Editor's note: More big companies, trade groups and entrepreneurs are investing in technology platforms, back-end systems and software to automate the real estate transaction, but most consumers are still closing deals the old-fashioned way. In this three-part series, Inman News eyes progress on the paperless front. (See Part 2, "Real estate plays catch-up with e-signatures," and Part 3, "Standards, regulation in place for electronic closings." "It's about as complicated as peace in the Middle East," is how one industry leader described digitizing the paper-laden real estate transaction. But thanks to a load of new technologies, some push from organizations within the industry and a group of forward-looking brokers who are gung-ho to try new methods, the paperless idea is spreading in practice. Two and a half years ago, Rick Dubord began testing a transaction management system that would enable his agents to update transactions from virtually anywhere. He had the technology custom bui...
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