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The Benefits of Paperless Transactions

October 19, 2014

Author: David Bellamy, Chief Financial Officer, Alain Pinel Realtors
This article ran in the Aug 8th, 2014 Palo Alto Daily News publication Premier Homes, pg 10.

Photo Credit: Christian Schnettelker via Flikr.
Paperless transactions are becoming increasingly common in the real estate industry, and their advantages are many – making real estate agents more efficient, and ultimately benefiting their clients immensely.
Paperless transactions allow documents to be sent by an agent, and reviewed and signed by a client, any time of day, from anywhere in the world. Everything from contracts to disclosures to property reports are all able to be shared electronically, as well as signed digitally, making transactions faster, streamlined and more thorough.
In the competitive, swift-moving Bay Area real estate market, the need for efficient, fast transactions is paramount. With how common multiple offers and short transaction windows can be in our market, the ability to send, review, and sign documents electronically can put clients at a huge advantage. In fact, with many of our clients working in and around the technology industry in the Bay Area, it is frequently an expectation of buyers and sellers that their agent be able to conduct business via a digital rather than a paper-based process.
Additionally, with an influx of international buyers in the Bay Area, along with both buyers and sellers often travelling for work during a transaction, clients are often looking to do business in a more mobile way. In such cases, going paperless can help facilitate a more streamlined transaction, giving clients the ability to view and sign all forms wherever they are, even from their smart phone or tablet.
And of course, there is a significant environmental benefit, with this electronic shift removing the paper waste of a traditional transaction.
On the brokerage level, Alain Pinel Realtors has partnered with SkySlope, the industry leader in digital transaction management solutions. This tool gives APR agents access to completely paperless transaction processing. SkySlope allows agents to manage their transactions electronically, creates a platform for a more efficient review and feedback process between office managers and agents, and provides agents with a way to immediately share documents with their clients electronically. The tool also ensures that all necessary details have been taken care of from a contractual perspective, and that everything is in compliance with industry regulations.
When new tools such as this benefit clients, agents, brokerages, and the environment as a whole, it is hard to think of a downside. But going paperless still requires a shift in mentality from working with traditional hard copies of documents, and so, necessitates a different way of thinking among both clients and agents.
As a whole, while a period of adjustment is to be expected, the move to a more paperless world in real estate will help agents and clients on every level – from speed to mobility, the benefits are great.


About Author:

David Bellamy is the Chief Financial Officer at Alain Pinel Realtors where he oversees all accounting functions, budgeting processes, strategic planning, financial reporting, and human resources to support the organization. Prior to joining APR in 2007, Mr. Bellamy was in executive management with The Body Shop, most recently as its CFO, VP Finance, Real Estate & IT for the Americas Region.

Alain Pinel Realtors Insights Announcements Industry Insights Marketing and Technology Insights

New Private Cloud Infrastructure

January 6, 2014

We are excited to announce the recent deployment of our new private cloud infrastructure. This new infrastructure fosters collaboration, security, and increased productivity among all of our agents to help better serve their clients – including fast and efficient document sharing, smoother electronic transactions, faster access to broadband media services for online marketing, and unrestricted access to online real estate technology services at all times, from any location with an Internet connection.

Alain Pinel Realtors Insights Industry Insights

APR's Year in Review

January 18, 2013

Here’s a look back at many of the major initiatives Alain Pinel Realtors launched for their agents in 2012. For a high-resolution pdf of this document, please see the following link : 2012 APR Recap

We have a lot of exciting things planned ahead in 2013. For a sneak peak, see what Executive Vice President Rainy Hake shared with Inman News: “4 Brokerages Share Their 2013 Game Plans.”

 

Alain Pinel Realtors Insights Industry Insights

Newly Re-designed APR Academy Launches

November 28, 2012

The APR Academy, launched in early 2012, is a comprehensive learning system that helps our agents refine their skills and take their careers to the next level. With a recent re-design, the APR Academy is easier to use than ever before. If you’re in a hurry or just need to quickly look at an FAQ, the Academy provide an extensive library of tutorial guides. The Academy also allows you to access a complete online catalog of courses – for both online learning as well as hands-on, classroom style courses. Agents can sign up right there from within the APR Academy for any classroom style course held at one of our six APR training facilities. The online training platform allows you to learn at your own pace, your own style, and track your progress as you go.

