Over the decades, technology has enabled dozens of ways to transport information, from CDs and thumb drives to email and cloud-sharing. But when it comes to real estate, it’s important to choose methods that get the job done right. Real estate transactions involve hundreds of critical legal documents containing a buyer’s private information. They also involve multiple parties, from buying and selling agents to mortgage lenders, notaries and lawyers, escrow officers and appraisers. Trusting an insecure or unreliable technology could cause delays or even put your company in legal jeopardy.
For all these reasons, fax remains the technology most suited for transmitting real estate documents. The traditional way of using a walk-up fax machine connected to analog phone lines is being replaced by connecting them to T.38 Internet protocol (IP) fax lines, allowing seamless faxing over the Internet. Virtual (email) fax is also gaining popularity, making it an economical and convenient faxing solution for remote offices and team members working on the road.
Here are three examples of how modern IP fax meets the needs of real estate-focused professionals.
A mortgage broker or banker is working with a home buyer to secure a loan. The client’s application includes a host of private information – social security numbers, bank account information, credit history and more – that must be tightly guarded.
In 2020 alone, the United States experienced 1,001 data breaches, with 155.8 million individuals affected. Canadian businesses spent $7 billion on measures to prevent, detect and recover from cyber security incidences in 2019, $2 billion of that on cyber security software alone. Clearly, criminal activity on the web is making electronic communications more hazardous – and a lot more expensive.
T.38 IP faxing addresses the cyber security challenges of the moment by providing real-time transfer of data via secure Internet lines. Real-time IP faxing has no “middlemen” devices to store and transfer data along the way. The message moves directly from sending to receiving fax devices. That’s critical to data security, because the more intermediary devices on the pathway, the greater susceptibility to a breach.
Real estate and financial institutions can add AES encryption to their IP fax solution, encrypting both the image and the signal for the highest level of data security while in transit. That’s an important feature for those handling the wide range of private documents transmitted in real estate documents.
Finally, real-time IP fax allows for safe disposal of private information once the transaction is complete. The FTC recommends shredding paper documents as a security precaution, which is a simple and inexpensive process when dealing with sensitive information.
Security is assured and private information is easier to safeguard using real-time encrypted IP fax.
A realtor is navigating a hot sellers’ market for her buying clients. She knows, all things considered, having the first offer on the table is best.
Last year, in the United States, the average time from home listing to contract was only 25 days. In some cities, that number dropped to 10 days or less. Low interest rates combined with low inventory has made for a very hot sellers’ market, and realtors know they need to submit bids quickly if their clients find something they love.
IP fax meets the need by transmitting documents – like the offer letter and loan preapproval letter – quickly and reliably. T.38 real-time IP fax moves directly from your fax device to the selling agent’s device and sends page-by-page confirmation of arrival. Or, if time is of essence, you can choose to send documentation with virtual fax, which allows you to send and receive faxes directly from your computer or smartphone via email.
Either way, you’ll be able to show your clients you acted quickly on their behalf, no matter where you happen to be working.
Your buyer or seller has moved to another state requiring documents to be signed remotely.
Most sellers and buyers prefer to sign documents in person, but that’s not always possible. The key, then, is to ensure all paperwork moves to and from the client in a legally acceptable, reliable and secure manner.
In many situations, IP fax is the perfect solution. Fax has a long track record of legal acceptance in many contexts. Depending on the laws in your state, you may be permitted to fax the necessary documents to the client to sign and fax back; or you may need to have the signatures notarized first, and then overnighted back to the title company or attorney. IP fax gets the documents securely to your client no matter where they are.
A solution for every scenario
Real estate transactions can be complicated, but real-time, T.38 IP fax and virtual fax present simple, straightforward solutions when it comes to document transmission. T.38 IP fax is standards-based and technology-agnostic, which means it works seamlessly with every other fax system. You’ll never have information corrupted or lost due to incompatible hardware or software on the other end. Virtual fax works seamlessly within your electronic work environment, allowing you to send, receive and store documents easily.
Both can be fortified with encryption to securely transmit time-sensitive and privacy-centric information. Finally, IP fax is affordable, with no long-distance charges and no hardware investment except an analog telephone adapter for your walk-up fax machine, which may be provided by your carrier.