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Digital Transformation

Digitizing real estate documents for a modern transaction experience

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By Simone Timen

Without a standardized way of analyzing and sharing client data, technology-first real estate companies find themselves burdened with manual processes. But it doesn't have to be that way. Investing in a digital paperwork solution can unlock valuable data, streamline operations, and get rid of traditional bottlenecks.

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Digitizing real estate documents for a modern transaction experience

In recent years, the real estate industry has evolved to meet consumer demand by investing more and more in digitization. While the industry has shown intense interest in applying technology to improve real estate transactions, most of the advancements to date have only addressed one part of the problem. The first wave of real estate tech innovation has been digitizing lead capture; providing a digital interface that makes it easy for clients to enter their information. However, creating a similarly seamless process on the back end has proven to be difficult. According to the KPMG Global PropTech Survey, only 25% of respondents “have a well-established data strategy that enables the capture and analysis of the right datasets”.

Without a standardized way of analyzing and sharing client data, even technology-first real estate companies find themselves burdened with manual processes. By investing in a digital paperwork solution, real estate companies can unlock valuable data, streamline operations, and get rid of traditional bottlenecks.

What’s the deal with paperwork in real estate?

Real estate transactions are heavily regulated by state and local governments and therefore require tons of documents that need to be read, filled out, and signed. With the agreements, inspection reports, and disclosures that accompany every transaction, administrative work piles up pretty quickly. That can get frustrating fast!

Whether it’s scanning documents into a PDF reader or emailing fillable PDFs around, the process remains largely manual. And that’s proven to be a challenge in today’s data-driven world for several reasons:

  • It’s time-consuming and requires extensive resources.
  • There’s no easy way of extracting data from PDFs.
  • Security is always a concern when emailing documents around.

The future of paperwork in real estate

Ensure security for client information

According to an IBM Cyber Security Intelligence Index Report, human error has significantly contributed to 95% of all security breaches. One of the main vehicles for human error is email. So, emailing documents that contain unencrypted, sensitive client information is a no go. It should be no surprise that cutting out the human element of data sharing can drastically improve security.

Once emailing documents is out of the picture, there’s a whole world of possibilities when it comes to protecting client data. A secure paperwork solution will request client data via an online portal, ideally one with additional layers of security such as access controls and encryption. A truly secure solution will also bypass email for sharing that information to other systems or applications. Finally, it will provide ways for parties to securely access any completed documents, such as login-protected download links.

Easily share data across different systems

The data collected on a PDF is unstructured, making it difficult to extract and share. How do most companies solve this problem? They use valuable employee hours to complete forms or invest in OCR software that requires significant effort to set up only to scan one specific type of PDF image. The issue with both approaches is that they’re error-prone and inefficient, especially when processing massive amounts of data.

Fortunately, there is a better way. The future of real estate paperwork lies in structured PDF data that is easily shareable- and you don’t need a time machine to get there. Anvil Workflows collects client data in a machine-readable format and automatically moves it to any other form, system, or database that needs to be filled. Our flexible APIs and no-code integrations can share data to any application. No more costly OCR software, manual data entry, or valuable admin time wasted.

Use data to create a more personalized experience

Delivering a personalized experience for clients is a goal most real estate companies strive for. One of the main drivers of a technology-first approach is the ability to enhance the degree of personalization offered by traditional real estate. Everytime a client submits a form, there’s valuable data being captured. But, without a seamless way of using that data to fulfill the promise of a highly-customized client experience, the experience can feel impersonal and fractured.

One way to solve this inefficiency is to tag fields on PDF forms and applications so that the data being provided can be automatically recognized and sent to any other form requiring that same information i.e. name, address, or phone number. With Anvil, forms can be tagged to create a custom experience for each client so that they only ever need to fill out each piece of information once.

With the recent emphasis on technology in real estate, most tech-forward companies are already on the way to a fully digital client interaction. Although some companies are still figuring out how to implement a well-established data strategy, investing in a digital paperwork solution can expedite that process by freeing up valuable time and resources. This puts real estate companies in a position to focus on what really matters: providing the best client experience.

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