Top Real Estate Paralegal Skills To Make You More Efficient and Irreplaceable in Your Law Firm
Although being a real estate paralegal can be a very solid and rewarding career, in terms of getting or keeping a job, it’s no longer good enough to be experienced and organized. Real estate law firms are rapidly changing due to technology, and so are the real estate paralegal skills needed to get hired or to make yourself irreplaceable at your firm to ensure job security and job growth.
Real estate paralegal skills that make your law firm employer see you as a person who can contribute to improving the firm’s overall efficiency and growth, as opposed to just somebody who only knows how to handle administrative tasks, is the key to building your career and making yourself irreplaceable.
If you have any doubts about the job security part, you don't have to look much further than the recent COVID-19 crisis and all the real estate law firms which had to downsize, do rounds of layoffs, or even shut their doors in the face of the pandemic. Real estate paralegals who have been with their firms for many years found themselves suddenly let go or furloughed.
Could it be that they did not have the real estate paralegal skills that make them absolutely indispensable to the firm and to the attorneys?
Traditional real estate paralegal skills are simply NOT enough to remain competitive in today’s job market and rapidly shifting legal services industry
During the COVID crisis, most attorneys faced with a cash crunch felt that they could afford to let their paralegals go, and from a business standpoint although it sounds cruel it basically comes down to return on investment and the paralegals were bringing less value to the business than the cost of their salaries.
This article is a primer on the top real estate paralegal skills that will make you so valuable to a law firm that they couldn't dream of letting you go, even in times of crisis.
From the law firm’s standpoint, a team member with the right real estate paralegal skills brings so much return on investment that they will see you as a valuable asset. You are bound to be protected and kept on board even in times of economic crisis because you bring so much value. Or, when there are multiple paralegals and the law firm has to let some go but still keep others, these real estate paralegal skills will ensure that you are the one they want to keep around.
With that said, It's important to remember the reason a real estate paralegal is hired in the first place:
- To help with the workload so the firm runs efficiently and closings happen with fewer worries
- To free the attorney’s time to go out and get more clients and more business to the firm.
Paralegals who understand the new changes that technology is bringing to the legal industry, and how it can be used to meet those goals of efficiency and growing the client base, will be constantly in demand and key members of any law firm.
The most important real estate paralegal skills that make you indispensable to your law firm, are all about using technology and real estate law firm software to run the law office more efficiently.
Real estate law firms are rapidly changing due to the rise of technology, and clients and real estate agents expecting everything to be served to them faster and easier.
Law firms that don’t use technology are rapidly losing business to more efficient firms who are using real estate transaction management software to be faster and deliver a better client experience. Not surprisingly, real estate paralegals who know how to use that technology with the requisite paralegal skills are highly in demand and at premium salaries.
The main real estate paralegal skills that you can develop by mastering real estate law firm software, making you more valuable to the law firm:
1. SOFTWARE - Knowing how to set up and run the entire office more efficiently on real estate law firm software is the #1 real estate paralegal skill expected of you
Most lawyers know they can be more efficient using technology, but just don’t have the time to actually take the step and get their office up and running on real estate law firm software such as TrackWithEase.
Having the know-how to just get the setup done quickly and start running the firm more efficiently using the technology will make you the go-to person and indispensable because you save the firm so much time.
Real Estate Law Firm software is an essential tool to keep a real estate law firm organized and manage all the property transactions that passed through the office. So it's no surprise that one of the most important real estate paralegal skills is simply knowing how to use transaction management software in a real estate firm oh because there's a good chance nobody else there knows how to use it yet, although it’s incredibly easy to learn.
Various law firm research statistics show that on average more than 70% of real estate law firm owners consider it very important to use technology to be more efficient, however when polled again year-over-year the majority of firms sites that they still have not implemented technology. The primary reason is that lawyers are busy, many of them have unfounded fears around using the software in their law firm, and they're basically waiting for somebody to come along and do it all for them.
Understanding the basics of real estate law firm software such as TrackWithEase can be one of the single biggest differentiators in terms of your real estate paralegal skills when being considered for a paralegal job, or increasing your role and importance as a paralegal at the current firm you're employed at. Fortunately learning how to use real estate law firm software as a paralegal is incredibly easy and can be mastered in just a few days to a week just from watching some training videos and playing around with it.
2. CLIENT RELATIONS - Real estate paralegal skills for better client communications using technology
Knowing how to set up and manage automatic updates & communications to clients on behalf of the attorney -- so they can save valuable time on emails and phone calls
If you can master this real estate paralegal skillset on how to use real estate lawyer software to provide a better client experience and handle all the routine back and forth with clients for the firm... you will become the most valuable employee at the firm, hands down.
In terms of your job security, In hard times the law firm owners will be more likely to want to starve themselves by reducing their daily food consumption to just a single bowl of ramen noodles to save on costs before they even think of furloughing you - that’s how important you will become to the firm.
Real estate law firms live and die by the referrals they get from Brokers and past clients. And those referrals are driven entirely by how happy and satisfied those parties are with the communication they receive during a real estate transaction.
Unfortunately, it’s a known fact that most real estate law firms are mediocre at best when it comes to communication and updates with clients and agents. Why's that? Simply because they are too busy and overloaded, which leaves most people somewhat dissatisfied with the experience and less likely to refer business to the firm in the future.
Real Estate Law Firm software can actually be set up to handle all the routine communications that clients and Brokers expect to hear from your firm to go out on autopilot, instead of being tedious manual touchpoints like they currently are for most real estate law firms.
