Old habits are hard to break. If you’re an agent or broker that still favors paper and ink, then you might have some misconceptions about this modern time-saving technology that has been holding you back. Once you understand the advantages of eSigning – what it can mean to you, your business and especially your customer experience – you’ll not only become a user, but also maybe even an advocate.

Benefits for agents and clients

Is there anything more frustrating to an agent than discovering a crucial document is missing a signature? Let’s face it: despite advances in technology over the last couple of decades, it seems we have more forms that need signing and more documents that require disclosure to clients. This means we need more signatures in more places. The risk of missing a signature has probably never been greater, and that’s where the number one benefit of eSigning shines:

Benefit #1: eSigning makes sure you never miss a signature again

No more scrambling to get that missing signature. With Form Simplicity from Florida Realtors® with eSign, the document can’t be finalized until every client digital signature and initial field is complete. That’s the cool thing about computers: they are smarter than humans when it comes to tasks like these and won’t let you make a mistake. It walks you through page-by-page to make sure you sign exactly where you need to and flags any missed signature before it ever lets you save or send a file.

And it’s hard enough trying to chase down all the documentation in a transaction to begin with, right? That’s another big benefit that eSigning gives agents: less chasing around town and a lot less time and expense sending out documents via mail and FedEx. No more stamps to stick or packages to drop off. That’s big benefit number two for eSigning:

Benefit #2: eSigning saves agents and clients time and money

Ever work with clients that have crazy schedules that don’t match? Every day? Well, that’s another huge benefit to eSigning: not everyone has to be in the same room at the same time. And the convenience of signing remotely scores you brownie points with your clients. Often, they won’t have to even leave their office. You can email them documents for their signature to two separate emails because they are in two separate places, right? They can sign at two separate times and you will still have everything you need. That’s a huge third benefit:

Benefit #3: Remote eSigning lets your clients sign when they want, where they want

Clients can sign documents on their mobile phones, on a tablet or laptop on the go, or on their desktop computer at home – just about any place with an Internet connection.

Then there is the big fourth benefit for you, and that’s what protects you and reduces your liability: the terrific security of eSigning. It is just too easy to forge paper documents and signatures, but with eSigning, the security level is on par with what federal banks use for cyber security. There is a very tightly documented “digital chain of custody” so the documents – and you – are protected. They are protected to reveal if they have been tampered with. And for compliance purposes, they provide a clear audit trail so you and your client can see with every document who did what and when.

Because they are so well encrypted, they are as likely to be hacked as your safety deposit box is likely to be stolen from your bank’s vault. The safety and security surrounding eSigning has never been better. Knowing that they are not only in full compliance with the law and rules and regulations of their trade, but are doing a superb job of protecting their clients’ privacy and financial safety, should give every agent peace of mind.  Buying or selling a home is already one of the most stressful events in a person’s life.  By taking the worry out of losing signed documents and reducing the risk of potential nefarious activity, it should also put your client’s mind at ease. That’s big benefit number four:

Benefit #4: eSigning makes transactions safer and more secure

In the end, eSigning is more than just Earth-friendly: it makes transactions go faster, smoother and even safer. It saves you, the agent or broker, and your clients, time and money. And most importantly, it’s just a better way of doing business—and a digital pen will never ruin anyone’s shirt.

Real estate consept : Businessman touching the screen about real estate

In Part Two of this two-part series that looks at how electronic signatures work inside a transaction management solution, Tricia Stamper of Florida Realtors shows what the signature experience looks like from a home buyer or seller’s point-of-view.

One of the most powerful ways to quickly engage a new client is to show them something that will “wow” them. Digital signing can have that “wow” factor, particularly with home buyers and sellers who are used to signing paper real estate documents. The fact is, the more experienced your client is with a standard, paper-filled real estate transaction, the more they are going to appreciate – and be delighted with – the digital signing process.

And that’s a big misnomer in real estate: that somehow, your clients have to be tech-savvy to want to sign documents digitally. The only real impediment is not technology. The real barrier is the resistance we all have to doing something that we have never done before: the fear of the unknown. But if you show your clients what the digital signing process is like, and explain the incredible benefits it provides for them, you will find that every one of your customers, no matter what age or level of experience with new technology. In fact, digital signing is no longer considered a nice feature to offer. It has become so pervasive that buyers and sellers are expecting their agents to make it available to them, and not just Millennials.

Let’s look at how digital signing works for the consumer using Form Simplicity, a leading transaction management program that is Realtor-created and supported. The move towards a paperless transaction with Form Simplicity helps unlock the chains that keep agents tied to their desktop computers by giving agents access to all their documents from anywhere with Internet connection, anytime. With eSign built-in, Form Simplicity demonstrably improves the customer signing experience. Digital signing reduces both the time to sign and the number of errors. It eliminates the 11th hour scramble to get a missing signature, an unpleasant experience that can frustrate you, your customer and be incredibly stressful. Continue reading

Businessman pressing contract on a digital screen, concept about agreement in business

In Part One of this two-part series in looking at how electronic signatures work inside a transaction management solution, Tricia Stamper of Florida Realtors shows what the experience looks like from an agent’s point of view. In Part Two, Stamper will show what the signature experience looks like from a clients’ point-of-view.

