The Real Estate market is witnessing a movement—the standardization on DocuSign as the tool for executing contracts online! After using DocuSign, clients are reporting that they never want to touch a fax again, resulting in REALTORS® signing up by the thousands each month!
DocuSign has been tailoring its solution to the market longer than anyone else by integrating with leading real estate technology providers. This market has taught us that a tool to execute contracts for real estate transactions must be powerful AND easy to use. The result of all this effort? The rapid adoption of DocuSign by the real estate industry.
This document looks at the reasons why DocuSign was chosen as the industry standard and why DocuSign is the exclusive and official eSignature provider for the members of the National Association of REALTORS®—who want to do business faster, provide better customer service, and create customers for life.
What other options does a Real Estate Professional have?
Clearly the most widely used alternative to DocuSign is the fax machine. In real estate, forms need to be signed quickly, often during the same day, and other options are too slow for many of these transactions. Fax Machine—An era who’s time is ending
Real Estate professionals have been using fax machines for the past 15 years. In fact, Real Estate drives a significant portion of the overall fax marketplace with its huge volume of use. However, fax is inherently clumsy.
Here is a list of several issues with fax: 1. Your customers need a fax machine and most don’t have one. They have Internet access, but not fax. A recent survey indicated that while 90% percent of homebuyers have internet at home, less than 10% have a fax machine. 2. You have to be physically near the machine to get or send a fax. 3. Fax legibility is not good—pages go in tilted, upside down, etc. 4. Fax is not reliable for large documents—anyone handling a 30 page fax has probably had difficulty doing so. 5. A fax of a fax is hard to read, let alone the generation after that! 6. Getting multiple signatures requires multiple generations of fax and babysitting the process—if you need a husband and wife to sign an offer, and they work in different places, you had better get ready to spend some time on the phone and at a fax machine to get those signatures. 7. Fax is not green. It uses paper, toner, and electricity. 8. Fax is not secure and does not guarantee the signer signed. Anyone can pick up a fax off an office machine and unless you know what your customer’s signature looks like, you cannot be sure they signed it. We’ve decided to look past this small issue, but it scares the heck out of the compliance folks!
Despite these issues, fax has the benefit of being FAST. This is why Real Estate professionals used it in the past. Another perceived benefit is that Real Estate pros feel that fax is free. Anyone who thinks fax is free is forgetting the cost of the machine or online service, the time it takes to stuff documents, the hassle for the signers, and the endless chasing of the original. No, fax is not free. Fax costs are spread all across the transaction.
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Other ESIGN Tools – Not ready for prime time.
There are other ESIGN tools in the market besides DocuSign. They are typically a shadow of the DocuSign solution. But due to the success DocuSign has had, they are copying the DocuSign process where they can. However there are many things they can’t copy such as our investment in data centers, integration with key Real Estate tools, and a deep patent portfolio. No competitor comes close to the DocuSign solution, and no competitor has the R&D and product advancement track record DocuSign demonstrates.
Other ESIGN tools suffer from one or more of the following challenges: 1. Not ESIGN compliant. Amazing but true. Many of these other solutions leave out important things like the consumer consent process that renders any consumer transaction out of compliance with the Federal ESIGN act. Many do not actually allow the signer to adopt a signature that is specifically called out in the law. The last thing a Real Estate professional needs is to find out their contract is not valid! DocuSign exceeds the law and for that reason is why the National Association of REALTORS® chose to put their endorsement on DocuSign and not any other eSignature provider. 2. Not integrated into the key applications Real Estate professionals use. Other solutions are an afterthought. They do not work well with the key forms software Real Estate professionals use every day. 3. Cannot provide proper sequencing for a brokered transaction. Real Estate deals have a sequence that requires two, three, four, or more signatures in a certain order. Many of the other solutions cannot do this, or do it poorly with a simple you sign first or I sign first totally ignoring the fact that the contract is being signed by buyer, seller, Real Estate professionals, etc. 4. No support for In-Person signing. What happens when you are sitting with your customer and need a signature? What if one is next to you and the other is remote? Without in-person support you are pretty well stuck. 5. No exact signature placement. Strangely, many of the other so-called ESIGN tools do not put signatures on the dotted line. Nobody believes a contract is signed if the sign here:_____ line is blank. Those that DO allow you to place signatures in the dotted line do not allow you to create templates to do this quickly. With DocuSign, you can place all the signatures in your most complicated Real Estate package with ONE CLICK. 6. Not a familiar process. Other ESIGN tools that just have you type in a box or use a digital certificate do not present a familiar interface that non-technical buyers can understand. Only DocuSign mirrors the familiar yellow stick-eTab process and makes signers comfortable. Others may copy this process, but DocuSign is clearly the leader. 7. No Authentication. Other tools lack the ability to apply authentication to the signing process, so you can ensure the signer is who they say they are. Without this option, you have no ability to be sure in times when you need to be. 8. Stray Marks in the Document. Other esign tools actually create marks in the margin, such as drawing a box around every page of your state form or tacking on a signature on the bottom of one of the pages. Real Estate professionals know the quickest way to get your documents rejected is to have a bunch of odd markings in the margin. 9. Not the recognized standard. DocuSign is the recognized standard in Real Estate. We’ve been chosen by the Nationals Association of REALTORS® as the standard. Our legal team works with important national regulatory bodies to ensure the solution is optimized for Real Estate. Others just do not make the cut.
This list of issues is why Real Estate professionals choose DocuSign when they decide to ‘cut the cord’ and move to ESIGN tools to help them close more business and improve customer satisfaction.
DocuSign—The Real Estate Professionals’s Choice
The comparison of the above other methods for getting documents signed shows why the real estate community chose DocuSign as their standard. DocuSign is just plain faster and more efficient than fax, and does not suffer from the major flaws that other ESIGN solutions demonstrate. 1. Faster than fax. It takes seconds, not hours or days. With DocuSign you can obtain signatures from multiple signers on the same document at the same time. Rather than waiting for the fax machine, send your agreement to husband, wife, and then CC the other agent. The second they sign the other agent gets the contract. If the other agent also uses DocuSign, they can complete it with the same speed. With DocuSign you will ALWAYS BE FASTER. And in a competitive situation this means MONEY. 2. More convenient than Fax. Now your clients can sign from home, from the road, from Starbucks! They will love you for it.
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3. Most familiar process for Signing. DocuSign knows that the document signing process must look familiar. Nobody else does it as well. 4. Most capable System. DocuSign provides you everything you need for even the most complicated transaction. Authentication, sequencing, control, and visibility. 5. DocuSign warrants our solution to be legally compliant with ESIGN. With DocuSign, you send with confidence— something no other vendor offers.
These key points make DocuSign the clear leader for the Real Estate market. These and many other reasons explain why so many Real Estate professionals blog about DocuSign, tell their customers about DocuSign, and why the word DocuSign is being used as a verb for electronic signature and online contract execution! You’ve probably heard it at conferences—you know, “Hold on, I need to get my buyer to DocuSign it so I can close this deal”.
With tens of thousands of Real Estate professionals using DocuSign now and growing at over 1,000 per month—you are cranking away even in a down time for this market!
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