When most think about the best times of year to sell, they picture warmer months. After all, who doesn’t dream of buying a home, setting up the sprinkler, and letting the dog and kids run around? Unfortunately, this may mean higher prices, more competition, and a barrage of other problems.
Contrary to popular belief, this season brings in more focused and active buyers, along with better payoff for you.
Winter is actually the best time to sell a home. Here’s why.
Better Payoff and Prices
The winter usually gets sellers to offer more than their original asking price compared to listings of spring and summer months.
One of the considerable problems with selling your home in the spring or summer is that the market is more competitive and many are moving, some with hard deadlines. Let’s say there are multiple sellers in a local area, and three very similar homes all have home values at 300,000. The first seller lists their home for $300,000. The next seller has a hard deadline to move out of their home by June because of a new job in a nearby city, so they list theirs for $290,000. Then a third seller, who has a hard moving date, lists their home at $280,000. This scenario repeats.
It may seem hard to believe, but statistics show that homes sell at higher prices in the winter. With less demand and less houses on the market to look at, many buyers may be more desperate to settle for a higher price.
Less Competitive and Inventory Shortage
What does this pricing scenario mean for a home listing? With less listings competing with one another in the winter, your client’s chance of getting outbid by an investor during the Winter is less likely compared to other months. Likewise, if you’re client is selling, there is less competition in the local market with other homes with similar models and values. In other words: less competition, and more serious buyers, since less are selling in the winter.
Speaking of, the winter market is way less competitive compared to other seasons in the year. Most people are traveling or busy during the winter seasons, and many are putting off looking for a new house until after the New Year. This means winter months are a prime time to pounce on putting a home on the market.
More Serious (and Motivated) Buyers
One of the bigger problems when it comes to selling a home is getting potential buyers in the door that are actually serious about buying your home. Some can hop from open house to open house only intent window shopping, and sometimes leaving a mess along the way! This is less of a problem in the winter. Buyers are more focused and more motivated. An added bonus? Less showings means less stress on sellers and less clean up. Nobody wants to keep cleaning tracked-in dirt and mud off of carpets.
Another thing that buyers have more of in the winter months is free time. They may have more free time on weekends compared to summer, and extra around the holidays, giving them more time to check out houses, evaluate, and make their purchase.
Less Focus on Curb Appeal
The winter months take some of stress of home maintenance off of sellers. With less time needed to be spent on things like landscaping and no time spent on keeping your garden flowers looking extra spiffy, sellers have more time to relax or prepare the inside of their home.
No more worrying about the marigolds being eaten by deer and squirrels before your showing; sellers can focus their energy more on keeping their driveways and walkways shoveled and ice-free!
With new technologies and techniques, the off-season is no more. Don’t let your home go into hibernation. Take advantage of the market and start preparing your listing now!
And if you need assistance in your e-signing and online document ventures, check out formsrus.com for a free trial!
The healthcare industry is rapidly changing in terms of regulations, legislation, costs, and other factors. With the digitization of healthcare, the efficiency of work processes, compliance, and privacy are all becoming increasingly important. What does this mean for providers and administrators? The traditional methods of storing and having documents signed by patients and employees for onboarding are becoming increasingly outdated and costly. It’s time for a change.
Electronic signatures and online forms are not only cost effective, they provide better experiences for everyone, from employees and care providers to patients.
Here are four reasons why using electronic forms can transform your healthcare environment:
1. They’re Cost Effective
Paper is not only bad for the environment, but it’s costly as well. The dollars spent every year spent on hundreds of thousands of sheets of paper in a business can really ad up. The numbers don’t lie: with online forms and signatures, operating costs can be decreased with less paper and storage of tons of paper files, not to mention the cost of postage and mailing forms. A contract that you email has to be printed out, signed, and then scanned into a pdf, then mailed back. A document that is accessible to be read and signed online in minutes, reduces time and saves you money. Talk about a better bottom line!
2. They Improve Workflow Processes and Time-Efficiency
It’s no secret that clinics, medical offices, and hospitals have lots of paperwork: from medical records and invoices to contracts and other documents, these forms can be important but take lots of time to fill out and get returned.
