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Ever purchased a house? Or maybe sold one?
It doesn’t matter what kind, be it a loft-style penthouse in the downtown or a house in the suburbs. But did you notice one similarity in both the processes?
A lot of paperwork is involved in both cases.
As a client, you have to provide hundreds of documents proving how you will be able to pay the mortgage on time. As a seller, you have to manage a lot of documents related to the agreement between buyers and sellers, home inspection certificates, and many more.
Now, this is only in the case of a single buyer/seller relationship. Imagine the number of documents a real estate agency has to manage daily.
Firms dealing in the living space market all over the world have to handle a multitude of clientele and a lot of documents. The process might get complicated at times, as a result, realtor firms prioritize having proper real estate management solutions.
Before getting into details on what a real estate document entails, let us first understand the document management needs of a real estate management solution.
Real Estate Industry And It’s Document Needs
It won’t be an understatement of us to say that our entire lives are bound by documents. So it is not a surprise that buying and selling a house requires a lot of documents. For an individual managing documents can be easy.
But for a real estate agency that deals with multiple clients, it is kind of a hectic deal. From initial agreements to the closing of a deal, a real estate management software needs to be able to handle any kind of documents effortlessly.
But why do the real estate agents need a document management system? Here are some reasons why-
A. First And Foremost: Increased Productivity
If a messy table is the end of productivity, imagine what a messy document retention system will do to an agency!
Rules in different states of the USA differ when it comes to what kind of papers the property trading company must keep. However, having a policy for document storage is proven to be helpful at later points to handle legal problems better.
The stacks of papers and files on the desks look aesthetically unpleasing and slow down the work process. According to the TED talk by Yves Morieux, director of The Boston Consulting Group’s Institute for Organization, having too much paperwork and rules into a project can seriously slow down the productivity in the office. And that is why document management systems are important for workflow management for real estate.
Having all the documents and contracts organized will save time for you. Not to mention, it is also going to save you from facing any legal consequences in the future for the mistreatment of documents and records.
B. Do You Know it Can Save Your Documents From Being Damaged?
We are all aware of what happens when documents, paper ones at least, are exposed to too much atmosphere. They get damaged.
Even though these damages take a long duration to happen, they are still harmful. And again, there are chances of fatal fires, theft and other ways important paperwork might get damaged. All this can be prevented with DMS integration.
And that’s why property trading companies need a solution that helps them in case of document damage.
Imagine- there was a fire at the building and some very important documents were damaged in that fire. And if there is no stand by copies it can be problematic for the firm. In these cases, real estate document management software can be really helpful.
C. Protecting You Against Hackers
Even if you have stored your documents as PDF and Doc files on your computer, they remain in danger, thanks to the existence of hackers.
Regardless of what industry it is, information is constantly in danger. And that’s why to keep all the documents safe, it is significant for the agency to have real estate data management systems with a balanced surveillance strategy.
For paper documents, you can easily lock them up in a safe, and drop the key in the river (figuratively speaking of course!). But when it comes to the safety of your digital documents, your website will need a secure document management system.
D. Real-Time Access From Anywhere, Anytime
You are a real estate broker and have a house showing in a few hours. Just before you are supposed to go for the house show, you realize you’ve left a very important file back at the office.
What do you do?
Well, it depends on how your real estate agent manages the documents. If you are still working on the old paper trail work process, then you’ll have to drive to the office, grab the file and then go to the showing, albeit late. But if your agency has real estate software with integrated DMS, you can simply access the file from your laptop, or tablet and show up to the showing right on time.
A lot of agencies, whether it is real estate or any other kind still underestimate real-time access to important documents from anywhere. However, this small feature (or ability if you want to call it that) can improve work productivity exponentially.
E. Need For Collaboration
When it comes to office work, the need for collaboration is often mandatory.
What happens when you need some edits done on the paper, but the only person who can make those edits is back at the office, and you are on the field? In such cases, you will have to go back and forth between the office and field to get the edits done. Let’s admit it this increases complications in the field of work.
The need for collaboration is one of the reasons why real estate agencies need an integrated document management system. With easy collaboration, there’s no doubt that employees will find it easy to work fast and smartly.
The Features Wanted In A Document Management System
Now that we know the needs, we come to the wants. What do real estate management solutions want from their document management system?
Imagine that you are working in a real estate agency, a pretty big one. What kind of features would you want for your real estate document management software? Well, there are lots of features you’d need. But here is a list of the most important ones.
A. Documents: Sync And Upload Them Easily
Now, if you are a real estate agency owner and thinking about what features your agency DMS needs, this should be the first feature for you to consider.
Obviously, for a document management system, document syncing and uploading is crucial property. Without it, there’s no purpose for the rest of the features at all. So what does the upload and sync feature entail?
With this feature, all employees of the agency should be able to upload indispensable and agency related data without any hitches. The best real estate document management systems support uploads from a variety of sources. These sources can include attachments received through emails, scanned hard copies, syncing with cloud storage services such as Google Drive and Dropbox, etc. Here is how we can help with your custom software development.
Manually document uploads, and mass document uploading is also going to be two important DMS features for you.
B. Never Lose A Document With Search Feature
Now that you have uploaded your documents, how are you going to find them?
To find the right document at the right time is an important task. And that’s why search and tagging feature comes second.
It is very easy to understand the working of these features.
