In a hot real estate market like the one we’re living through today, the ability to send and receive funds quickly is more important than ever. Waiting several days for a paper check to clear or for electronic funds to settle can be the difference between a client owning their dream home or getting entangled in a bidding war.

Real estate companies and escrow holders are using DepositLink to collect earnest money deposits and commissions electronically, eliminating the need to manually deliver paper checks or conduct real estate transactions in person. Dwolla’s API is their sophisticated connection to the ACH Network, providing DepositLink with an account-to-account payment solution to facilitate real estate transactions.

“Whether it be rental, sales, escrow deposits, earnest money deposits, paying your own agents as a real estate company, sending refunds, sending payments; any real estate transaction you can think of—we can do it because of Dwolla,” says DepositLink CEO and Founder Jay Rooney.

‘Speed is Everything’

Case study diagram: Deposit Link

Rooney founded DepositLink on the idea that the burden and liability associated with paper checks and wire transfers in real estate transactions needed to be solved. A former real estate agent and broker, Rooney knew very little about payment facilitation until his research on payment service providers led him to Dwolla.

The combination of excellent customer service, faster payment options, a flexible API and higher transaction limits sold DepositLink on Dwolla as their payment service provider.

Today, any licensed real estate brokerage, attorney or company authorized to hold escrow funds can sign up for DepositLink.

“Dwolla has become the backbone of our company.” Rooney says. “If we can’t transfer money, we’re out of business.”

When DepositLink went live with Dwolla as their account-to-account payment solution in 2019, the company used standard ACH transaction timing to facilitate real estate transactions. When clients started requesting faster payment options, DepositLink added Same Day ACH transaction timing to their suite of features.

“Same Day ACH allowed us to market ourselves in a way that made us more attractive,” Rooney says. “Speed is important. Being able to cut those times down took a lot of burden off our support inquiries.”

In 2021 DepositLink added Same Day ACH transactions and experienced 212% growth in new client contracts, 376% growth in payment transactions and 483% growth in the dollar amount of funds transferred through the platform.

“Speed is everything when you’re buying a home or renting an apartment,” Rooney says. “That’s where Same Day ACH has made a difference for us.”

Rooney says he looks forward to adding Real-Time Payments to the platform when RTP is enabled for both sending and requesting funds.

“That’s the holy grail,” he says.

Configurable API to Meet Your Needs

While speed is crucial to real estate transactions, it’s also important to have control over transaction timing and risk mitigation.

Chief Technology Officer Brian Shroyer says he’s able to configure the Dwolla API based on the needs of specific clients. DepositLink can easily toggle between standard ACH and Same Day ACH depending on the end user, risk factors or use case.

Integrating the Dwolla API has provided even more benefit than faster payments to DepositLink’s end users, including:

  • Maintaining their company branding.
  • Real-time notifications on payment statuses via webhooks.
  • Detailed addenda records allowing for robust reconciliation.
  • Micro-deposits to verify bank accounts.
  • Streamlined client experience.

“Clients love the addenda records because of the insight it provides on specific transactions,” Shroyer says. “That type of detailed reporting gives us an advantage in a competitive industry.”

The Backbone of Payment Facilitation

Another differentiator for this real estate platform is the level of customer service Dwolla provides.

When a DepositLink customer has a question or a member of the engineering team needs assistance, Dwolla’s “fast turnaround of customer support” allows DepositLink to quickly find solutions for end users and within their own team.

“Every time I’ve ever talked to anybody about Dwolla, the first thing that comes to mind is the customer service and the ability to get a response from a human being quickly,” Shroyer says. “Having that fast turnaround of customer support has made our business thrive.”

As DepositLink continues down its path of “exponential growth,” they expect Dwolla to keep quietly powering faster payments for the real estate platform. In addition to RTP, the company is considering how they could use Virtual Account Numbers (VANs) for real estate transactions.