I love this blog about a Realtor going paperless. I'm impressed at how efficient this seems to be on many levels. Potentially even better than being paperless is that there is no confidential information just left laying about anywhere for someone to run across.
Paper? Who Needs It? My IPad is the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread
I didn't take part in the paperless challenge way back in February 2011. Not sure why I didn't. (Who can really remember back that far???) But, honestly, a year and a half ago I never imagined that I could be completely paperless. If someone had told me back then that I would be going paperless in less than 2 years I would have said "No Way!!!" "Impossible." "You CAN'T. These are CONTRACTS!" Etc., etc.
You see, before I became a real estate agent I spent many (many, many) years in financial managment jobs. I studied accounting before computers were around...when keeping books was all manual. I was taught that there must be a "paper trail". For everything.
I had already been emailing clients listings straight from the MLS and using Zipforms. The next logical step was Docusign. LOVED IT. So incredibly easy to use. Makes long distance transactions seamless. I've been using Docusign with my clients for almost a year now.
But I was still printing out everything. I'd set up showings for buyers and in addition to emailing them the listing information, I would show up with printouts of each home we were going to see. And then throw most of the paper out. When I had to turn in my files to my office, I would have to scan all the printed documents into one file. I hated how much paper I was wasting, but I really couldn't see any way around it.
Then, about 6 weeks ago I bought an IPad.
It's taken some considerable mind retraining, let me tell you. But...MY LIFE HAS CHANGED.
I no longer print out listings for buyer showings. Instead, I download all the listing information into PDF form and save it in the client's Notebook that I've created in Evernote on my desktop, which then syncs with Evernote on my IPad. While at the showing I simply open Evernote on my IPad and pull up the specific property information.
I no longer print out Buyer Rep Agreements, Listing Rep Agreements, Purchase and Sale Contracts, etc. (Unless I absolutely have to.) I have the Zipforms app on my IPad, and I can fill out any form, anywhere. If I'm with my clients I have them sign all contracts right on my IPad, using PDF Expert. If I'm not with my clients I use Docusign. If I need to make changes to any contracts, I can do it on my IPad, using PDF Expert. I can move files between Evernote and PDF Expert. And I can email files to clients directly from Evernote or PDF Expert. And when I have to turn in my files to my office, I simply combine all the PDFs into one single PDF (as required by my office) using PDF Expert and email directly from that app.
Since I'm not a Mac user (except for the IPad) to get my files onto my PC I simply email them to myself. If I'm in my office and make changes to files or documents using my PC, I move the files into Evernote, which syncs to the IPad, and then when I'm with my client I can pull up the changed document from Evernote on my IPad.
I also save files in Dropbox, but it's more for redundancy than any other reason.
I've only been working this way for one month. I not a paperless expert by anyone's standards, but already I've reduced my paper consumption significantly. Still not completely paperless (old habits die really hard!) but I'm getting there. I'm not sure if I will ever be completely paperless because I will still provide paper documents and copies to clients who request them.
But for me personally, I see an end to paper in sight. All I need is my computer, my IPad, my Smartphone and some Cloud storage and I'm good to go.
Now, about that sliced bread...
LET ME HELP YOU FIND YOUR MAINE OASIS!
Information and content in this blog is original to Lisa Hicks.
Contact: Lisa Hicks
MaineRealtor® The Maine Real Estate Network
Serving the Maine counties of Kennebec and Androscoggin, including Auburn, Augusta, Belgrade, Chelsea, China, Dresden, Durham, Farmingdale, Fayette, Gardiner, Greene, Hallowell, Jay, Leeds, Lewiston, Lisbon, Litchfield, Livermore, Livermore Falls, Manchester, Monmouth, Mount Vernon, Pittston, Randolph, Readfield, Richmond, Rome, Sabattus, Sidney, Turner, Vassalboro, Vienna, Wales, Wayne, West Gardiner, Windsor, Winthrop, Whitefield
Copyright © 2012 by Lisa Hicks
Author Bio: Melissa Marro, Home Staging Industry leader, Realtor, and entrepreneur offers a unique perspective on New Home Construction, Resale Residential Real Estate, and Home Staging
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For more information on buying or selling in the Fleming Island, Orange Park, or Jacksonville, area, visit StageListSellNEFL.com or call Melissa Marro (marro.melissa at gmail.com), Keller Williams First Coast Realty, for more information (904-466-2093).