When Craig McLelland, Chief Operating Officer at Better Homes & Garden Metro Brokers in Atlanta, started noticing more and more of his agents’ using online solutions to get transactions done, the writing was on the wall for him: the way real estate transactions were taking place was changing, and Metro Brokers needed to implement a technology strategy so its agents, clients and administrators could collaborate and get work done online.
Craig decided he’d need to find a solution to digitize the transaction process, and integrate that solution into the brokerage’s entire environment. But with 26 offices and 1,800 agents, Metro Brokers is one of the largest brokerages in the country. They don’t take company-wide technology purchasing lightly.
Craig needed an enterprise-grade solution that would be flexible enough to work within their system. And he needed a seamless and easy-to-use experience that would work across corporate administrators, agents and their customers, allowing transparency and communication between everyone.
After a deep dive reviewing a number of vendors, Craig chose dotloop.
“dotloop was the only company that fit our vision of a seamless experience across our operations,” said Craig. “Agent adoption was critical to the project’s success, so the user experience needed to be perfect or else our agents simply wouldn’t use it. dotloop’s user experience was far and away the best.”
To get the most out of the technology, Craig and his team worked closely with dotloop to integrate the system into their own corporate and backend systems. Through close collaboration, the team built an entirely paperless workflow for their transactions. Documents between agents and clients can be instantly shared with office managers, who can review and share with accounting. The entire process is truly seamless and online.
This comprehensive deployment is driving enterprise-wide efficiency for Metro Brokers’ transaction process. Plus, the transactions are simpler and more secure, with all files safely backed up to the cloud. The depth and breadth of the system is a testament to the industrious and forward-thinking culture at Metro Brokers.
Getting the Team Onboard
Metro Brokers launched dotloop in April, and the entire company will be immersed by the end of Q3 2014. It’s quickly become an asset to agents, with nearly 600 agents signing-in to the system daily already. Metro Brokers has even begun featuring their agents on their blog to talk about their success.
It’s an agent-favorite, but not everyone was responsive at first.
“Some people just weren’t comfortable putting this process online,” said Craig. “They were used to being able to hold paperwork in their hands, so we had to walk them through how it worked, and show them they could just as easily access and review transaction documents online.”
Through training and ongoing communication, however, agents quickly saw the benefit to using the technology. Now agents can show homes to clients and simultaneously write digital offers, send them to listing agents, and produce a binding agreement, so clients can complete their necessary forms on the spot.
Agents are even using the technology in ways Craig didn’t anticipate. Some agents are using it with prospects, adding them to the loops ahead of time so they can follow-up before they’re even in the negotiation phase. Others are using it so they can stay in touch with clients after a purchase.
Expanding the Loop
Metro Brokers agents have the advantage of a complete in-house family of services including financing, insurance, home warranty and title. Since dotloop is an online workspace where people come together, Metro Brokers is taking that to the next level by bringing this family together in loops, with a functionality called Family first.
Metro Brokers agents might know customers need assistance with finance, for example, and they can add the right financing contact directly into the loop, so customers can easily choose to work with them. Since agents at Metro Brokers are typically the conduit to the other service providers, this makes that sort of engagement much simpler and easier.
Having completed such an expansive integration, you would think Craig would not want his competitors using dotloop. His take is actually the opposite: Craig believes all companies involved in the real estate transaction should embrace dotloop.
“The more seamless we can make the experience the better, regardless of which brokerages are involved in the process,” said Craig. “If everyone used dotloop, the process and workflow would be smoother across the board. That’s better for agents, better for our administrators, and most importantly better for our customers. It’s a win-win-win.”