Real Estate is among several industries that still rely heavily on fax for transmission of documents across distances. Even though most people consider fax as a technology that was phased out with the advent of email in the 1990s, there are several key reasons this method is still a viable communication method.
Why the Real Estate Industry Still Uses Fax:
- Ease of Transmission
The two main reasons that most industries still rely on fax is the guarantee of secure transmission and thus the legal benefits it affords. Faxes not only carry a time and date stamp, most are sent over much more secure methods than standard email. Because they contain a date stamp on the transmission itself, faxes are also more likely than emails to hold up in court.
Of course, the speed of a fax is preferable to that of the postal service, but the reliability that faxing provides easily beats both email and traditional mail. This is because after sending a fax, you instantly know if your fax was received and that you sent it to the right place. There is no waiting around for someone to check their email inbox or receiving a “Return to Sender” message on the mail you sent days later and having to repeat the process of mailing the documents again. If you accidentally send a fax to the wrong number, the chance is very high that you will get an error message since the vast majority of phone numbers aren’t connected to fax machines. Also, it’s a lot easier to get a 10-digit fax number right than to get an entire street address, suite number, city, state, and zip code right.
Real Estate Documents Usually Sent or Received via Fax
- Finance Forms
- Punch lists
- Human Resources
- Purchase orders
- Reports – financial
- Inspection reports
- Counter offers
- Tax information
- Loan Applications
A New Age: Online Fax
Online fax, also called Internet fax, is a relatively unknown technology to come from the cloud-based, software as a service, or “SaaS,” boom of the last few years. This technology actually makes faxing cool again by allowing you to send and receive faxes from an online interface, your existing email accounts, or mobile phone. The mobile feature that some services provide can be very helpful to those in real estate who are constantly on-the-go, showing properties. Online fax completely eliminates the need to buy a fax machine or scramble to find one at your nearest print shop.
In addition, by using online fax you’ll be helping the environment by saving trees since you don’t need physical paper copies of documents to fax over the Internet. You can fax documents digitally from PDFs, image files, or word processing documents and even sign them on your computer with an electronic signature.
All-in-all, in the 21st century online fax is easily the best choice for most real estate agents, small to medium sized real estate agencies, and individuals who work with them. Plans start under $8.00 per month with generally no contract required, although some services offer annual contracts starting under $5.00 per month.
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