Say you’re at a doctor’s office and you need an intake questionnaire filled out by a new patient. Would it be effective to have them fill out 20 pages that are then filed away, prone to loss and hard to find when especially needed? Or would you rather have a new patient fill out a new online form, which you can then store in a secure database, and tag and assign to their respective doctor to read?
With online forms and signatures, you’ll spend less time managing paper and will be able to archive and organize documents efficiently.
3. They Reduce Errors and Instances of Lost Documents
With online forms and electronic signatures, you can ensure that your processes will not only be timesaving, but less error-prone. Think about it: a typical onboarding paper form will need to be scanned or rekeyed, can have hard-to-read handwriting, and usually has missing data that the patient forgot to fill out. That’s a lot of errors! In addition, a form could be lost or damaged, further delaying the entire process.
An online form that tells patients or new employees where to sign and requires 100% completion can reduce these errors and save staff a lot of time and hassle. It can also lead to a better appointment experience. For instance, if a patient form is filled out by the patient before their initial appointment, it leaves their care provider with more time to evaluate their allergies, medications, and other medical history that makes them better prepared for appointments and more time to discuss the things that really matter.
4. They Maintain Privacy and Security
With all the paperwork that comes through offices and hospitals, a large concern is patient privacy and compliance. Patients are not only trusting you with their privacy, but to keep their data secure as well.
Online forms provide a secure platform for data management that enables more authentication and security than paper documents can. It can provide a complete audit trail and prevents document tampering. Paper documents and forms can be difficult in terms of tracking, which is a big problem if an organization or business gets audited. As a document moves from signer to key contact in an organization, it can be viewed by just about anyone in some instances, exposing private information to unnecessary third parties. Another key issue is tampered documents and forgery.
Think about it. Would you rather enter information on an online form with encryption that will only be accessed by necessary people, or have a paper document that can sit in a stack for months in a file room with your personal information on it?
In today’s digital landscape, it’s important to stay ahead of the competition and be relevant with your patients, employees, and partnerships. The bottom line is that electronic forms and signatures are more efficient, cost effective, and they ensure privacy. What’s not to like about them?
Say goodbye to the summer heat, sun-kissed skin, beach vacations, and BBQs galore because August is wrapping up which means these last 3 months of care-free bliss are quickly transforming into the fall season. Of course summer has its perks, but in the real estate market, fall is where it’s at.
Fall is the best time of year to sell
The summer chaos and back-to-school hustle finally starts to slow down. No more family vacations, soccer camps, swim team practice, 4th of July BBQs or last minute pool parties. Families are back in their homes ready to take on another school year and get back into a familiar routine. Because of this people actually have the time to sit down and think about buying and/or selling their home – especially before the holiday season creeps up.
Once the summer heat starts to cool off, fall weather is the perfect setting for homebuyers and sellers. Think about it for a second, if you’re running around looking to buy a home, would you be in a better mood when you’re extremely hot and sweaty, freezing cold with infinite layers, or perfectly poised in crisp sweater-weather? Fall brings about the cool air, autumn leaves, and easy-going attitude that paint’s a perfect picture for real estate season. Mother Nature is setting up the scene, all you have to do perk up your place with these three simple steps.
1. Curb appeal is king
Swap the daisies for mums and marigolds, because playing up your yard is one of the best things you can do when selling a home. People innately are quick to judge based on appearance – it instantly sparks a certain emotion. If someone were to pull up to your home and see a completely disheveled lawn, regardless of how gorgeous the interior is, your potential buyer will either walk away or immediately have a poor feeling about the house before they even step foot inside.
Simple things you can do to liven up the outside:
- Plant pots using autumn floral selections with warm colors like yellow and orange
- Mow and water your lawn regularly so that it is green and lush
- Spruce up the exterior paint if needed – even just a trim touch-up will make it “pop”
- Clean and dress the windows so they sparkle from the street
2. Cozy isn’t just found in a good sweater
When people think of fall they think of the crisp breeze, autumn colors and layered wardrobe. As a seller, your goal is to evoke these emotions in your buyer simply by the “feel” of your home.
