2016 Recap & 2017 Tip

It’s now 2017 and so much happened in 2016.  Most of the people that read this blog have attended one of my classes and I wanted to take some time to say “Thank YOU”.  I have enjoyed traveling the country and meeting so many new people.  I taught 108 classes in 54 1/2 days and spent 39 days traveling with 14 days away at functions or on the road.  In case you are wondering, that is 107.5 days (29% of the year) on the road traveling and training.  I have now trained in 33 states, only 18 to go.  The 51st one is DC, I counted that as a separate location even though it is not a “state”, but it’s not in a state, so 51 it is!

I’m looking forward to a new year with more new friends to meet and some great places to visit.  While I’m on the subject, if anyone knows offices in the states I have not trained in and would like to help me reach my 2017 year end goal of training in all 50 states.  This list of places I am looking for contacts to reach out to is here: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Utah (I will be there next week), Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.  Thank you in advance for helping by emailing or texting me with any leads.

This is a tech blog, so I can’t go without giving you a tech tip!!  Since it is the year end and soon it will be tax time now might be a good time to give you want of my favorite tracking apps for my real estate and training business.  MileIQ and a link to a referral is here: https://www.mileiq.com/invite/IIPRG.  You may not know this, but years ago for an entire year I wrote emails (should have done it as a blog!) every week on “Apps” and every four weeks I did a “Four for Fun”.  Of course I explained how it works and what it does so this is like going back to that.  Here goes!

MileIQ, it’s Free to download, but only gives you 40 free drives each month.  It is absolutely worth it to spend the $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year for this!

What does it do?  It tracks everywhere you drive.  Yes it runs in the background, but doesn’t take up too much battery or data.  It will show you a map of where you started and where you ended.  Starting mark is green and ending is red.  It’s as easy as “swiping”.  Swipe right for “business” and left for “personal”.  If you swipe slowly in either direction, you can select from custom categories in either the business or personal side.  A couple of cool things is that you can “name” a location so that you remember were you are going.  I name my listings so that I know when I’m going to a listing or showing houses.  You can also select “auto classify” when it pops up so that you don’t have keep answering the same question.  It is super smart and when you are done it shows you a “star” in an award type badge that tells you that month is complete.  It can send you email reports of either a month or year end which makes doing your taxes a breeze!!  Another option is adding multiple vehicles and adding the odometer for each vehicle as well.  I have some screen shots to show you how it works.

App Store showing the logo on the app and the “Auto-Classify” feature.

mileiq-app-storefrequant-drives

Business items, and categories.  Notice the “potential” at the top right and naming the locations to any name that you want. (Swipe right)

office-to-guarantybusiness-categories

Personal drives can be categorized differently as well. (Swipe left)

school-to-officepersonal-categories

Monthly summary shows the amount of personal vs business drives and the year end totals show the graph of the milage driven.  You will notice that Jan is really short because I didn’t decide to use the “paid version” until February.  The nice thing is that it did remember the drives for a month, but not all the way back.  This is another reason why I’m telling you about this now.

monthly-summaryyearly-summary

I can be reached at CarolynTechPertise@gmail.com, by phone or text at 918-951-9020 or visit my real estate website at http://www.SearchTulsaHouses.com.  For technology training or consulting assistance visit http://www.iCarolyn.com.

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Apply MY Template!

For those of you that have attended one of my trainings this one is going to be familiar. “Remember transparencies?”  I believe if you need to do something more than once you need a system and in this case a template works great!!

For the example we are going to be creating a “Lead Based Paint – Buyer Template”.  As an agent when you are writing an offer for a Buyer we have to get seller/property disclosures, lead based paint disclosures and sometimes other forms that may be required by your state.  Since we all must have a lead based paint disclosure, I’m use a general one for the example.  Your’s may look different and you will want to do these steps with any from that you need.

Teamplate FolderFirst, go into your Templates section of your account.  You should have a folder if you have created Document Templates, then use a Buyer Packet that is YOURS, can’t use one created by the office.  If you don’t have one, click “create folder” and name it something.  Now go to the office library of forms and find the lead based paint and click “make copy” and select your folder in your templates and make sure you say “flat PDF”.  Select your folder and click “copy”.  Now you have a PDF in your folder and let’s go back to that document and you will now see no text boxes, signatures or anything fillable on it, that’s what we want.  At the top under “file” click “apply template” and select the EXACT document you originally added from the library.  This will add all the fields to the form but allow you to move and edit them!  Click “save”.

