One of the most tedious tasks in property management is the seemingly endless cycle of document creation, signings, organization, and storage. From lease signing to property management agreements, managing documents and forms for rental real estate can eat away at your limited time.

A brilliant way to regain that time and get back to other important tasks is to streamline your documentation process with reusable digital templates. Some additional benefits and features include:

  • Reusable
  • Cost savings
  • Time savings
  • Easily customizable
  • Attractive paper alternative
  • Accessible 24/7
  • Electronically signable

You can create these reusable templates within your property management software or by subscribing to electronic signature services like Dropbox Sign (formerly HelloSign).

Hopefully, your property management software offers you the ability to create custom forms and integrates with an electronic signature provider to make your life easier. But if not, providers are available that allow you to create a template from a form to reuse. The steps would be fairly straightforward starting with creating an account with one of these providers. Note, they often require monthly fees associated with the use of their programs.

From there, you’d add your document information and save as a template to reuse. When you want to send a document out for an electronic signature, you’d pull up the template, manually fill in the details to the form. You’d then manually add one or multiple signers’ names and email addresses. You’d also need to create a signature field for you or your representative if needed.

Learn more about e-signatures here: What is an e-Signature and how are they useful for landlords?

The provider would then track when the document was received, opened, signed, and returned. If you want to retrieve your signed document, you’d need to go back into that program and download to save to your computer.

One of the downsides to using these services directly and not through your property management software is the time it takes to toggle between programs to find the information needed to manually fill your templates. This back-and-forth can lend itself to date-entry errors and wasted time due to the lack of integration into your landlord software.

In a property management software integration, you’ll have the benefit of using and creating unique data-fields that pull in the information into your reusable template, eliminating the data-entry and the errors associated with manually inputting information.

Documents that can benefit from templated forms and electronic signatures in rental and property management

The ideas are endless for the types of property management reusable forms and documents you can create:

  • Lease agreements
  • Rules and regulations
  • Confirmation of receipt for important disclosures
  • Management agreements with owners
  • Vendor contracts (contractor agreements)
  • Project management
  • Pricing quotes
  • And more!

What is the best document signing program?

For landlords and property managers, the best document signing program is one that is integrated with your property management software. You could go directly to eSigning providers but you’ll be doubling your efforts by toggling between the two.

You’ll also be missing out on the convenience, extra customization, storage, and auto-fill benefits that come with using the best property management software integrations.

Learn more about document management here: Best Document Management Software for Landlords

Clients of Rentec Direct benefit from the Dropbox Sign integration

Great News! Rentec Direct is already integrated with a trusted eSignature platform, Dropbox Sign (formerly known as HelloSign), so you don’t have to do any research or setup.

Within your software, you will simply add and customize a reusable form. Then, create a virtual envelope that contains your document to send electronically to recipients for their eSignature. The recipient(s) receive an email with a link to access the document file.

For example, upon reviewing a lease document, tenants would provide an electronic signature indicating that they have understood the lease terms and will comply with those terms. The would simply click the link in their email, then the signature and Finish buttons: Three clicks to complete!

Once a document is electronically signed, it is legally binding. The signed document is then safely stored within the File Library in your Rentec account as a PDF file.

Learn more about e-signatures here: What is an e-Signature and how are they useful for landlords?

Getting the most from your Rentec Direct Property Management Software and Dropbox Sign Integration

Rentec Direct’s tools for creating customizable and reusable templates make sending out any document or form easy. The benefits to using the Dropbox Sign integration for collecting eSignatures is icing on the cake.

Below you’ll find some very helpful tips and links to articles to help you get the most out of your Rentec Direct property management software tools.

Adding Forms

Your first stop in making reusable electronic forms in your Rentec Direct account starts with adding forms into the system. You can use the Import Tool, copy and paste an existing document, or manually create a form.

Importing Tips:

  • Press the Preview button at the bottom of the page at any time to see what the document will look like when printed. This will allow you to make any adjustments to the document before saving.
  • Importing .pdf and .docx file types render the information best.
  • Import files without graphics and add them in after (during customization) for best results.
  • If you do not like how the import appears, there is no need to save – simply use the Cancel Button and try importing a different file type for a better result.

Copy & Paste Tip:

If you choose to copy and paste a document over into your Rentec Direct software instead of using the Import Tool, if the formatting does not carry over well, it’s often best to paste without formatting using CTRL-SHIFT-V instead, then do the formatting within the editor (see below).

Once uploaded, you can use the Form Editor to customize your form with data-fields that will auto-populate information from the system for you, saving you valuable time when you send out forms and leases.

Rentec Direct knowledge base instructional article can be found here: Adding Forms

Custom Form Editor

In addition to typical document editing options, the custom Form Editor allows you to customize your document and insert data fields that will automatically pull relevant tenant, property, owner, information from the software and then populates that information into the form for you. There are also data-fields to choose from for esignatures and initials.

These data fields are the magic sauce that makes these reusable forms so convenient. Instead of manually entering important information, let the Rentec Direct software do the heavy lifting.

Tip: Mozilla FireFox or Google Chrome are recommended when using this tool vs. Internet Explorer

Rentec Direct knowledge base instructional article can be found here: Custom form editor

Data Fields and How They Appear

When you select a data field to add to the body of your message, the system automatically inserts those values into the form.

For example: if you’ve entered
Hello %first_name% %last_name%,

The document would read:
Hello Joe Smith,

Data Field Tips:

  • Using the Initials data-field allows Dropbox Sign to request the signer’s initials at various points throughout the form.
  • In the Form template editor, a Page Break helps you control exactly where your form content will skip to the next page. After insertion, the field appears as %PAGE_BREAK% in the editor and in the Preview or final PDF document it does an actual new page.
  • Use the Preview Button to test with sample data. The Preview option is available on desktops when browser size is maximized. You can also preview a form by creating a sample Tenant and choosing Forms on their Tenant Menu.

Custom Fields

The software provides common property management data fields but your software comes with an added bonus feature that allows you to create your own custom fields that can then be used in any document. With custom fields you can track quick access information such as vehicle or pet details, swimming pool and community access codes, and more.

Rentec Direct knowledge base instructional article can be found here: Custom Fields

A great property management software will have an integration with a compliant eSignature service provider as well as a comprehensive tool to help you create reusable form templates. Using those customized reusable templates, with that electronic signature integration, property managers and landlords can expect to save time by eliminating redundant and manual data-entry and the manual processes of document signing – freeing up your valuable time to spend on other more important tasks.