Paper vs. electronic copy

Real Estate Agent with MB/Priority Properties, Inc.


Have you tried to go green but just couldn't quite make yourself stop printing paper?  These thoughts run through my head every work day.  I say, "Do I really need to print this out?  Or should I save some money and time by "going green"?

I got the green bug several years ago when after every closing,  I would have to print out the entire file and give the paperwork to the office  sectretary.  She would review the file before cutting me a check.  That little event cost me in copy-fees at the office!  In addition to the time I spent printing and organizing.  I thought that as they were already getting enough of my money in commission split, I didn't want to spend any more.  I then developed putting all the files on a disk.  She could view them on her computer and file my tiny little disk in one of those big Legal sized files.  So then the seed of going green started to grow.  


When I used to take a buyer out, I would print out a copy for them with all the information on each property, minus the agent information.  Then I would print a duplicate set for me to refer to during the showings.  I would then call and set up the showing and write the lockbox code and any othe pertinent information on the top corner of my copy.  

Now when I take a buyer out, I email me a pdf of the homes we are going to see.  I bring it up on my Ipad before I leave the house and wifi.  Then, while I'm driving to the next home, the client are reading all about the next house.  I take the Ipad in the house with me so if they want to know what year, or how much, or does it include "?", I can instantly view my electronic version.  Then at the end of our day, we talk about which ones they liked and I email them again to the client so they can remember which ones they liked best.  (Of course in this market you just pick one and it's the one I write an offer on that night!) 

I have also electronic-sized my listing presentation, but I do print out some paper to leave behind.  One is the comps, then an article on how to get your house ready for sale, and of course a bio of me.  

                    Image result for free pic of cd disk      After closings, I still turn in a disk, but I have an idential file on my laptop hard drive and in My Cloud.  Have you ever heard of MY CLOUD?   It is a physical box that you can load data on like a backup hard drive.   The cool thing is that you can access it from any device as long as you have wifi.  I needed an HVAC receipt once at a closing.  I just used my phone to bring up my drive and email the receipt copy to the closer to print it out.  I think you can do the same with ICloud, but I know I've already exceeded my "free" capacity.  Also, MyCloud is password protected and only I can see the data.  I like that better.                               

This is my MyCloud that holds 2 TB

What do you guys do?  Let me know what you've done to try to go "green"!

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8101 E Belleview Ave., #F

Denver, CO  80237

cell: 303-522-8364

office: 303-796-7000

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Comments (8)

Craig Cooper
Chase International Real Estate - Tahoe City, CA
Creating-Preserving-Growing Wealth in Real Estate

Deb, our office has been paperless for several years now with the occasional exception of a listing printed for a client. With all of the services available to write and sign contracts, and to retrieve and store documents, there is no longer much need to print. It makes good sense for you to make that step and you will be well organized and have no unusual concerns. 

Feb 28, 2016 04:09 PM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Deb Kirschbaum We are all paperless, although due to clients' in ability to cope with electronic documents, at times we have had to print them. Once signed, they are re-scanned into our Skyslope Sysytem.

Feb 28, 2016 08:13 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Deb, great post, and as hard as we try to go green, I still do print out listings, as I have had problems with connectivity in some areas.    You are better than I am on this!  

Feb 28, 2016 11:14 PM
Deb Kirschbaum
MB/Priority Properties, Inc. - Denver, CO

Joan, I think its just harder for some to let go of the paper.  It was difficult for me too.  You are Ms. Technology....try it a few times and you'll see it's not so bad!  As for connectivity - that is why I send them to me in a pdf report.  I then open that report before I leave my wifi.  That way it is already open for my clients or myself to read without wifi.  I must admit that reading the MLS listing on my tiny phone is not as easy as glancing at the paper, but I explain to the client that I'm going green and they are supportive and patient for the information.  The Ipad is easier to read.

Feb 29, 2016 12:42 AM
Joyce Marie Marsh
Joyce Marsh Real Estate LLC - Ormond Beach, FL
Luxury & Ocean Homes in Central Florida

Thanks for the push to go greener and I really appreciate your suggestions and tips. Walking me through how you handle various scenarios was very interesting and helpful. Thank you also for following my blog, I really appreciate that and hope you will enjoy reading and connecting.

Feb 29, 2016 01:44 PM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Deb Kirschbaum Thanks for the tips on going green. We made our "default" printer "save to PDF" to prevent inadvertent paper printing  - we are now "following" you!


Apr 11, 2016 01:58 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@Properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

First of all, if you have a broker who charges copy fees, you need to find a new one that doesn't nickel and dime you to death!  And I am with you about the paper thing - and like you, the iPad is just wonderful for saving paper.  

May 19, 2016 10:54 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

     My computer died earlier this week.  The task of backing everything up from Seagate external drive, assorted DVD's, and cloud platforms (including email folders) is stupendous.

     But the one thing that I should have written on paper is the PASSWORDS for the dozens of websites that I access.  I am locked out of numerous sites, including one of my bank accounts.

     Security people warned me never to use one of those Password Storage sites (they get hacked).  I've been taught never to write them down (like putting your PIN number on a post-it note on the back of your ATM card).   But in the future, all passwords are going to be typed onto a master page.  I will hide it in a favorite book or somewhere.

May 19, 2016 11:36 AM