Make a CopyFlat PDFCopy in Folder

With the fields applied exactly where they should be you will need to select the seller fields like the ones at the top and the signatures fields.  Click and drag over the fields and then use a shortcut “shift-delete” (two keys at the same time).  Anything highlighted will be deleted so don’t select any of the buyer fields.  Continue this until all the fields are removed that you do not need.Apply TemplateApply Template 2

As a side note, I find some lead based paint forms are not done correctly with a “radio button” instead of “checkbox”.  If that is the case with your form you can fix it now!  How you can tell if your form is correct depends of if it will allow you to select both receive and waive the opportunity to test for lead based paint.  If you see a “check” on both it needs to be fixed.  If you see a dot then it has been done correctly and will only allow a choice and not both.  To fix this first delete the current check boxes with click-drag-highlight then shift-delete.  Now click at the top “add” and select “radio button” (one of my favorites).  Before you click hold your shift key button down on your keyboard and then let go before you click the second one.  (While holding the shift key button down when you click, it keeps the item with your cursor so you can apply more than one.”  You will need to “group” all of the radio buttons which is as simple as click and drag over all of them, in this case 2, and once they are highlighted you will see 4 boxes making a square at the top left next to the “assign” area.  The word “group” will be above it when you hover over the boxes then click on them and it will turn white and say “ungroup” above it.  Don’t forget to adjust the boxes to exactly where you want them.  Do do this, click on or click and drag over multiple items and the hold the “shift key” down and move your arrow keys the direction you want it to go.  If you need to change the size of say a text box, then you can old your “Alt”(PC) or “Option”(MAC) PLUS the arrow keys and it will change the size of the box based on the TOP LEFT CORNER is “fixed” and everything moves from it.  These are known as “hot keys” by Dotloop.

Add radio buttonGroupIf you needed to create a from from scratch an don’t use the shortcut above make sure you also “group” (mentioned in the above paragraph) the signature boxes and/or initial boxes. This makes it so if you have more than one client it will only allow them to sign/initial 1 of the grouped boxes.  This is makes it in my opinion, “client proof” so they can’t accidentally sign more boxes than we need for them to.

Save and RenameNow that you have all of the necessary changes and corrections done, click the “save” button and go back to your templates.  While in your templates you may want to rename the file “Lead Based Paint – Buyer Template” or something that makes since to you so that you know it only has the Buyer boxes/signatures/initials on it.

If you chose to do this from a loop instead of in the templates, you will need to  click on the “file” and then “save as template” at the top.  Then select the template folder to put the document it.  It will automatically name it whatever your original document is called so you may want to go in and change the name.

USING YOUR TEMPLATE – Since you have created this template it is super easy to use. Load in your loop the seller signed lead based paint (usually from MLS or the Listing Agent) and then go into the document.  Click “file”, “apply template” and select the template you just created, in this case “Lead Based Paint – Buyer Template”.  It will then add all of the Buyer only fields.  It may not be perfect based on the fact that all scans are not equal, but simply click the “save” button and use the shortcut keys (hot keys according to Dotloop) and move them around.  Now send it to your client to sign and you are good to go. (Same as the pictures above)

I have created templates like this for seller/property disclosure, estimated net/cost and other forms that I repeatedly use and don’t want to add the boxes every time.  Enjoy, most classes love this tip and I hope you do too!

I can be reached at CarolynTechPertise@gmail.com, by phone or text at 918-951-9020 or visit my website at http://www.SearchTulsaHouses.com.  For technology training or consulting assistance visit http://www.iCarolyn.com.

