How One of America's Fastest Growing Real Estate Teams Uses Dotloop To Fuel Its Record-Breaking Success
A dotloop Case Study
Going from $0 to over $10M in revenue
While most real estate teams are built around a star agent, the Five Doors Network has fueled its record-breaking growth by simultaneously investing in their members’ personal growth and building elegant, scalable systems. Given the company’s explosive success, the dotloop for Teams has been integral to their ability to complete transactions with transparency, speed, and accuracy.
Founded in 2014, the Five Doors Network is one of the fastest growing expansion teams within the largest real estate company in the world, Keller Williams. The team went from zero to be on pace for over $10 Million in revenue in 2017, just the fourth year of business.
How has Five Doors achieved this remarkable growth? The answer is twofold: a deep dedication to creating Generational Wealth for their team members and the foresight to design Five Doors for expansion from the very beginning.
Investing in Generational Wealth
In 2014, the development team of Reed Moore, Jeff Payne and Devin Doherty all met in a mastermind group for Mega Agents. Each had already built a successful real estate business and was open to the idea of a collaborative separate venture.
What ended up bringing these men together was their vision for Generational Wealth™—a business model that could increase the net worth of their agents and support staff. In turn, agents and support staff would provide their expertise in generating wealth through real estate investing to their clients.
To establish generational wealth for their own people, Five Doors needed to be highly profitable in order to provide their team members with the capital needed to invest in real estate. They planned to hit their ambitious profit goals by instilling best practices at every level of the real estate business—whether lead generation, recruiting, marketing, or the transaction process itself. And wherever possible, they would automate procedures so that people would be freed up to focus on the big goals for the company and their role in accomplishing them.
The development team believed that by leveraging superior talent, proven systems and models, and revolutionary technology, they could scale Five Doors and generate the profits necessary to make Generational Wealth™ a reality for their people.
Differently Designed, With An Eye On Expansion
From the start, Five Doors’ founders knew that they wanted to build an expansion team—with a twist.
Expansion real estate teams recruit agents in remote markets and provide them with training, leads, and systems through a technology platform. These remote teams work out of a local office space, are legally overseen by a local broker, and are often built around star agents. While creating an expansion team would make it possible for Five Doors to hit their aggressive goals, the founding team took issue with the traditional method of building around a star agent.
The development team wanted to create a business with such well-designed systems, technology, and training that it could grow much more quickly than a team dependent on a single top producer’s reputation. And so, bucking convention, the team first created the platform and systems that they believed would help their teams grow quickly, then recruited their members. They were betting that given the best technology and workflows, all their members could be star performers.
The experiment worked.
While Five Doors currently has 20 locations with 182 members, they are expecting to add 11 more locations in the coming months. Already, the team is ranked #19 in the industry for closed transactions, #57 for total sales volume, and was recently named first runner up as The Most Innovative Team in Real Estate by Inman News, finishing first for all of Keller Williams.
Building The System
Instead of taking the traditional route of tailoring a system around a rainmaker, the team took a “plumbing-first” approach and focused solely on the system. This way, they could build a completely new way of doing things from the ground up.
As Jennifer Schiff, Five Door VP of Operations says, “We brought in the dirt to build Manhattan.”
For each and every step in the real estate process, they asked, “What needs to be done at this point for our desired outcome?” While an experienced agent, broker, or admin may optimize their processes through years of trial and error, the development team wanted Five Doors’ systems to take out any guesswork for their members. If they could save their people the frustration of constantly reinventing the wheel by providing them with a proven workflow, the company would quickly grow to profitability.
Adding even more value is the motivation behind the Five Doors Network’s name itself. It derives from the company’s goal to become the market leader in five related areas: residential real estate, mortgage, title and escrow, insurance, and real estate investing.
Consequently, architecting this system was no easy task. It took the team over a year—sometimes losing as much as $70,000 a month—before they got it right. He points to July 2016 as the month they “cracked the code” and when profitability and expansion began to rapidly grow.
Today, in their transaction platform alone, Five Doors has more than 200 templates and 300 documented workflows. With so many moving parts, using dotloop for Teams for all their transaction management needs has been integral to getting them all working together.
Once they designed a company that could grow rapidly, their next challenge was to meet that demand by scaling quickly in new markets.
Built To Scale
The development team believed that as the company scaled, they could generate the profits necessary to make Generational Wealth™ a reality and expect to activate the Generational Wealth™ Fund in early 2018 for their members.
In order to be profitable, the company would need to be able to expand quickly into new markets without also expanding overhead. Consequently, they followed a hub-and-spoke strategy similar to that in the Keller Williams expansion team model, which also allows a single technology center to provide administrative and lead generation support for hundreds of remote real estate teams at the same time. To provide their new teams with office space and the legality of working under a local broker, they used a referral fee structure similar to Keller Williams’ established program.
The development team estimates that their central office is capable of supporting thousands of teams worldwide. This scalable capacity has been made possible by using the best technology systems available. And for Five Doors’ demanding transaction management needs, this meant incorporating the dotloop for Teams into their company-wide platform.
Then, Five Doors went a step further.
While quickly rolling out a technology platform to new markets presents a challenge, it’s not the biggest hurdle a company must overcome as it scales. First, there’s the challenge of getting the new people up and running on the technology and continuing to use it in the intended way. Second, and perhaps most difficult, is maintaining the unique culture of the company as it scales rapidly.
