How Workflows Simplify Real Estate Compliance | Dotloop

How Dotloop’s Workflows Simplify Real Estate Compliance

Dana Kilcoyne

Dana Kilcoyne

February 26, 2021 | comments

Streamline your Transaction Review and Approval Process

Because compliance is such a critical function in real estate transactions, it’s a key reason why over 9,000 brokerages and teams choose our transaction management software.

Here’s where dotloop’s Workflows can really help.

What is a Workflow and How Does it Simplify Compliance?

Workflows are not a checklist of what admins are completing throughout the compliance process, but rather, a notification alerting admins to sets of documents that require their attention.

If the loop (transaction) was a paper file, the Workflow would be the equivalent of the agent walking the file over to the admin’s desk, faxing the documents or forwarding a PDF via email. Dotloop’s Workflows replace the need to drive to the office or locate a fax machine and require only a single click of the SUBMIT FOR REVIEW button within the loop.

The Workflow begins when an agent clicks on SUBMIT FOR REVIEW and selects a folder in a transaction. However, Workflows are housed in the Templates section within the admin profile.

By default, the dashboard will have two customizable Workflows – a Listing Review and a Buying/Contract Review. Aptly named, the Listing Review is used when agents are submitting a set of listing documents to the admin, and the Buying/Contract Review is for contracts being submitted on the buying side. Some real estate brokerages use both; some may only review contracts and not listing documents; while still others may fully create their own Workflows.

Everything can be edited to fit the current review process admins and agents are accustomed to using.

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Workflows Represent the Evolution of a Transaction’s Documents

Each Workflow is composed of Stages, or the point at which the document is currently within the review process. Stages can be set to notify certain admins at certain points in the process. For example, all documents begin with the admin at the front desk, who then alerts the broker via stage notifications to sign documents. Here are some of the most popular stages brokerages and teams use:

  • Needs Review
  • Return to Agent
  • In Final Review
  • Approved
  • Closed
  • Archived

Transaction Coordinators or Admins decide which stage the documents will move into next, such as “Documents Approved” or “Returned to Agent.” Resubmit logic gives admins visibility when some documents have been approved while others still need attention.

For example, if an agent submits a folder in a loop to be reviewed, the admin will receive a notification in their inbox (or they can view through filters on the Loops page) to review this folder. Three of the documents may look great, while one document is missing a signature. The admin marks the applicable document as “Returned,” sends the agent a note and changes the folder stage to “Returned to Agent.”

The agent corrects the returned document, clicks on SUBMIT FOR REVIEW and this moves the loop stage back to “Needs Review” to send the admin a notification again. Therefore, the resubmit logic is telling the admin, “Hey, you already approved most of these documents, but now, your agent has made a change and there is something else that needs your attention.”

quote from real estate pro

“Having the workflows set up has helped us from a compliance standpoint. Once agents turn things in for review and it goes to the next level, we make sure it goes through all of the appropriate steps to get checked prior to closing.”

Jim Mesveskas
RE/MAX Real Estate, LTD.

How Workflows Keep Transactions Moving Forward

Let’s say an agent is working with a buyer who has made an offer that’s been accepted. Before closing, the agent knows the admin needs to approve the documents in the folder that contains the completed and signed purchase agreement, an addendum or two, a CDA and a transaction sheet in preparation for closing.

The agent clicks on Submit for Review and selects the folder with these documents to go through the Buying/Listing Review workflow. By default, this moves the folder into the “Contract Documents Need Review” stage and also notifies brokerage admins. The admin opens the loop, approves them all and changes the stage on the folder to “Contract Documents Approved.” If the admin doesn’t approve them all, the stage is updated to “Returned to Agent” and waits for the agent to Submit for Review again.

In either case, if the agent does Submit for Review again, a few things can happen. If the admin originally marked the folder as “Contract Documents Approved” and the agent Submits for Review again, the loop will move to “Additional Contract Documents Submitted / Edited,” which means that the admin already approved everything; but, for some reason, the agent submitted that folder again.

If the admin originally marked the folder as “Returned to Agent” because the agent needed to fix something, and the agent makes the correction and Submits for Review again, the loop will move back to “Contract Documents Need Review.” This restarts the approval process for any documents in that folder that were not originally approved. Admins can continue to move the folder into any stage — “Closed” when the transaction is complete; “Training / Error” if it’s just a practice loop; and so forth.

All Workflows Can Be Customized

To the right of each stage in the dropdown menu, you can:

  • Update which admins are notified at different stages
  • Change resubmit logic
  • Rename stages
  • Remove a stage

If an admin approves documents but a broker needs to sign a document once everything has been approved, the notification settings on the “Contract Documents Approved” stage can be set to notify the broker that all documents are approved and ready for their signature. Users can add a stage and drag it where needed into the Workflow or set up a new Workflow, such as for agent onboarding or for property management.

Dana Kilcoyne - Partner Success Manager for dotloop

Dana Kilcoyne

Dana Kilcoyne is a Partner Success Manager at dotloop. Her mission is to empower and encourage real estate brokers and teams to use dotloop to its full extent to experience real and ongoing results and future growth.