How to Improve Real Estate-Based eSignature Workflows: eSign and Email PDFs Back to Clients Without Printing or Scanning

An introduction to the practice of real estate

Realtors make a living by buying and selling real estate. Real estate is the land along with any permanent improvements attached to the land, whether natural or man-made — including water, trees, minerals, buildings, homes, fences, and bridges. Pretty self explanatory explanation, so to be a realtor is to find a piece or real estate and then find the type of buyer they think will want to purchase it. It’s a pretty simple concept but it can be a grueling job for those who are not ready to work hard and grind for that next pay day. This is how realtors make money and many choose to specialize in a certain type of real estate.

Many realtors specialize in houses and focus on people wanting to find a home. It’s a really big market, there are always people wanting to sell their homes, which means there's always going to be people wanting to buy homes. In this sense there's always going to be business for realtors in this line of work, but that does not mean that they do not have their own hurdles to leap when trying to buy and sell.

The real pain of real estate

Being a realtor is not easy, it's a very profitable job but it requires a lot of work and you'll always run into problems. Dealing with people, time crunches, bad paperwork, failed leads, no shows, delayed signatures, etc. There are many problems that you run into and it never seems like there’s enough time in the day to do it all and make a profit. Which brings us to our next few points that are the bane of every person trying to buy and sell real estate.

Time is not on your side

One of the biggest issues that realtors run into is the fact that there simply is not enough time in the day to do all the menial tasks they’re required to do to reach that big pay day. What does that mean you ask? Many self made realtors do not work on a traditional forty hour work week, so they’re required to do a lot of the grunt work necessary to sell. This means they’ll be spending a few hours a day cold calling for leads, driving to and from location, printing contracts, negotiating contracts, faxing paperwork, waiting for clients to return paperwork, dealing with client satisfaction, and relatively doing a lot of not selling homes to people. That’s not to mention the fact that they also have to deal with no shows and failed or late paperwork.

A good lead gone cold

To compound the fact that there's not enough time in the day they also have to deal with leads that fall through for silly reasons. A lead can go bad for many reasons, heck, some of them were cold from the start, but it's really frustrating how common a good lead gets turned on its head in real estate. They could go bad because it took too long, the lead lost interest, dealing with the signing process was too confusing, or someone else took it from you while you were focused on another lead. It’s a never ending cycle of frustrations.

Distance makes for a long walk

Good deals are everywhere, and when they run out close to home, you have to find them elsewhere. This is not too much of a problem when you just have to go to the city or town over to make a sale. Yes, it can be annoying adding to that ever ending list of things that has to be done in  a twenty four hour period, but what we’re talking about is the sales that are hours if not days away. These can be really good deals but they're always dangerous because you'll usually lose the sales due to the owners or customers not being able to easily deal with the contracts you have to send. And if they do, they can take a really long time to send them back to you and they're usually wrong.

These are all really frustrating problems to deal with and cost you a lot of time and wasted opportunities. Thankfully signNow can help alleviate some of the stress on these major issues for you. However, before we get into how signNow can help, we have to first explain what eSignature is. Follow along and find out if you are interested in how to help solve some of these issues for your own real estate business.

What in the world are electronic signatures

Electronic signatures refers to data in electronic form, which is logically associated with other data in electronic form and which is used by the signatory to sign. Now what that means for those of us who do not want to dissect a thirteenth grade reading level, is that electronic signatures are signatures that are sent over a digital platform that have the same legal holding and standing as the traditional wet ink and paper signatures that we're all used to. Electronic signatures are always in some type of legible form such as typed out or drawn out in some way and should not be confused with digital signatures which are similar but are not legally the same thing.

Digital Signatures are defined as a mathematical scheme for verifying the authenticity of digital messages or documents. Unlike an electronic signature which is something that you can read and see on a contract, a digital signature is literally just a code you do not see but is rather embedded in a contract to show its authenticity. Another important difference is that digital signatures can and will expire to where electronic signatures do not. Both of these types of signatures do the same thing, they allow for contracts to be signed over the internet, which leads us to our next topic.

