In our real estate law practice, we feel it’s essential to produce contracts, engagement letters, closing documents, and other documents quickly and accurately. Particularly on the East End, deals can fall through if the attorney does not produce documents that are correct and timely.
In starting our practice, we tested legal software from several different providers. In particular, we wanted a practice management software that could keep track of all our contact information, documents, billing, and communications. We also wanted a document automation software that would quickly produce the documents that we needed and eliminate the human error associated with manually inputting information specific to each real estate transaction.
After much research and several product tests, we not only found appropriate practice management and document automation software, but we also found a combination of those products that integrate together seamlessly. Clio Manage, a practice management software, is a versatile and user-friendly cloud-based software that we can access from anywhere. Among other features, we enjoy that we can send documents to clients, have them sign electronically, and pay their retainers via credit card, all through Clio Manage. Another great benefit from Clio Manage is the large number of software integrations with other products, including Microsoft Outlook, Quickbooks Online, and our document automation software, Gavel.
Gavel is another cloud-based software that allows us to create templates of the engagement letter, form contract, rider provisions, closing documents, and anything else we use frequently. Because of the integration with Clio, we can input all of the necessary information for a transaction, like the purchase price, party names, and whether there’s a mortgage, only once into Clio Manage and that information automatically appears in each document produced by Gavel in both Word and PDF formats within seconds.
Obviously, the combination of Clio Manage and Gavel helps tremendously with producing accurate documents quickly. We’ve found, however, that because these programs take a lot of time and effort out of preparing documents, we are able to spend more time on the due diligence analysis for each property. Properties in the East End are often encumbered by covenants and easements, and each of the local municipalities have enacted strict zoning laws that restrict the uses of properties and the dimensions of buildings. Providing each client with a due diligence analysis takes time, and since we can prepare our contracts and other documents so quickly with these programs, we are able to spend more time helping our clients understand what they are buying before they commit to signing a contract, which is a huge value for our clients.
PLEASE NOTE that this article is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship and the information within does not substitute for a consultation with an attorney.
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