Shortcut Your iOS Device

I was recently at Family Reunion, which is a conference for Keller Williams agents and staff to network and LEARN!!  This year I was asked to serve on a panel to share some tips and tricks.  One of the tricks I mentioned was how to create an iOS Keyboard Shortcut.  Several have asked for some directions on how to do this, so here we go.

iOS ShortcutsGo into your “Settings” and scroll down to “General” then “Keyboard”.  Once you are in the “Keyboard” area scroll down to “Shortcuts” and then click on the “+” at the top right.  The “phrase” at the top is what you want the keyboard to type for you for example your name and company (Carolyn Thompson, Keller Williams Realty Advantage).  The second item says “shortcut” and this is where you put the letters and/or numbers you want to type to make it insert (cdtkw) and don’t forget to click “save” at the top right.

iOS Shortcuts 2The cool part is that when you create the shortcut on your phone it will also translate on your MAC as an example, it added the shortcut above when I typed those letters and I had to “undo”.  You can use this for many things.  I have the shortcut above and several others.  What about a shortcut for requesting a showing or sending a list of lenders, sharing your mobile app or any phrase that you repeat on a regular basis.  Don’t make it a single word or you will end up with creating a shortcut that will replace words you are actually trying to type.

iOS Shortcuts 3How many shortcuts and phrases can you create?  What are your ideas?  I hope these iOS Keyboard Shortcuts can help you!

I can be reached at Carolyn@icarolyn.com, by phone or text at 918-951-9020 or visit my website at http://www.SearchTulsaHouses.com.  For technology training or consulting assistance visit http://www.iCarolyn.com.

Task Mastery

Many agents and admin overlook the power of the “task lists” in dotloop.  Everyone has a list of items that need to be done to list a house or close a transaction, even if it is only currently in your head.  Now is the time to make those lists work for you!

First sign into your dotloop account.  There are two ways to create a task list and I recommend creating it in a loop because you can rearrange the order of the tasks, where currently in the templates section, you can not.  Create a loop called “Task List Loop” or use a sample loop you already have.  At the bottom of the loop, click “Add Task” and a new list will be started.  Start typing the items you want on your list.  Drag and drop them to the order you want them.  I also suggest that you keep all of your task lists in the same loop incase you accidentally delete it, you have a place you can load it from again.  Task Lists Options

Rename the task list to what it is, for example: “My Listing Checklist” or “My Contract Checklist”, etc.  To do this, click on the down arrow next to the folder name and select “rename”.  This is also where you will see the option to “Create Template”.  Once you have clicked on the “Create Template”, it will ask you to name the new template and create template.

The most unused portion of this feature is that you can add live links to the task lists and when you do it becomes a live link that the client can click on and go to your website or other webpage you have linked to.  The most common use for this would be using your website as a reference with a page that has the local utility companies or local inspectors listed so they can easily access the information.  This also creates SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for your website (if you are running the link to your website).  Task List Options

Think of having a task list for your client to complete items for a transaction!  You can also “share” or “hide” the task lists from clients.  The admins for your office also have the option to “lock” the task list from the agents.  This is used for compliance because let’s face it, agents sometimes think they have completed something correctly, and the office thinks differently.  🙂  The task lists are directly connected to the loop percentage so if you have 4 tasks and you complete 2 of them, you have 2 left which gives you a percentage of completion of 50%.

Task %

As a quick reminder, “Urgent Tasks” are automatically added to a loop when there is a from that requires your signature or initials.  They are also automatically checked when you sign or initial where needed and document name is a “link” that takes you into the document if you click on the name.

Once the task lists are created and you want to load them into a new loop, click on the “Load Template” on the bottom right of the loop and select the template decided for that loop.  Reuse them as many times as you want because you are now a task master!

I can be reached at Carolyn@icarolyn.com, by phone or text at 918-951-9020 or visit my website at http://www.SearchTulsaHouses.com.  For technology training or consulting assistance visit http://www.iCarolyn.com.

Loop Template Timesavers!

Loop Templates are something that an office can set up and help their agents me more efficient and turn in the files in a proper order.  This blog post is going to focus on office or brokerage options in Loop Templates.  Agents if your office is not using these, feel free to forward this to them so they can utilize their tools in dotloop.

