The leasing cycle is known for its heaps of paper. Mostly because property professionals need to get that important signature for the lease or the renewal. However, all that paperwork and time-wasting manual work can be omitted thanks to digital e-signatures. And, the best part? It’s safer and more secure than the traditional means of obtaining a signed lease.
What’s a Digital Signature?
Let’s start with the basics. A digital signature is a legal way to get consent or approval on electronic documents or forms, like leases and rental applications. It can replace a handwritten signature in virtually any scenario.
Are Digital Signatures Legal?
In the U.S. and Canada (and many other countries), digital signatures can carry the same weight and legality as traditional ink signatures and paper documents, and are binding. In Canada, digital signatures are regulated federally by PIPEDA, the Personal Information and Electronic Documents Act. In the U.S., it’s ESIGN, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act and the UETA, Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, that make e-signatures valid in all U.S. states with the same legal status as handwritten signatures under state laws.
What are the Advantages of Digital Signatures?
From greater efficiencies to cost-cutting, digital signatures benefit you in countless ways. Here are just a few:
No Leads Lost
When you can secure an application, and convert it into a signed lease through the use of digital signatures and automated credit checks you dramatically increase your closing rates.
Better Customer Service
For both tenants and owners, the ability to view and sign documents online makes for a much better customer experience. No more having to print, scan or fax documents or install software. Instead, it’s a seamless and speedy contract-signing process.
When a lease, or any other document, is signed online with a digital signature, you automatically improve the safety and security of the document over a traditional ink-signed lease. First, you have a permanent audit trail that includes when the document was signed and by whom. Leases and other paperwork, like work orders, are kept secure as you have full control over permission levels.
A recent report showed that for companies who do not use digital signatures, half or more of their electronic document workflows are interrupted by the need for physical sign-offs. And, for 23% of those organizations the result was in a week or more of process delay on average. An e-signature completely sidesteps all that time-consuming work of chasing down a signature.
Reduce Days on the Market
An off-shoot of saving internal admin time, is that you also save time in getting the lease signed by the new tenant. Quickly and easily, the leasing agreement can be completed in just a click… this helps you to cut the days that an available unit is vacant, and keep cash flowing.
Depending on the number of units across your portfolio, and the number of causes in your lease, the ink, paper and administrative time to print out leases can really add up. Then, factor in transportation costs to meet the tenant for a signature. Over days and months, the dollars quickly accumulate to make a dint in your pocketbook.
Easier Lease Renewals
When you shift to a digital environment, including online applications, digital signatures and tenant portals, lease renewal time becomes so much simpler. Property managers only need to resend the lease to the tenant for hassle-free digital signing and –voilà! – it’s done.
Less Storage and Faster Retrieval
Forget about overflowing filing cabinets! And, say goodbye to loose papers and color-coded folders. With digital signatures and cloud storage, all documents are organized and secured against fires, floods, and security threats in one place – making it a snap to put your fingers on any document in seconds.
A Greener Company
When you can eliminate paper, you save trees as well as eliminate your role in the tree-to-paper manufacturing process to reduce your organizational carbon footprint. That means a greener, more sustainable property management firm!
See How Property Vista Helps You
From digital signatures to online portals to marketing automation, Property Vista has all the tools to improve efficiencies and help drive down costs in your property management organization. To learn more about any of our suite of products, arrange a demo.