Important routine updates such as the status of a closing or when tasks are being worked on can now be automatically emailed before people have to reach out to the firm to ask for updates. This makes clients really, really happy because their #1 question is “what’s happening next on my transaction” and now they can get that information in real-time without even having to reach out.
Obviously, this type of automation needs to be set up and configured using real estate law firm software, and although it is fairly simple, somebody still needs to actually think about it and to set it up for the law firm, making this the next most important real estate paralegal skill to learn.
Once you figure out how to do this for your Law Firm, the attorneys and everybody else at the firm will literally be able to credit you for setting up an efficient system that keeps clients and Brokers updated. Whatsmore, it shaves all the interruptions and hassles that come from people emailing and calling for status updates that can be delivered automatically.
3. ORGANIZATION - Real estate paralegal skills for being the most organized person in the law firm with all the information at your fingertips when the attorney asks
Having the “magical ability” to always know the status and details about every closing, and where things are at, which everyone in the firm relies on
In a perfect world, every real estate attorney dreams of having their paralegal know all the details and status of every single transaction or client, whenever they ask. Now with real estate law firm software that's actually possible, since all the property, contract, communications, and client details are kept in one place centrally for the entire firm to access.
You can develop the key real estate paralegal skills needed in this area simply by learning the basic capabilities of real estate law firm software and developing some guidelines as to which data points you want to start keeping track of in the software so that you can access it at any time. The other benefit that these skills will bring you is that they will vastly reduce the amount of time it takes for you to work on real estate transactions for the law firm, since you can spare yourself time digging through your emails, sorting through attachments, and scrolling through contracts just to get certain data points.
4. WORKFLOW MANAGEMENT - Real estate paralegal skills for deadlines & tasks which lawyers tend to forget about
Using real estate law firm software to stay on top of all timelines and deadlines, and proactively warn the attorneys when things might be slipping through the cracks, or falling behind
For a busy real estate firm with lots of closings, having a grip on the daily “To-Do list” of all the tasks and deadlines which are coming due or already overdue, is the lifeblood of a real estate law firm. Having real estate paralegal skills that let you use Law Firm software to more efficiently manage all of the firm's workflows will make you absolutely indispensable to the firm.
When you realize that most Law Offices actually do not have a neatly organized workflow or ability to forecast tasks and deadlines in a rapidly shifting transaction, you start to see why the lawyers are always frantic and overworked. Being a real estate paralegal with the skills to digitize and manage the firm's workload into a centralized to-do list is critical as opposed to the growth of the firm, as well as your career.
Fortunately, Real Estate Law Firm software can serve as a centralized list of all the tasks and deadlines, across all staff, and across all the property transactions at any point in time. It can be accessed 24/7 from any location simply by signing in and helps keep all the stuff organized.
The real estate paralegal skills that you need to develop in this area revolve around knowing how to use the workflow functionalities, to-do list, reminder systems, and other efficiency features of real estate law firm software that enables you to organize forecast, and stay on top of the daily workload.
Instead of keeping a notebook with handwritten notes in a calendar of dates, you will simply learn how to do this more efficiently using software to collaborate with your whole term.
It also lets you spot when deadlines are missed or items are about to fall through the cracks, so you can identify potential issues before they become disasters and inform the attorneys to pay extra attention. Make a few “just in time” saves like this by catching a potential problem for the attorney, and they’ll quickly realize how important it is to keep you around.
5. BUSINESS INSIGHTS - Real estate paralegal skills for giving the law firm owners pipeline info and management insights
Have all the real estate transactions neatly organized using real estate law firm software allows you to provide insight and suggestions to the firm’s owners on how the overall closing pipeline is progressing and moving along, and where things are stuck. The firm’s owners can even log in anytime to predict next month’s closings, estimated revenues, and other business metrics that they forecast based on current activity. They’ll start to greatly appreciate and count on you for making it possible for them to have these insights, so they can spend less time micromanaging and more time growing the firm.
Last but not least, the real estate paralegal skills that allow you to set up and run the entire office using Law Firm software, will also allow you to become a valued advisor to the owners of the law firm when it comes to how their business is doing, and what to expect in the coming months.
As a daily user of the real estate law firm software, you will have data points and insight into how many clients and closing are coming through the door, and whether things are picking up or slowing down.
You'll even be able to pinpoint when tasks are falling through or there are consistent roadblocks, so you can advise the law firm owner about inefficiencies you are noticing, thanks to insights you can glean from the software. You will not only have the know-how on how to use the software, and click all the buttons, but you'll be able to actually provide insights from all the tracking that is being done automatically as transactions progress.
This real estate paralegal skillset will start to transform you in the firm’s eyes from an employee that just helps with administrative things to somebody that’s a truly valuable and irreplaceable asset and advisor who understands what's happening in their firm.
Upgrade your real estate paralegal skills by learning TrackWithEase, the only secure & cloud-based real estate law firm software:
When you’ve developed the above real estate paralegal skills, how could any law firm ever dream of letting you go?
Or, if you’re looking for a new real estate paralegal job, how could any law firm not put you right at the top of the candidate list when you’re able to bring so much value compared to other applicants who know nothing about real estate law firm software, nor how to leverage it to grow the firm and keep clients happy?
See how real estate law firm software can help you and your firm save time and deliver a better client experience:
Schedule a demo of TrackWithEase now: