Brokers Staying Current: How to Move to a Paperless Contract

Real Estate is and industry chalk full of… paper usage. Even here in our office, we have a burn pile (in place of an unreliable shredder which always seems to break down) and recently we have started a recycling bin and those both fill up what seems like daily and that is not including the actual contract we are putting into our files and working with.  

Living and working in Bozeman, MT, there is an ever-present push to step away from this over consumption of paper and go green. This attitude directly contradicts the comfort that comes from having a hard copy of paper in a client’s hand as they sign to either purchase or list a home. So agents need to get creative and find the sweet spot between the two opposing goals.

Creative Transaction Management Platform:

Our Transaction Manager is responsible for the handling of all files from the moment the buy-sell is written to the time it closes. It is within this process where the bulk of the paperwork circulates. In order to simplify, streamline, and have optimized response time out Transaction Process fully implements the use of:  

-Cloud Storage: Our office is a small, local office and because of that we use google drive and storage when we have to transfer large amounts of information to one another. This is most effective when transferring large quantities of photos in the instances of site-unseen buyers, fully furnished dwellings, and even with final walk-throughs to verify the inspection notice action items have been mitigated.

-Authnti-Sign: When clients are not able to physically sign the initial or on-going in the process any amendments or addendums, authentic-sign is a highly user-friendly online signing system that carries the clout of a formal signature unless wet ink is specified.

-Phone Calls: A must. All workers, support and agents alike, have their personal cell phone numbers given to all clients for a call at any point throughout the real estate transaction. Our marketing director contacts all listing clients weekly and our transaction manager contacts our pending buying contract clients weekly. This is above the agent’s regular contact with them. Communication. Communication. Communication.

-Emails: Similar to the communication above, email is the lifeblood of paperless communication. Between the agents and the in-office staff, we send hundreds of emails daily. This is a record of an entire transaction that is added to a stored file after the transaction closes that references all correspondences during the transaction.



Now for that fine balance portion. As a firm, we would never make the leap to full paperless operation because our clients get physical hardcopies of their contracts sent to them snail mail for their records, our files are generated and maintained by a team in which the agent develops, the transaction manager scheduled and upkeeps, and then the relations manager welcomes them into our Realtor For Life client database. Handwritten notes, dated documents, and hardcopies of every file are imperative to our office’s protection as well as for our client’s well-being.


How do you do paperless? Share or comment below.

Comment balloon 5 commentsJenifer Lower • August 06 2013 09:31AM


I think a bybrid moment is still with us...that paperless moment faces us all, though.

Posted by Li Read, Caring expertise...knowledge for you! (Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring)) almost 6 years ago

Love the cartoons.  Funny stuff.  We are certainly headed in the direction of paperless, however, there are still a few roadblocks.

Posted by Jean Hanley, Specializing in Folks Who Want To Buy/Sell Homes (Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters) almost 6 years ago
Paperless is incredibly efficient, but I also appreciate the security reasons for keeping paper copies as well. Agents/group need to first identify where they are on the paperless path and create a strategy that works best for them.
Posted by Ralph Gorgoglione, Hawaii and California Real Estate (800) 591-6121 (Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes) almost 6 years ago

Great ways to cut down on the paper! I love using Zipform Mobile and sign-N-send on my iPad. 

Posted by Jeremy De La Garza, Corpus Christi, TX (Corpus Christi Realty Group) almost 6 years ago

This is my goal: to become 100% paperless. Unfortunately if you do short sales or some REO transactions, it is not possible and fliers must be printed, but with the rest I try to print a little as possible and keep all my files stored online.

Posted by Inna Ivchenko, Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA (Barcode Properties) over 5 years ago