The Paper-Less Challenge - How I'm Working To Be a More Paper-Less Me...

Real Estate Agent with Helping people in transition 210155

The Paper-Less Challenge

How I'm Working To Be a More Paper-Less Me...

For those of you who know me, you're well aware that I'm one of those guys who hates wasteful ways.

Craig Rutman, your Raleigh/ Cary/ Apex area Realtor hates waste.

I've been reducing, reusing and recycling ever since I heard those terms put together.

So, when I heard about this challenge, I just knew it was right up my alley.

My effort to go paperless originated long before it became chic to do so.

It all began when I couldn't even stand to be in my own office anymore....

My office.... before I went on a paperless rampage!

So I cleaned it up, scanned and uploaded everything to disc.

Then, to maintain the private nature of my files I broke out the shredder ....

Craig Rutman, your Raleigh/ Cary/ Apex area Realtor maintains your privacy!

These days I don't print anything unless it's absolutely necessary.

All my documents are created, stored, and emailed to those who need access to them.

I even try to negotiate offers (after the initial one is presented) via phone and email so that my colleagues and I don't have to print and re-print them over and over.

I've gone to utilizing QR codes and as a result I'm not printing flyers as much as I used to. For some listings I'm not even printing any!

Craig Rutman, your Raleigh/ Cary/ Apex area Realtor uses QR codes to assist in the marketing of your property.

My newsletters and marketing materials are now sent out via email rather than in printed form.

For my listings, I have property specific domain names with all the information on each web site. No paper wasted there!

And, last, but not least, as electronic signatures have become more popular,

my use of them has reduced my paper usage dramatically.

I'm not 100% paperless... YET.

But I have reduced my paper footprint tree-mendously over the last year or so, and I continue to reduce, reuse and recycle daily.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


"This post is written as a submission to the ActiveRain & Kodak Paper-less Challenge contest.  I have the chance to win the high speed KODAK SCANMATE i1120 Scanner, great for helping real estate professionals reduce their stacks of paper by scanning contracts, photos and business cards in seconds."

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About The Author

Craig Rutman is a North Carolina Residential Real Estate Specialist that can assist you with the purchase and/or sale of real estate in the Raleigh - Cary – Apex metro areas; or any place else in the country by connecting you with a relocation professional in your destination of choice.

To find all available homes for sale in the Triangle area of North Carolina, please visit

Call me TODAY at 919-349-9530

Email me with your Raleigh - Cary – Apex area questions

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Gay E. Rosen
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty - Larchmont, NY
As Real as Real Estate Gets!

Hi Craig: SO much paper... where does it come from!   I should be doing that also..  Best, Gay

Feb 23, 2011 07:48 AM #7
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Excellent examples...sounds like you are well on your way to being paper-less, craig.

Feb 23, 2011 09:13 AM #8
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

Cool! I often wonder about all the paper that makes a one way trip to the trash especially junk mail...

Feb 23, 2011 09:29 AM #9
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Craig ~ I found out about this challenge today as well.  I am trying to work on mine.

Feb 23, 2011 10:19 AM #10
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Something I did a while ago which has reduced my paper load considerably was writing my inspection reports on the computer. I am working to reduce my paper use further. Like Denise I'm a recycling junkie.

Feb 23, 2011 11:02 AM #11
Amy Hahn
Pine Knoll Shores Realty - Morehead City, NC
Realtor/Broker - Crystal Coast, NC

I too try to reduce, reuse & recycle whenever possible.   We are looking into electonic signature...what provider do you use and how easy is it to use for you & your clients?

Feb 23, 2011 11:35 AM #12
Claude Cross
Homes By Cross, Inc. - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte NC Homes For Sale

Craig - just remember ...clean coal still smells like sulpher. BTW paper plants smell like .... bad

Feb 23, 2011 12:12 PM #13
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate


Excellent solutions to the challenge. Sometimes I feel like I'm trying to push back a wave.


Feb 23, 2011 01:02 PM #14
Toula Rosebrock
Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ - Lacey Township, NJ
Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township,

Hi Craig:

I try not to print as much as I use to.

We all need to sign on in this effort!

Feb 23, 2011 03:04 PM #15
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

I have been brainless paperless forever, so there.  Something I have on you for a change.

Feb 23, 2011 05:14 PM #16
Don Rogers
Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield - O'Fallon, MO
Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes

There is no doubt about it I do need to work harder in this area of.

Feb 23, 2011 10:00 PM #17
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Well done Craig. I'm not as paperless as I should be, but when dealing with so many more mature people, with old eyes, it's not an easy thing to do.

Feb 23, 2011 11:36 PM #18
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Craig, everyone should implement a recycling plan to eliminate all this paper.    I too have scanned to disc, re-use previous paper, and TRY to print less.   These cartridges are SO expensive.

Feb 24, 2011 01:24 AM #19
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR

Craig,  Are you sure you didn't take this picture of my office?  I swear that's my desk! 

Feb 24, 2011 01:39 AM #20
Toronto, ON

Hi Craig - You look like you are doing quite well with your paper reduction.

Feb 24, 2011 02:21 AM #21
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

Endre - Sorry Endre. Next time I'll ask before I use your office again!!! Maybe you'll clean it up some for my next photo shoot!

Ellie - Saving trees and putting more paper in my wallet is a wonderful thing!

Dana - Thank you Dana. I'm trying. And I agree. Printer ink is out of control expensive.

Bill - If I can use the "cloud" to save some paper, I'm all for it.

Ted - The board of health didn't think my office was homey!!!

Denise - RR&R is a good thing! And a lot less heavy if you do it right!

Gay - I often tease that we use more paper and trees writing contracts than it takes to build the houses!

Feb 24, 2011 04:24 AM #22
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

Anita - Thank you Anita. I'm trying to do my part.

Michael - I've often wondered how many trees would be saved if we could eliminate the junk mail.

Dawn - Get it done Dawn. I found out about this a little late too. But I made sure to get my entry in on time this time.

James - I hear you! I'm a recycling junkie too. If it's made of paper or plastic, it's in the recycle bin in my household.

Amy - DocuSign Amy. According to those who've used it, it's pretty user friendly.

Claude - I used to live in Jacksonville, FL. On one side of me was a paper mill. On the other was a coffee packaging plant. Depending on which way the wind was blowing could be the difference between having a good day or not!

Richard - Until we all do our part, the wave of paper will never end.


Feb 24, 2011 04:31 AM #23
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

Toula - Agreed Toula. We all need to sign on in this effort!

Jane - Oh Jane. You have so much more on me than you could ever imagine.

Don - Get on it Don or your children and their children will only be able to read about trees in books!

Ed - Yeah, I don't deal with as many mature people as you do!!!

Joan - Good job Joan! We all need to do our part. Printer ink per gallon is more expensive than oil!

Elyse - It seems we all have desks that look like this one!

Marc - I'm doing as much as I can and yet there's still room for improvement.

Feb 24, 2011 04:37 AM #24
Amy Hahn
Pine Knoll Shores Realty - Morehead City, NC
Realtor/Broker - Crystal Coast, NC

Thanks Craig - Docusign seems to be the most popular.  We are looking into it, but were concerned...we have lots of "Not so techy" Clients).   Guess we are just gonna have to break down and try it!

Feb 24, 2011 10:39 PM #25
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

Amy - That's the problem with electronic signatures. You have to be pretty fluent in Computer-ese or it just won't work out.

Feb 25, 2011 03:35 AM #26
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Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor
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