RALEIGH REAL ESTATE ~ TAKING THE PAPER OUT OF PAPERWORK

By
Real Estate Agent with Raleigh Cary Realty NC Broker #178638
https://activerain.com/droplet/HSv

BackAgent logo

Not all, but a lot of the paperwork that a real estate agent deals with has to do with contractual agreements. In case of a dispute, complaint, or lawsuit, these documents will be called for and scrutinized.  The agent, as well as the brokerage he or she works for, both have a vital interest in making sure these documents exist, are properly done,  and stored where they are accessible for several years, in case any questions come up.

In early 2011, my brokerage started using BackAgent, a web-based office system.  For the first time in my 14-year career, I didn't have to physically travel to my office and hand over my agency and contract paperwork as soon as my client went under contract. 

With BackAgent, I scan and save my documents. Then I upload them to the Raleigh Cary Realty BackAgent portal, which cleverly allows me to select individual pages for each document. So one document can be created from pages in different pdf files. The website has certain documents flagged as "Required" to move a transaction forward, but I can create additional documents as necessary.  I can save a copy of the survey, for example, or the buyer's prequal letter.

This system is in perfect synch with the way agents are moving documents around during a transaction these days.  There is no such thing as an "original"  any more.  I may never have a physical copy of the executed contract!  I receive it as a pdf which I forward it to the lender, the attorney, and my client via email.  At closing when I look in my file folder -- the executed contract isn't there!  It has taken me a while to feel comfortable not having a hard copy, but I know that I can log onto BackAgent and view the contract on my iPad, right at the closing table, should there be a need.

If, months or years later, someone needs a copy of a transaction document, I can access my list of closed transactions online and send a pdf copy straight from BackAgent to the person who needs it.  That's a lot easier than digging around in my files, printing out a copy, and putting it in the mail.

Sharing and storing transaction paperwork in digital form is a huge step toward a paperless office.  The trees can breathe easier.

My personal challenge is in the creation of those documents.   Although there are ways to fill them out on the computer and even get them signed on my clients' computers, I am still creating documents on paper and then having my clients print out and sign them.

My plan is to make my document creating and signing digital within the next year.  Even if that saves only a small tree, the Lorax will be pleased.

 

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Topic:
Real Estate Technology & Tools
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North Carolina Real Estate
Tags:
real estate tools
raleigh real estate
paperless office

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Ambassador
3,983,049
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Dianne, You are so far ahead of me and my company but I have set a goal that I will be mostly paperless by the end of the year.

Sep 18, 2012 02:53 AM #1
Rainmaker
442,659
Dianne Goode
Raleigh Cary Realty - Raleigh, NC
Realtor/Broker

Hi Debbie.  As I was writing this, I wasn't sure if it's now standard for most brokerages now have agents submit documents digitally, or if mine is ahead of the curve on this.  Clearly, it's the way to go.

Sep 18, 2012 08:32 PM #2
Rainmaker
2,020,022
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Southlake, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Dianne,

I have not heard of BackAgent but I'm going to do some research on it to see if I can get it, or if my office has it. It's worth exploring and it would sure make maintaining records a whole lot simplier.  I had to suggest this one because I just know, I can't be the only one who is surprised!

Sep 21, 2012 10:19 PM #3
Ambassador
1,470,825
Toni Weidman
Sailwinds Realty - Trinity, FL
20+ Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL

We used a program similar to that called AppFiles at the last agency I worked with. The new one doesn't have it but under my pleading they are looking at it :)

Suggested.

Sep 23, 2012 10:37 PM #4
Rainmaker
442,659
Dianne Goode
Raleigh Cary Realty - Raleigh, NC
Realtor/Broker

Patricia and Toni,  Do encourage your office managers to look at BackAgent.  I have no idea what it costs, but it's very well designed and easy to use.  In the Office section, our office administrators have copies of all the Real Estate Commission forms, so I just download and print what I need.  This is helpful because for a while the REC was changing the forms every six months!  Also in that section our Broker-in-Charge has posted other information we may need, like our tax number, our (whatever it's called) HUD number, and the office fax number.  

The biggest and best feature is the way BackAgent handles transaction documents.   Office administraors just log on, check the uploaded documents, and send the agent a notice that they've been approved, or not.  Access from any computer, no piles of papers to schlep and file.  Nice!

 

Sep 23, 2012 10:53 PM #5
Rainmaker
514,643
Elva Branson-Lee
Solid Source Realty GA - Atlanta, GA
CDPE - Atlanta Real Estate & Short Sale Agent

Dianne, you have a smart broker, who equips his team with smart tools. Lucky you.

Sep 26, 2012 11:31 AM #6
Rainmaker
442,659
Dianne Goode
Raleigh Cary Realty - Raleigh, NC
Realtor/Broker

Hi Elva, I agree!  Raleigh Cary Realty is an independent brokerage that has been steadily growing through the recession, when other companies have been losing agents.  We're doing something right!

Sep 26, 2012 10:01 PM #7
Rainer
23,853
Angela Shopper
Wingman Realty, LLC - Shawnee, KS
Never Buy Solo

I have been using BackAgent for over 5 years and have been a low maintenance client.  My payments are on auto-pay and I have rarely ever needed assistance.    BackAgent changed billing providers.  Users who were unable to figure out the login process to a 3rd party.  The login was not associated with BackAgent and instructions were not provided.  No phone calls or emails were sent with instructions.  If users couldn't or didn't complete the transition to the new billing provider they simply turned off your entire site to the entire brokerage.    Additionally - phone calls made were met with "that's not my department"   "I can't help you with that"  and "you have to call another phone number" (no transfer)  ... that number goes to a voicemail and those voicemails are not returned timely.  At the time of writing this I still have not received a return call.   Shutting down a brokerage's website without warning is bad, but not having anyone live to accept calls to remedy the situation is a FAIL.  - Angela Shopper

Sep 09, 2019 10:30 AM #8
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Rainmaker
442,659

Dianne Goode

Realtor/Broker
Contact me with questions -- I'm happy to help!
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