By Ian McKendry
Agents who want to work more efficiently are often turning to technology solutions to help them be more productive.
Cartavi, a real estate technology company that teamed up with electronic signature provider DocuSign in January and was a finalist for Inman’s Most Innovative Technology award in 2012, had this in-mind when creating its mobile app, which aimed to do just that – help agents be innovative and more productive.
The company describes its service as a “cloud-based document management platform designed specifically for the real estate industry,” which essentially works as a one-stop shop for agents to store documents and manage real estate deals, allowing easy storing and sharing all the documents involved in a real estate deal via the cloud. This is similar to other available apps, such as Dropbox, where an agent can save a document on their home PC and then access it on their mobile phone or tablet, but Cartavi is one of the very few document management services that is available on both iOS and Android phones and tablets.
But where Cartavi separates itself from other cloud-based storage providers is the way it enhances the sharing process and caters to the entire life-cycle of the transaction process. Cartavi has “transaction rooms” where an agent can make documents, like an appraisal or closing estimate, available to anyone else involved in the deal and, based on their permission settings, can sign or add other documents. The creator of the transaction has the authority to set the permissions for everyone, and decides who can see what and manage the files even after the transaction is complete. The mobile app version also has a feature that will automatically send you an update on your phone when a document has been viewed or signed so you can instantly keep up with its status.
Cartavi also helps agents keep track of contacts and previous deals by creating a network which organizes everyone you have worked with through Cartavi and quickly lets you see who was involved with what deals. Agents can also keep track of previous and active transactions and can pull the documents that were involved and see who they worked with.
This is all in addition to a “my docs” page where agents can store any other documents they might have on hand, and move these files to the transaction rooms when need be.
Cartavi is priced similarly to Dropbox: there is a free version, a basic version and premium version, but with Cartavi you get the add-ons such as the electronic fax, the integration with DocuSign, and the Cartavi network.. The free version gives you access to 1 GB of storage, three transaction rooms and instant notifications, but it doesn’t let you take advantage of some of the more powerful features such as e-signatures, a fax number to send and receive faxes electronically and more control over transaction rooms. For $10 a month/$99 a year, you can sign-up for the basic service, which grants you 10 GB of storage and all of the features, and for $20 a month/$199 a year, you can have the premium version, which grants you access to 20 GB of storage along with a 200 outbound faxes, 100 more than the basic version offers. With both the basic and premium versions, you can receive unlimited inbound faxes.
Overall: Is Cartavi Worth It?
What you get with Cartavi is a package of services and features to go along with mobile cloud-based storage. You may be able to do similar things with other products or a combination of other products, but Cartavi aggregates them all into one place and is designed specifically for real estate. One challenge may be that in order to take full advantage of all the features of Cartavi, it is best to work with other people who have an account. While it is free, some people may still be reluctant to sign up, but a non-Cartavi user can still add documents to a transaction with a fax and take part in other ways.