Tina Merritt is a veteran associate broker at Nest Realty, a Virginia-based real estate brokerage that employs 20 full-time agents. In 2009, Nest Realty was named the nation’s “Most Innovative Brokerage” by Inman News. Tina was awarded the first ever Technology Spotlight Award in 2009 from the National Association of REALTORS® for her efforts in advocating the use of technology in real estate.
Focusing on real estate investors, Tina has strict standards for excellence and customer service for herself as well as her team of agents. Because of the focus on investors, however, getting a contract to all parties was often a huge undertaking. After multiple faxes, the text became unreadable, and Tina’s team would spend hours rewriting text. In cases where the contract was not being faxed, her clients sometimes had to drive well out of their way to sign at the real estate office. The process was highly inefficient and wasted valuable time.
When Tina first chose DocuSign for her electronic signature solution in 2009, she did extensive research, and decided that the benefits would indeed help her to maintain her high standards of excellence that differentiate her business from others’. Tina appreciated that DocuSign’s reputation extended well beyond real estate. “Even back then, DocuSign had a strong name,” Tina says. “Because eSignatures were so new, I chose a company that would help me answer people’s questions and overcome any objections.”
Once she started using DocuSign electronic signatures, Tina saw quick results. She was able to save valuable time in creating contracts and routing them for signature. Now, 13 of the 20 agents in her brokerage use DocuSign, and they even use DocuSign for all internal documents that need signatures, such as independent contractor agreements. In fact, in 2010, DocuSign was involved in approximately 40 closed transactions through Tina Merritt. In 2011, that number is on track to be well over 100. Tina uses DocuSign in every possible opportunity. “It’s inconvenient for investors to come to the office or wait around by the fax machine to sign,” Tina says. “Now we don’t have to worry whether someone has received a contract. We know who’s signed it, and whether we need to call a client to say, ‘Go check your email.’” Each agent who uses DocuSign saves about three to four hours per closed transaction—as well as eliminating 30 to 40 miles of driving and saving 60 to 75 printed pages. DocuSign helps save clients’ time as well through the DocuSign apps for Apple® iPhone® and iPad®. “The customer service benefits are the number one reason I value DocuSign. My client can take his wife out to dinner and still sign a contract on his phone that night,” Tina says. “DocuSign improves my clients’ quality of life—not to mention my own.” DocuSign even makes it possible for Tina to spend less time working. “My business partners can take over while I’m on vacation or at a conference. The whole process is streamlined, and there’s a template for contracts that makes it easy. I have clients who sometimes make 20 offers a day, so this is essential to keeping my business running smoothly. And most important, our clients are happy.”