After its founding 60 years ago, Coldwell Banker McMahan continues to find new ways to increase operational efficiency and deliver optimum service to its clients.
Few brokerages have the heritage enjoyed by Coldwell Banker McMahan. With members of the McMahan family still running the business, the firm continues to uphold a trusted reputation throughout northern Kentucky and southern Indiana.
To continue this legacy, leadership seeks the best technology to increase agent productivity while providing a great client experience. For McMahan, this has meant upgrading their transaction management platform to dotloop Business+, a single action that has made all the difference.
In the 1950s, Arvel McMahan decided to parlay his family’s home building business into a brokerage. His son Jerry joined the real estate firm in the early 1970s, and today his daughter Molly McMahan continues the tradition as Director of Technology and Marketing Development.
But the leadership at Coldwell Banker McMahan has always understood that simply having a family of leaders in line does not translate into instant success. Rather, there’s no match for providing a stellar customer experience and, as such, McMahan has always emphasized the need to install the right people, processes and technology to give clients exceptional service.
“In 2013, we heard about this real estate startup called dotloop,” says McMahan. “They had figured out a way to put the entire transaction on a web-based platform.” No more wondering about the accuracy or security of round-robin emails. No more questions about which PDF was the current version. And using dotloop meant that all documents, revisions, actions and communication were archived for instant search and retrieval. It was a huge step forward in efficiency and protection from liability.
The brokerage didn’t know of any other firms their size who were using the platform. But the leadership at Coldwell Banker McMahan knew a good thing when they saw it and became one of the first in Kentucky to adopt dotloop.
Five years later, as the brokerage continued to expand, leadership decided to upgrade to an enhanced version of the platform: dotloop Business+.
“When we develop a process or procedure that’s better for our clients, we can quickly implement it for all our agents. This customization has allowed us to be more efficient, more effective, and more on top of each deal.”
– Molly McMahan, Director of Technology & Marketing Development
In the communities where Coldwell Banker McMahan sells homes, buyers favor traditional styles. They might be looking for something with cottage charm, a simple farmhouse or maybe a house that shows a little Southern heritage. Yet while the houses reflect elements from the past, the clients want their agents to be using the most advanced, latest technology for their real estate transactions today.
Just like other areas of their life, they want speed, accuracy and the convenience of mobile-first. The leadership at Coldwell Banker McMahan saw that dotloop Business+ could help them meet those expectations.
According to Molly, the upgrade offered dozens of new features, though they were most intrigued by the advent of dotloop’s customizable loop templates, integration with other platforms and the ability to brand client-facing communications.
In the dotloop platform, each deal is viewed as a “loop” organized in such a way that both the agent and the supervising broker can see the transaction status at a glance. Dotloop ensures that certain tasks must be completed before the agent can go on to the next step. To enhance the automation, the Business+ version allows the brokerage the ability to customize every part of the loop, from the sequencing of the documents to specifying certain fields.
Agents receive exactly what they need to complete each deal in a consistent way, and admins save a huge amount of time with a standardized process and the ability to navigate multiple loops with a single log-in.
“When we develop a process or procedure that’s better for our clients,” says McMahan, “we can quickly implement it for all our agents. This customization has allowed us to be more efficient, more effective, and more on top of each deal.”
Like a passenger catching connecting flights, customer data must move through several different programs to complete a deal: from the agent’s CRM into contracts and documents, and after closing, from the back office accounting system to payment. Just like a multi-leg flight, each stop has the potential for missing a connection.
Doing it the traditional way, agents and admins have to log into multiple accounts, import, export and even re-enter their transaction data for each deal. Not only does this approach take more work and slow the process; it also allows more chance for error.
For Coldwell Banker McMahan, the ability of Business+ to interface directly with other platforms has eliminated the “seams” where errors can surface.
“For our brokerage,” says McMahan, “we have dotloop integrated with software like our ZAP CRM, Google Calendar, and Zillow Premier Agent.”
“We have been longtime proponents of dotloop. But now we feel that Business+ has helped us take our competitiveness up a notch.”
– Molly McMahan, Director of Technology & Marketing Development
During a real estate transaction, clients receive a constant stream of emails, requesting information and updates on the status of their deal. In most cases, they’ll recognize the emails from trusted partners like the inspection company, title and escrow, and their mortgage provider.
However, in some cases they’ll receive documents that they can only access through a third-party secure platform. But if the secure site doesn’t display the trusted partner’s name and logo, the client is often left wondering who they’re dealing with.
To avoid confusion, it’s best that any communication or activity on the transaction platform reflect the brokerage’s branding.
“We have now set up all our client-facing dotloop interactions with our company name and logo,” says McMahan. “We might think dotloop is wonderful, but our clients may not know who that is. And in the transaction it’s important that they understand that these requests for sensitive information or actions on documents are coming from us.”
While the agents and admins at Coldwell Banker McMahan were already familiar with the dotloop platform, it was important that everyone receive training on the new functions and capabilities of Business+. That’s why one of the features of the upgrade is an enhanced level of brokerage support from dotloop. For McMahan, specialized training began with employees in leadership roles who were then able to teach others in the company.
“My dotloop success manager made sure I understood everything that we were getting and how to use it,” says McMahan. “Then we were able to roll it out to the rest of the company. We’re finding this is the best way to get to full adoption.”
Once a property is under contract, the agent must be able to coordinate the process, keep the trusted partners on schedule, and get to closing on time. Because each deal is unique, there will always be unpredictable events. So the more a brokerage can standardize and automate the process, the more prepared the agent and admin will be to deliver better client interaction and process transactions, while enabling the brokerage to establish a consistent standard of customer service.
“We have been longtime proponents of dotloop,” says McMahan. “But now we feel that Business+ has helped us take our competitiveness up a notch.”