The flood of new technology in recent years has definitely changed the way we practice real estate. Think for a minute:
- Social Media - Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest -- all help us keep top-of-mind with our sphere
- Hardware advances - the iPad, easy to use video cameras, and of course, our smart phones
- Cloud computing - having ready access to all of our files keeps us prepared
It would be hard to function without utilizing most of these.
For me, the application for which I feel grateful each and every time I use it is my electronic signature program.
I started using DocuSign last spring, and can't imagine how I'd function now without it. It has enabled me to put deals together when I've been out of town. It has helped facilitate out-of-area purchases. It has kept my buyers and me competitive in our fast-moving real estate market. For example:
- May 2011 - one of my first uses: I headed to Hawaii on vacation. The night before received word that an offer was coming in on one of my listings. Arrived at the hotel, set up my office in the open air lobby, reviewed the offer, called my clients, sent it off via DocuSign, all before our room was ready. Received the signed docs back, and sent them off to the buyer's agent. $20,000+ commission set to go, while I vacationed. And--very happy sellers!
- July 2011 - one of my sellers found their out-of-area dream house; their offer was accepted, with a counter. Their agent on the buy side doesn't use an electronic signature program and my sellers no longer had access to a fax or printer. What to do? Call Lottie, who got the necessary signatures electronically. My sellers bought their new home; their agent became a raving fan of electronic signatures. And--my sellers thought I was a rock star!
And so it went all year - and so it continues:
- April 2012 --two professional, two demanding jobs, two different locations -- wanting to make an offer in a multiple offer situation -- everything handled electronically so I could present their offer in person -- success!
- Yesterday - sent pages to my 80+ year old seller who is living 400 miles away in southern California. It was time to get her to acknowledge receipt of 4 offers that she didn't accept on her recent sale. (She signed the accepted purchase offer electronically, too!)
Each time I send documents off for signature, I'm acutely aware of how wonderful it is to be able to keep transactions on track in this way. It's quick; it's easy; it's helpful to clients as well as their agents. Whether you use DocuSign, EchoSign, Digital Ink or another program, I suggest you remember the words of Mikey in the old Life cereal ad:
"try it--you'll like it!"