Actually Kermit, it is EASY being green...paperless that is
I had a very strained relationship in my business. Paper and I just do not play well together. I maintain a very orderly home, keep the garage clean, and my vehicle is always presentable. Then there's my office desk. Oofta! Many trees have been slaughtered senselessly to achieve the level of disorder that is known as my desk.
I have shown many signs of improvement however. A year and a half ago, I'd had enough. I purchased a tablet PC. I settled on a Lenovo X61 ThinkPad. I didn't know if I made the wisest solution or not since I could find nobody in Sioux Falls with experience doing what I wanted to do. My task was simple. I wanted to end my dysfunctional relationship with paper. I sought to never again run out of purchase contracts at the wrong time, misplace my data sheets, have an agent or lender call because they couldn't read my handwriting, or miss a deal because I couldn't fax.
To support my tablet, I purchased Real Estate Dashboard. I type and sign all my contracts with this program. It's not the fastest utility to use, but it works well enough and the signature is recognized as legally binding. When the signature is completed, I can tether it to my Blackberry and email it immediately.
I realized the benefits of being paperless immediately. Clients are actually quite impressed when we prepare documents. I can email everything to them immediately as well. I've found it rather challenging at times to explain to cooperating brokers why I prefer they not fax anything but rather would like an electronic copy instead. Office staff did not immediately embrace my new toy either.
I think the benefits are numerous. I have reduced my paper usage to nearly zero. At no point does my end of the transaction require ANY paper. I have not used a file folder for over a year. All documents are always with me on my computer, including all blank contracts to be used in any transaction. Real Estate Dashboard allows me to backup files to a secure online site and I backup my computer externally. I am saving money, trees, office equipment and tons of time.
At least one other agent I've cooperated with has seen the benefits of being paperless and decided to purchase a tablet PC. If you decide to take the plunge, be prepared for a much more organized briefcase. It's been a great business and environmental decision.
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