A dotloop Case Study
The answer: provide multiple services under one roof, thereby making transactions faster and more transparent.
Local Property Shop offers property development, real estate sales, leasing, and rental services. These services are often closely related for clients, but normally require them to go to separate companies. To power this end-to-end advantage, the firm uses an integrated technology stack to make each transaction seamless.
Gaughan’s firm is staffed by a lean team of agents and other professionals who use the latest mobile technology to manage relationships, complete transactions, and process commission payments. In a market that moves as quickly as Boston’s, it’s essential that all members of a team are working in close collaboration. The hours—even minutes—waiting on information can be the difference between placing the winning offer on a property and losing out.
Local Property Shop has three full-time residential agents. They are supported by three part-time agents who play flexible roles in other parts of the company, including commercial real estate sales, insurance, and construction management.
Though he thrived as an agent, Gaughan structured his company so that he serves solely as president. In this strategic role, he’s better able to guide the firm’s growth and maximize everyone’s productivity.
“I came from a brokerage,” says Gaughan, “where the broker/owner was essentially competing with his agents. There’s nothing ethically wrong with that. But we were convinced we would excel if that didn’t happen here” He does not receive a commission split.
With the average age of the group being just shy of thirty, Gaughan realizes that his agents’ perceived youth could be seen as a disadvantage. Consequently, they’ve had to overcome that perception by offering extensive local expertise, faster service, and more transparency into each deal.
The backbone of that competitive advantage has been their technology.
Time is one of the most easily wasted resources for a brokerage, so Gaghan wanted to build his business using mobile-first technology. To enable his agents to act quickly in Boston’s white-hot real estate market, he knew he needed to start with a real estate transaction management software that enabled them to work from any location, while instantaneously giving him full insight into every deal.
The only solution that met all of his requirements was dotloop, a platform that replaces form-creation, e-sign, and transaction management systems with a single end-to-end solution.
Gaughan had first used dotloop when he’d worked as an agent, but his broker only utilized it to complete transactions—just a small part of the platform’s capabilities.
When he started Local Property Shop, Gaughan began to use the collaborative platform to its full potential—ensuring speed and accuracy through every step of the transaction, keeping track of all deals in progress, and assessing agent performance. Of equal importance were dotloop’s clean design and simple interface, which not only made it easier for clients to complete their portions of the transaction, but also enabled clients to track the progress of their deal.
“We’re a collaborative company at heart,” says Gaughan, “so it’s made sense to use the transaction platform that best supports our working style.”
The dotloop platform was so integral to Local Property Shop’s operations that Gaughan felt it was important for their back-end accounting software to be compatible with it.
“One of the things that technology does better and faster than humans is calculate, track, and pay commissions,” he says. “So we knew that the right solution could help us gain efficiency.”
They started out with a proprietary program that was functional, but had to be manually fed data from each transaction. The process was time-consuming, and each time information was re-entered, it created the possibility for error.
Local Property Shop then tried one of the better-known real estate accounting solutions, but it lacked ease-of-use and its mobile interface left much to be desired.
After endless workarounds and hours wasted processing payment information, Gaughan discovered Loft47. The accounting platform was compatible with dotloop, was mobile-first, and came with exceptional customer service.
He and his partners could immediately tell that Loft47 had been designed specifically for real estate. It seamlessly imported dotloop transaction data, processed the deal’s finances, and exported the results back to dotloop for reports and long-term archiving.
“We wanted a no-touch accounting system,” says Gaughan. “And with Loft47 we just about have it.”
As far as other platform integrations, Local Property Shop uses Placester for their websites and Contactually for CRM. Both of these seamlessly integrate with dotloop for better speed, accuracy, and efficiency.
In order for Local Property Shop to complete its large volume of business with just 12 people, it’s necessary for the firm’s technology to be as efficient as possible. Gaughan has learned that for this to happen, integration between the various platforms is essential. It doesn’t matter how innovative or capable a single program is: if it doesn’t fit seamlessly into the overall system, it can spell disaster for a lean, high-performing brokerage.
“There are so many tech companies that give you a siloed solution,” says Gaughan. “They know how to create incredible apps, but they don’t know how to make an agent’s job easier.”
He adds that companies like dotloop and Loft47, which were founded by innovators who spent years in real estate, understand the entire process. It’s clear that their platforms have been designed specifically for agents and brokers—not general business solutions that are being poorly shoehorned to fit the industry.
No broker knows what the future holds for his local market, nor broader real estate trends. For a company to survive in a hyper-competitive market like Boston—or in any quickly changing business environment—flexibility, efficiency, and the nimbleness to try new things are essential.
Brokerages of all sizes are wisely automating as much of their workflow as possible and using real estate focused technology to gain efficiency. But rather than choosing their solutions independently of each other, Local Property Shop has pursued an integrated technology strategy, using platforms that are the best of the best and truly made for real estate.
Not only is Chad Gaughan’s brokerage reaping the benefits of working with companies that are keeping up with industry changes, but because they are part of an end-to-end platform, they ensure that Local Property Shop’s system is secure, integrated, and updated to the latest version.
Gaughan and his team are well-prepared to compete today and adapt to market conditions tomorrow.