Electronic signature rocking the world of business

For business to function, they have always needed some type of paper word, heck there are old Babylonian-era tablets complaining about bad shipments! That’s over 3,700 years old! For as long as the concept of business has been around there has been a need to make, move, and store some kind of paperwork. For thousands of years, we’ve been doing this, slowly perfecting it over time. Form clay tablets to stone, form wood to paper, and now, from paper to digital. This is the digital age, and it’s been putting in its work.

When the idea of storing files digitally became common practice there came another problem people thought this technology could solve. That problem was signing paper work. If you are already digitizing the paperwork, what in the world is the point of printing off that same paper work to send it to the client for them to sign it and send it back for it to once again be digitized and stored. There had to be a way for you to send the digital version and have it signed digitally so that you could save time and cut out all the extra steps. Well, that's exactly what electronic signature did.

Electronic signature has revolutionized modern business practices. No more is there a need to waste time sending contracts by mail, or worse yet, sending someone who hoofs it to the client by foot. No more is there a need to set up meetings simply to have someone stop by a get a simple signature. Electronic signature has changed it all, now all you need is an internet connection, a functioning email, and some kind of device to access it. Now let's take a look at one of the best eSignature solutions, and how it can help you make your business better.

Sign here, signNow

signNow is one of the, if not the best eSignature solutions we’ve ever had the opportunity to use. Having come out in 2018 it has not had a long life on the market, but has it really made an impact. In its short life thus far signNow has really made a name for itself, being considered one of the easiest services to use. Its user focused interface is so easy to understand and use that many people simply just have to start clicking about to figure out how it works. The ease of use would be a selling point in and of itself, let along the fantastic price and the ridiculous amount of features this program has.

signNow is the best eSignature solution you can hope to get for the price it offers. It’s already a power house in the realm of eSignature solutions up there with docuSing and Adobe Sign but at a drastically better price, and less restrictions. It can do everything you would need it to be able to do, in fact there are probably features that won’t fit into every business which makes it incredibly versatile over a large amount of industries. So let's talk about how this great service can help ease the burden for your real estate business.

signNow to ease your real estate pains

signNow is a savior when it comes to a lot of the problem that'll arise with real estate sales. Just like every other business, realtors have to deal with paperwork, and signNow can really help alleviate the struggles that you'll face when dealing with it in your business. So let's explore how signNow can help you save time, retain leads, and help with distance sales.

Signing to save time

signNow can save you and your business ridiculous amounts of time by cutting out a lot of the effort. Going out of your way to get a client’s signature can be very time consuming, you have to agree on a time, drive there, chat and overall it's likely to be a few hour endeavour, however with sign now all you have to do is pull out your phone and send the contract to their email, no extra stress and no wasted time.

There are usually hours of work done in filing and organizing your documents, however signNow offers a cloud storage service. All your paperwork will be filed and organized in your cloud for easy, clear, and simple storage that you can access and deal with whenever you need. Talk about a time saver where you do not have to wait.

Normally you would have to wait for a client to fax a contract back or god forbid bringing it back. With signNow all you have to do is send out the email inviting them to sign and it's all done, once it's signed you are all set.

Another time saving feature is called Bulk sending. If you have a lot of clients who all need to sign the same document it can be a major time consuming hassle to send each and every contract out individually. However, with bulk send you can import the email list and send the same document to hundreds of clients at the same time and they all will be invited to sign a copy of the contract. It’s a real good way to keep a lead interested.

Leads to signNow

It may seem like a moot point but it's no joke how much solving the first issue on the list helps with lead retention. If you have more time, that means you have more time to focus on your leads. By using signNow you free yourself up a lot of time and you'll be able to deal with all the issues and concerns that might come up with your clients which will absolutely make it seem like you value their time as well. They probably would not even know that you are juggling so many other clients while dealing with them, and if you do they probably will think you are some kind of super hero.

