This is a blog post I’ve been meaning to write for a little while now and after a big discussion in a Real Estate Facebook group I pushed it up the priority list to write. It’s a look at Docusign and Repree and see which is better for your business.
Full Disclosure: I became a certified Docusign trainer when I worked for one of the big real estate brands and recently Repree gave me a demo account as well so I could become familiar with their system too.
I’ve also been given a demo of the Dotloop system recently with their head of training and tested out Dealtap. If there is enough demand for a comparison against Dotloop or Dealtap as well please let me know in the comments. Dotloop doesn't yet have much of a presence here in Canada. I don’t know any Canadian agents currently on the system. That’s not to say they don’t operate here, I'm sure they do, I just haven’t spoken to any personally.
So let’s take a look at DocuSign vs Repree.
Ease of Use for Sending Offers
Docusign - I personally find Docusign for easy to use although I’m a little more on the “techy" side compared to the average consumer. As soon as you log in its very easy to upload a document, pick who to send it to, and have it sent. If you logged in and wanted to send something to be signed to multiple parties you could be logged in and have it out in under 10 minutes no problem. 5 minutes for the tech savvy bunch.
Repree - It’s pretty user friendly as well. When you first log in it does give you a quick tutorial on the main dashboard. It allows you to set it up quickly. If you just logged in today and wanted to create a new transaction from scratch it shouldn’t take too much longer than Docusign but it would take you longer I'd imagine. That's not because its harder to use necessarily but the setup is a little different and Docusign has a set up that allows it be done quicker.
Slight Advantage: Docusign. It’s a simpler start up to get to the sending offers part and can be done quicker in my opinion but its only a slight advantage here for Docusign.
Ease of Use for Counter Offers
Docusign - Let me tell you a story that will accurately sum up Docusign and counter offers. When I took the course to become a certified trainer the Docusign Representative even said “It’s not really meant for that, it’s better to do negotiations outside of Docusign and then send final version through for signatures”. However, with that being said, its not that hard to do it, it’s just not as easy as it could be. Many will simply export the document to a program such as PDF Expert, make the edits, and then bring it back into Docusign. That process is still easier than printing it out, signing it on paper, then scanning it back onto the computer. They do have the ability to do some markups within Docusign but most regular users of Docusign I’ve spoken to bring it out of the program and edit elsewhere and then bring it back in because the outside programs are better to use.
Repree - Repree does a great job of making it easy to make and send counter offers. Right from within the app itself you can strike out terms of the offer you want to change, fill in a replacement and then tag it to get signed and initialed. Its very easy to do. Anyone should be able to use this part of the app effortlessly. I did encounter one issue with counter offers which I’ll discuss in the Work Flow comparison below.
Advantage: Repree - While Docusign still works well for agents it wasn’t specifically built for Real Estate. Repree was built with Real Estate in mind and handles the job much more seamlessly. Counter Offers is definitely a spot where Repree shines ahead of Docusign.
Docusign - This is a major strength of Docusign. I love the way you can set up workflows. It’s very easy to set it up so that you can input buyers, then when they are done signing it automatically goes to the listing agent who can then input his clients email addresses and then it flips it to the sellers. If anyone makes changes during the process it goes back to the top and goes through the workflow again. When its all done everyone gets a copy and you can set it up so that once an agreement is finalized it also gets sent automatically to your deals secretary or admin staff.
It also ensures that everyone signs and initials every spot that has been set by the agent who created the offer at the beginning. When the buyer agent doesn’t know the sellers emails (ie. 99.9% of the time I’m guessing) you can set it to allow them to input their clients emails and then it proceeds to the sellers. Very simple.
Repree - Repree also does a good job with their work flow. You can select from your list of contacts or you can put in new names while creating the workflow. Here is one drawback I did find while working with Repree though, when I, acting as a hypothetical buyer agent, sent an offer to my clients and they signed it, the offer was then sent to the listing agent. The agent then can input their clients emails, tells them where to sign, and then can make changes to the document. After the listing agent is done the offer gets sent to their clients. However, if the listing agent decided to strike out a term, put in a new one, and have their clients initial it, it doesn’t go back to the top of the workflow. It continues and says its a completed document. So the buyer agent would have to take the deal, re-upload it, get their client to sign it, and send it through the process again to get a finalized deal.
