Do your agents have clients sign documents the traditional paper way?
While pen and paper signatures used to be the standard, eSigning is now the client preferred way to sign real estate documents.
eSignatures are legally binding in all 50 states.
And, it’s easier, faster, and more convenient.
So, why aren’t your agents using the best eSignature technology to create a great client experience?
If you’re unsure whether eSignature is right for your brokerage, you’re in the right place. In this post, we’ll cover what eSignatures are, why your clients should use them, and how to implement them. To get started, let’s look at what eSigning is.
What Are eSignatures?
eSignatures are, as the name suggests, electronic signatures. An eSignature is a sound, symbol, or process attached to a digital contract. It signifies the signer’s acceptance of the contract. So, eSignatures are much like a pen and paper signature – only for a digital document.
And, thanks to federal legislation, eSignatures are legally valid in every state. In 1999, the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) granted electronic signatures the same validity as ink signatures. However, each state had to adopt the legislation. Most states adopted the act. But, eSignature legality wasn’t uniform across every state.
In 2000, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act recognized eSignatures as valid nationally and internationally. This act standardized eSignature legality. So, now, eSignatures are legal at the national level and in every state.
So, any documents clients and your agents eSign are just as legally valid as ink signatures.
Why Should Clients eSign Documents?
While eSignatures and ink signatures carry the same legal weight, eSigning real estate transactions has distinct advantages for clients. Here are the top advantages:
One reason your clients should eSign documents is that it’s faster.
Clients don’t want to wait on agents to find and print the right documents to fax them. Or, worse, go back and forth to set a meeting time. Instead, clients can eSign documents as soon as your agents prepare them.
eSigning also saves time for your agents. With the right eSigning software, you can upload your own form templates or use state templates already in the software. So, your agents simply have to fill out a form – instead of spending time hunting down the right one.
And, some eSignature software can auto-populate these forms with info like sales price, location, and more. That way, your agents don’t have to waste time tracking down the right info.
Speeding up the real estate transaction allows your agents to close more deals. And, it can help clients get their offer in before other buyers, which is a win.
2. Sign from Anywhere
Another advantage to eSignatures is being able to sign documents from anywhere.
Clients don’t have to travel to a meeting place or have a fax machine to sign their documents. Instead, they can sign them anywhere. And, from any device – like their phone, tablet, or laptop. This convenience makes the real estate process less stressful for clients.
And, agents also benefit from being able to sign documents from anywhere. Your agents are always on the go. So, it doesn’t make sense to make them come to the office to sign documents. With eSignatures, your agents can sign documents from anywhere. This allows them to spend more time on revenue-producing activities.
3. More Secure
Your clients should also eSign documents because they offer more security.
While it may seem easy to tamper with eSignatures, the right eSignature software has a variety of security precautions in place. Every document that’s eSigned has security measures like a timestamp, secure signature ID, and package verification code. This makes it difficult for someone to alter eSigned documents without leaving a digital “paper” trail.
All of these measures mean eSigned documents are more secure than ink signed documents. It’s easy for paper documents to be misplaced or fall into the wrong hands. With eSignatures, you and your clients don’t have to worry about that. Instead, you know client docs are safely stored in the cloud.
4. Easier to Correct Mistakes
You hope your agents prepare and get documents signed correctly the first time. However, even the best agents make mistakes.
But, with paper documents, mistakes mean your agents and their clients have to go
through the whole document signing process again. This is time-consuming for your agents. And, it prevents them from focusing on value-adding activities. Plus, it can be frustrating for clients, which can hurt your reputation.
With eSigned documents, your agents don’t have to scrap documents with mistakes. Instead, they can edit the document digitally. While clients have to sign off on the document again, this digital process is much less time-consuming. So, your agents have more time to work with clients. And, their clients have a better experience – leading to more referrals and business.
5. Simpler Progress Tracking
Getting documents signed is a complicated process. With so many moving parts, it’s easy for your agents to forget crucial steps along the way. Or, forget to document everything after the transaction. This not only causes headaches for you. It can also cause problems for their clients.
Instead of expecting your agents to manage the whole process manually, you can use eSignature tech with progress tracking. Some eSignature software has checklists of steps your agents have to complete before moving onto the next step. And, this software can show you, your agents, and their clients which stage documents are in.
This transparency creates a better client experience. And, it helps you ensure your agents are doing everything properly and staying compliant. That way, you know your agents are doing right by their clients and upholding your brokerage reputation.
What Should I Look for in eSignature Software?
eSigning real estate documents offer numerous advantages to you, your agents, and their clients. But, you’ll only see those benefits if you choose the right eSignature software. Here are the essential features you should look for in eSignature software:
Your eSignature software should integrate with your transaction management software at the very least. But, ideally, eSignature tech should be a native part of your transaction management software and your entire back office.
When preparing eSignature documents, your agents need transaction data. If your eSignature software isn't built in to your transaction management system, or at least integrate with your back office software, your agents will have to manually find the right data. And, enter it correctly into the eSignature documents. This is not only a time suck for your agents. It also increases the likelihood of errors along the way.
So, you need to look for eSignature software that can read your transaction data. And, that can put the data in the right place on your eSignature documents.
While good integration is a start, an even better solution is choosing a complete back office platform with eSignature functionality. That way, your data can flow seamlessly between your eSignature tech – making the process easier and faster for your agents.
One of the advantages of eSignatures is mobility. With this tech, clients can sign documents from anywhere.
However, if your eSignature tech isn’t cloud-based, you lose out on that mobility. Legacy eSignature tech can be desktop-based. So, to eSign the documents, you have to be at a specific computer. This means both your agents and their clients have to come to your office to eSign documents.
To maximize eSignature mobility, you need cloud-based tech. That way, documents are stored in the cloud. And, your agents and clients can access that cloud from anywhere on any device.
Easy to Use
You should also look for eSignature software that’s easy to use. eSignatures can be less complicated than ink signatures. But, that’s only with the right tech.
Legacy software can make eSigning documents just as clunky and complicated as ink signing them. With a complicated and hard-to-navigate user interface, it can be challenging for your agents to prepare documents. And, for clients to know where and how to sign them.
So, you need eSignature tech that has a streamlined and modern user interface. That way, it’s easy for your agents to learn how to use it. And, clients have a good user experience.
Wrapping It Up
eSigning documents isn’t new. However, pandemic restrictions and safety concerns have popularized eSigning real estate documents. Clients now expect the ease and convenience of eSigning documents.
So, if you don’t have modern eSignature technology, you’re creating a subpar client experience. Both agents and clients might consider leaving your brokerage for a more modern one because of this.
But, it’s not too late to adopt eSignature technology. And, the right eSignature software can give you an advantage over your competitors.
If you’re looking for best-in-class eSignature tech for residential real estate brokerages, consider Brokermint. A modern, complete, cloud-based back office platform, Brokermint has everything you need to run your back office. And, Brokermint eSignature is built into the platform. So, your data seamlessly flows between transaction management, eSigned documents, accounting, and more.
Book your demo today to see how Brokermint eSignature can help you offer a great client experience.
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