Yes, I Scan and so Scan You!

By
Real Estate Agent with Prudential Patterson Realtors

Document ScannerHow 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.

                       3 Cd's    - OR -     Boxes of files 

 

                                                                  You Decide!

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Ambassador
442,125
Susan Goulding
Crown Key Realty, Tracy & Mountain House Real Estate - Tracy, CA
Northern CA - Tracy & Mountain House Real Estate

Do you use a special kind of scanner?  I fax paper to myself and keep a PDF file ----

 How long does it take you scan everything.

Susan Goulding
Keller Williams
Tracy CA

Feb 28, 2008 05:03 PM #1
Rainer
20,396
Mike Gambino
Prudential Patterson Realtors - Florissant, MO
GRI

Susan,

With the office scanner it is as fast as making copies without having to wait for the copy to come out.  I have had over 70 pages scanned into a .pdf file in under 1 minute.  I think the model the office has is a Ikon or Ricoh.  Not really sure, but it is a commercial color printer/photocopier/scanner.  I really like the ability to scan in color especially for home inspection reports and surveys due to the replication of pictures.

Feb 28, 2008 05:14 PM #2
Rainmaker
1,004,473
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate
Susan:  I would guess that what you are doing works just as well.  Hey, if it works... keep doing it.  Take care.
Feb 28, 2008 05:14 PM #3
Ambassador
1,721,152
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

So, you scan everything and then still keep the papers for 3 years? Do you have to keep it if scanned, and does scanning replaces keeping the paper?

 Obviously you have quite a scanner if you can scan 70 pages in one minute.

Feb 28, 2008 06:01 PM #4
Rainer
20,396
Mike Gambino
Prudential Patterson Realtors - Florissant, MO
GRI

Jon,

I generally keep the paper for 3 years, just in case.  In Missouri that is the length recommended that we save files.  I'm sure the paperless file would suffice, but old habits die hard.  I at one time had every file stored since being in the business.  11 years of closed files became a little overwhelming.

Feb 28, 2008 06:12 PM #5
Rainmaker
279,345
Todd and Danielle Millar
Glenn Simon Inc. - Edmonton, AB
Sixteen years of excellence!
70 pages in one minute is amazing my printer is at about 1 page in 70 minutes! I need to upgrade.
Feb 28, 2008 08:43 PM #6
Rainmaker
314,256
Carol Culkin
Reece & Nichols - Leawood, KS
Overland Park
Seems like a good system, I have relo files though and these are pretty thick. Thanks for some food for thought.
Feb 29, 2008 07:48 AM #7
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Rainer
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Mike Gambino

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