Peoplework Profiles: RE/MAX Preferred



December 10, 2013 | comments

John Mangas & Kathy Kuyoth are the broker/owners at RE/MAX Preferred Associates in Toledo, Ohio.

They’ve got three offices and 90 associates. To say that their business is booming would be a pretty massive understatement.

They don’t just have lots of agents who are sitting around doing nothing. Those associates are pretty darned busy. Each year, each of them handles somewhere on the order of 25 transactions. Multiply lots of associates by lots and lots of contracts and, well … you could have a real document management nightmare on your hands.

You could, that is, unless you’re dotloop power-users like John & Kathy.

We had a chance to sit down & chat with them recently to find out about their business and how dotloop has helped them overcome some of the document-management challenges they face.

How did you guys first learn about dotloop?

“Well, we knew we had to do something. We looked at all kinds of document management services—but we knew we needed more than just that. Some services were great at one thing, others good at another, but dotloop was the only one that offered a comprehensive solution.”

“We’d heard lots about dotloop at conferences and online; it was something lots of people were talking about. Then one day, we were chatting with Jared James—he’s someone we trust a great deal—and he couldn’t stop talking about how great a service dotloop was and what a big fan he was of you guys. That, right there, cemented it for us. We were on the phone with dotloop the very next day.”

What did you think when you first started using the service? Was it what you expected?

That’s what John had to say about his impression of dotloop after his first use.

“We were totally sold right from the get-go. This is one of my favorite stories to tell. One night not too long ago, I got a call on my cell phone from a number & area code I didn’t recognize. I figured it was a telemarketer, so I just didn’t bother with it. But then I got a message from RE/MAX’s Leadstreet lead-capture system and could tell the caller was legitimate, just calling from another country, so I referred him to Vince. This customer was calling from Australia and was interested in investment properties in college towns. Toledo fit the bill and Vince showed him—completely online—several. Once he was decided, the customer and Vince— without ever meeting in person—were able to write 13 offers in just 35 minutes. And it was all possible because of dotloop. So, yeah … BOOM!”

BOOM, indeed! We’ve gotta admit … that’s more than a little bit cool. But enough about us. This is about John & Kathy.

Before you made the switch to dotloop, how different was your transaction process? What necessitated a change?

“Using the broker dashboard has been like night and day. As you can imagine, managing the paperwork—minding the Ps & Qs of all of our agents—is a pretty big job in itself. So, for us, the broker dashboard is worth its weight in gold. It gives us complete transaction oversight and allows us to manage each step in the offer process, right through to the point of closing. The broker dashboard and forms packets allow our agents to easily locate the forms, complete them, and invite clients into the loop. The buyers and sellers absolutely love the ease of use and simplicity of the process. We can manage workflow, we’ve got oversight, there are e-signatures—we’ve actually had some transactions now that have gone from offer to closing without any paper whatsoever—plus there’s storage and great innovation. It’s awesome!”

Are there any specific strategies/goals/challenges in your business that you needed to address?

“We mentioned that we have a LOT of agents. About half of those are age 40 or younger. All of them—and I mean ALL of them—have been enthusiastic about dotloop from Day 1. There are, however, some folks who’ve been resistant, simply because it’s something that’s new. Lots of people get used to one way of doing things and if they have to change, well, it can be tricky for them.”

“That’s one place that dotloop really shines, though! We have a tech trainer here in our office who gives 1:1 time with agents who need a little extra coaching. Luc at dotloop knows this. So, when he sees a call come in with a 412 area code, he always answers it and is always ready to help out, so all of our agents can use dotloop to its potential. You just can’t find customer service like that anywhere; what you guys offer is pretty special.”

Who are the primary users of the system? What feedback have you received from them?

“Mostly, it’s our agents who are using dotloop. For more than half of them—50 or so—they’ve taken to the tool like fishes to water. But for some, there’s been some resistance. We’ve found, though, that once they get a chance to use it and get some training, they really like it. We have one agent, Brad, who’s a Baby Boomer. He used the platform for the first time pretty recently. He got registered for dotloop Bootcamp and feels MUCH more comfortable now. dotloop’s trainers are solid; you guys have great depth and go out of your way to be accommodating and help wherever you can. I can’t tell you how valuable something like that is.”

How has dotloop changed the way you work together with others? What is the impact of dotloop on your business?

“When we connected with dotloop, we saw it as an opportunity. We know that it wasn’t just going to be a tool that would help make our business more efficient and also make our agents work better, we knew it was something that would set our team apart as innovators and as early adopters. This is kind of an intangible thing, but for us, it says that we’re leaders. To say that we’re cutting-edge might sound odd, but to be seen that way is a good thing. Our endorsement of dotloop was well-received in the Toledo real estate community; so much that we convinced our local Board of Realtors to start using dotloop and support that as the exclusive board platform. This step has really helped to solidify us and to give us real validation. That’s something you can’t put a dollar figure on.”

How have your clients responded to dotloop? What’s their reaction been like?

“So far, our clients have been very positive! One thing we’ve found really helpful is for our agents to send the dotloop training video—”Clients View”—in advance of their use. This has really cut down on questions and confusion on the parts of our clients. They know just what to expect and are ready when it comes time to put their esignature on something.”

I’m sure, when you signed up with dotloop, you had some expectations. Have there been any surprises?

“I’m happy to field this one. And I’ll tell you in advance, I’m going to get a little sappy here. When we first signed on with dotloop, it was just like any other provider. We paid money for the service and expected to move on. What we never expected was the way dotloop would impact us—not just our business, but US. The people at dotloop have become our friends. They’re collaborators in our business and are always looking to help us use the platform in new and different ways. There’s a symbiosis with dotloop that just doesn’t exist with most vendors. When you guys talk about ‘peoplework’, you’re clearly not just paying lip service; this is something that actually hits home for you guys, and that makes all the difference in the world to us.”

And John is right. We love providing great innovation for our customers and giving them solutions to transaction management, but it’s being able to connect their customers to their agents, their agents to them, and them to us that’s the best part. For us, that IS peoplework, and it’s what makes all the difference.

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