What You Need to Know About eSignatures and the Paperless Transaction Process

July 13 2015

esignature tablet woman 2With the continuous buzz of paperless technology in the real estate industry, it's time to take a look at what you need to know about paperless transactions for your business. The real estate transaction process can last days, even weeks. With electronic signatures on agreements and paperless transaction software, the time it takes to complete a real estate transaction can be reduced to just minutes.

Electronic real estate transactions are becoming increasingly popular and more real estate boards and MLSs are supporting this new process for their members. As a broker, do you have the office technology in place to support electronic transactions for your agents? Here, we'll take a closer look at what this means to your business, including understanding the electronic transaction process, how your agents prefer to manage transactions, how to choose the right electronic transaction platform for your business, how to prepare your business for the new tool and get buy-in from administrators and agents, and how to successfully implement the new software technology into your business operations.

The electronic transaction process

There are five core steps to the electronic transaction process:

  1. Creation – Your agents electronically complete the transaction forms
  2. Execution – Your agents use an eSignature platform to electronically sign the forms
  3. Submission – Your agents electronically submit the transaction forms to the brokerage
  4. Review/approval – Brokerage administration electronically reviews and approves forms and documents
  5. Storage – Brokerage administration electronically stores transaction documents

Your agents will manage the creation and execution of transactions through the forms and eSignature provider they choose, that your association has selected or that you've chosen for your office. Many real estate technology providers will work with partner companies to offer eForms and eSignature solutions that integrate with their paperless technology solutions.

Understanding how your agents like to manage a transaction

Many brokers encourage certain processes for how their agents complete real estate transactions, but there isn't just one way. Here are a few scenarios of how your agents could be managing transactions:

  1. Agent has their independent preference and workflow with an eForms and eSignature provider to complete and submit their transactions.
  2. Agent likes using electronic forms but prefers to print and sign, then submit to the brokerage electronically.
  3. Agent isn't quite ready to go paperless and prefers to work with hard copy forms and submit signed deals to the office administrators manually.
  4. Agent adopts the recommended brokerage tool.

Accommodating and supporting your agents with technology and resources to help them do their jobs more efficiently will allow you to retain your best agents and help them thrive in their business.

Choosing the right tool for your business

Now that you've analyzed and understand how your agents conduct transactions, choose a software tool that aligns with their needs.

There are a number of technologies available to help your agents conduct paperless transactions. Choosing the one that fits your brokerage's needs is crucial to your agents accepting and using the tool. Your agents will manage the creation and execution of transaction documents; as a broker, it is your responsibility to provide a method to submit, review/approve and store transaction documents to complete the process. Finding a tool that aligns these processes seamlessly and enables your agents to manage their end of the transaction process will improve operational efficiency and increase productivity in your office.

Preparing your business for the new tool

You've identified that your agents manage transaction processes differently and understand what to look for in a paperless transaction tool to meet your business needs. Now you need to introduce the tool to your office and generate excitement about how this new tool will improve processes and help your agents and administrators do their jobs more efficiently.

The first step to getting buy-in and acceptance when implementing a new office tool is being 100% behind the purchase decision and product you've chosen. If you support the product and promote its use within your office, your agents and administrators will be more likely to accept the change and adapt their business processes to include the new tool.

Think about the number of transactions your administrators and agents process per year. Paperless technology could substantially reduce the time spent on transaction processes, resulting in reduced operating costs for your business. Brokerage operations can see additional productivity gains with the right software in place, such as Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies' loadingDOCS platform.

loadingDOCS enables brokerages to manage the electronic transaction process from start to finish, regardless of how an agent chooses to complete and transaction. It also integrates with a number of partner companies to ensure the eForms and eSignature platforms your agents use can be seamlessly processed within the system.

Implementing the tool in your business operations

Preparing your business for your new paperless transaction technology will have a direct impact on the implementation process. If your agents and administrators are excited and eager to use the tool then the implementation process will be easier. Either way, you need to equip the people using the technology with education, training and support on the system to ensure your business gets the highest ROI from the tool and maximizes its functionality. Seek a tool that includes education and training on the product initially and offers long term support to answer any additional questions once the tool is fully implemented.

Converting your business to electronic transactions can be overwhelming. Do your research. Look for a tool that provides everything you're looking for and comes with the support you'll need to implement the software in your business. Consider the partner integrations your tool includes. Will you also need to find an eSignature platform and eForms provider or does the technology you've chosen include these partner services as well?

Paperless technology is the way of the future and the way to ensure your business is on the path to sustainability and efficiency.

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