Tara-Nicholle Nelson, MA, Esq. is a successful real estate broker, attorney, author and accredited buyer’s representative in the San Francisco East Bay. Nelson founded REThink Real Estate to serve several key niches, particularly women and investors, by providing an innovative, high-touch, education-focused real estate practice. She injects predictability, calm and control into her clients’ real estate process.
Tara-Nicholle Nelson is a noted speaker, author of several real estate industry books and the host of Drama-Free Real Estate resource series on HGTV’s FrontDoor.com. She is a columnist for Inman News and created the Women’s Real Estate and Lifestyle Design Advisor designation.
Business Challenge Early in her career, Nelson focused her efforts in the upscale San Ramon Valley of Contra Costa County, home to some of the wealthiest suburbs in the San Francisco area. Her clientele were accustomed to high-touch services catering to upper incomes and busy lifestyles. As a complimentary service, Nelson’s real estate office routinely lent fax machines to clients so they could receive, sign and return volumes of real estate documents. This was often inconvenient and troublesome for clients as the fax machines needed to be transported and installed, required toner and paper, and often broke down. Alternatively, using
a print shop was equally inconvenient and more costly, often a $1 per faxed page which added up quickly when disclosure packets typically exceeded 75 pages for just one offer. There had to be another way.
DocuSign Solution A colleague of Nelson’s suggested using DocuSign eSignature service. After researching the legality of electronic signatures and other ESIGN providers, Nelson chose DocuSign for its quality, dependability and most of all, convenience.
Results With DocuSign, Nelson has succeeded in creating a calm and controlled buying process. Mounds of paper only intensified her clients’ anxiety level. DocuSign provides an orderly, organized transaction experience that allows Nelson’s clients to maintain equilibrium from house hunting to house warming.
“DocuSign has changed my life. I can’t imagine doing business without it,” says Nelson. “My clients love the convenience. Sometimes a buyer can make more than 20 offers before one is accepted. That means signing hundreds of pages at least 20 times! With DocuSign, it’s click, click, click and you’re done.”
Nelson credits DocuSign with giving her more freedom—from paper, faxing and wasting time. By leveraging the Internet, Nelson notes that she and her clients can write, sign and submit an offer without being in the same state. With DocuSign, clients are rarely aware that Nelson is out of town for a speaking engagement or training. She says that DocuSign also provides a much more polished and professional offer to agents, making her offers more legible and persuasive than the handwritten, scanned and faxed documents typically presented to sellers.
DocuSign gives Nelson and her clients a competitive edge. She recently represented buyers in a hot real estate deal. The seller’s agent wanted to collect as many offers as possible before going to the seller. To stall Nelson and her buyers, she sent a 150-page disclosure agreement, which would have taken hours for Nelson to fax to her clients and for her clients to sign and fax back, giving the buying agent more time. Instead, Nelson scanned the disclosure and DocuSigned it to her clients. Her clients received an email notification, adopted a signature and returned the completed disclosure within the hour. The selling agent was obligated to present the offer and it was accepted. DocuSigning sealed the deal for Nelson and her happy clients.
Nelson cites DocuSign for further reducing her carbon footprint. She regularly stored 3 to 7 years of client files, collecting a dozen or more banker boxes at a time. Periodically, she would purge and shred these documents as they contained confidential client information.
Now her use of paper is minimal and she says she “really doesn’t keep a paper file” for most transactions. Documents are archived digitally and purged automatically with the DocuSign service. Nelson’s clients appreciate her eco-friendly transactions without sacrificing convenience. “I go to a local coffee shop every Thursday as it’s a great place to network and meet clients,” continues Nelson. “Whenever I am preparing a DocuSign document, people are always intrigued. I always show how easy it is to use—just click it—and people are always impressed. I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t DocuSign it.”