How To Hire Your First Transaction Coordinator
You do all you can do. You go as far as you can go. You get all the results you can get, and when you can’t go any further, you look for help. This help should come in the form of a talented person.
-Gary Keller, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent
When you’re overwhelmed with tasks as a real estate agent, it’s time to hire an administrative assistant. At a certain volume of business, balancing client communication, paperwork, marketing, property visits, and more is too much for a single agent.
But what do you do when your business grows even more, and your assistant is overwhelmed?
According to the Millionaire Real Estate Agent organizational model, agents at the second level of business should have two employees handling administration: a marketing/administrative manager and a transaction coordinator.
A transaction coordinator is not an administrative assistant—it’s a more specialized role. A TC covers the paperwork for every real estate deal, from contract to closing. But many agents will hire a TC to cover the paperwork from listing to contract as well, depending on their needs.
With the addition of a great transaction coordinator, you have more time to focus on the next sale instead of worrying about paperwork falling through the cracks. Your first assistant (now the marketing/admin manager) can focus on organizing and coordinating listings-related tasks while your transaction coordinator ensures that paperwork is completed and deadlines are met for deals.
Ready to hire your first TC? We’ve laid out a guide to explain every step of the process. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Brainstorming your ideal transaction coordinator
- Writing and posting a TC job listing
- Screening to hire the best TC candidate
- Training your TC hire to be an A+ employee
Let’s dive in.
Step 1: Set your standards for an A+ transaction coordinator.
While handling administrative overflow isn’t fun, dealing with a bad TC hire is far worse for your real estate business. Given a TC’s level of responsibility, a poor hire in the role can:
- hurt your vendor relationships,
- bring negative energy,
- miss potential deals, and
- cause undue stress.
Not to mention, a poor hire will typically cost 9–12 months of time and money from interviewing to firing—and then you have to start all over again.
Compare this outcome to the value of a great transaction coordinator hire:
- Increased sales
- More positive energy
- Glowing referrals
- Smooth scheduling and organization
A strong TC hire enables your whole team to grow professionally and personally. With the transaction coordinator handling everything from contract to close, you have more time to focus on your high-priority tasks and more free time to relax outside of work.
Understand what defines a great transaction coordinator so you know exactly what to look for when you start hiring. Here are two main ways to brainstorm your expectations for the role before hiring.
UNDERSTAND THE DISC OF A TRANSACTION COORDINATOR
The DISC personality assessment is a powerful framework for hiring your transaction coordinator. Using the assessment and our research around TCs, you can identify the personality traits and predictable actions of an ideal transaction coordinator. When you begin to interview candidates, you can use a personality screening to assess whether their traits align with this transaction coordinator DISC profile.
There are four DISC personality types:
- D – Decisive
- I – Interactive
- S – Stabilizing
- C – Cautious
Based on our research on top-performing transaction coordinators, the TC role tends to rank high in the C-S categories, medium for I, and low for D. The high C-S ranking is commonly found in support employees. They are:
There are a few pros to this DISC profile for a transaction coordinator that you should be aware of before hiring:
- The low D results in deliberate decision-making that allows the TC to work independently.
- The midline I creates a nice balance of extroversion and introversion in the TC.
- The very high S brings consistency and reliability to their work.
- The very high C ensures accuracy, attention to detail, and a desire to get things done “the right way.”
Look for these qualities in the candidates that you screen in the interviewing process. With these traits in mind, you’ll be on track to find a great transaction coordinator for your team.
CONSIDER A WIDE RANGE OF BACKGROUNDS
Given their focus on administrative tasks, a great transaction coordinator doesn’t necessarily need to have formerly worked as a TC.
Instead, a great transaction coordinator might have gained admin work experience in another role, such as a
Any candidate with a background in these roles will have administrative skills and will adapt to the needs of a TC position.
You should also consider any candidates with a background as a real estate agent. An agent will be familiar with the necessary procedures that a TC handles, from contract to closing. Plus, as a licensed agent, they are legally allowed to handle conversations with clients about negotiations. “If a transaction coordinator is licensed, they can take off a lot of work from agents’ plates,” says Heather Williams, a director of operations at Keller Williams Realty.
Knowing the common personality traits and potential backgrounds of a TC, you’re prepared to start reviewing candidates for the role.
Step 2: Post a job listing for a transaction coordinator.
To find the best candidates for your TC role, you need to craft a job posting that attracts top talent. A great job posting includes the following elements:
- A succinct yet compelling job description
- Placement on recruiter-friendly job boards
We’ll break down how to write a job description and find job boards that bring you exceptional transaction coordinator candidates.
