The Digital Business
The pandemic has seen most industries doing business digitally, and real estate has been no different. The change was not just with Zoom meetings and online auctions, but also executing contracts and signing authorities digitally.
Following some initial hesitation, agencies started to see the efficiency gains that come with transacitng digitally. Saving time and money on administrative tasks meant more time for building and growing the business.
All businesses have their challenges and concerns when making a change to their tried and tested business processes. We spoke to some Members who use digital forms and authorities on VicForms to understand their views.
What are the top 3 things to consider when selecting a forms and authorities provider for a real estate agency?
Dion Besser: The top 3 things that are important when selecting a forms and authorities provider are:
· Legislative Compliance: Make sure the forms are up to date with the current legislation. The real estate industry is governed by strict rules and our forms must reflect the current legislation.
· Security: The forms provider must be able to ensure that only the authorised persons are signing the documents.
· Functionality and user experience: The forms must be easy to use for all persons regardless of t heir IT skills.
LaurenBlair: It's quite clear in our minds: compliance, security and a user-friendly system.
How important is online execution of contracts in your business and what are the benefits/challenges?
Dion Besser: At Besser+Co. we are 100% paperless. There is now no need for us to print a single document. The benefit is that we are now able to execute leases, authorities and all tasks that require documents to be signed within a very short period of time. Digital forms and authorities in partnership with our digital folders makes it easy to ensure all documents are completed correctly before closing off a task and file.
Lauren Blair: Very important! Not only has COVID played a big part in needing, this service now more than ever, but our industry is also progressing. We continually need to adapt and streamline for both our team and our client's needs for instant results and convenience. There were some challenges when the digital platform was first rolled out with there being no option to attach additional documents. This is now available, making the entire platform easy and convenient.
How do you ensure security of the online forms and contracts?
Dion Besser: With two-factor authentication, the REIV forms and authorities ensure that that only the authorised persons are seeing and signing these documents.
Lauren Blair: We regularly update our passwords to access this platform and with the system itself being more advanced with the two-factor authentication with email and text messages being sent to all parties.
VicForms was re-launched with Hutly about 12 months ago. What are the product improvements that are most valuable to your business?
Dion Besser: With all new legislation, it is great for us to be able to send out new authoritie, salong with attachmenst like the REIV minimum standards form and disclosure form that the clients can fill out online and return through OneTouch. As a further enhancement, I would like to see the option of multiple logins. It is important that we know exactly who is sending out the documents so that we can keep the m accountable.
Lauren Blair: Electronicsigning, the auto save feature and, most importantly, being able to attach additional documents to the authority or contract of sale. Another feature I love is the option of OneTouch and being able to send separate documentation electronically, this is very helpful for having a vendor statement electronically signed before preparing the contract of sale. It is all in the same platform and no additional programs and subscriptions being required.
Almost a year since the launch of a completely revamped Vic Forms platform, new features and improvements continue based on feedback from Members. Thank you to all the subscribers who regularly provide input to help build a service that is always compliant, easy to use and responsive to Member needs.