My Paper-less Challenge: Taking Care of Business in 2011

My Paper-less Challenge: Taking Care of Business in 2011

2011 arrived, and with it my annual business plan -- successful strategies to be continued and expanded; new elements to add to the business; outdated, wasteful practices to be eliminated.

office desk

One of those wasteful habits that needed changing has to do with paper -- mountains of paper -- file drawers stuffed with paper -- boxes under my desk encroaching on my foot space. The time had come to make some serious changes, and the plan was laid:


  1. I've changed the way I prepare files for my clients.  In 2010, I told my clients I could give them a disk containing all contract documents, reports, disclosures on it instead of a paper file. Now I've changed the way I present that option; I presume that they'd prefer to receive a disk. I now only prepare paper file for those I know don't use a computer. About 90% of my files are now delivered on disk.
  2. I've cut down the size of my listing presentation material. While my listing presentation is still delivered in paper form, I no longer toss in extraneous pages. A fat folder is not a better folder. Lean and meaty is what people want and appreciate. Save a tree - save time.
  3. paper newslettersMore of my newsletters are delivered electronically. While many of my newsletter recipients, especially those on my Senior database, prefer paper (they save the newsletters for many months, share the jokes with grandchildren, keep the household tips handy) others with less free time appreciate the email format--they can scan & toss, but my name is still reaching them every month. I'm converting more to the electronic format as I talk with people.
  4. I use paper more efficiently. I think twice before printing--maybe I should "print" it as a .pdf, then discard when finished. When I do need/want to print out something for my own use, I take the extra moment and print it on the back side of once-used paper.
  5. I have an efax. Near the end of 2010, I got an efax number. Documents are clearer to read, ready to be forwarded as appropriate with the click of the button.
  6. I've purchased DocuSign. I'll be using DocuSign to get signatures electronically just as soon as I have time to figure it out!
  7. I've sent boxes of old files out to be shredded. I'm keeping only the last 4 years of client files here--the older ones are history, and my feet and legs are happy to have a place to go when I'm at my desk!
  8. And still waiting to be implemented --- I plan to have all financial reports delivered to me electronically instead of on paper!

happy business peopleWhile the paperless office still is an unreachable goal, the paper-less office is very achievable. By using our resources more wisely, we can also save ourselves time and money, and create a more pleasant and efficient work space. Sounds pretty good to me!


This post is written as a submission to the ActiveRain & Kodak Paper-less Challenge contest. I have the chance to win the high speed KODAK SCANMATE i1120 Scanner, great for helping real estate professionals reduce their stacks of paper by scanning contracts, photos and business cards in seconds.


--- Come for a visit; Stay for a lifetime!

Lottie Kendall, Realtor®


CA DRE#10215160; 650-465-4547

Peninsula Living Business Page



Comment balloon 10 commentsLottie Kendall • February 25 2011 01:44PM


Lottie,  You are a model to be followed!  I've been working on paperless or at least paper-fewer for the past year.  I have foot space under my home desk and my office desk.  I find that every now and then, I dispose of a pages in a file, but none have been a disaster  --  there seems to be another copy lurking somewhere.

Posted by Marge Draper, REALTOR, Keller Williams Realty, Menlo Park CA (Keller Williams Realty Palo Alto) over 9 years ago

Hi Marge! "The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step." I guess that goes for reducing paper, too.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 9 years ago

When I clicked on this post I hear you talking about a that suppose to happen?  I too have implemented many of the same things...and it is very hard for this used to be Accountant to let the paper go....

Posted by Cindy Marchant, "Cindy in Indy" , Realtor, Fishers Real Estate (Keller Williams Indy NE 317-290-7775 over 9 years ago

Hmmm, Cindy, I don't hear anything here. Another recent post has a video, but it starts when the post is opened; I need to disable it somehow, or get rid of it -- too distracting.

Enjoy your weekend,

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 9 years ago

Lottie - It took some getting used to but I have been virtually paperless for about 5 years.  It does make a difference and cuts costs

Posted by Nevin Williams, Senior Mortgage Advisor (Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation) over 9 years ago

Wow, Nevin, I'm impressed!! No wonder you are so efficient -- I'm struggling to get to that point.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 9 years ago

Wow. You are efficient. I'm surrounded by paper and I have a confession: I like the stuff. I'm a Staples junkie. And I'm not that techie that I can make the transformation you've achieved. Impressive!

Posted by Andrew J. Lenza (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 9 years ago

Hi Andrew - I kinda' like paper too, and will never be completely paper free. I still use paper calendars, for example; I find the physcial act of writing helps cement something in my mind that keying in on a computer doesn't do. But, changing the client files is a huge help, and DocuSign will save me much time and increase my efficiency.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 9 years ago


You are so organized!  I cannot imagine you having boxes of paper under your feet.  ;)

Way to go girl!

Nicely laid out too.

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) over 9 years ago

Hi Judi -- I used to just wrap my ankles around the chair legs and not worry about it. BUT ---- is an enjoyable luxury now to stick my legs straight out from time to time!

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 9 years ago