Paperless REALTOR®

My normal posts and articles are about tips and tricks and a lot of how-to’s.  This is great and many people follow my blog for that reason, however sometimes it’s good to take another perspective.  I typically right about things based on questions that I get from people about how to do things and this is no exception.  When I tell people that “I am a paperless REALTOR®”, they look at me a little funny with skepticism in their eyes so I felt it was time to explain what that really means.

Carolyn iPadFirst, I have to tell you that becoming a paperless agent was a choice that had to be made.  I’m sure many agents still have the very first file they ever closed XX years ago and I am no exception!  I still have in my garage the first real estate transaction I ever closed in 1998, which my family is not overly thrilled about.  They look at me and say “Do you really need that?” or “When was the last time you used that?”  I get it and so I had to move forward and in my case that was “paperless”.  You see if I have the paper, I will want to keep it, store it and not throw it away and THAT is not an option any more!

Here is how it works from a listing side where I represent the seller.  I may give the seller a printed listing presentation, if they want one to keep but mine is always on my iPad.  When it comes time to list the house, I send all of the documents through dotloop, provided they have an email address.  I will be perfectly honest, I don’t work as well with clients that do not have email, but I can.  The client can sign, print and view the documents for 7 years online.  If they request me to print things, I will!  When they receive offers, that also comes via dotloop and is presented to the client with full explanation.  This does not mean I send them an email and say “here you go”, but I TALK to my clients and explain what I sent and walk them through each part of a document.

Buyer sides of the transaction tend to accumulate more paper than the seller’s side.  This is because you are showing them listings and looking at homes.  I have cut that out as well.  I always meet with a new buyer and present them with a “Buyer Packet” of information, yes in paper format in a binder.  Once we meet and I review this within about an hour and a half, I tell them “this is all the paper you will receive from me unless you request more.”  Most people are fine with that and the ones that do want paper, I print it for them.  I have a buyer sign an agreement with a pen, also known as “wet sign” and then I scan the copies of hand written items and email them to myself.  I also end the appointment with “I will send you a digital version (via dotloop) of the same documents you have already signed so you get an opportunity to experience e-signing and online documents.”  Most clients think it is cool and can’t wait to try it.  Even when we are looking at homes, I print my MLS sheets to PDF and load them on my iPad via dropbox.  I can still write on, highlight and organize them in any way I want.  The difference is I don’t have lots of useless papers later, it’s a simple “delete” to get rid of them.

Any papers I am given like a termite report at an inspection or a copy of the receipt of earnest money, I simply scan into the computer and load it into my dotloop file as a PDF.  The ONLY paper I keep are checks because until they accept wired funds for earnest money, I will have to have at least 1 thing.  I keep them in a safe place (with my iPad which also features a GPS for tracking).  The originals of some things get given to others like the closing company or the client.  If no one needs the originals, they are shredded.  Even the people that I work with regularly, like my title/closing officer knows I don’t want paper.  She has stopped making copies for me at closing and just scans and emails them to me!  I love it, less mess and fuss.

DotLoop - Light Blue Tagline White SpaceNow when you hear me say, “I’m a paperless REALTOR®”, know that I mean every word of that.  Don’t drown in your paperwork, it’s time to convert to PeopleWork in the digital age.  Dotloop is the major tool I use in order to make that happen in my business.  Look for more tips next time and until then, try going paperless, it’s can be a freeing experience!

I can be reached at Carolynt@kw.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.

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Custom Document Folders

Creating a folder for the documents we use on a regular basis is a way to save time when we are ready to use them.  This applies to the agent and the broker level.  In dotloop, you are able to use your local, state and office forms (as long as you have permission to use them) for your real estate transactions.

Once you are logged into the system (dotloop.com), click on the “templates” at the top right (it’s the one that looks like papers).  To create a new folder, click on “Add Folder” and it will ask you to give it a name and click “Create Folder”.  Once you have the new folder, documents will need to be added to it.  Click on “Add Documents” at the top right.  This gives you the option for uploading them from your computer (PDF’s) or selecting from templates, which are your live forms.  When selecting from templates, select from the office name or “Version Now”.  AGENTS: If you are setting them up from an agent level, you will see the office name (example: Keller Williams Realty Advantage) or board name (example: Greater Tulsa Association of Realtors).  ADMINS: If you are setting them up from an office or admin level, you will see “Version Now” documents, which are the live forms that your office has loaded into the system.  Admin folder will also have to be “shared” with the office so that your agents can use the newly created folder of documents.  ALL: Once you have selected the forms you want to add, click “add documents” and they will now be in your folder.Document Templates Menu