Loop Templates can be found under “Templates” on the brokerage admin profile.  The top option on the left says “Loops”.  If you have not set up any loop templates, you will see a screen that says “Try it now”.  If you have, then you will see all of your loop templates on the left below “Loops”.  Click on the “New Template” or “Try it now” and get started.  It will pop up a screen that asks you to name the loop template.  You can use anything and some examples are: Residential Listing Package, Residential Sale Documents, Rental Listing, Referral (Sending, not receiving).  Once you have named it, you will also have a drop down below that asks you what kind of loop, if you are setting up a real estate transaction, you will want to select “sale”.  This will automatically add the correct fields and roles needed for that type of transaction.Loop Templates Start

At the top is where you add a folder for the documents and then add the documents.  If we are working on a “Residential Listing Package”, then we might add folders with the names: “Listing Documents”, “Offer Documents (1 per folder)”, “Inspections, Reports & Other”.  By adding the folder names the way the office wants to receive them, they are more likely to come in complete in the correct format according to your office needs.  Now that you have folders, add the documents or placeholders that you want in each folder.  I should note that you can only create placeholders in the document section and not on the loop templates, but once you create them in your document templates, you can load them into your loop templates.  If you leave your loop templates page to go create and organize the documents in the document templates, don’t forget to “save” at the bottom so you don’t loose what you have done.Loop Templates

The next section is for the “people”.  Offices typically don’t add many people in this section, but if you have a title company or attorney that everyone uses, then this is where you would add them.  Below people are the “Tasks”.  This is where you can add any compliance or task lists that you want to appear on every loop using this template.  The negative is that you will have to type them out and can not load from your task list templates, but you only have to type it once.  This will save you time from adding the task lists later when doing compliance.Loop Templates People & Tasks

The “Roles” section is interesting because you cad add roles that you might have wanted to use before, but were not able to edit.  A good example of this is to add “Referral Agent”.  Many times referrals are sent and received and we don’t have a standard “role” in the loop.   Along with adding roles, you can add fields of information that you want for each of these roles, for example the referral agent’s address or phone number.Loop Templates Roles 2

The bottom is my favorite part of the loop templates, which are the “Fields”.  What is cool about this section is that you can now require information to be input before an agent can submit their file.  For example, if they are turning in a listing, you can require the agent to enter the “List Date” and “Expiration Date” and “Original List Price”.  By requiring this information, you insure that you get exactly what you need completed, filled out.  It also allows you to sort for this information as well.  If it is blank you won’t find the loops sorting by the price, list date or expiration date in this example.  New fields can also be added in any of these categories or create a new category.  Some offices have certain forms that they want the agent to complete and maybe that information has to be put into another system like MLS or franchise system.  You could add a field to ask the agent “Greensheet Completed?” and make that a multiple choice, fill in the blank or an amount.Loop Templates Fields

Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to “SAVE” and in order for your agents to see these, you will need to “Enable Template” at the top of each.  Until you enable them, the agents can not see them.  This gives you time to get them the way you want them and the activate them for all to see.  There are endless possibilities with these loop templets.  Happy looping and enjoy creating new possibilities of organization for your office!

I can be reached at Carolyn@icarolyn.com, by phone or text at 918-951-9020 or visit my website at http://www.SearchTulsaHouses.com.  For technology training or consulting assistance visit http://www.iCarolyn.com.

Who do you Trust?

As a REALTOR®, we know many service providers.  The question is “Who do you trust to provide a great service to your clients?”  A great way to include those providers into your transactions as a Trusted Service Provider or TSP.  If you work with the same title representative, closing coordinator, or lender you can add them as your TSP so it is easier to “connect” to them, so here is how it works.Get Started with TSP's

Once logged into your dotloop account, click on the “People” section and the top one on the list to the left says “Trusted Service Providers” right above the “Contacts”.  If you do not see TSP’s then you are not a premium dotloop user and this is necessary for this feature.  If you have no TSP’s added it will show a button at the bottom that says “Get Started for Free”, click on that button and it will pop up a window that asks the field the TSP is in, for example: Mortgage, Escrow/Title, Attorney, Home Warranty, etc.  Then you will enter the Name and email of the TSP.  More than one TSP can be added at a time.  They will not display in the loops until the TSP becomes a premium user.TSP Add Options

The cool thing about the TSP becoming a premium user is that it is not just for 1 agent or office.  If trusted service provider is a premium user that allows them to be seen as a TSP for any agent or office, on all of their loops and there is no limit!  Adding TSP’s do not automatically share any documents or people with the TSP.  They only know that they have been added to a loop so you will still need to share any information that you want them to seas with any other person you add to the loop.

I can be reached at Carolyn@icarolyn.com, by phone or text at 918-951-9020 or visit my website at http://www.SearchTulsaHouses.com.  For technology training or consulting assistance visit http://www.iCarolyn.com.