From Propy’s special episode aired October 21, 2020, is with Suzy Truax, Board of Directors at EXP World Holdings, and Nina Dosanjh, Director, Strategic Alliances & Technology at Vanguard Properties. 

Brokerages are losing millions of dollars on manual compliance every year. Issues around transactions were discussed by Suzy Truax, Board of Directors at EXP World Holdings, and Nina Dosanjh, Director, Strategic Alliances & Technology at Vanguard Properties, alongside Propy’s CEO Natalia Karayaneva. They share insights about what brokers/owners need to do to adapt to new technologies, as well as three tips on how to save big by using automated compliance.

What are the problems we have with compliance/transaction tools?

According to Suzy Truax, there are only three primary transaction tools used. Recently, one of those tools, Dotloop, was purchased by Zillow. With Zillow now getting into brokerage, it would be bizarre to use another brokerage’s platform.  While agents and brokers manage what we’ve had to use, there is still a manual process that needs to be addressed.

Data sharing concerns

Nina Dosanjh shares that from her perspective, data sharing makes our lives easier. However, talking about data on a larger scale, agents are inputting so much consumer and transaction information, and all of that is being gathered somewhere. This data is being sold to someone. You don’t want to work with a company that is selling your data and monopolizing what you’re contributing without any benefit to you at a brokerage level.  You need to ask yourself if a company is protecting this data or not.

Truax adds that collecting data and monetizing it will not be going away. Brokers/owners need to understand that they have a monetizable asset. But if you are going to monetize this, it must be done ethically, with the customer’s permission and the originator (the agent).  

One of the common misconceptions regarding the MLS, according to Dosanjh, is that the MLS sends the listing information to Zillow. But the broker is the person who determines where that data goes.  We have to ask: What does the consumer want? 

Three tips to save big with Automated compliance:

1. Making the transaction customer experience better

According to Truax, transaction management has to be simple and easy to use. Consumers do not want anything complicated. For the Millennials, it has to be mobile responsive. The compliance part occurs on the backend, but the consumer side has to be simple and easy to use. 

Dosanjh feels that increased transparency and improving the data’s accuracy will reduce the risk for everyone involved. 

2. Automating data imputing and checking

Both Truax and Dosanjh agree that one of the most significant areas where brokerages lose money is the need for manual inputting and checking of data. While technology is being used, it is not fully automated at this point. We have technology solutions, such as artificial intelligence (AI), that can help. 

Dosanjh adds that ease of use and saving time is critical. Instead of typing the same property address repeatedly in multiple forms, there needs to be a way to have that globally populate the contracts.  Truax agrees and says that in California, where contracts can sometimes be 1,000 pages long, having a manual aspect to completing contracts slows down the process, and you need more overhead in terms of staffing to cope with this.

3. Be quick to adapt to new compliance tech

Due to COVID, we’ve seen how quickly agents were able to pivot and adopt technology quickly. More progress in tech adoption has happened in the past seven months than in the previous decade.

How NAR is involved with digital transactions

Dosanjh explains that NAR has been looking at automated, digital transactions for some time. NAR gave support to The Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic Notarization Act of 2020 (SECURE Notarization Act). Electronic signatures and e-closings are becoming industry norms.  NAR has brought in industry leaders to identify baseline requirements and core components for paperless transactions. We have to have a uniform set of rules that apply across state boundaries if we want to have nationwide adoption.