- Utilize the fireplace: make sure it’s been cleaned and well-kept, align the mantel with touches of autumn décor, and always keep the fire going
- Accents are key: emphasize fall colors throughout the home, but don’t overdo it. A little orange pillow here, small vase with yellow flowers there. Pops of color stick out instantly.
- Perfect pillows: pillows and blankets are the perfect way to not only add color and personality to a house, but they also represent a sense of coziness. Set up a warm blanket over the couch by the fire with some small accent pillows and you’ll have the buyers picturing themselves in your house instantly
- Keep the lights on: along with the warmth of the fire, keep all of the lights on when showing your house. It makes the rooms seem warmer, more inviting and more open.
The last tip can be as simple or difficult as you’d like. We all can’t be 4-star chefs; however, a little baking can go along way when it comes to selling a home.
3. Take advantage of our sense of smell
- Light fall scented candles throughout the home, but make sure the smells are not over powering, and mesh well together. Too much can really cause a headache.
- Warm up cinnamon sticks on the stove top. Simmer 1 stick per 1 cup of water – smells like you’ve been baking all day, but you haven’t even touched your oven.
- Now for the hard part – get baking! Whether it’s from a package or from scratch, bake an apple pie, some pumpkin muffins or even snicker doodle cookies to remind people of their childhood, being with family, and celebrating the holidays. You can even have a tray out at the showing to offer potential buyers. Plus, you get all the leftovers. it’s a win-win!
Getting your house ready to sell is a lot of work, but presenting it in a way that really shows it’s a home is what’s going to close the deal this fall.
One of the largest, and easiest to reduce, expenses for businesses is paper. Almost everything used to require paper, from invoices to sales documents to HR forms. In today’s world, with paperless technology, your business can significantly reduce its paper expenses—increasing your profit margin while keeping the environment healthy.
Not sure where to start with paper reduction? Consider these ideas:
- Use print preview: Before haphazardly printing long documents, use the print preview function. This may seem like common sense, but many people don’t do this. Print preview lets you preview pages before printing; after using this tool, you might discover you only need to print a portion of the pages.
- Email information to yourself: Not every document must be a hard copy. If possible, email what you need to yourself and download it to your computer.
- Recycle: Didn’t use print preview? Wound up with 13 pages you don’t need? No need to panic; recycle these sheets to save the paper. And once you’re done with any documents, make sure to recycle anyway.
- Single space documents: Double-spacing papers is the classic format, but by double spacing, you can double the amount of paper you’re using. Single space whenever possible.
- Set wider margins: Like double-spacing, the traditional page margins aren’t best for saving paper. If you can, use the widest margins.
- Check work before printing: It’s happened to everyone. You press print and immediately notice a typo. You fix that error, print again, only to find another mistake. Now that all the errors are fixed, you might want to change the layout or font. More paper wasted. Always check your work before printing, and have someone else look at it, if necessary.
Implementing some of these ideas might require a company-wide culture or mentality shift. That’s fine; take the time to use these strategies effectively.
What are some of the benefits of using less paper?
- Save space: Paper is tangible and requires storage space, sometimes multiple filing cabinets full. Reducing the amount of paper in the office can save space and, if you’re lucky, allow you to move a smaller, less-expensive office.
- Lower maintenance costs: Printers and copiers both require periodic maintenance. Is this is your budget? Do you want it in your budget? You can reduce or eliminate this expense by making a conscious effort to use less paper.
- Improved document security: Paper documents aren’t secure. Anyone could slip out of the office with one and it wouldn’t be seen again. With the right safety measures, paperless offices protect the information they need to more effectively.
formsRus works with a variety of businesses in the United States and Canada on paperless office and electronic forms solutions. For more information about how we can assist your business, contact us today!
Real estate agents and businesses stand to benefit from using paperless and e-signature software. These tools provide convenience for both you and your clients. However, converting to a paperless office presents challenges. Before making the commitment to move away from paper, consider the following issues:
- Online security: You need to make sure your paperless data is backed up in at least several locations, such as a building or server. Also consider cloud-based technology. One of the most important things with paperless documents is security—stay on top of it!
- Storage of paper files: There are laws about how certain documents and files must be stored. Not all paper documents can immediately be transitioned to digital files stored on a server.
