For a complete video overview on dotloop's best practices, we have a training video HERE.
- Staying organized
- Naming loops
- Loop creation steps
- Sharing permissions
- Editing people's names or emails in a loop
Staying organized in dotloop is incredibly easy if you know where to start. The best place to start is the beginning, which would be the Loops page. Keeping your loops page set to List View is recommended when you have more than say 5 transactions, due to the convenient search bar and added details. You have your own filter setting preferences which will hide loops you've already completed or moved into your archive. Last, you'll want to have Sort By set as last updated. This way, you're seeing your loops you've been working on most recently, first!
More information on the loop views and filters.
Naming loops is completely up to you or your office leadership's preference. Most commonly in real estate for example, if you are a listing agent, you will most likely want to name your loop the property address of the seller you're representing. If you are a buying agent, you may want to name the loop the same as your buyer's name(s), at least at first. Why? As a buying agent you may not know which property your buyer will be buying yet--maybe you just need to get the agency agreement signed. In the event you are making multiple offers, you may want to name your loop based on each of these offers.
note: you can always update the loop name.
You will begin by naming your loop. After naming your loop, you will be placed into your empty loop. You'll see the loop name and then each of the following sections: documents, trusted service providers, people, and tasks.
- Add people to your loops. It is extremely important to make sure you have the spelling of the name and email address correct. We recommend you do a double-check. For efficiency reasons, dotloop asks you to choose a role for each person, so please choose the appropriate role for ongoing ease, as it relates to sharing, signatures, auto-population, and document permissions. If a person is filling multiple roles and only has one email address, consider adding them into the loop with only their primary role and simply assigning signature fields to them directly, rather than a specific role.
- Complete the "View Details" page. You can find the link to this cover page right under the title of your loop. The view details page has two major purposes: easy access to information for you and your office admin and to auto-fill your documents. The information you enter here is loop (transaction) specific. You will be able to quickly review it if you need to look at the loop, say, in a couple years. Rather than rummaging through documents, you can obtain quick, accurate information from the "View Details" page. Also, you want to be as correct as possible here, meaning leave fields blank if you don't have the information. You do not want wrong information auto-filling onto your documents.
- Add the appropriate documents to your loop. There are two "types" of documents in dotloop: "Interactive Documents" and "PDFs". Interactive documents are provided to you through the dashboard you are connected to (usually your brokerage/office or association). These documents already have all the fields necessary for dotloop to auto-fill them with information. PDFs are not necessarily interactive. Provided each field manually added to a PDF has been mapped correctly, it will auto-fill. Just keep that in mind.
- Open your document(s) you want to begin editing. You will immediately be prompted with the AutoFill window - all you need to do is make sure the people's names on the right match their role on the left. You can now search your property to see if dotloop can find information to autofill with, or an existing listing to link to. Fill in all available or missing information on this window and click AUTOFILL at the bottom right and dotloop will autofill your interactive document.
- Share the prepared documents. Once the document is completely ready to be sent to the next party, you'll click SAVE AND SHARE to the top right, if you've already saved the document it will just say SHARE. Choose the people you would like the document(s) to go to by placing a checkmark to the left of their name (if you already have fields assigned to a person, they will already be checked). Choose their permissions to the right. Click SHARE. The recipients will now receive an updated version of this document in their loop and receive an email notifying them.
There are a few different ways to share documents, so what's the best practice? That depends on the circumstance.
- Share a single document. Sharing a single document is the easiest and most basic form of sharing. The best practice here is to checkmark the document, and click the share button on the top right of your documents section. It doesn't matter if you're sharing it with an individual or with a number of recipients, just checkmark whoever needs to receive/have access to the document, and choose their permission to the right of their name. Click SHARE on the bottom right of the window. That's it.
- Share multiple documents. Sharing more than one document can be really easy and comes down to permissions. Do you only need signatures and/or initials on all of the documents being shared? Perfect, checkmark the multiple documents, click SHARE, then checkmark the individuals who need the documents and choose the proper permissions (view, can sign, can fill & sign), and then click SHARE.
- Share multiple documents but some need to be filled out and others just need to be signed/initialed. When you are sharing, you are able to change the permissions you give to an individual and note you're assigning that permission to all of the documents. Therefore, you should give the recipient Can sign permissions when they just need to sign. On the other hand, when it comes to a disclosure that the seller needs to fill out, you would want to give them CAN FILL & SIGN for only that document in a separate sharing instance. So, go through your documents and checkmark the documents which only require a signature and share those off with the CAN SIGN permission. Then, go back through and share that disclosure with CAN FILL & SIGN. Yes, they will receive two emails, however, this ensures you will receive all the documents back signed and completed as quickly and compliant as possible. Feel free to send the recipient a custom message, letting them know why they're receiving two separate emails from dotloop for this purpose.
More information on sharing can be found in our article on sharing.
Permissions are given to individuals when you're sharing with them, you're effectively communicating with dotloop that these individuals can only do this action with the given documents. Also, it is important to note that recipients can never share the document to others with any permission higher than the one they were given. For example: If I share a document with co-op agent Bob with VIEW ONLY permissions, Bob can only share that document with VIEW ONLY to his people. If I shared a document with Bob with CAN EDIT IN PRIVATE permissions (which is the recommended permission for the co-op experience between agents), Bob can share that document with VIEW ONLY, CAN SIGN, CAN FILL & SIGN, and/or CAN EDIT IN PRIVATE permissions with his people. Keep this in mind. Just because you don't want that particular person to sign a document, doesn't mean you should give them VIEW ONLY permissions, they may need to share that document with their clients to sign, so they will almost always need CAN EDIT IN PRIVATE permissions to then properly facilitate their end of the transaction. Keep in mind, you’ll see any changes they make, and thanks to Version Now, your clients will always be prompted to sign off on the changes.
- View only. View only will allow the recipient to only view the document. They cannot sign this document, they cannot make any changes to it.
- Can sign. This is the permission you'll be using when you only need to obtain signatures/initials. Can sign will allow the recipient to view the document, dotloop will walk them through their assigned signature/initial fields, facilitating an intuitive experience for the recipient to sign and/or initial the document(s). Also, this permission will notify you and send the signed document back to you automatically after the recipient clicks the FINISH SIGNING prompt. It is not recommended to share to Co-Op agents with this permission.
- Can fill & sign. This permission is for documents you need filled out and signed, but you don't want the recipient to actually alter field sizes or add fields to a document. A Seller's Disclosure is a good example of a document that would be sent with this permission. We will walk the recipient down the document to each blank field and request their input, including initials/signature.
- Can edit in private. Can edit in private should only be used with other professionals involved in your transaction. When you pull a document out of templates, or upload a document into your loop, you automatically have Can edit in private permission. This is the highest permission for a document, meaning you can make any changes needed (everything tracked, of course, in dotloop), alter field sizes, delete or place additional fields, and fill out anything you deem necessary. Any changes made to a previously signed document, by design, will wipe out signatures ensuring no one is agreeing to term edits made after signatures were placed. This permission is ideal when sharing with co-op agents using dotloop.
Always attempt to edit a person's name or email address before removing them and re-adding them to your loop. Removing someone from your loop will un-assign any fields in any documents you have assigned to them, and occasionally you won't be able to add them back to the loop if the email address is the same. It's generally not advised to remove someone from a loop for the purpose of fixing a misspelling rather edit the person’s information. We have an article regarding this.