Tracy Zigelstein, Administration Manager, RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc., Ontario, Canada, recently shared how dotloop has been a game changer for their brokerage, particularly during the pandemic and social distancing.
What process did your team follow when you decided to partner with dotloop?
We were looking for an online storage system and something to streamline our business. We have nine locations and a head office that processes the final paperwork trails.
Having a paper file was hindering our process, and our biggest concern was to find an online storage system that worked well for us and allowed us to communicate faster and easier throughout the file.
What were some of the reservations you had when implementing a new software?
Like anybody, we do not like change. It’s hard to adopt a new process. I think the biggest hurdle we had to get over was changing the way we looked at the files and the way we handled the paperwork. Even though it made the process easier, getting the system in place properly to handle the difference of going online was a process for us.
What did your process look like for managing transactions prior to partnering with dotloop?
Agents would hand in paper to an admin at one of our locations, and they would open up a manilla folder, add a label to it …. paperwork would always fall out of files and get moved around. Most of the time, we managed to get the paperwork about two weeks before closing. We would overnight-courier the files to the head office, where we would then continue to move the file from cabinet to cabinet as it went along. And it passed through many hands. When somebody was looking for paperwork, we’d have to track down where the file was. That was a huge problem for us. It took up a lot of our time.
Were you exploring other solutions prior to dotloop?
There weren’t any in place. We were on the hunt when we met up with dotloop. You were one of three or four different companies we were looking at at the time for file storage. We were definitely looking for something to integrate with our software that we use.
Were there concerns or objections from your agents? What was the initial response?
There was a lot of trepidation. We received a lot of questions like, “How is this going to work? What do you mean I have to scan my own paperwork? I don’t understand how this is changing my business? How will this work for us?”
It took some time for our agents to adopt the platform. They needed to accept the new way of working, but now that they have, it’s a whole different ball game for them. Things are so much easier. We can track when we send files to lawyers, and we can let them know, “Hey, we’re doing our job. We’re taking responsibility for it.”
Are you getting any objections from agents now that they’ve seen the impact that it has?
No objections. The ones who’ve taken the time to go through the webinars, and learn the program, they love it! They’ve adopted it. They’ve made it their own, and they’re working really well with it.
Are there any features that jump out as the biggest benefits of dotloop?
I think from an agent’s perspective, the best part about it is the eSignature feature. We provide the template, and they can make whatever necessary changes they need before sending that off to their clients for signature. Or they can even have their clients sign in front of them, all electronically. That was a game changer for us for sure!
COVID-19 has come at us out of nowhere, and we’ve reduced our staff out of necessity. We’ve closed down some of our branches and kept the social distancing. Dotloop has allowed us to keep working at our maximum capacity with very few staff people and no physical locations.
Can you envision not having dotloop, or a technology like dotloop, in these times?
You know, I’m so glad we adopted it when we did because I’d hate to be learning it today while we’re social distancing. If I still had paper files, we wouldn’t have been able to react as quickly to COVID and the shutdowns. I don’t know that we would be running at full capacity.
How has the market been? Are agents transacting?
Agents are absolutely still working. There are still people listing their houses for sale and buying. It’s a different mentality. There’s a lot of trepidation about going into people’s homes. They have certain measures in place, and we’re all being very careful. But the market is still moving. I think we’ve established that we’re at about a third of what we expect for this time of year. But all things considered, I think we’re doing OK, and people are still able to get out there and do their jobs.
Have new agents been surprised by the technology that you offer?
I do know we have a system in place for our new agents. We have an onboarding portion of the package that includes dotloop. And right away, as soon as someone signs up, we offer them the Premium package. They get added to our system, and there are a lot of questions. We’re offering our webinars. We have sessions with them one-on-one, so I think people are very accepting and very happy that we have the system in place that they can learn and work with their clients.
Have you used dotloop as a recruiting tool?
Absolutely! Having this paperless system and offering the Premium package is a huge draw. It’s also been a good retention tool as well, because agents don’t want to lose it once they’re used to it. They don’t want to have to pay for it themselves, and they don’t want to give it up.
What would you say to other brokerages considering dotloop?
The online storage is huge. For all of our managers, all of our staff member, to access the same paperwork simultaneously is really the biggest advantage that we’ve gained. The fact that you have an eSignature package within dotloop is perfect because we don’t have to download the forms and get it somewhere else for a signature, then bring it back into our system. It’s a one-stop shop, and we can get it all done in one place. It’s made it so easy for us.