Electronic signature technology takes customer service to new level

In today's market, quick collaboration means happy clients, happy agents

This post by Joe Manausa, real estate broker-owner, Century 21 Manausa and Associates in Tallahassee, Fla., was originally published on ActiveRain.

I remember when the top Realtors were “state of the art” because they used a fax machine, and it really did have a huge impact on our ability to communicate offers and contracts. But the job of a real estate agent requires coordinating among multiple people by printing, scanning, faxing and overnighting documents, and perhaps driving across town to get signatures.

Time image via Shutterstock.
Time image via Shutterstock.

Think of it. If a home is sold by a family to a family, then it might require six signatures to bring about the home sale (including the two real estate agents). Coordinating all parties has required a lot of effort in the past, and not just during the 9-to-5 hours that people would like to work.

But today, there are things happening that are reshaping our ability to serve our customer’s needs no matter the time or their present location.

Electronic documents

One primary role of your real estate agent is to facilitate collaboration — the ability to get six or more parties to communicate and come to terms on an agreement.

This would be no big deal if everybody were conveniently located, but homes are not sold in a conference room. With people going in multiple directions at all times, the solution in the past has been “pure hustle,” but today our agents are armed with a great enhancement.

At Century 21 Manausa and Associates, all of our agents are trained and use DocuSign, the industry-leading application for storing, managing and sharing documents all in one central location. Why does this matter? Simply put: customer service.

Here is an example:

Real estate technology enhances customer service

My wife, Michelle, is working with a buyer who needed to be in Jacksonville on Saturday but wanted to write an offer on a home she had seen.

To compound the scope of collaboration required, the listing agent was travelling and was in New York, and the seller was in Tallahassee at the Florida State University football game.

So Michelle wrote the offer and engaged DocuSign for electronic signatures.

In a matter of seconds, the offer went to our buyer in Jacksonville. She received it on her smartphone, initialed every page and signed it right from her phone.

Once ratified by the buyer, the offer immediately went to the listing agent who confirmed it in New York, and then allowed it to route to the seller who was leaving Doak Campbell Stadium. Once the seller accepted the offer with his smartphone from his car, the offer became a contract and was routed to both the listing agent and to Michelle.

Even though the agents and the principals in the transaction were not co-located, this great tool allowed a seller to sell a home and a buyer to buy a home.

Can you imagine how hard it would have been to bring this home sale together without DocuSign, even with the use of a fax machine?

Hustle and technology

I do not think the need for hustle will ever go away, as the best real estate agents work to get the job done for their customers.

You might think that this transaction could have waited until all parties were in town, but would our buyer have been able to get the house she wanted? Who knows. Fortunately for her, we hustled and our toolbox allowed her to get the house she wanted, when she wanted.