Going paperless has been a dream of mine ever since I saw a segment on Active Rain which demonstrated some software which incorporated a touch screen laptop and real estate software. Unfortunately the cost of the items was quite expensive as it was a new technology at that time.
Moving to Adobe Acrobat changed my use of paper tremendously. I now can create an electronic version of the contract to email to clients as well as receive an electronic file from them. I then transfer via email the documents to my office so that the only hard copy is the one the office manager prints out for the physical file. Acrobat allows me to have a paperless copy of the contract for my own files. I estimate that this reduces the total paper use by approximately 40-50%.
Moving forward, here is my plan for reducing the paper that I have even more. One of the features our MLS group has available is DocuSign which allow a buyer or seller to sign their documentation digitally as long as they have an email address. With digital signatures becoming a more accepted means of signing documentation, more people are willing to use it. Even some of my older clients who are not computer savvy seemed to do OK with the system, not to mention that it has saved time and gas going out to clients who are living far out of town.
My plan is to also incorporate my Android Tablet even more to save on paper. I currently use it to show listing prospects examples of my advertising rather than printing out physical copies. We all know those listing packages, eventually find their way to our clients trash can, which is a waste.
My goal is to find a software program that works in conjunction with my Android Tablet which allows me to use a pen stylus to get all signatures on a form with the ability to immediately email a copy of the signed agreement to the client. In this way, the only physical copies of the contract would be the one in the office file.