicate this to your members. Help your members recognize going paperless has benefits for client satisfaction, cost savings and reducing their environmental impact.