Signs in the distance

More time really helps with this one too, if you have more time on your hands you are able to deal with the confusion that these long sales might induce in your clients. However, more importantly signNow is so easy that most people can not lose interest in what you are doing. If you have their email you can send an email of your contract to them in one or two minutes, they're no longer waiting for it in the mail or going somewhere there might be a fax machine. It’s a real quick way for them to sign and be done with that property.

The most important thing about distance selling is the fact that even after all the time they spent signing the contract and sending it back, is that they forgot to fill it all out. signNow prompts them to sign in all spaces before they can finish the contract, so they will know where they still need to work. Plus you know that after they said it was done and it's not updated in your signNow account, you know to call them and help them out with the process to make sure you get that property or make the sale right away.

Now that you have learned how signNow can be really helpful to you and your business, it's time you take a quick look at how it works. If you are not interested in reading about how signNow works you do not have to keep reading, you can just go and sign up! However if you need a little help in understanding how to sign and write things on PDF read on.

How to sign a PDF and email it without scanning with signNow

We’re going to go over a brief guide on how to work signNow from beginning to end. So if you have questions like “how can I sign a PDF and email it without scanning?”, “how to make others sign in your PDF file?”. and “how to sign PDF on a computer without printing?” then this section is for you, because we'll be answering all these questions and more. Continue reading.

Step 1. How to edit things on PDF

First you'll need to make and get into your new signNow account. Once you are in your signNow account you need to select the Upload Now  button in the center of your screen in your signNow homepage.

Do not be alarmed for you'll see a small notification in the bottom right of your screen, this is a helpful function of signNow. This notification will tell you a couple of different things, one of them is that you have started an upload and that it's in progress. The next thing it'll let you know is when that upload is complete, it also has an added function to tell you about errors that occurred if there were any.

Now that the document you selected is uploaded, you’ll need to take another look at your signNow homepage. From the signNow homepage you need to click on the button that says Document Folder; it's in this location that you'll find the document that you just uploaded, and it's from here we'll really get into the meat of how to sign on a PDF document without printing, how to wet sign a PDF and return it, and how to sign a PDF without signing in.

Step 2. Adding signers

The first step in the process was uploading the document now we can focus on the real editing part of it. So let's focus and get it ready to send as soon as possible. To start editing, all you have to do is find the file’s name that was uploaded and click on it, and then you'll be taken to signNow’s online document editor.

Once in the signNow document editor, you’ll notice there's a column on the left hand side of the screen. This column holds many of the tools you'll need to be able to edit things in your PDF document. These tools make editing your document so much easier, and as you can see there are plenty here, but do not feel overwhelmed, we're only going to focus on a few essentials in this quick how to list.

We’re going to take a moment and focus on the Signature Field option for now. We’re sure that you can guess but this field is how your clients will be signing your contracts and documents. To add a signature field is very simple. All you have to do is click on the Signature Field option, then take your cursor to the page and location you want your signers to sign the document.

When you place the Signature Field element down you may not like where signNow places it. If you do not like where the element ends up you can select the element and when it highlights you'll have three options above it. Starting from left to right, these will be the move button (little four sided arrow) the OK button, and the clear button. The one that we want is the move button. You can use the move button, to well, move the element around. If you do choose to move the element you'll notice that there are orange lines, these lines are part of the signNow alignment function. The signNow alignment function exists so that you have an easier time placing your element in a way that'll not conflict with the pixels in the document so that you can place the element in the neatest, cleanest way possible. Do not be afraid to place the element in the desired location, after all it's you who decides what looks best.

Another feature of the Signature Field is that you can place down as many as you need for your document to work. If you need your client to sign 4 times you can place that many and more for that signer to sign. This is also the element that you'll need to use to create something called a signing order in the case you'll ever need to make one, say for a property that has more than one owner. We’ll look at how to do that next to ensure you do not miss any opportunities.

