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Guide to Real Estate Law Workflows

Gavel provides the tools to create workflows, or questionnaires, that gather data you can use to automate documents and so much more! There are many ways to set up a workflow. You can set up workflows that are internal only, client-facing, or a combination of both. From there, you can use Data Manager to push answers from one workflow to another. This will eliminate the need to reenter information and reuse client data across many workflows.

Read on for tips on using Gavel to build your real estate law workflows and automate your documents.

What Types of Documents Can I Automate?

Your first step in building a Real Estate Law Workflow will be identifying the documents you want to automate. One workflow can produce one or more documents. The builder can add conditional logic to the output documents and decide which documents to produce based on the questions answered. For example, you could automate the following:

Lender’s Documents

  • Closing Disclosures
  • Lender Specific Documents
  • General Authorizations
  • Credit Approvals
  • COVID 19 Documents

Property or Community Management Documents

  • Leases
  • Amenity Waivers
  • Maintenance Requests
  • Common Area Rental Agreements
  • Event Participation Documents
  • Move-In/Out Inspection Forms
  • Eviction Notices
  • Rent-to-Own Agreements

Real Estate Attorney Documents

  • Escrow Documents
  • Power of Attorney
  • Trustee Documents
  • Mortgages/Deeds of Trust
  • Warranty Deed

Realtor’s or Real Estate Agent’s Documents

  • Open House Forms
  • Buyer’s Agent Agreement
  • Purchase Agreement
  • Seller's Disclosure
  • Home Inspection Reports
  • Settlement Agreements
  • Hold Harmless Agreements
  • Legal Release
How Should I Build My Workflow?

Before you begin building, you should consider how you plan to use the workflow.

  • Do you want to create an internal system where your staff will use the workflow to output multiple documents? The Multiple Documents Method would be a good place to start.
  • Do you envision a client-facing workflow where you guide your client through making decisions? Look at the Intake or Interview Methods.
  • You can also create an internal workflow, pushing previous data from other client-facing workflows into this workflow and answering final questions to generate a full set of contracts and documents. This would be the External to Internal Method.

Remember, these are just ideas, do what makes the most sense for your practice!

The Multiple Documents Method

In this method, your starting point is the choice of documents.

  • Create a multi-select or a single-select question with different document output options such as “Refinance,” “Cash-out Refinance,” “Buying a Home,” or “HELOC.”
  • Use page logic and conditional document logic to make questions and documents appear based on the document choice question.
  • Use the File Upload question to upload various documentation needed.
  • Your workflow could include repeating items for the information you need to collect, such as “Income” or “Assets.”
  • Utilize the “Numerical Calculations” feature in the Word add-in to create calculations and sums to compare financial information to approval eligibility.
Intake or Interview Method - Lease Agreement

In this method, your starting point is the resident’s information. The workflow then expands from there.

  • For client-facing workflows, use help text and informational blocks to explain the choices and confusing concepts they must understand to answer the questions.
  • Add logic to conditional questions (e.g., additional tenant name only appears if “Do you have additional tenants to name?” is “Yes”). Add page logic to any conditional pages (e.g., Rent to Own Agreement Page only appears if they have selected “Rent to Own Agreement” as the Lease Type). Depending on the property type, add extra terms to the lease (ex: if it’s an apartment, add amenity terms to the lease, etc.)
  • Your workflow could include repeating items for the information you need to collect, such as “Leasing Terms.”
  • For a productized workflow, you can add a paywall with Stripe before document output.
  • Workflows can output multiple documents. Tenants can download their lease, move-in packets, property information, and inspection forms from one workflow.
Intake or Interview Method - Short Sale

In this method, you may start by listing financial information in a repeating item variable to calculate hardship eligibility.

  • You can collect important personal data for the output documents on a general client information page.
  • Create repeating item pages(s) for income and assets that include subquestions for the financial institution name, contact information, account balances, and anything else needed.
  • Utilize the “Numerical Calculations” feature in the Word add-in to create calculations to compare financial information to the hardship eligibility for your state or jurisdiction.
  • Use the File Upload question to upload your proof of hardship.
  • Use document output conditional logic to output documents based on answers provided.

External to Internal Method

You start by pushing the data from a client intake workflow for buyer or seller into a new workflow in this method.  Follow up with property details and other applicable details to output your documents.

  • Use the Data Manager to push previous data you gathered in an intake workflow to this workflow.
  • Create a repeating item that includes subquestions for the property information and anything else needed.
  • Utilize the “Numerical Calculations” feature in the Word add-in to create calculations and sums for the financial price and term information.
  • Use document output conditional logic to output documents based on answers provided.
How Can I Turn My Workflow(s) Into a Product?

Is there a service, document, or combination of the two that you can frame as a legal product? What type of work are you doing that could be considered a “package” instead of an hourly service?

In Real Estate Law, some Gavel users productize their work by creating packages or bundles of agreements and documentation for property owners and/or companies.  For example:

  • Sell a workflow of Lease Agreements for property management companies to use as a subscription service.
  • Sell a workflow of Purchase Agreements for homeowners selling without a realtor to create full sets of documentation for home purchasing.
  • Sell a bundle of Property Management Documentation workflows to property management companies to streamline their businesses.
Where Can I Sell My Build?

Besides selling your system on your website, Gavel hosts a Marketplace, a space for people to search and find the perfect tool for their legal needs. Check out the Marketplace, and you can see what other people have built on Gavel and are now selling in the Gavel Marketplace. Your next build could be sold here, too!

The Standard Residential Lease App by Gavel

Unsafe Rental - Notice of Ending Lease and Move Out App by