E-Signatures: if you’re not using them, you should be
There is no longer any doubt that real estate agents need to keep up to date with technology in order to thrive in the industry. It’s not a suggestion—it’s something that needs to be done to be able to give your potential customers what they are looking for. With the advent of easy-to-use technology such as tablets and smartphones, consumers are looking for speed, efficiency, and convenience. As a real estate agent, if you’re not offering them these things, there is a definite chance you will lose those clients to competitors.
“One primary role of [a] real estate agent is to facilitate communication—the ability to get six or more parties to…come to terms on an agreement.”
— Joe Manausa
What Are E-Signatures?
According to Search Security, e-signatures are “an electronic signature that can be used to authenticate the identity of the sender of a message or the signer of a document…Digital signatures are easily transportable, cannot be imitated by someone else, and can be automatically time-stamped.”
Docu-Sign is simple and secure
There are many different tools you can use online to securely and legally send and sign legal documents. One of the most popular is Docu-
Sign. With this technology, you no longer have to wait until all parties are in the same location. There are three simple steps to Docu-Sign: upload the document, add additional parties, and send. Scheduling signing meetings around eve ryone’s plans can be hectic. Now, you can simply upload your document, include the appropriate parties (agent, buyer, seller, etc.) and send it along to be signed. It can be received on a smartphone, computer, or tablet, signed and sent back instantly—saving you time and keeping unneeded stress out of the picture.
Why Use E-Signatures?
Technology helps the modern real estate agent communicate effectively, saving time, money and energy. E-signatures are yet another tool that will help you work with the speed and efficiency. The time and energy you’ll save both your client and yourself will keep your clients satisfied and help you stand apart from agents using more traditional methods. According to the 2013 NAR Member Profile, “50% of Realtors® used e-signatures in the past year.” As previously mentioned, without updating your methods of communication, you’re going to fall behind the pack.
In addition to helping your competitive edge, using electronic signatures eliminates the need for scanners and fax machines, which are quickly becoming outdated technology. All you and your clients need to complete a transaction is a smartphone, which according to Business Insider, is something owned by 1-in-5 people worldwide.
E-signatures reduce turnaround time by an average of 80%
Having hard copies of all of your documents not only causes clutter and confusion, but constantly making copies of things can get expensive. Electronic documents save you time and money. In the recent Ombud Research Report, they found that “E-signature solutions yield on average an 80% reduction in turnaround time and $20 per document in savings.”
As with anything that involves legal and business documents, you want to be absolutely sure that what you are using is safe. Before implementing e-signatures, you should check out the NAR Field Guide to E-Signatures. It offers great resources for any questions you may have about the technology. Realtor.com also offers some great advice on how to avoid bad e-signatures providers. While these tools are incredibly helpful, it is always a smart idea to do your research before using anything.