Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Elite Real Estate Saves $30,000+ Annually By Partnering with Paperless Pipeline
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Elite Real Estate switched its paper-based offices to Paperless Pipeline in August 2012. Thanks to that winning move, the company now saves over $30,000 each year in stationery costs alone.
Located in Utah County, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Elite Real Estate (BHHS Elite) is a 150-agent office supported by 12 staff members working out of three offices.
Bruce Trucker, BHHS Elite’s CEO and Principal Broker since 2001, has been fostering a company culture that's filled with fun and energy. The weekly sales meetings are always lively, and office parties always aplenty, keeping the entire team a tight-knit, fun-loving group of go-getters.
Marlan Platt, the company's CFO since 2001, loves what this culture has done for the company.
I have to say, it really is kind of a family atmosphere. Everybody has each other's backs. We all work together and help each other and have a good time doing it.
Every year, the company handles over 2,500 transactions aggregating more than $14 million in GCI (gross commission income).
For Bruce and Marlan (the CEO, CFO team), being able to accomplish the entire transaction management workflow electronically is a welcome dream. It has replaced the frustrating sight of interminable reams of paper being zipped around.
Challenges of a Paper-Based Office
Paper-based processes, coupled with a huge volume of transactions, had started creating major problems for the company:
Increased stationery costs: Each office needed 4 cases of paper per week amounting to an annual cost of over $19,000.
Reduced staff efficiency: Admins were spending large amounts of time shuffling paper, sifting through filing cabinets and working with outdated fax machines.
Lack of agent mobility: Agents' long daily commutes were becoming a point of contention.
And more: The company had to hire couriers to transfer boxes of file folders between offices. And the annual cost of renting a storage facility had reached $1,200.
Bruce and Marlan realized that the high cost and inefficiency of the current state of affairs was unsustainable for the business. It was time to say goodbye to paper.
Over the next 6 months, they investigated 4 real estate transaction management solutions only to discover that none would help cut costs and simplify operations. All 4 solutions were encumbered with excessive fees and unnecessary services.
After months of searching and debating, they discovered Paperless Pipeline.
We met with Pipeline reps online and talked about costs. When we saw the presentation, we said, ‘This is something that we need to jump on.’ We looked at it being cost effective. It's been good for us. And people are on board with this and are utilizing the system really well.
Introducing Paperless Pipeline
Bruce and Marlan were initially attracted to Pipeline for two major reasons:
- Pipeline's pricing model: A Pipeline account may be upgraded or downgraded at any time. Also, unlike other services, Pipeline's pricing is based on the number of transactions created per month and not on the number of agents in the company.
- No long-term contracts: Customers can cancel their service with Pipeline at any time without being locked into a long-term commitment.
A month later, following a personal demo and a successful free trial, BHHS Elite became a Paperless Pipeline customer.
Cindy Cross, BHHS Elite's Accounting Admin, attended the free online training class provided by Paperless Pipeline to all its customers. Included in her training materials was a Pipeline customer case study showing how that company's old paper-based processes were easily and seamlessly replaced by corresponding new paperless processes. Cindy was able to customize the lessons from this case study into a user guide for BHHS Elite's own agents.
Paperless Pipeline brings Big Savings
Fewer admins: Thanks to Pipeline's efficiency, Bruce and Marlan were able to eliminate a full-time admin staff position resulting in $24,000 a year in savings.
Time savings: Marlan explains: “Pipeline takes a ten-minute job and makes it a two-minute job. You do that a dozen times a day and you can see how that comes back to benefit us.”
No file storage costs, reduced stationery costs: Pipeline stores copies of all of BHHS Elite's transaction data in a secure, reliable, and easy to access electronic format. Eliminating the storage shed expense has resulted in a saving of $1,200 per year. Pipeline lets BHHS Elite manage the entire transaction workflow without paper. The elimination of paper saves BHHS Elite $6,000 per year.
We’ve saved $24,000 in personnel, $1,200 in storage costs, and $6,000 in paper per year. We're already at $30,000 -plus. And I'm spending less than $5,000 with Paperless Pipeline.