Folio & Disclosures.io: Keeping business on track for 2 Bay Area Realtors®

Amitree

September 9, 2019

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For Bonnie Spindler and Ceily Landman of Zephyr Real Estate in San Francisco, there’s a clear dividing line: There was how they did their work before they adopted Folio and Disclosures.io, and then after adoption. The business improvements the two products delivered are outstanding.

Bonnie, a veteran realtor with two decades in the market, explains how Folio’s AI-powered ability to automatically organizes her emails, files, contacts, and timelines by the transaction has saved enormous time and effort.

“We’d have to draw up a timeline for every transaction we have if not for Folio,” she says. “Instead, it prompts us for all our milestones and those dates are shared. It maintains communication with the clients automatically, so they’re not calling you at two in the morning to nervously ask if they’d missed seeing a document, or asking when a walkthrough or a meeting was scheduled to happen.”

For a Realtor®, a product like Folio frees them from time-consuming manual management of their inbox or from tracking down messages and threads that may – or may not – have been properly archived. “The toughest thing is to keep track of all these timelines,” she says. “It’s hard to keep track of what I sold 6 months ago, let alone 30 years ago.”

“Wonderful” capabilities

How did Bonnie manage her professional email before Folio? “I didn’t,” she says. “If you got sued, for instance, you had fto pull hard copies for the lawsuit. Folio makes all the dates involved in a transaction clear for the whole team.”

How Folio eases communication is one of its biggest benefits, in her eyes. “Folio is great. It’s wonderful for us to do a drip program to our clients so they’ve got the calendar right in front of them, and the entire team is aware of what’s happening. We also use its buyer and seller transaction templates, so we can drop those into any transactions.”

Ceily, a former Java engineer before her realtor career, appreciates how Folio makes formerly onerous tasks far simpler. “When we’re finished with a transaction and archive it, we can very easily add that huge archive of our emails to our files; that’s really great for documenting transactions. Also, I love how you can customize who can see things; being able to set the permission levels of the individual milestones is really handy.”

Polishing client perceptions

Another impact of Folio? How it affects client perceptions of their business. “They think you’re more organized,” Bonnie notes. That’s practically ‘table stakes’ for dealing with younger generations of homebuyers, who are accustomed to high levels of digital notification and personalization. “My younger clients don’t even see it as a value-add. They expect it when they get sent an automatic update.”

As for the learning curve involved in putting Folio to work? Bonnie found it to be practically non-existent. “Folio has been plug-and-play. If a program is unintuitive, I won’t use it…I’m not a big techie person, but it was very intuitive and super-easy; I don’t think I even got trained on it, I just started using it. It keeps getting better the longer you use it, too.”

Another go-to tool? Disclosures.io

They’ve also become converts to another software tool for RE agents. Disclosures.io, developed to help real estate professionals manage property information, share listing information, track buyer interest, and receive offers, all within the same app.

“It’s a great tool; we use it for viewing disclosures, we upload our disclosures to it, we even submit offers using it – the ‘Make Offer’ option is very cool,” Bonnie says. “I find it much easier to work with than using Google Drive to make disclosures. It has a nice interface; it lets you know when your client has looked at disclosures, too.”

The practice of making disclosures up-front is mandatory in California, but it’s a best practice in any circumstance, they believe. “It helps the seller and the buyer be more successful,” Bonnie says. She’s fond of Disclosure.io’s ease of use and superior UX: “I just like how when you’re scrolling through it you get a preview of the file, of the thumbnails,” she explains. “They’re big enough you can actually see the document a little bit. It makes it faster than downloading a huge document. When we were using other systems, we have to download them a piece at a time, or the computer wouldn’t open them at all.”

Software has to show payback – or else

The cost-to-benefit ratio of tools like Folio and Disclosures.io, and their ability to deliver quick results, is another attraction for realtors. Bonnie points out how “realtors have to pay for everything, so cost is a big factor. It’s taken a lot of convincing to get me to spend the money when I’m already paying for Zillow, for a webmaster, and so on.”For a product to meet their approval, Ceily adds, “it had to make the process easier, and streamline and automate the things we have to do.”

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