To tackle both scaling problems, Five Doors devised a training, accountability, and leadership system led by VP of Growth, Raquel Quinet, that gets new members quickly integrated into their system and keeps them focused on their unique role. Even more important than the sophisticated network is Five Doors’ emphasis on organizational transparency and maintaining the right mindset for success.
The Five Doors System In Action
Because their goals are so clearly understood and their innovative business model so well supported by technology, Five Doors has been able to set up new teams very rapidly. The day a new team is added to the system, their email accounts are set up and business cards are on their way. The agents and team leader are immediately plugged into the team structure, and the ongoing training they will need to succeed in their role is kicked off. On the backend, the transaction system simply adds a new market, and the newly minted Five Door team is instantaneously ready to begin receiving listings and closing deals.
However, even the best system is tested by quickly adding locations, or rolling out changes to 20 existing markets at once.
How Dotloop Has Enabled Five Doors To Grow
While planning the structure of their expansion network, the team recognized that it needed to be systematized, centralized, and automated. The only platform that fit their criteria was the dotloop Team Dashboard—the only truly collaborative real estate transaction management platform in the industry.
Initially, Five Doors used the Premium version of dotloop, which Keller Williams provides to all of their people. But after talking to their dotloop Success Manager about their need to manage distributed teams, they decided to upgrade to dotloop for Teams. Dotloop helped them to customize features to best fit their workflows and has continued to tailor the platform as Five Doors has made adjustments.
In addition to speeding up and automating the transaction process, dotloop offers Five Doors the security of watertight compliance. Because liability is a huge threat to profitability, it’s something the company takes very seriously.
Additionally, according to Schiff, one of the hazards of a rapidly growing organization is “siloing,” where communication between parts of the company begins breaking down. Siloing is especially pervasive in real estate, where the most successful people are often the ones with the most individual initiative.
Five Doors’ has a two-pronged approach to solving the siloing problem. On the people front, all team members go through constant accountability and coaching in order to maintain clarity around priorities and how their work impacts others. And on the technology front, Five Doors combats siloing through the integration of the dotloop Team Dashboard with their platform. From the moment a property is listed, the people, data and processes pertinent to the transaction are all found in a single, collaborative workspace. And as an added bonus, there’s no need to re-enter data as it flows between programs, which is time-consuming and introduces errors.
What Five Doors Illuminates About The Future Of Real Estate
While many real estate leaders have opinions on the importance of technology in both operations and meeting client expectations, Five Doors isn’t merely opining—they’re walking the walk. Through Five Doors’ investment in platforms and systems, their agents have gained many advantages in their local marketplaces. Furthermore, their success shines a light on strategies to prevail in the changing real estate landscape.
Five Doors has shown that well-run teams are able to generate huge volumes of business that can be efficiently and effectively managed from a central hub.
From lead generation, to marketing, through the end of the transaction, the role of technology with big data, artificial intelligence, automation and predictive analytics have become central to Five Doors’ focus. Five Doors has shown that embracing technology is not only vital to the operations of an expanding company, but is also essential for providing the best customer experience. For their clients, dotloop meets Five Doors’ criteria of being effective, efficient, and simple.
Instead of living on one-off home sales, Five Doors has shown that long-term profitability lies in long-term relationships with employees and clients. Their mission to create generational wealth for their clients requires that they work together on multiple transactions over many years. With only 13% of clients choosing to do repeat business with the same agent (according to NAR research), a company that can make this their strong suit will see a huge return.
Toward this end, Five Doors provides training so their members can become certified investment property specialists. They’re betting that clients will choose an agent who is concerned about their long-term financial interest over one who is simply looking for a one-time commission check.
Multiple Business Lines
The name Five Doors comes from the company’s intention to be the market leader in the related areas of residential real estate, mortgage, title and escrow, insurance, and real estate investing. Companies that can provide the multiple services required to complete a real estate transaction not only make it simpler for their clients but are able to earn significantly more revenue from each deal. A real estate lead that also brings in a home loan, title insurance, and a new homeowner’s policy is worth much more than one that simply results in a home sale.
The Secret To Mega Growth: The Right People Supported By The Best Technology
Though the team first developed the systems that would lead to fast expansion, they designed them to support properly motivated and trained people. Real estate will always be a person-to-person business, and the team’s founders readily admit that the Five Doors system is not a reinvention of the transaction. They say they have simply taken the traditional process and systematized and streamlined it.
But because of his tech-first approach, he offers his members a competitive advantage they can’t get from another broker.
Because dotloop handles the transaction from end-to-end, including integration with CRM and accounting platforms, agents are freed up to do what they do best and admins can operate at a high capacity.
Equally as important as the office backend is the experience dotloop provides for Five Doors clients: a simplified, trouble-free process where they know exactly what’s going on and what to expect next. Additionally, all document review and signing happens quickly and at their convenience.
The Five Doors Network represents a new breed of real estate company, one that has fully embraced the power of technology. Dotloop is proud to be a key component of that success and is eager to work with other real estate teams and brokerages who are seeking to gain a competitive advantage from the industry’s only collaborative transaction management platform.