Just because a listing is closed, doesn’t mean its work is finished.
Your firm still needs to collect vouchers, calculate commissions, create and send invoices, and more to fully wrap up your deal.
And too many brokerages manage every facet of the CRE back-office function manually. Not only is this time-consuming and tedious—it often delays the entire process.
You need the closing aspects of your deal to be done effectively to ensure a smooth transaction for all parties involved.
Here are the most common CRE back-office challenges for brokerages
Let’s take a closer look at each of these challenges and what your brokerage can do to overcome them.
Once you confirm the sale or lease of a listing, you need to be able to easily collect and share the deal data to keep your transaction moving.
The last thing you want after a lengthy sales cycle is extra friction getting checks where they need to go because the information is wrong in your brokerage system.
The person in charge of the back-office transaction process is likely not familiar with the details of your deal, so you’re responsible for getting it to them.
You have to compile all of the critical deal information, like closing value and commission percentages, property data, tenant or buyer contacts for receivables, leasing terms, and more. If you’re pulling all of this manually, you are likely slowing down the entire transaction process.
This results in delays across the board with things like brokers being paid, clients getting invoices, and the firm taking its cut.
Put one person in charge of managing the back-office process, and create a data-sharing process that works for your brokerage.
With one person responsible for your back-office transactions, they can establish exact standards for what information is needed to make each part of your process the most efficient.
Then, you can create a template of questions every broker needs to answer so it’s easy for them to collect and share the data required when a deal closes. Try creating this template in Google Forms—data collected with this tool can funnel into a Google Sheet to be easily shared with everyone working in your back office.
To truly streamline your back office though, you need to eliminate manual data entry.
Buildout’s toolset connects your data across every stage of your deal so everything from contact to property data is available in your back office without you ever having to re-enter a thing.
In order to save brokers time finalizing closing details, drafts of vouchers are created as deals enter the marketing phase. Then, you can automatically calculate splits and add deliverables on vouchers as you review and approve.
All of your deal accounting can be tracked and managed starting from this voucher data, and it can be used with Buildout’s document technology to generate and send branded invoices.
With Buildout, cut down your time collecting data and open up your ability to use it instead.
After a deal is closed, everyone at the brokerage is eager to get paid.
And to do that, you need to calculate commissions for each broker based on their tiers.
Broker tiers are constantly evolving based on their deals to date. This means with every deal closed, the commission brackets have the potential to change.
Likely, you’re managing broker tiers and commission cuts manually. And you need to constantly update this data to be reflective of where each broker stands after a new deal closes.
Centralize broker tier and commission data so it’s easy to track and access.
If you’re using a spreadsheet, set parameters around how often broker income data is updated. For example, require brokers to monitor their tier progress individually and share it with you when you’re reviewing their transaction data.
You can also create a centralized folder system where you organize all of your brokerage deal data. Then, it’s easy to cross-reference and approve broker tiers based on the information that is compiled for you.
This process can work, but could result in delays—you’re relying on multiple parties and will likely be fact-checking all the data provided.
Buildout’s Back Office automatically tracks broker tiers and calculates commissions for you.
You can set up as many different commission plans in Back Office as you need—and tier progress updates for each broker as deals are closed and processed.
When you’re reviewing vouchers, commission splits calculate automatically based on brokers’ progress within their set plans. Finalizing payment to brokers is as easy as clicking to approve.
Brokers also have their own earnings dashboard in Buildout where they can see their income to date, the status of their submitted vouchers, their commission tier progress and details, and a breakdown of their deductions.
They’ll never have to bug the back office for those updates again on Buildout.
After you’ve sent out your invoices, you’re responsible for organizing the handful of outstanding checks and payments coming into the office.
You need a system that tracks not only your money flow but what’s left outstanding across transactions.
With checks coming in across deals, and from different vendors, it’s difficult to identify what check correlates with which deal.
You’re bouncing back and forth between Quickbooks, spreadsheets, and emails to track down the appropriate details.
This will only slow you down.
You need to track new deposits in a timely manner to wrap up your outstanding transactions.
And to top it off, brokers can’t monitor the progress of the final closing details of their deals because they likely don’t have access to Quickbooks.
Set up a system for your invoice tracking to make it easy to manage your outstanding transactions.
You can use a shareable Google Sheet to track the status of all your invoices. This gives everyone access to the data they need about the progress of the back office transaction.
Once you have the check in hand, you can easily mark it as paid in Quickbooks to ensure all of the financials are in order and you can mark it as paid in your shareable Google Sheet as well.
But this poses its own challenges—you’re having to manually add all of your data about your deals into Google Sheets and manage data in yet another place.
Buildout’s Back Office simplifies this entire process for you.
You can easily correlate your incoming checks with a searchable view of all outstanding deliverables and connected vouchers. And after you’ve entered the check into Quickbooks, you simply mark it as paid in Buildout.
This way, at any given time, anyone at your brokerage can see the current standing of all invoices without having to go into Quickbooks.
Your historical comp data is extremely valuable—it informs all of your future deals.
Every brokerage needs reliable comps to ensure you’re pricing your client properties appropriately to the market.
After your back-office transactions are completed, you need to update your comps into the brokerage’s shared comp database with all of the data from your deal.
And for most brokerages, this process is manual.
You need to re-enter all of your property data into your comp management system so it can be used to inform future listings.
Not only is this time consuming, but if you’re managing a handful of properties in more critical stages of the deal, it’s easy to deprioritize this task or forget to update comps information entirely.
Establish a process for keeping your comps up to date.
You can set a standard at your brokerage that within a week of every deal closing, every broker must update their comp data in the brokerage system. But like most of the back-office processes, this is entirely manual and can be quite tedious.
Buildout integrates your CRM and comps database with your back office.
You simply press a button and all of your data from your deal will be pushed over to your comps database for future reference.
Moving forward, you can use your Comps Database to search for historical data that you need to inform your research, prospecting, and on-market deals. Not only does this eliminate data re-entry for every broker at your firm, it allows you to make informed decisions based on actual brokerage-wide comps data.
And the more up-to-date your historical comps are, the more accurate your on-market comps can be.
You’re not alone. We build technology that helps brokerages around the country overcome these challenges. If your brokerage could benefit from an integrated tool like Buildout, reach out to our team.
We can help you better manage and streamline your back office.