Every company can be considered a tech company in our internet-enabled world. The term “tech stack” describes a company’s technology and tools to automate, streamline, and speed up business processes.
Look at any business you frequent, and you’ll see a tech stack in action. Restaurants use real-time reservation and ordering systems to connect with customers. Electricians, plumbers, and other tradespeople use booking and marketing automation tools to maximize their billing time.
Even the traditional corner barbershop has booking, billing, and marketing automation tools to keep trimmers and scissors moving. Law firms are not being left out of this automation revolution either.
Today’s modern real estate law firms use various technologies and tools in their tech stacks to enable their team to serve customers faster and increase client satisfaction and referrals.
Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered with this guide to what you need for your modern real estate law tech stack.
How to build your real estate tech stack
There are four main areas of technology to consider when planning out your real estate tech stack.
File Management and Research
When you see a law office depicted on television or in a movie, lawyers and office staff are often shown with massive stacks of folders running past floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. Thankfully the modern real estate tech stack can replace much of that paperwork with cloud-based storage and search tools.
Today’s modern real estate legal professionals need fast, secure, and reliable access to documents, photographs, videos, and other digital files. Cloud storage solutions offer the ability to store gigabytes of data off-site, while still providing instant access in the office and on mobile devices.
In addition to cloud storage, many providers offer easy to use scanning and digital capture solutions to take existing paper documents and digitize them for secure storage. Optical character recognition (OCR) and artificial intelligence tools in these systems make searching for a document a snap.
Another feature to look for in a cloud storage solution is the functionality to connect with clients for reviews, signature capture, and secure distribution of information.
Conveyancing can seem like a black hole for clients, whether they’re first-time buyers or purchasing their forever homes. For real estate law firms, managing conveyancing can also take up valuable time that could be spent with clients or working on other files. Several software tools are available to manage conveyancing with options available for each province’s specific regulations.
Teraview in Ontario and Teranet Manitoba are critical components in the modern real estate law firm’s tech stack. The two systems are available to approved real estate and land professionals to access official land records databases to perform searches, create and submit title documents for registration, view and print instruments, and more.
For Ontario firms that handle other areas of law, such as mortgage enforcement or litigation, the process of creating and managing writs can be time-consuming. Our WritFiling solution can empower law firms to file and update writs from the office or remotely when working from home. Beyond reducing the physical paperwork involved, electronic writs management eliminates the delays when using mail or couriers—and in some jurisdictions, provides extended time windows to submit writs.
Communication and planning
Communicating with partners and clients has moved from in-person to virtual thanks to the rapid adoption of video conferencing tools—but there are still times that meeting in an office is needed.
Office management tools
Case and file management tools can give your real estate tech stack a solid foundation to connect and manage clients. These tools include managing time tracking and billing, document management with integrations to popular cloud storage systems, and scheduling tools to ensure your team is making the most efficient use of their valuable time.
Virtual scheduling tools
One of the most significant bottlenecks in any law firm is the back and forth with clients to find a time for a meeting. The calendar is sacrosanct—and that’s why calendar planning tools are such a valuable part of the real estate tech stack. These tools connect to your calendar and allow you to choose blocks of time for meetings. Clients can then easily select a date and time that works for them, and the appointment is automatically booked. You can even present a list of options for how you can meet—whether that’s a phone or video conference or in-person if required.
A video is worth a thousand words
Phone or video calls can often be more effective than an email in getting across what you’re trying to say to a client or colleague. But those calls are real-time, and there are often situations where you want to use a video to convey instructions but need to do that after hours. Video messaging tools offer the ability to record your voice, video, and even your screen to send instructions asynchronously.
Data and Security
When it comes to your tech stack, where you start depends on your unique needs and your clients’ needs. Before you begin, there are two core considerations to keep in mind with each decision you make—privacy and security.
Requirements will vary province by province, but The Law Society of Ontario does provide an excellent overview of what you need to do to protect client privacy and security.
The key thing to look for is whether the tool offers two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA is a security standard for login authentication where either a physical key or mobile phone application provides a rotating code that is used in addition to a username and password.
In addition to 2FA, password management tools offer secure password management for organizations including real estate law firms. The tools can be used on mobile phones and desktops to store login credentials securely, and both offer 2FA. One of the advantages of password management tools is that you don’t share the actual login credentials for your software. Each employee has their own password management account in the event of an employee leaving. You only need to delete that account instead of changing all the login credentials across multiple systems.
The technology used in any business is also driven by industry and consumer demands. One of the fastest-changing parts of real estate today is the changing expectations of consumers when it comes to payments.
For real estate law firms in Ontario, this is an opportunity to explore new technology innovations to manage disbursements and reduce the time spent physically going to financial institutions. Our new SureFund solution is designed to help reduce the time for closings while improving your client experience.
What to remember before you get started
Whichever tools you choose to make part of your real estate tech stack, it’s crucial to remember:
- The tool needs to protect client confidentiality and privacy.
- Security is crucial in both storage and managing access to client information.
- These tools enhance what you offer your clients—your experience and expertise are the foundations of success for your practice.