Paperless transaction management provider dotloop is partnering with LendingTree, ClosingCorp and WhiteFence to allow real estate agents using dotloop’s platform to help their clients choose services offered to homebuyers and sellers through those companies.
Real estate agents will also be able to add their own service providers to what dotloop is describing as an “open ecosystem” for the provision of mortgages, title insurance, home warranties, and other services offered to buyers and sellers.
The opt-in program “gives agents and brokers more control over the entire real estate transaction experience, from submitting an offer and finding a home inspector to securing a home warranty and activating utilities, and makes their preferred home services providers easily available to their clients within the dotloop platform,” the company said.
Dotloop says its partnerships with LendingTree, ClosingCorp and WhiteFence will allow agents to choose from a “qualified menu” of services to offer to their clients.
In private beta testing dotloop has been conducting for several months, agents have been encouraged to upload their favorite service providers, and many agents and brokers have uploaded hundreds, the company said.
Feedback from agents and buyers “has been extremely positive.” and dotloop says it “intends to expand on its success to create a full ecosystem of best-of-breed services to support the ultimate goal of giving agents control in delivering delightful homebuying experiences at every phase of the process.”
Many agents and brokers have built their business around referrals and service provider relationships, dotloop CEO Austin Allison said in a statement.
The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) prohibits mortgage lenders and settlement services providers like title insurers from paying kickbacks to real estate brokers and agents in exchange for referring business to them. Although laws vary from state to state, brokerages are often allowed to own a limited stake in affiliated businesses that provide such services, as long as consumers are provided with disclosures.
Real estate brokers and agents will also refer their clients to lenders and settlement service providers that they believe they can count on for fast, reliable service.
“I’ve created a Rolodex of relationships and credible service providers that I do business with and refer business to on a regular basis — all because I know that my clients will receive an amazing experience through that vendor,” said Amy Youngren, an EXIT Realty sales representative, in a press release issued by dotloop.
ClosingCorp CTO Tim Armbruster is also quoted in the press release, saying dotloop’s announcement “underscores a fundamental shift in real estate toward a more open approach to software solutions that truly benefit buyers and sellers. The company is addressing the challenges of creating a seamless, digital experience to buy and sell real estate while also empowering agents and brokers to bring their service provider relationships into the transaction process. It’s a win-win.”
Allison described the move as “the first step in what we expect to be an ongoing industry movement to give agents more choice and control in creating the incredibly simple, delightful experiences for buyer and sellers everywhere,” Allison said.
“We’re committed to making buying a home as simple as buying a latte,” Allison said, referring to a call by Inman News founder and Publisher Brad Inman that the real estate industry simplify the process of buying a home.
Allison and other industry leaders will join Inman at 2:40 p.m. EST today at the Real Estate Connect conference in New York City to discuss “What Does the Industry Need to Do to Make the Latte Vision Happen?”
Joining Inman and Allison on the Connect stage for the discussion will be Glenn Shimkus, co-founder and CEO of Cartavi, a cloud-based real estate transaction coordination service; Stewart Morris Jr., vice chairman of title insurance provider Stewart Information Services Corp. (SISCO); Eric Bryn, vice president of digital innovation at Chicago-based Baird & Warner Real Estate, one of the largest brokerages in the U.S.; and Krisstina Wise, founder and CEO of the innovative Austin, Texas, brokerage The GoodLife Team.