Step 3. Adding more than once signer

Now that we’ve gone over how to add a signer to a PDF document it's now prudent to ensure that you know how to add multiple signers to a document. If you direct your attention to the picture example above you can see that there are five signature elements placed for five distinct signers. However, if you think all is set and done you would be incorrect. Take note of the fact that all of the signature field elements are the same color, this means that they're all set up for the same signer. Which would be a rather severe problem if you sent the document meant for five signers.

To fix this problem, we'll have to click on the signature field elements like we did when we moved them. However, instead of focusing on the buttons above the element like last time we would like you to direct your attention to the right hand column on the screen that was not there previously. What has appeared is the signature field editing options, and is exactly what we'll need to be able to set up a signing order. From this window, you can edit and delete a single signature element. What we're looking for is the Role option. Below Role, there's a small drop-down option that you need to click.

With the drop-down opened up, you'll see two options. One is a designation, and the other is Add Role. You’ll need to select Add Role, and then a pop-up box will populate the center of your screen.

This is how you'll add another signer. We recommend adding the signer’s name or designation; however, for the sake of simplicity, we're going to name them Signer 1 through Signer 5. Once you have typed out the signer’s name, you'll select the Add New Role button. With this step done, you'll notice that the new role, signers 1 through 5, were added under the Role drop bar.

From here, you’ll notice that each signer has its own color designated to it. That’s how you'll know that you were successful in adding a signing order for your multi-owned home sale. Now that it’s done, let’s continue to answer the question of how to sign a PDF and email it without scanning.

Step 4. Signing your document

In this section, we'll focus on how you can sign the document that you have made. We’re focusing on the left column again now; you'll see that there's another section at the bottom half of the bar that says Edit & Sign. In the Edit & Sign section, there's an option that says My Signature. You need to click on My Signature to produce an element. Now that you have the element ready, you'll go to the location on the document that you wish to place your signature and click, just like you did with the Signature Field element.

From here you have three options on how to sign your document.

  • Write Your Signature: this option is the simplest and the one that has the most variety. You type out your signature in the field provided and it'll auto populate your initials as well. You have a variety of different fonts to choose from if you’d like. 
  • Draw Your Signature: in this option you'll be able to use your mouse to draw a signature to the best of your ability. Fret not, if you do choose this option you can redraw it as many times as you need.
  • Upload Your Signature: this option is one that allows you to take a picture of your signature and upload it to signNow to use on your digital documents.

Step 5. Emailing your docs to clients

You’ve signed and edited your document, it's now time to send it out. Now, you’ll need to locate and select the INVITE TO SIGN button at the top right corner of the screen (the big blue button).

Once you press INVITE TO SIGN you'll be redirected to the page above. From here, all you have to do is match the email to whichever signer it needs to be assigned to. You can even personalize each email by clicking on the Customize Signer Email option.

And with that all you have to do is press Send Invite at the bottom right of the screen. That is the end of our quick guide.

signNow really helps real estate sell

Knowing that the world is changing is only the first step in remaining successful in your field. Knowing how to use that change is the next step, and one that'll allow you to achieve the goals you have set for yourself and for your business. So knowing how to sign documents without printing them and how to get your clients to sign something on a PDF using signNow is a huge leap in the right direction in solving the problems of time, failed leads, and distance sales in real estate. So now you know about eSignature and signNow, it's up to you to decide if you want to use the benefits that signNow can give to you and your company or not.

Literally thousands upon thousands of real estate and insurance professionals all over the states have already made tons of money with the help of streamlined eSignature workflows that signNow provides. Manage documents like a professional, remotely.

We hope you got something valuable from reading this article; thank you for sticking with us till the end. If you have more questions, please visit our Questions & Answers section. There, you’ll find many more step-by-step instructions for working in signNow.

Grady Andersen
Grady Andersen
Contributing Writer
November 04, 2020

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