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   ARTICLE   |   From Scotsman Guide Residential Edition   |   December 2012

A New Twist for an Old Friend

Updated fax technology helps brokers handle paperwork while on the road

Fax machines have come a long way since the 1970s, when sending a single page could take 10 minutes or longer. Today, faxing documents are a vital part of doing business in the mortgage and lending industry.
Brokers and originators help match homebuyers with lenders, and use faxes to update, sign, send and forward mortgage contracts. For all the value fax machines provide, however, they are hardly mobile, and they restrict many brokers to their desks and offices when they can benefit so much more from being out in the field, working with clients.

Fortunately, a new generation of Internet fax services is bringing the power of a fax machine to an increasingly mobile workforce and enabling them to work from just about anywhere. These services help mortgage brokers send and receive faxes, and access critical documents on multiple devices, including desktops, laptops, tablet computers and smartphones.

Mortgage professionals who aren’t already using Internet fax services may do well to learn more about them. Consider, for instance, the following five ways in which these services can help save time and money while keeping the paper trail moving forward:

  1. Avoid roadblocks: Internet fax services improve on the traditional fax by making it easy not only to send and receive faxes, but also edit, archive and search through the text of digital documents. Imagine downloading and editing a mortgage application on your tablet computer and then sending the updated document to a lender — right in front of your client.
  2. Lend your John Hancock: Internet fax services can eliminate the need to print, sign and scan documents by inserting a digitized signature into contracts and other pieces of paperwork. Be sure, however, to use a transparent background so that the signatures don’t cover up any content of the fax itself, especially if your client signs with a flourish that dips below the signature line.
  3. Say “cheese”: Online fax services allow you to use your smartphone’s camera to snap a picture of any document and fax it to anyone, anywhere. The simplicity of point, shoot and fax allows you to send paperwork to clients, lenders and colleagues whether they’re in the office, on-site with other clients or even out to lunch.
  4. Leave the briefcase at home: Thanks to these services, you can forget about lugging around bags of paperwork — or even having to rush back to the office in search of a misplaced contract. Cloud-based Internet fax services allow you to tag, search and access thousands of documents from any mobile device. Many services offer unlimited lifetime storage and allow you to securely archive faxed documents online.
  5. Send the kitchen sink: Some e-mail service providers limit the size of messages to 25 megabytes or less. Some online fax providers, however, allow you to share large files — such as high-resolution photos, videos of properties or lengthy documents like closing forms — without resulting in a blocked or bounced e-mail.

The traditional fax machine evolved to meet yesterday’s business’ needs, and now Internet faxes are meeting today’s demands of increased efficiency and mobility. Faxing online helps mortgage brokers stay on top of paperwork and focus on what they do best: keeping customers happy, informed and ready to do business.


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