Electronic forms image via Shutterstock.
Dotloop and the Arizona Association of Realtors have finalized a new agreement that will give the association’s members the ability to access forms developed by the association from within the dotloop platform, and to review, negotiate and sign deals paperlessly.
Last September, the 38,000-member association canceled an October 2012 agreement with dotloop, citing concerns that unauthorized users might be able to access the association’s forms using the dotloop platform.
The firms signed a new, amended agreement in November. But the association’s forms were not available in the dotloop platform until Monday, after all of its concerns were addressed, Arizona Association of Realtors CEO Michelle Lind said.
The association had two issues: It wanted dotloop to verify that dotloop users accessing the association’s forms were active association members, and it wanted to ensure that dotloop users had access to only the current versions of its forms.
Lind said dotloop worked closely with the association to put in place a process that verifies that dotloop users accessing the association’s forms through the platform are active members.
To accomplish this, dotloop matches its user database with the Arizona association’s active member database, and prevents those users who don’t match up from accessing the association’s form library, dotloop CEO Austin Allison said.
To ensure that users have access to only the most current association forms, dotloop immediately locks down and disables previous versions of forms that the association updates.
The enhanced security and accuracy measures developed with the Arizona Association of Realtors are available to dotloop’s other customers, Allison said, but haven’t been incorporated systemwide. As of October, dotloop licensed real estate forms from more than 50 Realtor associations nationwide.
Lind said the Arizona Association of Realtors has similar security and accuracy provisions in place to protect its forms in its agreement with zipForm, a rival paperless transaction management platform whose users can also access the association’s forms.
“We’re committed to innovation and to giving our members the flexibility to choose the best technologies for their businesses, and dotloop understands our commitment to the delivery of secure, reliable forms to our members,” Lind said in a statement.
Dotloop sparked a debate last summer when it went public with its frustration over not being able to license the electronic versions of the California Association of Realtors’ real estate forms.
CAR, the largest Realtor association in the U.S. with more than 150,000 members, doesn’t license its electronic forms to any organization other than its for-profit subsidiary Real Estate Business Services Inc. REBS runs zipLogix Inc., maker of the transaction management platform “relay” and the electronic form-filling software zipForm.
CAR has said it will only license its electronic forms to REBS because of a long-term exclusive license it granted the firm at its inception more than a decade ago.
But CAR also cited security concerns as a reason for not licensing its forms to dotloop.
Dotloop competitor Cartavi — acquired by e-signature firm DocuSign Inc. in May — announced an integration with zipForm in October that allows users to easily move forms completed with zipForm to the Cartavi platform.
Sometime this summer, the integration will deepen, allowing users to fill out forms within Cartavi using zipForm technology, Cartavi founder Glenn Shimkus told Inman News.
The partnership represents a deeper integration between two companies owned, or partly owned, by the National Association of Realtors and CAR.
Since 2001, NAR has held a 30 percent stake in zipLogix, which is owned and run by CAR’s subsidiary REBS. NAR also owns a stake in DocuSign through its venture capital fund, Second Century Ventures LLC.
In 2009, Second Century Ventures purchased a 5.43 percent stake in DocuSign for $2 million. NAR acquired 2.26 million shares of stock in the deal, plus options to purchase an additional 1 million shares within the next five years for 88.3 cents per share.
In June, dotloop filed a federal lawsuit against an alleged hacker who, dotloop claims, “unlawfully hacked into dotloop’s computer system and proceeded to unlawfully upload and download forms stored on that system.”
On Aug. 27, dotloop was granted the power to subpoena CAR, Northwest MLS, Instanet Solutions Inc. and Google for information it said would help identify the alleged hacker.
The hacking “appears to be a malicious and coordinated attempt between (those) multiple parties” to “disparage our name and reputation,” Allison told Inman News in September.
The case appears to be near a resolution. In a court filing on Monday, counsel for dotloop said the company “is currently engaged in active settlement discussions with counsel for the defendant and hopes to have this matter resolved shortly.” The defendant in the case is still listed as “John Doe.”
A surprise, daylong outage that dotloop’s system suffered in August was not related to a security breach or, as far as Allison knew, hacking activity.