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 Transaction Management Systems
By: Darin "Sid" Cameron, CRS
Tue, Sep 26th, 2006 12:33 pm

We recently started using a Transaction Management System, or TMS, called Settlement Room to automate and manage our contract to close process.

If you don't know what a TMS is, it's an online collaborative project management tool that allows agents, assistants, clients and vendors to all come together to keep the contracting process nicely organized and on track.

If you're an agent this means no more lost paperwork or missed deadlines because you're trying to juggle so many things at once.

However there are a lot of options out there so I thought I would share my research that I did prior to deciding on a platform.

Going online I found two white papers that I used to launch my research in TMS.  They are online at http://www.callclareity.com/publications.cfm#previous.  (Being copyrighted I can't upload them to my site, sorry).  They're a good starting point for researching the players as well as justifying TMS.

As I mentioned, we implemented Settlement Room.  My second choice was TransactionPoint by Fidelity Software.  However TransactionPoint didn't have the agent feedback automation system that Settlement Room has.  This is not only a handy feature, but it's already saved us hours of agent follow up.

Both products are web-based ASP programs.  ASP is where there is no software on your computer, everything is web based on a remote servers.  Although that makes it easy to share and collaborate, there is also a downside- you have no control over your data should the service go down.

So from a geek standpoint I also like the fact that Settlement Room is build on an IBM Domino platform which should make it more stable than TransactionPoint's Microsoft’s .NET platform.  Products built on stable platforms (like Unix or Mainrames) will ultimately cause less headaches.

However Fidelity does appear to have Settlement Room beat when it comes to integrating with CRM software (including Top Producer).  If you're a Top Producer user, you're going to want to give TransactionPoint a look.

I didn’t evaluate it in full because I’ve already decided to leave that platform, but TP, along with Fidelity's own Agent 2000 product, are probably the two top Real Estate CRM packages on the market.

The question I’ve never been able to fully determine is just how badly I need to sync my TMS and CRM software.  I’m gambling that it’s not that often and that I can just attach an archive to a contact once the file is closed.

[ Next Article: << Settlement Room Benefits ]
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Darin "Sid" Cameron spent 15 years working in tech sales which in 1998 relocated him to St. Louis. In 2004 he took over web development tasks for Kimberly's real estate team and later became the full-time Marketing and Operations Director. In 2011, he launched two brokerages, The Realty Store, Inc. and Realty Referral Partners, Inc. Sid holds a real estate broker's license in Missouri, CRS certification and was the first CyberStar in the St. Louis area.
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