Making the tech choices that give your customers what they really want.
In the real estate industry, millions of documents are signed every single day. And since ink-signed or “wet” signatures need to be faxed, scanned and mailed back and forth from one party to another, this not only takes a lot of time, but opens the door to costly mistakes.
So it’s no wonder that electronic signature technology is changing the entire workflow of how documents are signed and processed. Electronic signatures, also known as e-signatures, help real estate businesses close deals faster, reduce costs and improve the customer experience, all while boosting the number of transactions.
RE/MAX Europe has partnered with DocuSign as our preferred vendor for electronic signatures. At a recent RE/MAX event, Doris Otto, Head of Digital Strategy at RE/MAX Europe, spoke with Robert Viljoen, Account Executive at DocuSign, to learn about three ways that electronic signature technology is revolutionizing the real estate industry.
1. Giving customers greater confidence
Real estate is already an emotional experience for customers, but this year has tuned even the simplest experiences into stressful ones. What your customers are looking for right now is someone they can trust. “When people are buying or leasing residential or commercial properties”, says Viljoen, “it’s close to their heart. So customers want to feel comfortable with their signature and where the document goes.”
Electronic signature technology like DocuSign exceeds some of the most stringent global security standards and is accepted in over 180 countries around the world. Customers trust the technology’s transparency too, since electronic signatures can be tracked and managed no matter which device you use. And for your peace of mind, the system guides you through all the steps you need to take, so you don’t have to worry about being a tech-wizard!
We strongly recommend you to get legal advice in order to understand the specific electronic signature laws in your local market for different types of agreements. DocuSign, for example, offers three levels of verifications: standard, advanced and qualified.
Bonus: Electronic signatures create an audit trail for every signature and verify the signer’s identity for greater security.
2. Offering more convenience with mobility
The digital revolution has set us free from our desks, and now customers want to be able to make their transactions by phone or tablet – while they’re on the go or from the comfort of their home. “Customers appreciate being able to complete a transaction within minutes, knowing that it’s in a secure environment”, says Viljoen, and electronic signatures make it possible for businesses to adapt to the changing times and changing needs of their customers.
Probably the greatest advantage of electronic signatures is mobility, as your customers can sign documents from virtually anywhere. And with the support of cloud-based software, you don’t need to be in the office either. That means more time for you to show properties or meet with buyers and sellers to ensure that your customers get the individual attention they need for their homes.
Bonus: As soon as a document has been uploaded and signing parties have been notified, they can sign from anywhere. no waiting for the delivery via postal service.
3. Saving time with faster transactions
In the real estate industry, time is your biggest obstacle, and a ten-minute delay could cost a customer their dream home. “If you were to get a contract signed on paper and put a stopwatch on”, Viljoen asks, how long is it going to take for that to get signed and processed? If you do the exact same exercise from an e-signature platform perspective, you are going to see a very common metric of speed.”
Platforms like DocuSign allow you to upload documents and send them to be signed within a matter of minutes. From a customer’s perspective, this speeds up their turnaround time, so they can move into their new home or commercial property quicker and start the next chapter of their lives.
For you, electronic signatures mean less time chasing paper. You can reduce the bottlenecks that often occur with mailing, faxing, emailing and printing contracts and forms, and you can save money on gas, paper, printer ink and shipping costs – for a big impact on your business. “Your bottom line revenue is going to be improved”, says Viljoen, “because you are getting less operational cost, less running around costs.”
Bonus: When documents are signed electronically, a document can’t be signed with missing or incomplete information, so no running back and forth between customers and agents to re-do documents. Investing in the future of real estate Electronic signatures show your customers that you care about efficiency and better customer experiences. But it also shows that you’re committed to looking ahead, and building greater transparency into the future of real estate. Below you can watch the full interview with Robert Viljoen from DocuSign: