What Every Property Manager Needs To Know About Electronic Signatures - Grace Hill
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What Every Property Manager Needs To Know About Electronic Signatures

Posted on April 29, 2024 by Grace Hill

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In today’s digital world, trust and security are paramount. Whether you’re signing a contract or sending a sensitive document, ensuring its authenticity and integrity is crucial to protect your business. This is where secure, electronic signatures come in. Electronic signatures can play a pivotal role in verifying the signer’s identity and preserving the document’s integrity.

More specifically, Simple Electronic Signatures (SES), a type of electronic signature, can highlight opportunities to simplify recordkeeping, greatly improve compliance efforts, and ultimately mitigate risk for your property management company.

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What Are Simple Electronic Signatures?

Imagine a fingerprint for your electronic documents. An SES is essentially an encrypted stamp that verifies the authenticity of a digital document and the signer’s identity. Just like a signature on paper, an SES binds you to the document’s content, proving it hasn’t been tampered with after signing. 

SES could be as simple as an image of a handwritten signature on a document or a prompt to select “I Agree” on an online form. Either way, this level of security and compliance protects both employees and the companies they work for. It is a convenient option that verifies the signer through their unique email address or access code. 

However, the benefit of SES extends beyond mere convenience. By leveraging this secure type of electronic signature, property management companies can avoid costly violations and litigation that can come with non-compliance.

Electronic Signatures for Property Management

The adoption of electronic signatures in property management marks a significant shift from traditional paper-based processes to a digital-first approach. This transition has not only enhanced operational efficiency but also fortified the security and integrity of critical documents and agreements.

Whether managing a handful of properties or a vast portfolio across multiple locations, capturing electronic signatures for policy acknowledgments more effectively documents that employees received the policies they need to do their jobs properly. Multifamily organizations can improve operations and prove compliance by electronically distributing company policies and certifying employee acknowledgment with an electronic signature.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

Failure to prove policy acknowledgment can cost you! Data gathered by Insights for Professionals highlights some staggering statistics related to the cost of non-compliance. Organizations spend $5.47 million on compliance, whereas non-compliance can cost businesses $14.82 million on average. Plus, organizations lost an average of $4 million in revenue due to single non-compliance events. 

For multifamily operators, avoiding Fair Housing violations is critical, and investing in training and policies is necessary to protect your business. Fair Housing violations can be steep, with a maximum penalty of $23,000 for the first violation, $57,500 for the second violation within five years, and up to $115,000 for a third violation within seven years. 

The Power of Digital Policy Management

Digital policy distribution with SES acknowledgments creates a clear and verifiable audit trail that improves compliance efforts. Not only can you eliminate the potential risk of lost or misplaced paperwork, but you can also more accurately prove that employees received the policies needed to properly do their job. Additionally, the legal acceptance and binding nature of electronic signatures provide a better defense against potential future legal matters. 

Grace Hill’s new Policy Management Solution offers a robust platform that simplifies the policy distribution and acknowledgment process. This solution makes it easy to assign policies relevant to specific employee needs and capture policy acknowledgment certificates with secure electronic signatures to further protect the organization. 

When an employee reads and acknowledges a company policy, a certificate is generated that shows the policy’s content on the day of signing, and a Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) timestamp records the time it was signed. Paired with a unique identifier like an employee email address, you can verify company compliance to reduce liability if it is ever questioned.

Protect Your Properties and People

Raise compliance standards and mitigate risk for your property management company with SES on policy acknowledgment certificates. Work with Grace Hill to mitigate risk at your company and protect your properties, employees, and residents. Contact us today!

Grace Hill’s marketing content team aims to create informative resources that help multifamily and commercial industry professionals elevate their performance. From blog posts and ebooks to infographics, checklists and webinars, the Grace Hill team has a singular focus: creating meaningful and engaging content that resonates with real estate professionals across the industry.  However, what makes Grace Hill so unique is the range of collective experience and collaborative spirit of its marketing content team. A group of talented writers with expertise in the real estate industry, overall management effectiveness, marketing strategy, and operational efficiency, the team provides new ideas to take performance to the next level. As a thought leader, Grace Hill's content team constantly pushes the envelope, experimenting with new resources and tools to keep industry professionals ahead of the curve.  Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out in the real estate industry, the content team at Grace Hill is creating resources to help you succeed. Learn more about Grace Hill on LinkedIn.

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