Mistakes in rental or home-buying contracts—anything from agents putting in the wrong move-in date to spelling the buyer’s name incorrectly—waste time and can cause homeowners to lose out on properties they’re interested in.
Apace, founded in February 2020, is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that hopes to offer a fix by allowing real estate professionals to create mistake-free contracts on any device.
Having clients lose deals is something that CEO and real estate broker Marcus Medley saw first-hand. In 2019, while doing work on his house, Medley received a text message from a client who wanted him to submit an offer on a property she liked.
“The issue is that a lot of platforms available today, their focus is made up mainly on how contracts are organized, how to obtain e-signatures—there’s not really many platforms that really focus on the convenience of actually creating a contract,” he said. “So because of the inconvenience, I had to rush home in Boston traffic. I spent roughly 45 minutes doing the actual offer itself. And she ended up losing the deal…So that’s kind of when the light bulb went on.”
To streamline the process of creating real estate contracts, the company uses “smart templates.” These smart templates (which are optional to use), use preset criteria to autofill data into contracts.
First, agents are asked a few questions typically found in real estate purchase contracts. After the questions are answered, agents have the option of inputting the smart template, which automatically fills out the contract with your predetermined criteria. Medley said that if agents choose to use the smart template feature, 50 percent of the contract will automatically be filled out, leaving only personalized information like the buyer’s name and home address to be uploaded.
Once the contract is filled out, agents have the opportunity to check for errors and obtain e-signatures from clients.
“And, you know, we had a survey early on, and we asked agents, out of curiosity, how long does it take you on average to complete a real estate contract? And the answer was 35 minutes for one offer. At our platform, on average, it’s about a little over three minutes,” said Medley.
“When you’re at your kid’s soccer game, it’s very inconvenient to have to drop what you’re doing to satisfy clients,” he added. “And with our technology, we allow you to satisfy clients, without sacrificing time.”
Currently, the company uses a subscription-based model. Medley said Apace has two plans: The “simple” plan is $6.99 per month and the “seasoned” plan is $9.99 per month. The primary difference between the plans is that the seasoned plan comes with e-signing capabilities and more smart template options.
Apace is planning to add another form to its platform within the next couple of weeks. This form, called the Massachusetts Mandatory Agency Disclosure Form, is a required document that agents have to have clients fill out when they first discuss a property that they’re interested in. By adding this document, real estate agents can now use Apace to submit a standard real estate offer package.
The platform allows agents to “have a life outside of real estate” while still being attentive to their clients, according to Medley. “Our technology gives agents a competitive advantage that you’re able to get an offer into a listing agent before you even leave an open house,” he said.