Advantage: Docusign - The fact that when you make changes to Docusign it sends it back to the top of the workflow automatically is a huge advantage. It’s an inconvenience with Repree when you have to then restart the workflow process to deal with changes made to an offer. It’s also a good feature in Docusign that the agent creating the offer is the one setting where both the buyers and sellers initial.
With Repree, when you are leaving it up to the listing agent to choose where to initial and sign they may not be as familiar with how the program works and could easily make mistakes. While its a solvable problem the goal is to create as seamless a situation as possible and a listing agent unfamiliar with Repree may need to spend some time asking for help on how to do it properly. I personally favour the method where the person creating the offer enters who signs and initials and where from the beginning.
Docusign - Docusign integrates directly with webforms. So if you’re using webforms this is a big advantage to you. Its simple and to the point. Everything you’ve already created in webforms in terms of templates can still be used. Not much to talk about here.
Repree - Instead of integrating with webforms Repree aims to replace the need for webforms. It has the forms directly built into the system for your convenience and use. They are updated regularly so you have the most up to date forms.
Advantage: Tie. This, in my opinion, comes down to personal opinion of individual agents. I’ve spoken to some agents who have used Webforms for so long and have it set up exactly how they want that they don’t want to bother learning a new system again . So a platform that doesn’t integrate with webforms is a deal breaker. For others they like the convenience of the built in forms into the Repree system. So neither side has a distinct advantage over the other, it just comes down to your personal preference.
Docusign - The transaction management side is actually a separate entity from the regular Docusign product. So you have to also sign up for the transaction room side of it. It’s a very solid program that helps you manage the transaction. You can invite the right people into each room to allow them access to the documents they need. You can easily store records of all the paperwork. It's a good product.
One really nice feature of Docusign Transaction Rooms as well is the ability to fax out of it. So if you’re working with a dinosaur and they still only want to deal with faxes then you can have it go from Docusign to their fax machine, they can print it out, sign it and make any changes they need to then fax it back into Docusign. Then it continues with the workflow from there.
Repree - Repree aims to be more than just a digital signature platform. It wants to help you better manage your business. You can create To Do checklists to follow every time you get a new listing. Your clients can be notified of progress being made on the marketing of the property. It all happens within the Repree platform. Documents from the transaction can all be stored here so its good for keeping copies. They do not have the ability to include faxing in and out of Repree however. With Repree you can manage almost everything about the transaction from the moment the listing agreement is signed until they've moved into their new house.
Advantage: Repree - Unless you find the ability to fax in and out very important the advantage goes to Repree. Personally I’d rather make the push to fax never being used again so its not really an issue in my opinion. Repree does a good job of helping you stay on task and get everything done on every listing efficiently. One of the best way to manage your time is to create better systems to manage your time.
After having tried both Docusign and Repree I found them to be two very different platforms. To unequivocally say that one is better than the other would be impossible. I think based on the features available it depends on what each person values. So you have to take a look through the article and decide for yourself which features seem like the most useful to you and your business.
I think in general terms if you are looking for more of a digital management platform you should seriously look at Repree as the better option for you. If you are just looking for straight signatures then the improved workflow experience of Docusign may make it a better option. With that being said a very simple tweak to the Repree system of having it so that when edits are made by the listing agent and signed by the seller that it gets sent back to the top of the routing order before being marked as completed would probably push their system back on top for that side of it in my opinion.
(For the “Buy Local” crowd, Repree is Canadian, Docusign is not.)
With technology companies they can move quickly with new features so in my opinion this article is accurate as of September 1st, 2015. Things can change quickly. If they do I’ll try to write a follow up.
Do you agree with what I’ve said in the article? Have additional input you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!