I entitled this post "Welcome To The 20th Century" for a reason, its because I can't believe how many agents I run across who are still firmly mired in the functional equivalent of the 19th, the fax machine.
Come on folks, fax machines were cutting edge technology and truly have revolutionized how business is done. But don't you think it might be time to step up to the newer, better, faster, cheaper and easier to read .pdf? Everyone has (or darn well should have) an email address. And, everyone has (or, again darn well should have) a computer and a printer. Of course if you don't have computer then I really am wondering how you are reading this, and if you don't have a printer to go with it, how do you print off your coupons for Borders?
I just recently submitted an offer for a hotly contested REO (aren't they all) and because the agent only offered a fax number I had to send it that way. Now, I have been known to drive my offers to an agents office, but as seems to be the way of the world nowadays, this is a seriously out of area agent and I wanted to get my client's offer in theoretically faster.
I say "theoretically" because, despite my burning the midnight (OK it was more like the 10:45 PM, so sue me :-) oil, and despite my sending all 32 pages (none of that "just send the 8 page contract" bunk for me, you may not want to see them all, but by gosh I'm going to send them, because our contract here in California hasn't been only 8 pages for decades) and waiting around to receive my confirmation that all went through, on my end with nary an error, I came to find out that the listing agent "never received it".
Well, it darn tootin' went through and it turned out that they got "part of something that looked like an offer" but they didn't know what it was for or who it was from so they just threw it away. It sure is a shame that WinForms doesn't put footers on the contracts that we print out which have the originating agents info on them... Oh, wait... they do... oops, my bad :-).
The upshot of it all was that instead of getting my client's offer in first and having it taking pride of place in the beginning of the que, we were dead last to have our info arrive. By the time they finally got the offer they had already sent the "first" group off to the bank.
On the other side of the coin, I have received offers on my own listings from agents who "don't use email and don't have a scanner" that were blotchy to the point of resembling a Rorschach test. Now, seriously, how am I supposed to present an offer to my client when I can't read the boiler plate let alone the amount and the terms. And don't even get me started on the folks who are still using the triplicate forms - what the heck's that about anyway?
Not only is sending and receiving information via email easy to do, it truly doesn't require any equipment that an agent or brokerage working in today's market shouldn't already possess. All in one printers are easy to use, easy to find and downright cheap. And email is free.
If you are worried about receiving spam in your personal email, I have a quick and easy fix for that one, don't use your personal email. Set up a business account and only use that address for business related correspondence. Yes, you will still get the occasional offer to help some poor Prince in Nigeria steal some dead guy's money before his corrupt government steals it first, but the "delete" button is easy to use and downright cathartic. If only all problems could be dealt with so swiftly!
Please folks, when you think of .PDF try thinking of it as "Please Don't Fax". Embrace the 20th Century, there's a whole lot of good stuff here (Be sure to check out the little glass fronted boxes with pretty pictures inside - we call them "TV's"), and when you're ready, take the leap into the 21st. Trust me, the water's fine.
Take care all, help lots of people and have a wonderful day!