Disclaimer: Any products mentioned in this post are mentioned based on my real-world experience, not by the vendors who market them.
Many in the business look forward to the day of transaction where “Mt. Paper” can be reduced or eliminated when doing the day to day tasks that are involved in transactions. It has been thought of as “something from the future”. Well I am here to share that the future is today. Right now I am doing my first “paperless” transaction.
A paperless transaction in my opinion saves both time and costs. Also, the client is more involved in the transaction and has better access to needed information/documents. The ability to securely store ALL documents and event/conversation logs increases the professionalism of how disputes/issues can be handled.
In my use I have found four main products that help achieve the end of paper madness:
- Zipform – online forms are a way to always have up-to-date forms at your fingertips. I also find typed forms are more legible and exude a more professional image to others.
- Docusign– this has been my favorite, paying for itself in time and fuel savings. ANY document can be sent to anyone to be signed electronically. The resulting signature is completely legal and the system does very well with tracking activities and including receipts with signatures to aid if fraud is ever an issue.
- RELAY– I compare this product to a filing cabinet with controlled access for everyone that needs it. Basically every document and version of that document can be uploaded and stored on the system. These files can be easily retrieved and emailed or faxed where needed. My favorite part is that your clients can login and view/retrieve the documents they need (most of mine prefer this over being given a folder full of paper).
- Tablet PC – these machines make getting hand written signatures out in the filed a breeze. I can draft an offer on the computer while at the property then have the client sign/initial all pages WITHOUT the need to print to paper. Once signed it can be sent off via fax or email.
I tried not go to into too much detail about the products since most of it is explained at their respective websites.
I will not go out on a limb and say that industry is or will soon become completely paperless. Most professionals that support ours still have and will have to rely on paper (I don’t see courthouses accepting an e-signed deed anytime soon). However, I believe the more paperless we can become on our part of the transaction the more professional we can become in the eyes of the consumer.