I grew up in the real estate business with my dad and mom. My dad started our company about 40 years ago, and about 10 years ago, it was finally the right time for me to join. I was working other jobs — everything from being on the radio, to working in baseball, to running a local trade organization for real estate agents. Finally, I got burned out on all of those jobs. I was talking to my dad one day, and he said, “Hey, why don’t you come and join us?” For the first time in my life it made sense — so, here I am.
I’m sometimes a little bit slow to put all of my eggs in one basket, and I tested dotloop as just an agent for a year before I brought it into the rest of our brokerage. Right about the time that I was really starting to have faith in dotloop, and beginning to understand what it can do, one of our top agents said, “Phil, we just saw this commercial where I can be signing a contract while riding on the back of a motorcycle through this company called dotloop.” If our top-producing agent knows about it, and he wants to be able to have somebody sign a contract while riding on a motorcycle — alright, it’s time to bring everybody into this dotloop program. He took off with it, and a lot of our agents have done the same.
We were using mix-and-match … a lot of paper … a lot of handwriting. Occasionally, somebody was typing up a contract using the printed forms, or using some other programs on an individual basis. When we found out we could bring the whole company into dotloop, we decided to go for it.
I think everybody has to consider that this is the present and the future, all wrapped up into one. What sometimes limits me is if I hesitate or holdback; sometimes you’ve just got to go for it and have faith in the system. A lot of us brokers, owners, and agents are using dotloop and loving it — it has completely changed the way we do business, for the better.
If someone is hesitant about using dotloop, talk to someone who’s using it to find out about the pros. What I’ve noticed is a lot of real estate companies in our marketplace are using the exact same product. So, there’s familiarity when we get an offer that comes in from dotloop from one of our competitors — it puts us at ease knowing that we use this program, we can respond to this offer in a timely manner, and here’s how we’re going to do it.
We’re still diving into using it for the entire brokerage. One of my personal goals within the next few months is to have all of our closings saved in dotloop. Right now we’re using it mainly to write the offers and start the paperwork process, but then not following through on the closing part. I’m looking at our other offices to find out how they’re using it to close and save their files. Our office goal is to be there in the next 60 days. It starts with me at the top saying, “This is how we’re going to do it, and this is why we’re going to do it.”
There are offices that go all in, and there’s no turning back… no wiggle room. We’re more of an office that understands that if someone needs help — we’ll help them. We’re not going to be all or nothing, because at the end of the day it wouldn’t be fair for me to say to someone “If you can’t do this, you have to leave.” In a perfect office setting, everyone would be walking around with iPads, and their own personal computers and phones. They’re all using dotloop at the same time, and we no longer have filing cabinets or paper that we’re printing out. We’re still using paper. It’s a blend of using dotloop, and getting everyone onboard. We’ll keep going until everyone feels comfortable with it.
I would tell them to definitely go with dotloop. You’ll be very happy with the product, very happy with customer support. With everything, there’s a learning curve, and once you start to get past that learning curve, I think it’s very user-friendly.
I’ve done several of the training sessions, and each time I learn something new. I just did a training session two weeks ago, and picked up three things I knew dotloop could do, but I had never taken the time to figure out. I’ve been able to immediately use those three things in the latest round of writing offers and getting listing packets ready. I’m so glad that dotloop exists and has a great support system to help us.
1. When you get an email with an attachment for a form, it’s nice being able to email that to your dotloop account.
2. Giving clients the ability to fill in blanks.
3. I like to put initials for clients on all of the pages of the contract. Normally, that takes about five minutes, but with the copy part, I’m able to do it now in about one minute.
I knew dotloop could do all three of those things, but I dragged my feet on really learning how to do it and embracing it, and I finally realized I’m wasting too much time doing it the old fashioned way — let me actually use what I’m learning in the training class, and sure enough it’s working.
We had agents in for the training that were hesitant to use dotloop, and others that we just needed to get more involved with dotloop. I think, for a lot or us there’s always the “Well, I can do it just by filling out paperwork, then I’ll scan it in, then email it off.” But, what we’re trying to show those agents is you can do it all from your computer, or whatever you’re using, and get it done immediately — and save about three steps, and better serve that client.
Yeah, the big thing right now is just making sure I have time to spend with the family — my wife and daughter, and all of our pets. Making sure that I’m home, or able to pick up my daughter from dance. It is true that dotloop does save time. When I first started in this business 10 years ago, we’d print something, run it down to the office to scan it, get it into our email, then send it off. This was before home scanners became the norm. Other times, before dotloop, we’d send an email to a client, and they wouldn’t be able to print it off because they didn’t have either a printer at their home, or they didn’t have any ink for the printer. And rather than them going to the store to spend $50 on ink to print it out, they’d just wait until they got to work the next day. As you know, in this busy real estate market, sometimes you don’t have the luxury of waiting until tomorrow — you need to have it done today to be in first position.