If your forms have changed and new ones are in the system for existing folders, use the same process as listed above with the exception of clicking on the existing folder and modifying the list instead of creating a new one.Select Documents Menu

Now that you have your folders creating and don’t forget you can also set the default information on each form once it is added to your personal folder so that each time you pull in the document from that folder, it will have the defaulted information on it.  To do this, click on the document, edit it and then click “save”.  This is a great way to save time!  Happy Looping!

I can be reached at Carolynt@kw.com, by phone or text at 918-951-9020 or visit my website at www.SearchTulsaHouses.com.

Creating New Loops

With the new DotLoop out there are some changes in the way the system works.  This is great news because it gives you more freedom to manage your business the way YOU want to!  Let’s get started on Creating New Loops!  Log into your dotloop.com account.  You can access it through your mykw.kw.com login and then click on the myTransactions in your eEdge dashboard.  Once on your DotLoop/myTransactions home page click on the big plus button to create a loop.

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Once you have created a new loop, you have several options on where to start and I’m going to take you through the “best practice” method.

1. Start with the “Edit Details” under the loop name.  When you complete the information listed in that section it will auto populate to your contracts and forms if that information is listed in the details.  I would much rather enter something once as opposed to entering it multiple times on multiple documents.

2. Add your People next.  You will also want to assign them a “role” so that the loop knows who they are to the transaction.  This will also save you time as you add documents and forms.

3. Next add your documents.  There are several ways to do this: a. Drag the file from another place on your computer and drop it in the box, b. “Select from your computer” and find the document on your computer and select it, or c. “Select from your Templates” is the best option because it allows you to use the interactive forms loaded into DotLoop.  These “templates” are your state or office forms that have been loaded and they can be grouped in folders by your office or yourself for organization and easy access.

4. The last section is for “Tasks”.  We truly did save the best for last because this is where you can manage your file.  This section allows you to create lists of things to do, calls to make, or things not to forget.  The system will automatically add an “Urgent Tasks” when you forget or chose not to sign a form.  This reminds you to go back into a document to complete it.  Once you have created your list, you can also “Create a Template” of that list so that you don’t have to retype it each time you want to use the same list.  Next time you will just select “Load Template” and you are good to go.

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If you would prefer to watch a video, click here to go to DotLoop’s training videos.

Well, that’s it for the basics of creating a new loop.  Just remember, you can’t break it, so it’s ok to create a sample loop and try things out!  Happy Looping!

I can be reached at Carolynt@kw.com, by phone or text at 918-951-9020 or visit my website at www.SearchTulsaHouses.com.

Keller Williams Agent eEdge Tips

As a Keller Williams broker and trainer I have found a need for some quick tips and tricks to help associates run their business more efficiently and smoother. I have been a Keller Williams agent since 1998 and a broker since 2004 and I believe this gives me a unique view of the real estate side of our tools. It’s not just about having the technology, you need to know how to use it!

Agents let technology be a crutch sometimes and use it as an excuse to play victim and not do what they need to do to grow their real estate business. I’m not here to distract you, but to empower you with small tips and tricks that you can use on an daily basis to make more sales happen and get more listings!

Let’s start with the absolute basics: Take baby steps. If you are not very experienced in technology, don’t try to become a “techy” over night! This is a marathon, not a sprint. Take for example, I have an agent that I have been coaching for almost a year. When he first came to me, he barely knew how to turn on his computer and certainly not have an iPad, iPhone or feel knowledgable in technology. By the way, this has nothing to do with age if you were thinking that. After small weekly sessions, he is now very technology confident and even helping others!

Focus on learning 1 piece at a time. You don’t lose 50 pounds over night (without surgical help) and so don’t sit at a computer for 10 hours strait and expect to know it all. Because I’m a Keller Williams agent, this blog is going to be focused mostly toward Keller Williams tools. If you start reading and discover that you want more information about Keller Williams, I would be happy to share. You can also find me on the web at www.SearchTulsaHouses.com, carolynt@kw.com or by phone or text at 918-951-9020. If you have ideas or subjects that you would like me to write about, please let me know!