- Office printers and copiers: Even though your office is going paperless, your clients or customers may not be ready for this transition. You’ll also likely still receive some paper documents, such as bills or bank statements. It might make sense to keep a printer and copier on hand, just in case you need to work with a paper document.
- Your agents and clients: Will everyone be comfortable with a paperless office? If not, consider putting off the switch until more people get on board.
On a general level, there is a host of reasons why you should switch to a paperless office, regardless of your industry:
- Use less space & save money on a lease: Because a paperless office means eliminating paper, you’ll be able to eliminate many file cabinets and piles of paper. This means you can move to a more compact office and save money on office space.
- Save money on paper-related expenses: Think about your current processes of communicating with clients. Is a lot of paper wasted? If your process involves printing, mailing and shipping, you’re wasting paper and money. Online faxes and emails can save you time, money and paper.
- Lower chance of losing documents: Electronically-stored documents are much harder to misplace because they are almost always trackable. If someone loses a paper file, how will you find it? Chances are, you won’t. Even something as simple as misplacing a file in a filing cabinet can result in a fruitless, frantic search for the document.
- Flexible work schedules: This is a great benefit for employees, especially if you offer remote access to the company system. Employees can work from the comfort of their home and upload finished documents to the server—no more forgetting paper on a desk.
- Impress clients: Being environmentally-friendly is just another trait you can use to sell your company in the ultra-competitive business world of today.
- More immediate access to information: Need a file now? Can’t spare the time to walk to the filing cabinets on the second floor and search for that document? With a paperless office, you can search for files on the server without leaving the comfort of your seat.
- Dynamic documents: Ever had a situation where you changed something on a document, printed it out and needed to make another change the following week? If your office isn’t paperless, this involves printing and copying hundreds of papers. But with a paperless office, you can make the change electronically and save the changes to the server.
formsRus offers paperless office and e-signature solutions for businesses in all industries in the United States and Canada. For more information, please contact us today!
E-signing is an electronic alternative to signing documents with paper and pen. The use of technology for business purposes is growing—and e-signing is one of the fastest-growing segments. What makes e-signing appealing?
- Office becomes paperless: When you transition to using e-signing, you can also make the switch to a paperless office. A paperless office means you can save on printing costs & make your filing systems easier to navigate. In other words, a paperless office will have a positive effect on your bottom line.
- Save on overhead: This ties in with switching to a paperless office. Not using paper for every process means you can move to a smaller office space and permit your employees to telecommute. You could save thousands of dollars per year on rent as a side effect of your paperless office.
- Better serve your clients: Customers love convenience. It’s easy for them to sign contracts or documents when they have a free moment and the signed paperwork is automatically emailed to all parties in the transaction.
Everyone who has ever participated in a real estate transaction, whether signing a lease or buying a home, knows signatures are often the biggest hassle. It creates problems for both the agent and the signer if a signature is missed; this situation often turns into a wild goose chase to get the missing signatures.
How does e-signing solve problems with the real estate business? It’s simple! The agent can email what needs to be signed to the client. At his or her convenience, the client can read and sign the document in the necessary places. Some e-signing programs include functionality that alerts the user to missed signatures, reducing the chances of an incomplete document being returned. Does software like this sound like something that would help your real estate business? Contact formsRus for more information. We provide e-signing for clients in the United States and Canada—and a majority of our clients are in the real estate business.
If you’re a real estate agent looking to improve how you do business, consider investing in an e-signature software. The real estate business involves plenty of paper—and with paper comes delays. It can be difficult to track down all parties necessary to sign the required documents to move further along in any process.
E-signature software can alleviate many of the time-sensitive issues with the real estate business. Some studies indicate e-signatures can reduce turnaround time by 80 percent compared to paper documents.
So, how does this all work? It’s actually simple!
How E-Signatures Work For Real Estate Agents
- Agent puts the documents together: Once the papers are combined into one package, they can be sent to the client’s email. The client receives the documents digitally rather than waiting for a FedEx delivery.
- Client opens the email: Upon opening the email, the client will see the document as either a PDF with signature areas flagged, or as a software program designed to guide the user step-by-step through the signature process.
