Documents, as secure as they may be in digital form, typically lose any digital security they have when printed out, which can spell trouble for all parties in a real estate transaction.
NuOffer, a real estate startup that streamlines the offer process by allowing agents to draft, sign and send an offer digitally, says it’s devised a way to keep security data associated with each document that’s handled by its platform tied to that document — even when it’s printed out. The company uses a QR code technology it’s developed and dubbed “Persistent Data Integrity.”
QR codes, a type of barcode, provide a unique visible pattern that can point users to other information when accessed by a smartphone or tablet’s camera.
NuOffer automatically logs metadata like offer terms, date, time and geolocation of users who’ve signed the document, “snapshots” of the document at the moment each person digitally signs it, and IP addresses of the devices used to sign the document. The metadata is stored with the document, and is accessible via a QR code that lives on the document itself.
That QR code allows users to access all the metadata NuOffer has gathered for a document whether it’s in digital or print form, a feature that makes the security system unique, NuOffer co-founder Imraan Ali told Inman News.
“It’s about securing data versus securing paper,” Ali said.
The PDI platform provides security for signatures by ensuring who, when, where and with what device signed the document. It also protects the document itself by creating digital reproductions at the time of different actions, and the metadata associated with the document.
NuOffer’s security system also ranks a document’s security with a number from one to 100. The higher the number, the more secure the document. The number is lower if users’ actions or other elements weaken a document’s security.
If a user denies access to their device’s geolocation, for example, or if their device’s time or date is off, that will be reflected in the document security number, said NuOffer co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Kevin Hincker.
NuOffer set out to create a secure system for its platform to help convince Realtor associations and multiple listing services that it provides a secure system for its users and can be trusted with the groups’ data, Ali said.
NuOffer is currently available as an iPad app in three Texas markets. Ali, who works as an agent in the Los Angeles area, said he hopes associations like the California Association of Realtors, which has cited security concerns as part of its justification for denying use of its real estate forms to other tech firms like dotloop, will take notice.
Security became a hot issue this past summer when transaction management platform dotloop made its frustration at not being able to license CAR’s forms public.
CAR CEO Joel Singer said in July that the association denied dotloop access to its forms, in part, because of security concerns it had with the platform. The association also chose not to license its forms to dotloop or other tech providers because of an exclusive license it granted its wholly owned subsidiary, Real Estate Business Services Inc., which owns and runs zipLogix Inc., maker of a similar, competing platform zipForm.
The transaction management platform Cartavi, which was acquired by DocuSign last May, is close to deepening its integration with zipForm that will allow Cartavi users to fill out forms licensed to zipLogix within its platform using zipForm technology, Cartavi founder Glenn Shimkus told Inman News. In October, Cartavi announced an initial integration with zipForm that allows zipForm users to easily move completed documents between the platforms.
NuOffer, one of 13 companies to particiapte in Inman News’ real estate tech startup accelerator program, Inman Incubator, in 2013, currently integrates with three MLSs from Texas regional associations: the Houston Association of Realtors, the Austin Board of Realtors and Corpus Christi Association of Realtors.