27 Jan 2017

The Evolution of the E-signature Revolution

Electronic signature technology is already the industry standard for executing business contracts in almost every industry. Professionals in real estate, legal services, investment management and insurance, particularly, have adopted use of this technology to transact efficiently. As e-signatures have now reached mainstream levels of adoption, where does the technology go from here?

Business Process Automation

By now, almost every working professional understands that e-signature services reduce contract turnaround times, because they do away with time spent waiting for documents to arrive. With that preliminary understanding reached, the market’s attention is shifting to the signee or preparer’s experience. Namely, e-signature services must now provide ways to streamline a business’ work flows and automate routine business processes, so its staff can process more transactions with less work. As we mapped out recently in RPost’s Year-In-Review, Trend & Outlook, e-signature services must offer specific features that document preparers and administrative staff can use to process and automate similar transactions, or even disparate transactions that use common form fields. An increasingly expected feature is the ability to create and reuse templates for commonly used forms and contracts.

How does a feature like templates work in practice? Real estate transactions offer many excellent examples of how an e-signature service can be used. Title companies send many of the same agreement forms to each customer for signature, for every real estate transaction that reaches their desks. These include mortgage documents, truth in lending and deed transfer materials. With an advanced e-signature service like RSign, a title company can create reusable and shareable templates with these documents and forms, preparing signature and form fields just once for all future transactions. The preparer can also designate signing roles and orders, reminder options, and more. This template feature alone could save thousands of hours a year in repetitive work for a single account representative or agent. And there are many other options available in services like RSign that similarly streamline contract or signoff work flows.

rsign

RSign’s template feature only requires you to prepare a document once, to be used for repeat or similar transactions in the future.

For any given transaction, a title agency can simply enter the buyer, seller and property details into their custom template and send it on to an individual or group for signature. Documents can be sent encrypted and require a password to open. The template settings can dictate the order in which signatures will be collected (with sequential signing). Real estate professionals can track who has received and opened the document and who has signed and returned the document in real time.  They can configure automatic reminders for those who have not yet signed. Perhaps most importantly, they can receive legal proof of compliance with the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID).

Do You Need E-signatures in Your Business?

If you are doing any type of contract management or need to get customer/client signatures at least once a week, then the answer is yes. If the speed and accuracy with which you or your team prepare and send documents for signoff directly affects business success, then the answer is also yes. In this latter case, you’ll want to choose from the newest crop of e-signature services, offering advanced, time-saving features such as templates, signer roles, sequential signing, and automatic reminders. Of these, RPost’s RSign is a great option offering an easy-to-use experience for both preparers and signers. Now, if you only need to get an occasional signoff electronically, there are services out there, like RMail, that include electronic signatures as part of a broader set of features. In RMail’s case, e-signature sits alongside features including email tracking, certified delivery proof, secure large file transfers, and more.