Living Off the Paper Trail is never easy at first. I ran my office much like any other in regards to keeping paper trails on every transaction. I would always end up with a huge box of miscellaneous papers to file and keep around the office for three years yet making sure to remove after the third year. When Active Rain had it's contest back early last year about being more paper saving I started noticing how much I reall used. Yikes! One deal that comes to mind was a relocation transaction involving a large real estate name. The contract was our usual six pages, our disclosures added five more but then came the addendum. One hundred pages of repetition. At least ten of those pages cautioned about the air quality of the home merely stating they had not lived there so they would not be held liable for mold odors. Reading it once would have worked but ok.... Of course my client wanted a copy of the transaction, as did the bank, the appraiser, myself and the other Broker. That's over a ream of paper for one transaction.
From that day forward we changed practices and started storing info on disc. If anyone wanted a copy, no worries we will email you one to electronically store or print if you need to see it on paper. We use DocUSign whenever possible and have switched over to using tablet pc's rather than printing out listings to throw away after showings. We have successfully cut our paper usage by two thirds and once we switched mindsets we became more efficient to boot. We now store everything digitally. We still have back ups stored on a huge removable hard drive should we need quick access to any past deals. I keep imagining how much difference it would make if all companies, not just real estate offices, switched over to a digital style of keeping records. I love knowing I can store what would have been two boxes full of docs on a disc that I can search in way less time. It does involve scanning and uploading and burning onto discs but in the long run we are all better off Living Off the Paper Trail. Best of luck in all you do and thanks for reading.