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Everything You Need to Know About eSignature for Real Estate

Real Estate Back Office n

Does your brokerage use eSignature?

Closeup of womans hand writing on paper-2eSigning documents is faster, easier, and more convenient than signing with traditional signatures. And, eSignatures provide the seamless digital experience clients expect. It’s no surprise, then, that eSignatures are increasingly popular and becoming the norm in real estate.

While you’ve probably used eSignatures before, you might still have questions – like are eSignatures secure? Do eSignatures carry the same legal weight as traditional signatures? Or, what eSignature platform is right for my brokerage?

We’ll answer all those questions and more in this post. Before diving into common questions, let’s take a look at what exactly eSignatures are.

What are eSignatures?

eSignatures are an electronic version of a traditional paper signature. With an eSignature, the signer attaches a sound, symbol, or process to a digital contract. Once this digital signature is in place, the person signing has accepted the terms of the contract. eSignatures are just like ink signatures, only digital.

How does eSignature work?

eSigning generally requires eSignature software. Whether it’s standalone or part of a complete back office platform, you need the right eSignature software to create and sign eSignature documents.

After choosing your eSignature software, you can then create a digital document. In this document, you place eSignature fields anywhere you want the document signed. These fields allow people signing to place their signature in the document.

Once you’ve placed all eSignature fields, you can then send the document to the signers (like clients or other agents). The signer can then sign the document anywhere, anytime, and from almost any device.

You’ll get a notification once the document has been signed by everyone. Then, you can send the eSigned document to anyone else who needs it. Some eSignature software can also automatically save the document on the cloud. That way, you can find the document quickly when you need it again.

Do eSignatures carry the same legal weight as ink signatures?

eSignatures do carry the same legal weight as ink signatures due to federal legislation.

The Uniform Electronic Transmission Act (UETA) was passed in 1999. This legislation granted eSignatures the same legal validity as paper signatures. However, the UETA required each state to adopt the legislation for eSignatures to be valid in that state. Most, but not all, states adopted this legislation.

In 2000, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act was passed. It standardized eSignatures and recognized eSigning as valid nationally and internationally. Thanks to this act, eSignatures carry the same legal weight as ink signatures nationally and in every state.

Are eSignatures secure?

businessman hand show 3d cloud icon with padlock as Internet security online business concept-1Since eSignatures are digital, you might think they’re easy to tamper with. After all, it can’t be that hard to forge someone’s digital signature, right?

The good news is that it’s often harder to tamper with eSignatures than with ink signatures. The right eSignature software will have a variety of security features, like a timestamp, secure signature ID, and package verification code. This makes it difficult for someone to tamper with an eSigned document without leaving a trail.

Paper documents are easy to misplace or lose. Someone can also easily take documents and alter them without anyone noticing. That’s not the case with eSigned documents. With the right security features, eSigned documents are even more secure than traditional paper documents.

What are the benefits of eSignature?

eSignature offers benefits to your brokerage, agents, and clients. Here are the top benefits of eSignature:

More convenient

One major benefit of eSignature is that it’s more convenient. Clients don’t have to find a time to meet with agents to sign paper documents. Instead, they can sign from anywhere, anytime, on almost any device.

eSignatures are also more convenient for your agents. With everything they have to do each day, agents don’t have time to meet in person with clients every time something needs to be signed. Your agents can simply send over documents with eSignature, freeing them up to focus on higher-value tasks.

Faster

eSignatures are also faster than traditional ink signatures. With traditional paper documents, you have to create the document, print it out, take it to clients to sign, bring it back to the office, and scan it or ship it. If you make any mistakes, you have to do the whole process over again – wasting hours or days.

With eSignature, you simply create an eSignature document and send it to be signed. Once it’s signed, you then send it where it needs to go. This digital process can save days or weeks when compared to traditional signatures. Your team can close more deals and process transactions faster with eSignature – leading to increased brokerage growth.

Better organization

Another benefit of eSignatures is improved organization. Traditional signatures create a lot of paper documents. To store these documents, you can shove them in filing cabinets, pile them on desks, or spend time scanning them. These low-tech storage methods can be a struggle to organize. This makes it hard to find what you need when you need it.

The right eSignature software should have centralized, cloud-based document storage. When you create an eSignature document, the software automatically stores it on the cloud. Then, when you need to find a document, you know exactly where to look. Plus, you can access your documents from any device with cloud-based storage.

Cut costs

Along with better organization, eSignatures can save your brokerage money. Traditional ink signatures require paper, ink, printers, scanners, shipping, and more. All of these supplies can add up over time – costing your brokerage thousands.

With eSignatures, all you need is eSignature software and a computer or mobile device. This allows you to eliminate the costs involved in printing, signing, shipping, and storing paper documents.

How can I implement eSignatures?

To implement eSignatures for your brokerage, you need eSignature software. You have two main choices for this software – standalone eSignature software or a complete back office platform with built-in eSignatures.

Standalone eSignature software

Standalone eSignature software only deals with eSignatures. All you can do in the software is create eSignature documents and get them signed.

The main drawback to standalone eSignature software is that it can’t pull info from your other back office systems. If you need transaction details, accounting data, or any other back office information, your team has to manually find and enter that data. Manual data entry is time-consuming and error-prone – leading to more work for your team.

Complete back office platform with built-in eSignatures

double exposure of business documents on office table with laptop computer and man working in the background and social network diagramYour other option for eSignatures is a complete back office platform with built-in eSignatures. A complete back office platform will have modules to manage every area of your back office – like transaction management, accounting, commission calculation, reporting, and more. This software will also have eSignature document creation and eSigning built-in.

With built-in eSignatures, all the data needed to create an eSignature document already exists in your eSignature software. Your team doesn’t have to spend time manually pulling and entering relevant data. Instead, the software can find and enter data for your team. This saves time and frees your team up to manage more transactions – helping your brokerage grow.

Wrapping it up

eSignatures can save time, cut costs, improve organization, and help you improve your client experience. Plus, eSignatures carry the same legal weight as traditional ink signatures. And, eSignatures are more secure than paper signatures.

While you could go with a standalone eSignature solution, a better option is a complete back office platform with built-in eSignatures. A complete back office platform can save time, reduce errors, and help your team manage more transactions.

If you’re looking for the best back office platform with built-in eSignatures, Brokermint is the way to go. Brokermint has built-in eSignature functionality, making it easy to create, sign, and send eSignature documents.

Along with built-in eSignatures, Brokermint also has five back office modules – transaction management, commission automation, accounting, agent management, and reporting and analytics. Brokermint’s easy-to-use, complete, cloud-based back office platform has everything you need to streamline your back office.

Book your Brokermint demo today to see how the right eSignature software can help your brokerage thrive.