Going Paperless - Progressively Reducing the Need for Paper

By
Real Estate Agent with Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!
http://actvra.in/HGy

Going Paperless - Progressively Reducing the Need for Paper

Going Paperless with Ipad Photo by Silvia DukesGoing paperless - when I wrote my first going paperless challenge post back in February 2011, my focus had already been on saving paper with the motto of reduce-reuse-recycle in mind.

Since then, I have continued what I had already implemented in my own business practices - using online forms , emailing documentation rather than faxing - as well as at home and tried to expand them even further going as far as educating my customers how to scan and email documents. 

Even better, our brokerage has adopted the principle of the paperless office as well.  All our forms, instructions, and other office documentations are in electronic form, accessible from anywhere via our office website.  

All our transaction files are also stored electronically eliminating the need not only for paper but also for filing cabinets.

To expand the paperless concept, I am no longer printing CMAs for listing presentations.  Instead, I use my iPad --- I finally bought one and can truly say, I wish I had done it sooner.   I have to say, my sellers really enjoy this form of presentation!  I can then email the presentation to the sellers while they are still sitting in front of me.  Or, if they happen to choose not to list, they won't have a need for my documentation.  Again, the paperless presentation is of benefit as no papers need to be left behind! 

Some new applications that I am using are also helping to contribute to going paperless: 

  • Dropbox allows me to access documents, photos and files on several computers. 
  • Evernote - again on my iPad - has replaced my paper notes and gives me the advantage of filing my notes systematically for easy retrieval at any time.
  • PDF Expert lets me fill out pdf forms so I can save them and email them without ever having to print.

Is there room for improvement?  Of course, there is. The paperless office is not perfected.   Although I can see the benefit of using DocuSign, I haven't implemented electronic signing as much as I thought I would.  Which means that although I am saving paper on my end, somewhere along the line, someone is still printing, signing in ink, and then emailing documents back to me.  

Still new at using my iPad, I'm constantly searching for new applications that will help me keeping things virtual rather than on paper.  It's a learning experience, some things seem to work better for me than others.  

Finally, in revisiting my post from last year, I realized I still haven't gotten that business card scanner! I'd better go look for one!

Going Paperless - Progressively Reducing the Need for Paper 

 

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Rainmaker
1,342,656
Ron & Alexandra Seigel
ra@napaconsultants.com - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Marketing

Silvia,

It is a work in progress for all of us...like you I am not up to the latest and greatest on the Ipad, as somethings take precedence over tech...Have a wonderful day, and congrats on your paperless accomplishments.  My favorite is not needing actual file cabinets. That sure changes the look of an office.  A

September 13, 2012 11:34 AM #1
Rainmaker
263,545
Tamra Lee Ulmer
Arizona Resource Realty - Payson, AZ
FORCE~NRBA ~ Over 1000 REO Assets SOLD!

Silvia, going paperless is so much easier, I do alot of things paperless as well. However, there are some things that have to be physical files. Great Blog Silvia, and thanks for sharing.

September 13, 2012 11:40 AM #2
Ambassador
1,286,529
Silvia Dukes PA, REALTOR
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Alexandra, very true!  I don't miss the filing cabinets neither!

Tamra, thank you, we can eliminate as much as possible but there will always be an instance where paper will come into play.

 

September 13, 2012 11:49 AM #3
Rainmaker
599,113
Patricia Feager, MBA, GRI, Cert Negotiations Expert, Military Relo Prof
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
The Little REALTOR® That Could

Silvia,

This is something we all need to pay more attention to. Although hard for many, it's imperative that we start moving into that direction. The world will be better off for all, if we do.

Thanks Silvia.

September 13, 2012 01:22 PM #4
Rainmaker
687,141
Patrick White
Home Driven Realty, Inc - Baldwin, NY
Put our 28 years experience and technolgy to work

Good Evening Silvis

Thanks for the post and excellent information. Going to take a look at PDF Expert. Have a great weekend

September 13, 2012 02:08 PM #5
Ambassador
1,286,529
Silvia Dukes PA, REALTOR
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living
Patricia, even if everybody just does one thing to save paper or any of our other resources, the combined effort will make a difference.
September 13, 2012 05:55 PM #6
Ambassador
1,286,529
Silvia Dukes PA, REALTOR
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living
Patrick, I think you will like it! Thanks for stopping in and taking the time to comment.
September 13, 2012 05:56 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,395,284
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Coldwell Banker Stuart & Watts Real Estate - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV Real Estate, Greenbrier County

Sylvia, I have downloaded the apps for my iPad to go paperless...started out with a band and with summer and family got behind.  So I've got to get back to my iPad...it really does help you go paperless.

September 13, 2012 06:40 PM #8
Ambassador
1,286,529
Silvia Dukes PA, REALTOR
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living
Rebecca, I do agree that our electronic gadgets like our phones and tablets are making it possible to go paperless with all those great apps!
September 13, 2012 06:54 PM #9
Rainmaker
459,515
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Hi Silvia, isn't is amazing how far we have come in just the last couple of years? Who would have thought that we'll be able to go paperless that quickly? I love using DocuSign btw and am sure you'll, too. I've done my last few transaction all via DocuSign and loved that there was no printing and scanning or faxing repeatedly to get everyone a copy of every page that was signed/initialed.

I do make sure I go through all the paperwork beforehand so when it's time to sign my clients are comfortable doing so electronically. I also go over everything that was entered onto the forms.

September 13, 2012 07:51 PM #10
Ambassador
960,936
Kristin Hamilton
Keller Williams Realty - Redlands, CA
(909) 557-6966, CDPE, SFR, CHS-Redlands/Loma Linda
Hi Silvia, I think back to how much paper I used to use before going paperless. I now rarely print anything. Look how many trees we must save across the country by using Dot Loop, Relay, PDF convertors and Drop Box. I sure love my iPad and iPhone too.
September 13, 2012 10:26 PM #11
Ambassador
1,286,529
Silvia Dukes PA, REALTOR
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living
Andrea, electronic signing is convenient but as always, people need to know what they are signing. Going over all the paperwork is a must!
September 14, 2012 03:41 AM #12
Ambassador
1,286,529
Silvia Dukes PA, REALTOR
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living
Kristin, you are right and you just mentioned two apps that I have to go check out! Thanks!
September 14, 2012 03:42 AM #13
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