Selling real estate is a complex process.
Each sale can require a mountain of paperwork and a tedious back and forth between buyers and sellers. For agents who may be juggling multiple sales at once, streamlining this process may seem completely out of reach.
Fortunately, multiple services have emerged to help agents and brokerages succeed. Today, we’ll take a look at two major competitors in this space.
It’s DocuSign vs dotloop from PandaDoc!
Cost: $15/month for Real Estate Starter plan; $35/month for DocuSign for Realtors plan; Plus plan available, pricing not listed.
Ease of Use: 4.7/5
Support Options: Phone, ticket, chat.
Platform Availability: Online, all devices. Mobile app available for iOS and Android.
Free Trial: Yes. 30 days.
Without a doubt, DocuSign is a major player in the real estate space when it comes to sending documents and gathering electronic signatures.
The company offers a plan that has been endorsed by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and has worked hard to provide a product offering that appeals to real estate professionals across the United States and Canada.
As with their standard eSignature Plans, DocuSign’s real estate plans center around uploading, signing, and sending contracts and documents. The company offers integrations with Google Drive, Dropbox, zipForm Plus, and more. It’s also focused on expediting workflows and processes common for real estate agents.
Between notification tools, reusable templates, and other essential features, it’s easy to see why DocuSign is a winner for agencies and brokerages across the US.
Cost: $29/month for agents; team and business plans available, pricing not listed. A free plan is available.
Ease of Use: 4.4/5
Customer Support Options: Knowledgebase, email support, live chat.
Platform Availability: Online, all devices. Mobile app available for iOS and Android.
Free Trial: No, but a free plan is available.
If DocuSign is a premier solution for getting documents signed, dotloop is focused on all that and more. Aimed at empowering agents to handle everything from document management to digital signature capture, dotloop has created an all-in-one solution to expedite real estate transactions.
With dotloop, agents can focus on “closing the loop.” When listings are created in dotloop, the platform provides a workspace where everyone involved in the sale can gain visibility. This includes bringing in sellers, other team members, and even outside resources to develop a listing.
Agents can upload document templates, add signature fields and checkboxes, and even facilitate the signing process. When it’s time to bring buyers into the loop, dotloop makes it easy to introduce them to the transaction process and make sure that all documents are signed and finalized along the way.
With dotloop, agents, sellers, and buyers can engage in a more robust sales process. That’s why dotloop is used by agents from leading real estate brands like Re/Max, Coldwell Banker, Century 21, and others.
At a fundamental level, both DocuSign and dotloop are focused on the same thing: Helping agents close deals faster.
Both services have an environment where agents and signers from both sides of the table can meet. Both have the ability to mark up and comment on documents. Both even share the same mentality about using the most current version of a document throughout the signing process.
So how are they different? Let’s take a look.
Document formatting and template creation
At a high level, the document formatting and creation process for DocuSign and dotloop looks the same.
Agents or brokerage teams need to import all relevant documentation and then use a document editor to drag and drop editable fields onto the documents. If you’ve ever prepped a document for a digital signature, you’re familiar with this process. You’ll need to drag in all electronic signature and initial fields, text boxes, checkboxes, date fields, and more until the entire document is formatted correctly.
No matter how user-friendly the interface might be, this is a necessary evil when importing documents for an online signature.
DocuSign and dotloop both follow a similar process when formatting documents for signature. This is also the same process when preparing document templates.
The big standout for dotloop during document preparation is the ability to copy and paste fields without the need to constantly drag and drop them from the editor menu onto the screen. DocuSign has a similar feature, but it’s not as refined as the dotloop experience.
With dotloop, you can use keyboard shortcuts to quickly copy and paste fields across your document. This makes it easier than ever to prep a document for signing. Because you’ll assign signers as you go, you don’t need to switch back and forth across multiple menus to find which signer you need. You place the field, select the signer or the field variable (address, date, agent name, etc.), and move on.
Based on the methods that dotloop uses to streamline the template creation process, it’s a clear winner here.
Though the signing process is similar between dotloop and DocuSign, there are some distinct differences.
With DocuSign, the signing process is part of the document preparation workflow. Agents will prepare the document, fill out all associated content within, and email the document for signature capture.
