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Guest blogger Steve Hammond shares a great -driven story.

She thought I was cool!

At my age, it’s getting harder and harder to remember being cool… but my last Seller client thinks I am.  You see, I negotiated the whole transaction instantly, efficiently and paperlessly using a bunch of tech tools and apps that are available to us all.

My client was a 60-something widow with very limited technical skills.  During negotiations she was 6 states and approximately 1000 miles away.  I work with a teammate and virtual assistant, so there could have been an issue with communication and co-ordination of documents.  Done well, there is efficiency and effectiveness.  Done poorly, there is the frustration and ineffectiveness.

Here is how it went:

We received the offer from another broker the old-fashioned way, hand-written and hand-signed.  It was delivered as a signed .pdf document that we immediately stored in DropBox so that it was available to us all.  We then forwarded it to our client and called her to tell her that it was in her e-mail.  After some discussion and a quick calculation of the sellers net using a spreadsheet that was pre-formatted for ease of use, the net-sheet was e-mailed to the seller for her to view.

Right about this time we received a second better offer, from a broker who used DocuSign.  Again, we placed it in DropBox for the entire team to access as necessary.  We communicated to the broker that there was other interest per our Seller’s consent on the original listing agreement.  He consulted with his buyer client and sent their best offer.  This new offer was sent to the seller in the same fashion.  She clicked on the indicated spots and the document was transmitted back to us and the buyer’s broker.  So far, so good.  We were under contract! 

As often happens, the inspections specified in the contract uncovered a few items that the buyer wanted repaired.  So, we reopened negations by phone with the seller and once agreement was reached, we DocuSigned everything around again and continued toward closing.

The seller now contracted to buy a new home in her new location and her lender wanted a copy of her P&S of her soon-to-be former home.  When she called to ask me to send it, I was taking a rare afternoon off.  In the past, I would have had to make a decision: go back to the office to scan and email it or ask her to wait a day. Instead,  I just opened up the file stored in DropBox using PDF Expert on my smartphone, extracted the P&S pages and e-mailed them to the lender.  It took a less time to do it than it took to explain it here. Everyone was happy!

This transaction used:

  • Zipforms Mobile
  • DocuSign
  • PDF Expert
  • DropBox
  • EverNote
  • Excel

Most of these tools were either free or close to it. Each was available for my computer, tablet and phone.  They saved time, helped me net more money, and WOWed my clients.

Imagine that.  I am cool.



Steve Hammond is an active broker in Maine. He’s also a founding partner and educator for The Real Estate Learning Group ( a leading online educational portal and learning management system for the real estate industry.