This is no longer the case. With electronic signatures growing in popularity throughout Canada, real estate agents and their customers are embracing the solution as an easier, quicker and more secure way of conducting business.
“One of the huge benefits for real estate professionals is the speed with which they can get through all their documents, with minimal errors but still maintaining flexibility,” said Michael Laurie, VP, product strategy, eSignLive by VASCO.
While Laurie acknowledges that there will always be a cohort that prefers to continue operating through paper transactions, many more are realizing the advantages of e-signatures.
“Another big thing is efficiency. When all your docs are digital, you have access to a lot more data,” Laurie said. “Also, the real estate industry is very tied to regulations, and it’s easier to remain up-to-date and use the right forms when it’s all done electronically.”
In fact, many other industries are recognizing the value of e-signatures when ensuring compliance too. Tangerine and RBC have both adopted eSignLive by VASCO, which was founded in Canada and confirms in-country data residency.
“The consumer might not worry too much about it, but everyone else wants to make sure that data is coming from Canada. We comply with all the privacy laws and regulations on both the federal and provincial level,” Laurie said. He notes that eSignLive also produces an active audit trail, which provides a visual history of the document so reliable that it can be used as evidence in court.
As provinces are becoming even more vigilant in passing and enforcing regulations, this should be at the top of every agent and real estate professional’s mind.
“I think that the reason why real estate associations such as OACIQ in Quebec and CREA push these solutions is to not only protect agents, but also clients and the public,” said Jean-Sebastien Dufault, CEO, Faltour. “It puts everybody in a secure environment, and it’s a lot easier and faster to have people adopt this technology.”
Many real estate agents are familiar with clients who come to dread business interactions, as they often entail an appointment in the buyers and sellers’ hectic schedules, or may even require a frantic house cleaning so the agent can stop by to deliver paperwork.