Using dotloop, you’ll follow a similar process — except that dotloop’s platform handles most of the workflow processes as you upload content to dotloop. Customer profiles are treated as separate entities within dotloop.
When agents create a new listing and add a new seller to that listing, dotloop will prompt the agent for more information. This includes commonplace items like first and last names, addresses, and more. This is important because the information entered during this process is used to autofill designated fields throughout the entire signing process.
When an agent selects a document for sending, dotloop will autofill all relevant fields within the document. Agents won’t need to manually enter as much information and can complete the signing process even faster.
From the customer perspective, the process is very similar. Both DocuSign and dotloop send an email. Buyers, sellers, and agents can review the document and submit their digital signature, make comments, or suggest changes.
This process repeats itself until the document is completely signed and everything is settled.
In this scenario, DocuSign is still a formidable competitor — but it falls short because of the environment that dotloop sets up for its users. Those extra steps take dotloop over the finish line.
If you’re comparing dotloop and DocuSign purely from the number of integrations available to you, DocuSign is a clear winner. DocuSign has gone out of its way to ensure that it is compatible with nearly every platform from Google Drive to Evernote.
But dotloop has the integrations that may matter most to real estate companies. Connecting with CRM platforms like Zillow and accounting software like Quickbooks and BrokerSumo helps to make dotloop a leading transaction management software.
DocuSign is a capable provider here, but it’s worth noting that most of the integrations that DocuSign offers use it as a signing platform and little else. Using dotloop, you’ll be able to do more than sign. You can manage properties, collect user reviews, close deals, and more.
The sheer volume of integrations that DocuSign has at its disposal is staggering, but bigger isn’t always better. For agents and brokers, dotloop has it where it counts.
This is where dotloop really shines. As a signing solution, DocuSign is a great option that gets the job done — but it’s hard to surpass the power that dotloop brings to small businesses everywhere across the real estate industry.
We’ve touched on it a little already, but dotloop creates an environment where the agent can manage every aspect of the real estate process. This takes it beyond the signing process and moves it into something similar to a project and transaction management solution.
Users pick up DocuSign because they need a digital signature platform that helps them capture electronic signatures more quickly. For dotloop users, signature capture is just part of the process. This might not be an issue if DocuSign pricing wasn’t comparable to dotloop’s monthly cost.
Because the pricing is so similar, and because dotloop gives you everything you need to manage your real estate transactions, we have to give this one to dotloop.
It’s the obvious choice.
There isn’t much of a comparison here. DocuSign’s user environment isn’t set up to help agents sell property and close deals. With dotloop, you’ll enter an ecosystem that goes beyond signature capture.
Career realtors looking for a turnkey solution to real estate sales: dotloop
If you’re a career professional and you’re selling real estate full time, you already know how competitive the market can be. With so many competing agents and companies out there, it’s important to give yourself an edge so that you can spend less time chasing documents and more time selling homes.
For agents that fall into this category, dotloop makes total sense. Using dotloop, it’s easy to engage in transaction management, quickly respond to movement on listings, and minimize paperwork hassles.
The platform has everything you need, from audit trails for your documents to online support, training webinars, and even ways to capture user reviews for social media.
Agents who just need an e-signing platform: DocuSign
For part-time realtors and organizations that already have their own transaction workflow, DocuSign might be your workhorse when it comes to getting documents signed and delivered.
If adopting an entirely new platform or transitioning your agent workflow to a new system would be more trouble than it’s worth, DocuSign may deliver a niche solution that provides just the right amount of functionality.
In that case, DocuSign might be the better option. With dotloop, you’ll need to adopt the entire platform in order for everything to work correctly. Electronic signatures are included, but it’s really an all or nothing workflow.
Better proposal design with PandaDoc
And there you have it! We hope you’ve found our DocuSign vs dotloop comparison useful. Both serve the real estate industry well at varying levels.
However, even dotloop may not be a great fit if you’re looking for the ability to build your own content.
As with most document management and signing platforms, dotloop doesn’t deliver the ability to create documents from scratch. Real estate contracts, marketing materials, forms, addendums, and everything else need to be created through another channel and uploaded to the dotloop environment for prep and signature.
With PandaDoc, you can create documents completely from scratch and prepare everything as you go. While PandaDoc isn’t a highly-specialized real estate tool, our platform can handle all the paperwork that accompanies a home sale with ease.