Fax is sooo 1999
I was recently speaking to some experienced agents who noted that the industry seem to have it’s first significant change, during their careers, when the fax machine first became a tool. They recalled having to travel to certain locations and paying per page for their faxes. They lamented the loss of personal touch that physical exchange of the offers allowed. Now fast-forward to 2009. As much as I’d like to see more agents driving to meet the listing agent to provide their clients offer-to-purchase, it’s not going to happen.
New Concerns About Faxes
There are a variety of risks associated with faxing. The first is the poor quality that faxing tends to produce. This could leave open risks of misinterpretation of an offer, counter-offer or ratification. This also leaves open the opportunity for mistakes by the lender, settlement company or other vendor who needs to full understand the intent of the principals. I would argue that if a third party cannot clearly read the ratified document, than it’s not ratified.
Additionally, I’ve heard a story a few years ago of an agent who wrote an offer on an in-house listing. After delivering it to the listing agent, she took her role as duty agent. When an additional offer was faxed in, during her floor duty – she shredded it, to ensure that there was less competition.
My final two concerns involve agents receiving offers at their offices and not notifying the listing agent or flipping through it while carrying it back to the agents office or mailbox.
My wife and I recently disconnected the phone line to our home office. We realized that we were wasting upwards to $70 a month on a line just to ensure that we could send a few faxes a month. Typically, we were faxing documents to our fax to pdf service, so that we could email them. With a few inexpensive tools l’ve been able to get rid of faxes and improve the quality of document transfers.
Scan to PC
I think email is a far better way to deliver documents for professionals. I think it first starts with a quality scanner. A multi-sheet scanner that can scan quickly right to your computer. Wireless is the way to go and I recently purchased an Epson Artisan Wireless machine for under $200 at BestBuy. This helps to get documents to your PC in a .PDF version while at home.
Fax to PDF
There are a number of options for incoming and outgoing faxes. My favorite is www.MaxEmail.com, this service is $25 per year for unlimited incoming faxes. They issue a number (from Chicago – but for more money you can get a local number) that when faxed, sends the document to your e-mail, as a .pdf. I think the long distance number may be an issue for a few, but most of us use long distance everyday and it’s a non-issue. This service also allows outgoing fax, but it’s $.10 per sheet.
Free Outgoing Fax from your PC
If you have a document on your PC that you wish to fax out, www.FaxZero.com will allow you to send it to a fax machine on the other side. It’s pretty nifty and easy.
All of these quick and easy options will help you save money, by using less paper and be more efficient. An added feature is that this is a very environmentally friendly business technique.
In a future post, we’ll cover EUTA and using digital signatures to save time, money and effort in getting your clients to sign.