Katie Foster, Marketing Manager EMEA, DocuSign

Consumer trends and demands have influenced the property market to embrace new technology practices. In fact with estate agents being on the move all the time to close deals, it is truly a mobile industry. When catering for clients relocating or acquiring property locally or overseas, estate agents are finding technology to be a useful tool to expedite the process.

From the use of iPads to gather customer information, share property images, research neighbourhood facts and look up competitive information at a moment’s notice, to apps that alert their clients immediately when new properties become available, the industry is moving at lightning speed. This expectation of advanced use of technology also extends to the paperwork process. Property buyers are putting pressure on estate agents to speed up the process of viewing and completing transactions – and this is driving the adoption of yet more technologies.

One commonly overlooked part of buying property is what should be a straightforward simple, signing and sharing of paperwork. For both the estate agent and the client, this last leg of the journey is crucial, and could be potentially tedious especially if you are buying property abroad. The central problem being that the purchase is being made in a different country to where the buyer lives and in many cases both the seller and the agent are also located in different countries. This adds additional cost and complexity to the transaction. These costs could include travel or simply delays in the transaction completing due to paperwork being posted/couriered across countries .

What if the transaction can happen at the same speed as though all parties were in the same room eliminating all delays and complexities. This cloud-based/electronic solution is here today and does not require any special technology other than an internet enabled device say a smartphone or a laptop. In fact, we are already used to being able to transact online nowadays: you can transfer money via internet banking, buy insurance and even buy new furniture online. So why should purchasing or selling a property be any different?

Adopting a cloud-based solution where documents can be legally signed removes the requirement for the slower, paper-reliant process and in addition reduce the additional cost of transporting documents around the globe. Another benefit of not relying on paper and moving to the cloud also allows for flexibility due to the elimination of restrictions of needing to be present to sign or the logistics of delivering important documents. Moving away from paper based processes enhances the experience of property transactions for all involved. It can save time, reduce costs and ultimately speed up the moving process!