Former politician and diplomat, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, once said “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
However, with the advent of social media, the line between fact and opinion seems to blur. This trend can prove perilous as it leads to misinformation. So, let’s separate fact from fiction and debunk some of the myths regarding TransactionDesk.
CLAIM: The decision to provide TransactionDesk as a member benefit was made by “someone sitting in their Ivory Tower” and not by practicing agents and brokers.
REALITY – FICTION: All decisions of this nature are made by members, not staff. In this case, the Business Services & Technology (BS&T) Committee, which is comprised entirely of REALTORS®, evaluated a number of different forms providers largely as a result of member complaints about the current forms provider. A Forms Provider Replacement Workgroup, consisting of 32 practicing REALTORS®, was then formed to consider the recommendations of the BS&T Committee. After being approved by the Executive Committee, also made up of REALTORS®, a TransactionDesk beta group of 35 experienced agents and brokers from across the state was formed to test the system.
CLAIM: Arizona REALTORS® elected to provide TransactionDesk as a member benefit because “it was millions cheaper” and the decision was “clearly about saving money not on usage.”
REALITY – FICTION: This claim fails to account for the fact that zipForm Plus is provided to all REALTORS® as a National Association of REALTORS® member benefit. As a result, in 2019 the Arizona REALTORS® pays only for zipForm Mobile, and MLS Connect, both of which are provided to its members as a free benefit. Currently, the Arizona REALTORS® pays roughly the same amount for the entire TransactionDesk platform as it paid just for zipForm Mobile and zipForm Standard. In other words, monetarily it’s a break-even proposition but now Arizona REALTORS® members get far more bang for the buck. Furthermore, the members that made the decision to offer TransactionDesk did so based solely on the merits of the platform.
CLAIM: TransactionDesk is not a widely used and proven forms platform.
REALITY – FICTION: Lone Wolf Technologies, the company that offers TransactionDesk and that has acquired zipLogix, services over 1.4 million agents, 20,000 offices, and 1,000 MLSs and Associations in the U.S. and Canada. More than 125 million forms and 23 million signings are created on their platforms every year.
CLAIM: zipForm is going away at the end of 2019.
REALITY – FICTION: NAR has been very clear that it will continue to offer zipForm Plus as a member benefit through the end of 2020. Just recently, the Arizona REALTORS® entered into an agreement with zipForm pursuant to which it can license the association’s forms and make the most recent versions available to members via their platform. While the Arizona REALTORS® had been negotiating this Agreement with zipForm for many months, an official announcement could not be made until the Agreement was signed and the deal finalized.
CLAIM: The Arizona REALTORS® is deciding which forms provider members must use.
REALITY – FICTION: The Arizona REALTORS® has entered into Forms Licensing Agreements with TransactionDesk, zipForm, dotLoop, DocuSign, Skyslope, and Brokermint. As such, these companies are able to provide state association forms, local REALTOR® association forms, and multiple listing service forms to all Arizona REALTORS® via their respective platforms. If a member is unhappy with one forms provider, they have many others to choose from.
CLAIM: Even though I’m a member, I didn’t get a say on whether TransactionDesk should be offered as a member benefit.
REALITY – FICTION: As mentioned above, the decision to offer TransactionDesk was made exclusively by members. All Arizona REALTORS® are eligible to serve on committees that make decisions such as this and committee meetings are open to members.
CLAIM: TransactionDesk does not contain a feature akin to MLS Connect.
REALITY – FICTION: TransactionDesk utilizes a feature named Import Data. Much like MLS Connect, Import Data allows users to import MLS data directly onto their forms.
CLAIM: Arizona REALTORS® instructed TransactionDesk “to have lots of additional space for the agent to type in and have it appear on the form version as if these words/characters are on the form,” but when printing or saving have “the last few lines of text disappear.”
REALITY – FICTION: As many REALTORS® have noted on-line, this is obviously a false statement as the Arizona REALTORS® does not instruct its form providers to delete text that a REALTOR® writes on a form.
CLAIM: TransactionDesk is more complicated than zipForm.
REALITY – This is a matter of opinion so it’s neither fact nor fiction. With that said, the large number of members that tested and evaluated TransactionDesk found it intuitive and easy to use. The same is true with other associations across the country that have made the decision to provide TransactionDesk as a member benefit. While change can be difficult, if members take advantage of the many educational offerings that are available, the Arizona REALTORS® is confident that members will find the platform beneficial.