If you've known me for a long time, then you probably know I am not a gadget geek. I do not own the latest greatest techno-toys and I don't buy the first release of anything. New gadgets and systems slow me down because I have to adjust, and I do not like slowing down... especially if I am going full speed and quite content. But, some things have an advantage that is so great, so obvious, so clear, that I think anyone who doesn't embrace it from the start is really shooting themselves in the foot. Docusign is one of those things.
Docusign is a web based program that allows electronic signatures. In most real estate transactions, it's perfectly acceptable, and the law has been adapted to ensure enforceability of electronically signed contracts. And, oy, it saves so much time.
I still know some agents that get every signature in person. I wonder how that is possible? Do they turn away clients who live far away?
Many agents are still stuck in the days of faxes... Faxes were "the thing" back in the early 90's (newsflash: that was TWENTY YEARS AGO). I can remember thinking "Wow, this makes things so much easier... No pony express or personal courier! Woo hoo!" And the speed of business got faster.
Then we started to use emails - and send documents that way... that happened not long after faxes became commonplace, and became the norm around the turn of the century. But, that still required an internet connection, email, a printer, paper, a pen (for signatures) and then either a fax or scanner so you could return the documents. Still, better than the pre-90s alternatives but "Pfft!".
Docusign has revolutionized the way I do business. It's the best money I have spent on my business. And, shockingly, most agents still haven't embraced it.
With Docusign, anyone with email can sign without printing the document... so no printer, paper, pen, scanner or fax machine are needed. Many people get emails on their phone and although proficiency with that still varies, some of my clients can sign a contract on their phone. But, whether using a laptop, iPad or phone, I have had people driving or flying cross country who have signed documents in a car, train, or airplane. No fuss, no muss. Presto magic their contract is ratified, their property sold, their dream home officially promised to them.
My clients LOVE it! LOVE, LOVE. It's the way business is done today. Real estate might be "local" but all the people aren't always local... and even if they are, compare the inefficiency of me driving to someone's home or office and waiting for them to be available, flipping through the papers to get a signature, then having to figure out how to get them a copy while I am there, and then driving back to the office or to someone else's office to facilitate getting it to the other party. We're talking hours. Now, contracts can literally be ratified in minutes.
I know of some other electronic signature options, although I understand they are more buggy than Docusign, and I don't want to fix what is working so well. (Remember how I said I hate slowing down to learn new stuff when I am running full speed? Still true.)
And last night I felt like a complete geek. It was Saturday night and I was excited about an upgrade to this program. I got an announcement from Docusign that more improvements are on their way, with 2 that make me particularly happy! MORE people will be able to use their phones to sign the documents thanks to some changes. There will also be a portal so clients don't even have to wait that extra 30 seconds for their email to come through - they can just log right in and sign docs the way I can. I am SO excited! :D
To agents reading this that haven't signed up - now's the time.
I have already gotten one client because of Docusign. They had an agent selling properties for them, and I presented an offer via Docusign. Because of the seller's schedule, the listing agent asked if I could send the contract to the seller via Docusign to sign, and of course I did. The contract ratified immediately. The seller, shortly thereafter, took the first out to pull the remaining listings from his then agent and asked me to list those properties....which I did. The seller simply said he needed someone who did business at his speed.
The rest of my clients didn't discover the beauty of Docusign until we were well within the process, but they love it and I get fabulous feedback. Even a 80 year old lady with limited techno-knowledge had no issues with signing via Docusign when she was contracting for a house in Virginia from her Texas home. None. She was thrilled when she did not need to buy another ream of paper and more ink for her printer, or wait on a Fed Ex package.
To potential buyers and sellers, here's your take away: I believe in old fashioned service, and that means delivering to clients the type of service that most benefits them. If you are not the jet setting kind, and you don't even really "get" email, then this may not be for you. Rest assured that I will happily meet you in person, and will always deliver the type of service that you want and need....but I will have a plethora of resources that I use so I can provide that service to you. And even YOU will benefit from Docusign. When I am not driving all over the region to get signatures from others, it means I will have time to to spend, face to face, with you.