Your job description has to cover your expectations for the TC role that you brainstormed in Step 1. If the description reflects your standards for the position, it will attract candidates that meet your ideal transaction coordinator qualifications.
Every job description follows a basic formula with the same categories. Here are a few ideas for each section:
- About Us: A summary of your real estate agency’s details, such as where it’s located and whether your focus is residential or commercial.
- Job Summary: A brief description—typically just one or two sentences—of the role’s core functions and objectives. For a transaction coordinator, your summary would cover how the role assists agents and would list the core functions of the job, such as coordinating closings.
- Responsibilities: A full list of the role’s tasks (not just its core functions) and outcomes. Consider the scope of the role based on your needs: Will your TC be handling the paperwork from contract to closing, or will their work encompass more?
- Qualifications: A list of the skills and personal qualities for employees in this role. A list of transaction coordinator skills might include being technically savvy, having spotless spelling and grammar skills, and having great communication skills. For personal qualities, consider the DISC traits of a TC (outlined in Step 1) as well as the work culture at your agency
- Benefits: A list of perks that are provided with this job. Examples might include referral bonuses or a fitness stipend.
Here is a sample Real Estate Transaction Coordinator Job Description Template to show you how each of these elements come together.
POSTING ON JOB BOARDS
To find the best candidates, post your role description on job boards that are widely visited and are easy to manage as a recruiter.
Free job boards, such as Indeed, come with the advantages of costing nothing and receiving a lot of traffic, but they’re not especially ideal for recruiters. These boards have minimal candidate filters, so you have to spend days sorting through a dump of candidates.
A professional recruiting platform, like WizeHire, is a more efficient alternative. It will take your job description and post it to the most popular job boards. Our platform, for example, will post clients’ job descriptions to more than 60 job boards.
From there, a recruiting platform will sort through candidates using DISC to save you time and help you quickly find great matches for the transaction coordinator role. Our platform rates candidates based on their personality screening results, so clients can easily decide which candidates they want to interview.
If you aren’t using a recruiting platform, be sure to build your own process for sifting through candidates on different job boards. These sites can bring hundreds or even thousands of applicants, so you most likely won’t have time to assess each candidate. With an efficient system for picking out the applicants you want to screen, you make the most of the time you spend on job boards.
Step 3: Screen your candidates to find the best hire.
The process of screening these candidates is the most critical step of your hiring process. As mentioned before, a bad transaction coordinator hire can hurt your real estate business by slowing down deals, improperly communicating with clients, and more. Work through each of these screening steps carefully to ensure that you find the candidate who is the best fit for the TC role.
RESUME AND COVER LETTER
Start narrowing down candidates by screening their resumes. Use the document to assess whether an applicant has the right administrative skills and experience. Do their past roles require someone who is detailed and organized? How long did they work in these positions? Flag any resumes with backgrounds that align with transaction coordinator tasks.
The cover letter allows you to review candidates’ writing ability and motivations for applying. Do they describe a genuine interest in this role? Is their writing quality—sentence flow, word choice, tone—professional and coherent enough for client communication? Cover letters that don’t reflect a sincere interest in working as a transaction coordinator or are poorly written should not be flagged for further screening.
Spelling or grammar errors in the resume or cover letter are a clear sign that the applicant is not a good fit and should not be interviewed. A transaction coordinator drafts a lot of paperwork and communicates with clients frequently, so incorrect spelling or grammar is unacceptable.
Send every candidate with an approved resume and cover letter an invitation to complete a personality screening. Their results will show you whether the applicant would be a good fit with your team’s culture and for the role.
You can send candidates a personality screening through a testing service or a job platform. WizeHire, for example, requires every candidate to complete a DISC personality assessment in their application.
When reviewing test results, you can reference the DISC profile of transaction coordinators in Step 1 to assess how closely each applicant aligns with the role’s traits. As a quick recap, the DISC traits of a TC are:
View these trait benchmarks in conjunction with resumes and cover letters to holistically evaluate candidates. An applicant with exceptional experience but mismatched personality screening results, for example, might still be worth interviewing. At the same time, you might not move a candidate with an okay background to the next round because their personality results are so far from a TC’s typical traits.
Though there might be a few exceptions, you should primarily flag the candidates who have strong resumes, strong cover letters, and TC-friendly personality results to move onto the next round.
Documents and test results can tell you only so much about a candidate. The next step to fully assess whether an applicant has a fitting personality and work style for the transaction coordinator role is through a phone interview.
A phone interview for the transaction coordinator role should be used to gauge whether an applicant has a positive work attitude and works well under pressure. The TC role can be very stressful at times, so you want to make sure you find applicants who bring a positive energy to the office and aren’t easily overwhelmed.
To assess these traits, here are a few questions to ask transaction coordinator candidates during a phone interview:
- How do you prioritize your work in a day?