Going paperless is the fastest way for agents and brokers to improve their businesses, increase their profitability and give clients a better experience. Real estate is a mobile industry and agents are always on the go: in their home office, in their car, or meeting with clients at their home.

Today, by using a transaction management program such as Realtor-created and supported Form Simplicity, agents and brokers have the mobile tools to put contracts together anywhere. Agents are no longer chained to their desk and with Form Simplicity’s integration with eSign, electronic signatures can save every agent literally hours per transaction. That translates into increased profitability and productivity for agents.

Let’s first take a look at how easy and fast it is for an agent to use eSign technology, as shown inside Form Simplicity:

First, an agent can create an eSign session and quickly auto-populate their client information from the transaction contacts already inside Form Simplicity: (If the contact is not already in Form Simplicity, the agent can manually add them later in the process.)

esign1 Continue reading

person-woman-desk-laptopA little over 10 years ago, in January 2006, we were heading into a tumultuous housing market. But a few years before things got crazy, the Florida Realtors did something brilliant – it launched a new service for its members called Tech Helpline.

The concept for Tech Helpline was pretty straightforward. Technology tools for agents were coming to market at a rapid pace and many agents admitted to needing technology assistance. Just a year later, the first iPhone would be announced and that little computer-in-your-pocket ushered in a flurry of both opportunities and challenges for agents as it quickly became the smartphone of choice for most agents in our industry.

Florida Realtors saw the need to help provide a tech support service early on because it listened to its members. What was created with Tech Helpline was a kind of virtual “Genius Bar” for real estate agents, who could connect with a trained tech expert by dialing a toll-free number, opening up a chat window online, or simply shooting out an email if they had a less urgent question or need. The cost to the member: It was included as a member benefit, covered by their annual association dues. In other words, it didn’t cost them an extra dime. Continue reading

fl realtorsEvery great company has a unique story that outlines their beginnings, from a simple idea to a full-blown product serving people all over the world. Form Simplicity was developed and created by REALTORS®, with the intent to develop a software program that would eliminate paper transactions and be the optimal tool for specifically, real estate agents. Now, with the real estate transaction management market booming, and fiercely competitive, why should real estate agents continue to look to Form Simplicity? It’s simple, look at how our parent organization, Florida Realtors began.

Florida Relators is the largest trade association in the state of Florida, currently at more than 140,000 members. The association was created 100 years ago in 1915 and still remains one of the state’s strongest organizations today. The mission statement of Florida Realtors reads, “to advance Florida’s real estate industry by shaping public policy on real property issues; encouraging, promoting and teaching consistent standards for ethical practice and professionalism; and building on the efforts of local Boards/Associations to provide the information and tools members need to succeed.”

In 2010, Form Simplicity was in the process of being developed to give real estate agents a tool that not only catered to their business demands, but provided a user interface, and resources, to make the program easy to implement for members.  Using the innovative ideas of Florida Realtors’ members that embrace change, the development staff began executing those ideas. The hard work of the development team produced a product that was able to capture the attention of other associations, MLSs, and multiple brokerages nationwide and aid in hundreds of thousands of paperless real estate transactions.

When Form Simplicity first launched in January 2011, it provided, many appealing features for real estate agents with ever-changing contracts and sales occurring. Online tools to storage, auto populate contact information and a library of digital, up-to-date forms, were included in the impressive tools utilized by Form Simplicity users. While other software programs include similar features, it is important to note that Form Simplicity includes product design and user configurations designed specifically in mind for REALTORS® executing real estate contracts/sales.

Form Simplicity offers affordable plans to both brokerages and associations alike and keeps up on the latest technologies to continually improve user’s experience. Since 2010, Form Simplicity has launched many upgrades and resources to further help real estate agents learn the software, and make the process of utilizing it that much easier. Some additions include: email to transaction, broker compliance tools, SMS and KBA verification for eSign, a help center for agents to reference, a blog featuring the latest news in the industry/software updates, and eSign markup.

Florida Realtors offers a personal troubleshooting team to all Form Simplicity users at no extra expense, the Tech Helpline staff. A seasoned team of IT specialists, based at the Florida Realtors offices, with over twenty years in the business are at your service when you call with questions. The Tech Helpline offers solutions to Form Simplicity, user interface issues and troubleshoots for general computer questions. The mission is to allow REALTORS® to focus more time during their day on building and growing their business, not battling their computer.

In short, Form Simplicity provides a transaction solution service that has its’ fair share of competitors and market demand. What makes us different is our mission to provide tools to help REALTORS® succeed, our Tech Helpline support staff and our audience. We are an organization made of REALTORS® developing products to better serve the real estate industry. Form Simplicity is a technology that strives to utilize technology to better assist agents and brokers. Just like REALTORS® nationwide, our door is always open, to both changes and feedback from our most vital customer, the REALTOR®.