- Documents sent back: Once everything has been signed and initialed, the documents are returned to the sender. Some e-signing software contains PIN number access or third-party verification of IP addresses to create a “paper” trail (just in case something goes wrong or gets lost) and verify the signer’s identity.
That’s it! E-signatures can make life easier for both real estate agents and customers.
Benefits of E-Signatures
- Intuitive software: There’s no need for an extensive education process for new users; the software is designed to be easy-to-use for everyone.
- Speed up business: As noted above, studies indicate e-signatures can reduce turnaround time by 80 percent.
- Improve document accuracy: It’s easy to miss a signature or initial when working with a piece of paper. But e-signature software highlights where you must sign, and some software allows for the marking of mandatory fields.
- Save time and money: Don’t waste another minute or penny organizing and mailing paper documents that might take weeks to get returned.
- Enhance customer service: Customers can sign the documents anywhere, at any time on any device.
formsRus provides e-signature solutions to clients, especially those who work in the real estate business, in the United States and Canada. For more information about how e-signatures can change your business for the better, please contact us today.
Businesses have traditionally used paper-and-pen signing for documents. This method, though still effective when used properly, is outdated. E-signing is a better solution for many industries, particularly the real estate business. We believe in the capabilities of e-signing and how it can change your business for the better.
How E-Signing Can Help Your Business
- Quicker delivery and response time: Instead of mailing documents, e-signing lets you send papers electronically. No more postage and trips to the post office! With e-signing, click a button and send what needs to be signed on its way. You’ll also get documents back quicker for the same reasons you sent them out faster. Signing a paper document is no guarantee it will be mailed back to you the same day, week or even month.
- Save money: The cost of mailing documents may seem trivial when looked at individually, but adds up as you send more papers through the mail. This study suggests e-signing can save your business up to $20 per document. If you usually mail 20 documents per week, e-signing could save you almost $21,000 annually.
- Increase employee productivity: Handling, sorting and filing papers takes time, but at least one employee has to do it. There are many better things your employees could be doing with their time. E-signing eliminates the need to spend tedious admin hours on paper-based tasks.
- Incorrect dates: People make mistakes, and you’re eventually bound to receive signed documents dated incorrectly. If you’re using traditional mail, you’ll have to pay for postage (again) and wait for the documents to get returned (again.) This can be particularly problematic if you already waited a long time to receive the documents initially. With e-signing, you can send documents with errors back almost immediately and receive the corrected forms much quicker.
- Misplaced papers: If papers get lost in the office, they’re usually gone for good. That means you’ll have to re-send anything you need to have signed and hope the misplaced papers didn’t fall into the wrong hands. E-signing eliminates the hassle of lost documents because they are often located somewhere in the recipient’s email. Even if that email was deleted, getting replacement papers is as simple as re-sending electronically.
- Unauthorized viewers: There’s no telling how many people who aren’t supposed to see paper documents can catch a glimpse one way or another. A document could be left on the copy machine, printer or desk for passers-by to see. With e-signing, the document will be very difficult for unauthorized viewers to see, because it will only be sent to the parties it pertains to. Of course, email mistakes do happen, but they are less frequent than paper mistakes.
- OFFICE CLUTTER
- No more file cabinets: Ok, you might have to keep some file cabinets, but e-signing offers the opportunity to reduce the number you need. Using documents electronically allows them to be saved on a server; server space is much more efficient than roomfuls of file cabinets. You might be able to save on rent and move to a smaller office instead of paying more because of all the file cabinets you have.
- CUSTOMER AND EMPLOYEE SATISFACTION
- Flexibility: For customers, the ability to sign documents wherever, whenever is a great thing. Businesses should make it as easy as possible for their customers to do business with them, and providing customers with the convenience of signing documents electronically is a great start. The same is true for employees. Company documents can be signed quickly and sent electronically where they need to go. Employee morale can sour if they are asked to spend too much time on menial, administrative tasks.
These are just some of the reasons why we love e-signing and why it can benefit your company. formsRus provides e-signing solutions for businesses in the United States and Canada. For more information, please contact us today!
