Part of my daily routine is to scrounge around Craig's list looking for perspective clients who might be in need of my virtual transaction management services.
On occasion, I will see an ad for a Transaction Coordinator but the job description is way off base! Perhaps there are agents and brokers who don't know the difference between assistant specialties. As a owner/office manager of a brokerage, here is how I break-down the job descriptions;
Listing Coordinator- Typically someone who is responsible for preparing CMA's and listing packages for agents, inputting data into MLS, preparing and distributing flyers, ordering newspaper and online advertising and holding open houses. Also preparing listing contracts, checking in disclosures and ordering any pre-sale reports would fall under this category. Someone with desktop publishing experience and data entry would be perfect for this position. This individual, depending upon experience, can assist agents to prepare BPO's as well. However, this additional type of responsibility would necessitate an increase in salary.
Transaction Coordinator- Takes over a file once the property is under contract. The TC (Transaction Coordinator) is responsible for reminding team members of deadlines, communicating with team members, tracking documents, ensuring the file is complete for BRE and Broker compliance and solving problems. Ideally, you will want someone with past experience working in this capacity since it involves reading and understanding contracts and tight time frames. This individual should be a PROFESSIONAL Coordinator with at least 2 years experience and have references. Hiring someone who has no experience or training in this area is dangerous from a litigious standpoint and nearly impossible to train unless you already have effective systems in place.
Assistant- Sort of a catch-all position. This is a very challenging position because you have to be knowledgeable in so many fields! This individual answers phones and acts as a Listing AND Transaction Coordinator as well as Office Manager. This position requires someone with real estate experience who is a GREAT multi-tasker!
Office Manager- Someone who oversees all the above and makes sure each department/staff is running smoothly. Able to help out in a pinch if someone is overwhelmed. Ensures agents and staff are utilizing their time effectively. Attends company meetings and reports back to the team. Problem solver of general office issues such as supplies, equipment, etc.
Short Sale Negotiator- This individual gathers information required by the bank for the sellers to negotiate a short sale. This job takes a tremendous amount of time and effort and in my opinion, requires a real estate license to perform (There are those who believe that agent's should not get involved in short sales because it is not their area of expertise-kind of like trying to act as an attorney or accountant!). If an agent/broker wants to hire someone to do this tedious task, then they should be licensed and receive a commission split at the end of the transaction.
Several months ago I saw a job description with a Transaction Coordinator title but they want the individual to "drive around" and prepare flyers! Just today I saw an ad for a Coordinator where they also want HR duties performed. It's like asking for a plumber but wanting them to do hair and makeup on the side!
When looking to hire staff for your team, the best , easiest and fastest way to get started is to narrow down the job description so individuals who are perfect for the position can locate you.
I ALWAYS start newbie staff in the Listing Coordinator position! The concepts are easier to learn and can quickly take a load of activities off the agent's plate. From there you can determine the need for additional staff or add job responsibilities to the employee you already have.