Being a creative person with a hyperactive imagination, I find myself playing “what if” games fairly often, and I thought the Geek Estate crowd would be interested to hear about my latest episode. I found myself asking the following question, “If I had to give up all but one of the many tools I use in my business , which would it be?” The answer was a no brainer. I would hold on to DocuSign and dump the rest. I’ll tell you why.
First off, for those of you that are not yet familiar with DocuSign I will give you a quick synopsis. Basically, it allows you to get documents signed electronically via the internet in a legally recognized way. It is fabulous for real estate but also for any other profession where you need to get paper work signed by clients. The system allows users to create and save their unique signature in DocuSign using their online portal (no software involved) and the signing process includes instructions that literally walk your clients through the docusment, indicating all areas where they need to sign, initial, or provide additional information. For a more detailed view of the basics you can visit Docusign.com.
Here is why I can’t live without DocuSign in my small business:
- I can get multiple documents signed in a micro fraction of the time of what it used to take me in the past to do just one. This was especially helpful recently when I negotiated a deal for a separated couple who are now in different locations. I was able to prepare the documents and send for the couple to sign using DocuSign. The entire process took just minutes!
- Buyers or sellers can’t accidently sign in the wrong spot. Remember the days of emailing over paperwork for your client to sign and fax back to you? If you were lucky enough to get them to open their email, print the documents, sign, initial, and finally fax them back to you, you still had to hope that the signatures and initials were all in the right place and they didn’t miss anything. For me, that probably happened close to never. Without fail they would miss something. With DocuSign that is impossible because you predetermine where signatures, initials, and other information is required. The system dummy proofs it by guiding your clients to sign in the correct spots.
- No more fax machine failures. In the past, even if you got your clients to get everything done and faxed back promptly, you still had to hope that the documents were received well by the fax machine and in good readable condition. The beauty of DocuSign for real estate contracts is that the system will automatically email you back a fully executed pdf of the document as soon as all parties have signed. Getting rid of fax machine hiccups like busy signals, being out of paper, getting lost by the fax machine, and illegibility is a saving grace. It also helps keep you sane.
- Using DocuSign you can actually have the system deliver the fully executed contract to the other side via certified delivery. How this works is you can input the other agent’s email address and name as you would any signer, but rather than sign, they just have to acknowledge receipt of the offer, this works just like certified mail, only in DocuSign. Doing this helps accomplish two things. One is that you are able to deliver the offer with extreme efficiency to the other side and possibly get in ahead of other offers. The second is that you get undeniable proof that the other agent has received and opened the offer (or proof that it is being ignored so that you can push them). You can even use this proof with your clients to show them that their offer has been delivered and opened.
One last note…I am currently writing this on a British Airways flight back to San Diego after spending 9 days in London. While there, I was able to negotiate multiple deals for both buyers and sellers and get the signatures done as easily as if I were home. The dollar amount in the title of this document is what I stand to make if they all close. Not bad for a week of vacation.