Every year, the real estate industry gets closer and closer to a truly paperless office. After reviewing DocuSign, Dotloop, and SkySlope, which are the leading providers of real estate transaction management software, we feel that day has finally arrived. These paperless office platforms combine E-signature functionality, custom document creation, compliance review, and secure document storage into one easy to use package.
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Best Real Estate Transaction Management Software: Dotloop
It was a close call, but we recommend Dotloop because it offers the most attractive pricing, the most intuitive, user-friendly interface, and has more robust options for collaboration, broker oversight, and approval throughout the life of the deal.
DocuSign vs Dotloop vs SkySlope – Comparison Table
|Agents: Free - $29/month |
Business from $199/month for 10 users, $299/month for up to 100 users
Business+ from $540/month
|DocuSign for Realtors: $204/year (no transaction room)|
DocuSign for Brokers (Real Estate Plus) $30/agent per month for 5 or more users (includes transaction room)
|0-10 Agents: $25/agent per month |
11-25 Agents: $15/agent per month
26+ Agents: $10/agent per month
|Ease of Setup/Use|
|Broker and Compliance Workflows|
|Email and Text Message Tracking|
|Training + Customer Service|
|Phone and email 7 days a week until midnight (expanding to 2am soon)||24/7 chat with standard, 24/7 phone support with support+ plan||24/7 chat, email, phone support|
Best Real Estate Transaction Management Software: Dotloop
At $19 per agent per month for up to ten users on their business plan, and only $299 per month for up to 100 agents, Dotloop’s pricing was the most affordable for small businesses. In addition to pricing, we recommend Dotloop because they are an industry leader and have the most powerful features that a small business would need in transaction management software.
Recently purchased by Zillow, Dotloop continues to dominate the industry with more than 25 million electronic signatures in a 12 month period. This means that not only will you get the backing of one of the biggest names in real estate technology, but your clients and partners will more than likely know the name as well. With support from the biggest player in the game, new features are rolling out at lightning speed so we expect Dotloop to only get better this year.
Best in Class Features
Of all the packages we reviewed, Dotloop was the most flexible and had the most powerful features. This includes:
Brokers can see the progress of every deal in the office at a glance, or get more involved with custom review workflows. For example, a broker can create a rule that won’t let agents submit a deal until certain paperwork is complete. It can also be set up to remind agents or others involved in the transaction when paperwork is overdue, or automatically send out notes to anyone they choose when a deal reaches a certain point.
With the ability to create an unlimited number of review checklists, both users and brokers can set up complex workflows for almost any scenario. For example, an agent can set up an alert that notifies her broker and buyer’s agent when a buyer signs an offer or broker can send out custom alerts and reminders automatically whenever certain conditions are met. The options are pretty much endless.
With its patented Version-NOW technology, Dotloop allows anyone with access rights the ability to see every view, edit, click or signature, and retrieve previous versions of any document at any time. This makes submitting or receiving multiple offers and counter offers a snap.
Old habits die hard, and many realtors said they still used DocuSign for signatures, but used Dotloop or SkySlope for document management. Since DocuSign just recently rolled out their paperless office feature (called Transaction Rooms) we expect many new features this year as competition in this space heats up.
Though somewhat under the radar, SkySlope has been adding both users and features at a rapid clip. They also offer custom builds of their platform, and some users preferred SkySlope’s interface over Dotloop. Unfortunately, however, we were not able to get a demo of the software after repeated attempts contacting the company, so we are relying on limited user reports and their website only.
Can’t Beat Free…
Many large brokerages like Keller Williams offer Dotloop to all agents, and NAR offers discounted DocuSign accounts to all members. Before purchasing a paperless office platform, ask your local realtor’s association if they offer discounts on software.
In-Depth Review: Dotloop vs DocuSign vs SkySlope
Cost & Free Trial
Ease of Setup/Use
Creating templates, uploading documents, E-signature, and review is easy on all platforms. If you have custom needs or just want someone to walk you through it, all offer trained support staff to help you get started. Most users we spoke with reported that the interfaces and workflow for all platforms were intuitive and easy to learn.
Though DocuSign was first to market, both Dotloop and SkySlope offer basically identical E-signing functionality. Many users we spoke with found E-signature just as easy to use on all platforms, but some still preferred DocuSign.
Collaborative fields allow different users to edit the same text field multiple times. Collaborative fields are perfect for allowing different users to negotiate terms on the same document. All platforms except for DocuSign offer some kind of collaborative fields, but Dotloop’s Versionow technology means that users can access any previous version of a document at any time, making both counteroffers and compliance reviews much easier.
The ability to create and share documents as templates allows for consistency across your firm, as well as streamlining your deal flow. Your agents can now complete an entire deal from agency disclosure to closing without touching a single piece paper.
Custom Paperwork/Task Checklists
Custom paperwork/task checklists allow agents and brokers to keep track of what documents are needed to complete a file, what tasks need to be completed, and allow brokers to create complex review and approval workflows. All platforms had the ability to create and edit custom checklists.
Broker/compliance workflows are the way that brokers or compliance staff can review an agent’s work and set up approval channels based on criteria they select. For example, an agent will be unable to submit their deal to their broker unless they have all the required paperwork. If there is an error on say, a lead paint disclosure, the broker can bounce the entire deal back to the agent to fix the problem. Once they fix the problem, they can then resubmit the deal to the broker. All platforms have sophisticated compliance statuses/workflows.
An audit trail is a detailed record of views, edits, or signatures on a document in a real estate transaction. In digital real estate transactions, an audit trail is necessary to show proof of compliance with state or federal law. All platforms offer an audit trail to keep track of who viewed, edited, or signed a document.
Email & Text Tracking
Storing email conversations along with your deal can be useful. SkySlope was the only platform to allow direct email and text tracking, but many users found saving and uploading emails to Dotloop and DocuSign easy enough.
Zipform, NAR’s proprietary form filling software, has partnered with DocuSign and SkySlope, but not Dotloop. That said, all platforms have document creation/customization features that are equal to or rival Zipform’s.
All platforms tested seamlessly integrate with MLS data. This means each platform will autocomplete all MLS details of a listing onto your paperwork simply by entering the address.
Generally speaking, most users found all platforms tested to have excellent training and customer service. Personally speaking, if sales reps are any indication of customer service quality (they usually are), we found the sales reps for both Dotloop and DocuSign to be incredibly friendly, knowledgeable and helpful, while we were not able to get any information from SkySlope’s representatives.
All Real Estate Transaction Management Software Options: 2017
|Transaction Management Software|
|Dotloop||Best overall real estate transaction management software|
|DocuSign||Transaction rooms offer transaction management functionality.|
|Skyslope||Offers same basic functionality of Dotloop.|
|Paperless Pipeline||Basic transaction management platform with per transaction pricing|
|EZ Coordinator||Basic transaction management software that is free for up to 5 transactions per month|
|Reesio||Transaction management platform for brokerages and agents starting at $25 per month.|
|Realty APX||Brokerage transaction management platform with accounting features|
|Back Agent||Transaction management platform that includes promotional marketing platform.|
|Nekst||Free for up to five properties and includes automated lender/title follow up.|
|RealtyBackOffice||Great for teams and brokerages on a budget. Pricing for 10 agents is $80 per month.|
The Bottom Line
The paperless office platforms available today are more powerful than ever and are poised to make paper real estate transactions as outdated as the rotary phone. In this comparison of DocuSign vs Dotloop vs SkySlope, we chose Dotloop as the best real estate transaction management software because it offers the best features for the best price.