A dotloop Case Study
Anthony Askowitz, the broker/owner of RE/MAX Advance Realty in Miami, FL, is a busy man. In addition to owning one of the most successful RE/MAX franchises in the South, he personally leads a top-producing team of twelve agents which closed 230 deals in 2015. And on top of that, he manages his family’s warehouse leasing business.
Yet Askowitz still makes time to be a husband, father, and regular keynote speaker.
“The key, is to know what’s going to produce the most value for you. And that’s where you should spend your time. Hire well also.”
Askowitz began his career in the late 1980s using this philosophy. Fresh out of college with a degree in entrepreneurial management, he got a job in the mortgage division of a Miami real estate company. He reasoned that if he could “add value” to the company by learning property values, he could eventually move into an agent role. His commitment paid off and, within 9 months, Askowitz earned the title of Rookie of the Year.
Several years later, he took the opportunity to move to the local RE/MAX office and eventually took over as the broker/owner.
Now with two locations, Advance Realty has grown to 165 agents and has become the top producing RE/MAX office in South Florida.
Askowitz was named RE/MAX Broker/Owner of the Year for North America in 2011 and has since earned numerous other accolades, including the Circle of Legends Award, being named one of South Florida’s Top 100 Real Estate Agents, and finishing as a Top 3 Finalist for the R.E.A.L Realtor of the Year Award.
Every broker can attest to the seemingly endless demands of running a real estate business. Askowitz, in addition to these responsibilities, had added the roles of high-performance team leader and commercial property manager. As a result, he acutely felt the pain of his time constraints.
One area where he knew he and everyone else in his office could improve on was productivity: specifically, how they managed the transaction process.
Under their old transaction management process, the agents at RE/MAX Advance Realty were losing hours each week faxing, scanning, and even sometimes driving documents to clients for signing. These inefficient processes were taking agents away from more important activities that could have lead to additional deals and loading up the admins with unnecessary work. Even worse, client anxieties climbed with the delays since these inefficiencies were slowing down a process they wanted to complete as quickly as possible.
Additionally, Askowitz had no easy way to track the progress of his brokerage’s transactions or to measure the productivity of his agents until well after the fact. Everything was all on paper, tucked away in a row of filing cabinets that filled one of his spare offices.
After an extensive look at the available solutions, Askowitz chose dotloop as the end-to-end real estate transaction management solution for his brokerage. While the eSignature component was what would immediately save time, he saw that adopting an end-to-end platform would save time and add value to multiple aspects of his business.
For example, dotloop has maximized time for Askowitz and his brokerage through the simple mobile interface that makes it possible for all parties in a transaction—including clients on both sides of the deal—to quickly move the sale process forward outside normal working hours. Rather than being a time-consuming event that would require an appointment, the signature process takes just a few minutes on a smartphone.
Askowitz saw the value of this convenience-factor dramatically illustrated one Friday afternoon. A buyer’s agent had contacted him with an offer on one his listings. They had worked out the deal verbally, and all that was left was for the two parties to sign. Askowitz was ready to act right away, but the other agent was headed out of town on a camping trip, so she suggested they take care of everything the following week.
Recalling the incident, Askowitz says, “I even offered to send the the deal to her clients through dotloop, but she said it could wait until Monday.”
It was a big mistake on her part. A little over an hour later, another buyer’s agent called with an offer $10,000 above the first agent’s. Because Askowitz’s clients hadn’t signed the first agent’s offer, he was required by law to present them the second one. Needless to say, Askowitz’s clients were eager to get the additional money and immediately signed the better deal.
“On Monday, I had the job of telling the first agent what her delay had cost.” She wasn’t happy and Askowitz guesses that her clients were not happy either.
This incident reinforced his career-long belief in the value of time.
“People think time is equal to money,” says Askowitz. “But they’re wrong. If you lose money, you can make more. But once time is gone — it’s gone.”
Utilizing dotloop, his agents and staff are able to make the most of this non-renewable resource.
Before adopting dotloop, RE/MAX Advance Realty had an entire office dedicated to filing cabinets. Although Askowitz was initially attracted by dotloop’s e-sign capabilities, he soon learned that its comprehensive platform provides much more than e-sign only applications. For example, it digitally archives each step in the transaction process. Since adopting dotloop, the brokerage is now largely paperless; not only has Askowitz gotten rid of his filing cabinets, he has been able to lease the newly freed-up office space.
“I was able to clear a room to rent it,” he says. “You don’t think I love dotloop?”
The platform’s long-term digital archiving will soon free up even more space for Askowitz. The brokerage is currently using warehouse space for this requirement, which requires his staff to transport paper documents, index them for storage, and then manually search when a past transaction is required.
This physical archiving procedure is now being phased out and Askowitz looks forward to the day when he will be able to rent out this space as well. He cites it as another area where dotloop is adding value.
About this windfall of saved storage space, Askowitz says, “Sometimes you make a decision to do something and you don’t realize all the additional things you can do with it. Dotloop has brought us many benefits besides saving time.”
Today’s real estate client is using the latest technology in every other aspect of their lives, from driving navigation to social connections. They expect that in a high-stakes transaction like buying a home technology will also play a significant role.
For Askowitz, dotloop provides the simple, elegant interface that makes the complex process easy for his clients. And on the back end, the platform allows him and his team to make the best use of their time.
“I couldn’t do what I do today if it wasn’t for dotloop,” says Askowitz. “It’s an essential part of my business.”