For many companies during the last 5-10 years, technology has become an increasingly important part of the workplace. Not only do employees expect the latest tech gadgets to make their jobs easier, but customers and clients expect technology to be used to make doing business with your company simple. One important technology you can start implementing in your office without too much difficulty is e-signatures.
Many people have an idea what e-signatures are, but don’t know much beyond the basics. Here are some of the most important things to know about e-signatures.
- E-signatures are not the same as digital signatures: E-signatures and digital signatures, though similar, are different. E-signatures are created by signing a piece of paper, scanning it and using that picture as a signature. This is often done by salespeople. An e-signature is also as simple as entering your name on an online form and clicking an agree button. Digital signatures have some form of encryption, like password protection or your bank account or medical records web interface.
- E-signatures save time: With e-signatures, you can drag and drop your signatures on electronic documents. The traditional signature method involves printing a form, signing it, scanning it and sending it back.
- E-signatures save money: No need to waste resources on printer paper, ink and envelopes with e-signatures. You can sign many documents and send them where they need to go right from your computer.
- Clearly display the terms of the agreement: For legal purposes, you still need to make sure the documents being e-signed are clear. The convenience of e-signatures doesn’t mean you can deceive people who will be using the document.
- Select the right vendor: Not all e-signature software is the same. Though there are similarities in each, you need to pick the one that works best for your business and customers who might be using it. If you have e-signature software that is too complicated, no one will use it, and your business will have wasted money on the initiative.
- Your ROI is more than just saving paper: E-signatures make many parts of your business faster and less expensive. For example, you can recognize revenue faster if money comes in via electronic signatures instead of mailed checks.
- E-signatures are safe: Making a big change to the technology your business uses can be problematic if not executed properly or if the technology fails. But e-signatures are safe. Many large companies, including banks and insurance companies, rely on the technology. If these kind of businesses, which require great security, can use e-signature software, so can you!
formsRus provides e-signature solutions to clients in the United States and Canada. For more information about how e-signatures can change your business for the better, please contact us today.
Excess paper usage is one of the biggest culprits of environmental damage from offices. Think about how much paper your office uses on a daily or weekly basis. Then consider how many paper products your office uses, such as plates or cups, on a daily or weekly basis. All that paper has to come from trees somewhere in the world. Every time a tree is cut down, the environment is harmed. With millions of offices in the United States, large quantities of paper are consumed daily.
Consider these facts about paper usage:
- Paper accounts for about 35 percent of solid waste before recycling.
- Paper accounts for 71.6 million tons of waste per year in the United States alone. For reference, a fully-grown polar bear weighs about 1 ton (2000 pounds.)
- During paper manufacturing, harmful gases, such as nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide (which contributes to climate change) are released.
- It takes more than 1.5 cups of water to make one sheet of paper.
- 400 reams of paper is equivalent to about 1.25 acres of trees absorbing carbon for a year.
If your office is using lots of paper, you’re directly contributing to environmental problems. Cut back on your paper use by investing in a paperless office solution with formsRus. We work with clients in the United States and Canada who want to streamline processes, eliminate paper and better serve their customers.
Why You Should Use Less Paper
- Save money: Though the expense of a ream of paper may not be great, studies have shown the true costs of that ream are up to 31 times the purchase cost when costs for storage, copying, printing, disposal and recycling are evaluated. In the long run, you might end up with a true cost of over $1,000 for a ream of paper.
- More office space: When you reduce your paper usage, you eliminate the need for storage rooms just for paper and filing cabinets. Office space is one of the most expensive costs of owning a business. Don’t waste yours by hording too much paper.
- Happier customers: People like convenience and speed. Paperless offices serve their customers faster and more efficiently. Rather than waiting for your sales staff to dig through piles of paper for the necessary forms, you can send the paper to a customer via email, saving the need and time for digging and printing.
- Return on investment: Of course, there are expenses that come with transitioning to a paperless office. You might have to buy a larger server or file backup service. These are necessary to ensure you don’t lose any files. But over time, you’ll notice the money you were spending on printing, storage, mailing and other paper tasks will significantly reduce as your paperless office investment pays for itself.
Save the environment and your company’s bottom line at the same time. FormsRus.com works with businesses in the United States and Canada on paperless office solutions. For more information, please contact us today.