Laura Kitchen is a successful, busy Calgary realtor.
Prior to that, she was in oil and gas sales in Calgary. She’d followed in her brother’s footsteps after seeing his success in real estate.
She’s been at it for more than seven years now, having sold properties in Calgary, Black Diamond and Turner Valley. Kitchen’s consistently had between 15 and 50 listings at any one time.
“It got to the point where I was like, ‘wow, there’s got to be an easier way to manage all my clients, questions and organize all my paperwork in one spot,’” she said.
That’s when she decided to develop her own project management system that’s geared specifically to the real estate community. Kitchen calls it Loop for Success.
By putting all of these things together, Kitchen said it will eliminate the need for three or four other separate apps.
One of the key aspects of Kitchen’s Loop for Success app is transparency. Clients are literally looped into the entire process.
“There’s kind of a general assumption that realtors list and leave when you don’t hear from them,” she said.
“And I’m trying to take that perception away. It’s going to give the client access to show them what we are doing on a day to day.”
Transparency in real estate transactions
Kitchen said Loop for Success links clients right into the transaction process. It provides a portal for them to see paperwork, ask questions and get responses.
Realtors sign up for the management system and then they can invite their client – buyers or sellers.
Clients get notifications on showings, they can add or receive feedback, and clients can even know when the front door has been opened and closed.
“Every little question that a client’s ever asked me, they have automated responses. That takes that communication with them,” Kitchen said.
Loop for Success also keeps track of the paperwork and is accessible to the agent, the mortgage broker and even the lawyer.
“I’m trying to save us about 50 emails per each transaction,” Kitchen said.
Kitchen’s work with Platform Calgary’s Junction program has provided her a road map – a listing, if you will – on how to move forward successfully. Especially as a solo founder working alone.
The mentors have guided her approach to the test run and focus group work. That was set for November. Roughly 30 agents were lined up to give the system a try. Kitchen’s hoping to have Loop for Success ready by late January for full commercial use.
“My goal is to commercially launch this app before I turned 40, which is January 23,” Kitchen said.
“Time is of the essence, and they’ve been helping push me in that direction to get me ready to do that.”
The app works with all MLS listings in Canada. While the initial focus will be Calgary real estate, Kitchen hopes to expand throughout Alberta. Then it will be into BC with Remax in Kelowna, who has offered to help.
It’s a step-by-step plan to make it easier for agents, buyers and sellers to stay on top of their real estate deals.
“There should be more transparency with clients. They should be able to see what we’re doing because we are working hard for them behind the scenes,” Kitchen said.
“And this gives them a little bit more of a chance to do that.”