Agents and real estate professionals across the industry handle their fair share of paperwork.
Though the list of required documents may vary by state, real estate agents can help buyers and sellers through this process. While this can be a challenge, it’s also a necessity — and how effectively agents manage it can have an impact on their bottom line.
“Real estate agents with failing time management skills typically made around $25k per year while those who had mastered this competency made closer to $88k per year. That same study was quick to point out agents who worked longer hours tended to make more money.”According to data from Real Estate Express
To us, that sounds like an opportunity! What if agents could streamline their document creation process and workflow to boost their productivity and reduce their hours?
Let’s take a look at what real estate agents need in a modern signature solution.
1. Legally-binding e-signatures
This is the most important item on the list. Without a legally-binding e-signature solution, nothing else matters.
Fortunately, almost every modern digital signature solution is considered legal as long as it follows the guidelines set down by the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act and the UETA.
These laws help to ensure that all paperless contracts and agreements — including real estate documents — are above board.
Many electronic signature solutions charge for this and stop here, but realtors need more than a simple electronic signature in order to streamline their daily operations.
2. No document limits
As agents create new documents and manage old ones, traditional e-signature solutions like DocuSign may not be enough to handle the document workflow.
Many electronic signature services limit the number of documents that users are allowed to send. For highly-productive agents who want to create their own workflows, this can be a hindrance. What agent wants to be slowed down by a data cap or a sending block simply for being too productive?
“Residential specialists sold around 12 properties per year in 2018 while commercial specialists sold eight. Each one of those transactions required a hefty amount of paperwork for signers, buyers, and agents.”According to data from the National Association of Realtors
When handling offers, counteroffers, contingency forms, listing agreements, and other electronic documents requiring a signature, it can be frustrating to operate under strict limitations from your e-signature software provider.
That’s one reason that PandaDoc offers a Free eSign Plan to help agents send and sign their documents. Simply upload, add signature fields, and send any number of documents — for free!
3. Document management
In 2016, closing on a newly-listed property typically took around 60 days, and that has stayed the same in recent years.
“A property listed in March 2020 stayed on the market around 29 days, and contract settlements take around 30 days to complete.”According to the NAR
This means that realtors need to track transactions and manage documents for roughly sixty days during the active listing. It also never hurts to keep old records on file for an extended period of time after a property has been sold in case unexpected issues arise.
Unfortunately, most e-signature providers don’t offer any solution to help real-estate businesses handle this kind of document management. They allow agents to send documents but don’t provide a way to keep track of those signed items.
With PandaDoc, agents can keep track of real estate contracts (including any rental or lease agreements for property managers).
4. Document customization
For many agents, document creation can slow down contracting and marketing efforts. After using Microsoft Word or Google Docs, real estate agreements need to be saved as a PDF, uploaded to a digital signature service, and prepared for signers.
To make matters worse, if a document requires changes, the realtor needs to repeat that process again until both parties reach a final agreement. This can make for a hectic negotiation process.
But what if agents could combine their document revision process with the e-signing process?
That’s entirely possible with the PandaDoc document editor.
Using PandaDoc, agents can create contract templates, make any necessary modifications, and send agreements through the same platform. When negotiations or revisions come back, agents don’t need to take the revision process offline; they simply make the changes within the same document, notify all parties, and wait for review.
This can be a game-changer for realtors who are looking to earn more in less time.
5. Audit trails and version control
It’s entirely possible to use a solution like Dropbox or Google Drive to store documents, but that comes with a major disadvantage for realtors seeking to streamline their workflow.
The ability to manage those documents from your digital signature solution means that agents can retain the maximum level of information about the signing process. That includes audit trails, versioning, and comments.
This can be critical to creating a better signing process for buyers and sellers.
Right now, only about two-thirds of sellers at every age group are satisfied with the selling process, and only about 70% of sellers would use the same real estate agent again.
With access to more information, realtors can create a better workflow by reviewing the changes, edits, and revisions that went into a document. Using document analytics, including when users looked at documents and how they interacted with a document allows real estate agents to optimize their approach to the entire documentation process.
Streamline your signing process in 2020
“There are over 2 million active real estate agents in the US. Even when broken down by state and location, that equates to stiff competition for any single agent.”According to data from Homelight
On top of that, job satisfaction can play a key role in earnings, as realtors who identify as happy in their careers earn an average of three times more than unsatisfied agents.
It’s true that there are a lot of agents in the real estate industry and that real estate transactions can be a hassle to deal with if you’re unprepared.
With the right electronic signature solution, it’s possible to boost your paperless workflow, boost your time management skills, and earn more in less time.
Get the signature technology and transaction tools you need to succeed in 2020 with PandaDoc. Sign up for our Free eSign Plan, or check out our pricing page to see everything we have to offer.