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.

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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.

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.