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“We now have the confidence that comes with knowing our data is backed up and secure,” says Skip Singleton. “That’s something we've never had before.”
As a co-owner and co-founder of Washington, D.C.-based property management and sales firm DC Living Real Estate, Singleton runs the company out of his home with his wife, Debbie. Singleton didn’t feel comfortable using on-site backup, like hard drives, because he worried about losing files if he or the other agents forgot to back them up. So for the past decade, the couple made paper copies of every document, and eventually filled the entire basement with files.
Typical transactions for one of the 13 agents at DC Living would generate about 80 pages of paper. More elaborate deals could generate up to 10 pounds of paper, which were then copied and filed.
The challenges of such a paper-based approach are numerous, Singleton believes. There was always the danger that the room would flood or receive some other kind of weather damage, and although the file system was well organized, finding files still took time away from serving clients.
Singleton had already pondered what it would take to go paperless when he heard about Carbonite at a seminar for realtors. The service appealed to him for its easy installation and affordability.
“Making the transition from a huge paper-based system to an online backup system seemed daunting,” he says, “but Carbonite helped it to go very smoothly.”
After scanning more recent files into an electronic format and having agents send their contracts into the office as PDF files, DC Living is now mostly paperless. Singleton notes that it’s a huge relief to have such a “technology-forward” type of system.
“This system makes us feel like we’re a very progressive brokerage now,” he says. “Best of all, Carbonite makes it so easy and simple to do. It gives us such peace of mind knowing that our data is safe and sound.”
For the Singletons, one major perk was that they got their basement back. “Now we’ve turned it into an exercise room and wine cellar,” he says, with a laugh. “That’s so much better than a huge file room.”