The user has to add appropriate tags to the files uploaded on the DMS. For example, a contract about the sale of a property with Mr. Downing can have the unique tag “Downing”. Next time anyone wants to find that file, they can use the tag “Downing” for searching.
Next time you need to look for the contract, you can simply look up the contract tag and find the document. And if you want to be more specific, you can easily add more tags, such as the seller’s name in the tags.
C. Edit And Conversion: Document Processing Made Swift
You have uploaded the document to your Real estate DMS, and now you have a way of easily finding it. But how are you going to edit it?
Well, you can’t just download a copy of it from the DMS, edit it and then upload it again. The entire point of this system is to save time. And that’s why you need a quick editing feature as well.
Being able to edit the document right on the management system is going to save you a lot of time and hassle. You don’t have to deal with the hard copies, or continuous download and uploads. You can just edit the docs on the go.
As we are talking about editing, we also need to talk about the conversion of the document. As a real estate agency, you can not instantly turn all of your records into digital records. You will still have to deal with a lot of hard copy versions of the paperwork. And in such a case, having an integrated document converter is going to save you a lot of time.
With the document converter, you can convert documents to any formats. This feature increases the ease of document processing within the real estate document management software.
D. Real Estate Document Management Software to Control Access: Make Documents Safer
In any kind of organization, there is a hierarchy of management. And we are guessing that is the case for your real estate agency as well.
If that is the case, then your real estate software needs an access control feature. It is merely to protect the confidentiality of the contracts made and to ensure the security of the agency details.
Just like access control, it should also have a feature like limited access. In this case, those with limited access will only be able to see the document, but not edit it. Trust us when we say- access control is a must-have feature for your document management system to maintain the integrity of your real estate agency’s workings.
E. Customization: Make The DMS Your Own
Having just a stock real estate document management software is not going to work. You need to make it your own.
Customization at a deeper level is significantly important. It is not just about changing themes, words or colors. It is more about being able to tailor the set of features to match the requirements of the firm.
The customization feature lets the user change the DMS on a deeper level. Being able to change the features, creating and erasing unnecessary features to match the requirements leads to better usability.
F. The Control Center: Dashboard
The dashboard is going to be essential for your real estate document management system. Why do you ask?
Well, it’s where you can control everything from. The dashboard system is where the admin of the system can see who is accessing which document, what kind of edits they are making, how long they are spending on those edits, etc. As an admin, you can also check out the different versions of the document and restore it to the previous one when necessary.
The dashboard works as the centralized hub of information for the entire real estate document management software. Don’t forget to get this feature is you choose to get a custom document management system developed for your website.
G. Tracking Versions: Who Edited The Document?
Imagine looking at an important document, and realizing some details are not the way you wrote it out. There have been some changes made to the document. The only problem is, you don’t know who made the changes.
And at times like these, you’ll need a version tracking feature.it will enable you to track the previous versions of the document, and determine who made what changes.
It is an extremely important feature when you think about it. You can see the previous history of the document and understand the changes that have been made in the deal, as well as check out who was responsible for those changes. It helps with both maintaining the security and integrity of the confidential documents as well as recognizing the culprit in case of wrongful changes done to the documents.
H. Document Sharing: Whenever, Wherever
Now, you have everything set for your document management, except for one thing- how are you going to share your documents?
It is not that you have to share documents within the in house employees only. Document sharing makes up an important part of your real estate CRM and transaction management system. So having a swift sharing option for your clients on real estate DMS will do your agency a big favor.
And that’s why your DMS needs to be integrated with fast sharing options. Whether it is through emails, or messaging, sharing documents must not take any more than a few moments.
E. Multi-Device Access: Getting Documents On The Go
If you are an agent, then you know that you can not carry around your laptop with you everywhere, especially when you’re showing a house. With multi-device access, you will be able to access the DMS from your tablet, or even your smartphone.
The use of smartphones and tablets to complete office work is a mainstream practice now. So why not integrate multi-device access? It will make the entire process a lot easier to handle, not to mention, you won’t have to carry around your office laptop with you everywhere.
F. Instant Offline Document Viewer: No Need To Download
It is a miracle that we always have the internet available to us all the time.
But what happens when you don’t have the internet?
As scary the scenario feels like, it is plausible. There might be times when you do not have internet available to manage the DMS, download the document files and edit them. And for times like these, you need offline access and instant document viewer.
With offline access, you can access and view the documents offline. It is a simple enough feature, very easy to skip over, but in times of need, it can prove to be crucial. Imagine showing a house in a remote area where the internet connection might not be very good, but you have to access a document on the real estate document management software. If the offline access is enabled on the system, you can seamlessly access the document. But if there are no features such as that, you can easily feel embarrassed.
As for instant viewer- well it must be annoying, having to download the file, and then open it up in another application every time you want to check out a document. With an instant viewer, you can simply and instantly view the file right in the DMS. No need for extra downloads, or opening up new document readers. It can all be done right on the real estate document review dashboard.
And these are the basic yet must-have features for your real estate document management software. Without this software, the DMS would be completely non-functional and hard to work with.
A real estate document management software is one of the most crucial pieces of software your agency needs. Whether it is to keep a track of all the documents or edit them swiftly, all you have to do is to ensure that the DMS system is integrated with the right kind of features. If you are thinking to take your real estate business game forward with efficient document management, shoot us a message and we’ll get back to you!