How many boxes of old files do you have sitting in your basement, garage, office, attic, storage building, or in the trunk of your car. For those of us in the real estate business, we are told to hang on to all of our files for a minimum number of years. Well, if you have been in the business awhile, the boxes pile up. Once in awhile you even have to go back through them to find a document that a client needs and can't seem to locate.
Do you want a better way of handling this conglomerate of old paperwork? Scan it. Something I started doing a couple of years ago. After a deal would close, I would scan every bit of paper related to that sale into a .pdf file and save it to my computer. At the end of the year, I will take the folder with the years sales and save it to a CD. Some of the benefits of doing this are, it makes it very easy at the end of the year to print-out and send copies of the clients HUD-1 to them for the purpose of tax preparation. It also saves a ton of space. If a client should call and say they need a copy of the survey that they can't find, I can locate it in a matter of minutes and print it or e-mail it to them.
Once I have everything saved, I generally only save the paper files for 3 years before having them shredded to protect any personal information that is contained in the file. Using the office scanner makes the task very easy and takes very little time.
So if you want to make your life and business a little simpler and more efficient, Scan away. You can even send your client a CD with all the paperwork related to their real estate transaction and they will love you for it.
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