- What do you know about our company?
- Why are you applying for this job?
- Why are you leaving your current job?
- Tell me about a time a project you were working on failed and how you handled it.
Based on their answers, flag the candidates who show genuine excitement for the transaction coordinator role and seem confident in their ability to multitask.
At this stage, any of the flagged candidates would make a good transaction coordinator. The final step, an in-person interview, can help you identify the best transaction coordinator for your office.
An in-person interview allows you to further assess whether candidates will fit your work culture. For example, you can evaluate whether they have a professional demeanor for client communication. Or, if other coworkers are available to meet the applicant, you can see whether the candidate interacts well with your team.
Through your interview questions, you can ask candidates about any topics that you didn’t cover in the phone interview. Review your notes from your last conversation to decide which questions would be appropriate for this in-person interview. You can also ask variations of questions that you asked in the phone interview. For example, if you already asked, “Why are you applying for this job?” during the phone interview, you could ask, “What makes you excited about this opportunity?” for the in-person interview.
As a part of this step, some agents will even schedule social interviews. This meeting, typically for lunch or coffee, allows the agency owners and the candidate to get to know each other. As the hirer, you should not be present—the idea is to give the rest of the team a chance to evaluate whether the candidate would be a good cultural fit.
By the end of this stage, you will have filtered your candidates through every screening step to find the best transaction coordinator applicant for your office.
Step 4: Train your new hire to be an A+ transaction coordinator.
You’ve chosen and hired your transaction coordinator—congrats!
Even if the new hire has worked as a TC before, they’ll need guidance on using your software, your standards for client communication, and more. Build an efficient training plan for the new hire so that they can take ownership of their work in a short time. Below, we’ve broken down a 90-day training framework for you to quickly yet effectively teach your new hire everything they need to know about their transaction coordinator role.
30 DAYS: YOUR TRANSACTION COORDINATOR SHOULD BE A LEARNER
In their first month of working, your transaction coordinator should be a sponge. Learning takes time, so it’s best to give your TC 30 days to fully understand the purpose of their role and how they fit with your office.
Here are a few learning goals you might consider for your TC’s first month:
- Let your TC shadow an employee, such as your current admin assistant, who has done the relevant tasks before. Shadowing shows your new hire exactly how their tasks should be performed without putting too much pressure on them.
- Set up your TC so they can learn about their role’s software. Provide them with any resources, such as tutorial videos or a handbook on the software, and create an account so that they can begin using the platforms. Examples of software that your TC might use include G Suite, Brivity, and Dotloop for processing transactions.
- Provide the TC with documentation and presentations about your agency’s mission, vision, and culture.
After the initial 30 days, your new transaction coordinator will have the knowledge they need to start working more actively.
60 DAYS: YOUR TRANSACTION COORDINATOR SHOULD BE A CONTRIBUTOR
Throughout the new hire’s second month, they should be given opportunities to apply the knowledge they’ve learned.
Think of this stage as sharing the steering wheel with your new hire. You—or perhaps your first assistant—can perform tasks with the transaction coordinator so they can build a deeper understanding of their job without worrying about making mistakes.
Pick several tasks that you want your new hire to be able to handle by the end of their two months, and set times for the new hire to perform these functions with you or your assistant. For example, you and the TC might schedule and attend a closing for a sale together.
By giving your TC some responsibility, they can start contributing to the company and become more equipped to perform their job independently.
90 DAYS: YOUR TRANSACTION COORDINATOR SHOULD BE A LEADER
For the third month, you are no longer sharing the steering wheel with your TC. It’s time for them to start driving—but with close supervision.
Allow your transaction coordinator to independently complete their main tasks as you oversee their work. For example, you might ask your transaction coordinator to use Dotloop to process a transaction, and then you review their work before the contract is finalized with the software.
At the end of three months, your transaction coordinator has received enough resources and supervision to work independently. Going through this three months of training will leave them feeling confident in their work and ready to contribute to your team.
Hiring a Great Transaction Coordinator Takes Time
For a busy real estate office with just one assistant, the addition of a transaction coordinator is invaluable. A great hire in this role can improve vendor relationships, encourage new deals, and keep your business organized and coordinated.
With that said, it takes some time to find and train a great transaction coordinator. As shown in this guide, securing a great TC is a multi-step process that requires patience and thoughtfulness.
Don’t wait until you desperately need a TC to start your candidate search. Anticipate your growth as a real estate agent so you can estimate when you’ll need a TC. Then, you can begin the hiring process with enough time to complete each step and find the best transaction coordinator for your office.
Need extra help finding your transaction coordinator? Schedule a free hiring strategy session with WizeHire today!