Some additional highlights of the APR Academy:

  • Newly reorganized library of reference guides covering over 20 topics – including CMA’s, drip email campaigns, social media, and more!
  • An robust offering of online courses – allowing for learning at your leisure. Pause your courses and finish them at a later time.
  • Browse a course catalog, view a calendar, and sign-up for in-person, hands-on classroom-style courses all from one online platform.
  • New Learning categories including: Generational Marketing, Listings and Home Marketing, Personal Development, Powerful Presentations.
  • New courses and classes constantly being added and updated – including new courses on taking advantage of Luxury Portfolio.

At APR we believe in not only providing our agents with the best tools – but also the knowledge to effectively use them. As we constantly are introducing new tools, it is important to have a simple and complete learning system to help our agents leverage our offerings. From learning about agents websites, market reports, contact management systems, content libraries, mobile technologies and more – our APR Academy is a groundbreaking platform that supports multiple training formats to ensure our agents have everything they need to succeed.
To learn more about the APR Academy or any of the tools offered by APR, visit our Careers page or talk to an APR manager today.

Alain Pinel Realtors Insights Industry Insights Marketing and Technology Insights

The APR Brand – You Tell Us!

October 24, 2012

At Alain Pinel Realtors, we hold our brand and our image to the highest standards. We believe that quality is the universal language. We don’t just project that image, but deliver on the promises that our image suggests – delivering only the best training, technology, and tools to our agents and ensuring they provide their clients with the most professional and distinguished customer service.
But what is the APR image? What is the APR brand? We asked the managers of all our offices recently to describe what they believe is the APR brand and values in three sentences or less. Below is a tag cloud of their results:

 

What does the Alain Pinel Realtors brand / image mean to you?
To see our past ad campaigns, see The Gallery on apr.com.

Alain Pinel Realtors Insights Industry Insights

Fun Fact: Steve Jobs & APR

September 17, 2012

Steve Jobs at Alain Pinel Realtors

Did you know that Alain Pinel Realtors and Steve Jobs share a  history?

In 1991, when Alain Pinel Realtors saw the need to greatly invest in cutting-edge technology and computing, Steve Jobs was the one that helped. Steve Jobs, then of NeXT Computers, personally pitched his hardware and software solutions to Alain Pinel Realtors.  While many brokerages had very few computers per office, Alain Pinel Realtors became the first brokerage to offer computers at every agent desk. In addition to the unmatched hardware APR offered, NeXT oversaw the development of a variety of software solutions specific to APR and real estate. The partnership was so successful, Alain Pinel Realtors was featured as a case study for selling the NeXT systems and their powerful uses in the real estate industry. A “NeXT Selling Guide” noted:

Alain Pinel agents bring customers into their offices to show them the level of service they can provide with NeXT technology. By demonstrating support tools unmatched in the industry, they are able to create a more professional image and differentiate themselves as individual agents.” -p.13

Alain Pinel Realtors remains committed to investing in the latest technology tools to differentiate the superior service we provide to our agents and clients. In a true testament to Steve Jobs legacy, even today many of these tools are his creations.

Alain Pinel Realtors Insights Industry Insights

APR.COM Through The Ages

September 11, 2012

Did you know Alain Pinel Realtors was one of the very first real estate brokerages to have a website that featured online listings?

While the old apr.com might not look impressive by modern standards, in 1994 Alain Pinel Realtors was at the forefront of technology. Apr.com was launched before many fortune 500 companies even had a public web presence, let alone real estate companies. Based in Silicon Valley, we have always been committed to using and leveraging new technologies to help assist our agents and our clients. We have continued that tradition with the launch of the latest apr.com. Check out the pictures below to see apr.com evolve overtime:

We’ll be regularly posting fun facts on all different topics ranging from APR history, real estate, consumer insights, and more. These posts are tagged with “fun facts” and can be accessed by clicking the “Fun Facts” button on the Insight Blog’s right sidebar. Enjoy!

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Welcome to the Alain Pinel Realtors Insight Blog!

September 4, 2012

Welcome! Today we are proud to announce our new APR Insight Blog – an agent and industry blog that will be an invaluable resource.

We have transferred some old content from our previous blog – but our best is still to come. The new blog will covers a much wider variety of content. Check back often or subscribe via RSS or email to get the latest!