The Importance of a Professional PDF Writer Program for Real Estate

by Jeffrey Raskin on July 9, 2010

When I created the Ultimate Paperless Office, allowing me to conduct a real estate transaction from anywhere in the world without the use of a fax machine, printer, scanner and – the best part – with NO PAPER, there were a couple of programs that were absolutely essential to me.

One of them was a professional PDF writer program. In general, we need this sister program of a PDF reader, which only allows you to read a PDF file, in order to convert ANYTHING on your screen into the PDF file format. This puts the content in a secure, universal file format that anybody can download and read for free. Plus, creating fillable PDF documents allows your client to type on them, just like on zipForm® documents. As you know, most brokers have not converted their own company-specific documents into zipForm®, so changing them to a fillable PDF is essential to making the document uniform and professional looking.

There are free PDF writer programs, including the limited version that comes with zipForm® 6, that allow us to convert documents into PDFs, but there are so many other things we can do with a full professional program. Have you ever wanted to:

1)      Extract pages from a multiple-page document?

2)      Merge, switch around or rotate documents?

3)      Highlight where your client has to sign on the contract?

4)      Put a short sale/escrow # on all pages at once?

5)      Create fillable PDF documents so that other people can type on a page?

6)      Type directly onto ANY PDF document?

A professional PDF writer program allows me to do this and much more, including:

1)      Receive a 20-page fax and pull out just the BINSR so that I can send it to my broker.

Extract Pages

2)      Rotate a received fax document that came in upside down.

Rotate Pages

3)      Reorder the pages in an online faxed document.

4)      Highlight items, create a text box showing clients where to initial or draw a circle on the document. These are visible in the document but don’t have to show when it is printed out.

Highlight, Draw Text Box, Circle

5)      Insert the short sale number on each page of the document as simply as adding a header or footer in a Word document.

Insert Header/Footer Text

6)      Take ANY document and allow my client to type on it.

Fillable Text Fields

7)      Type in my broker information.

Type in Information

This will save you a lot of time and energy – and prevent you from printing out any pages!

I mentioned that there are free PDF writer programs available, such as www.cutepdf.com or www.win2pdf.com, which will do only one thing – convert any document into a PDF. But to do the rest of the things mentioned above, we need to use a professional PDF writer program. Though I previously used Adobe Acrobat Pro, I have switched over to Nitro PDF. Not only is it 1/5 the price, but it doesn’t have the glitches that Adobe has, is MUCH easier to use and does about twice as much.

A professional PDF writer program is what every REALTOR® needs as a tool in their business.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Evan Fuchs July 9, 2010 at 11:05 am

Jeffrey,

Great points. I use many of the features you mentioned almost daily.

One feature that saves me time and paper is the ability to export a PDF as a multi-page TIF document and then turn it back into a PDF:

“Flattening” PDFs – turning it into an image prevents future editing or even selecting of elements in the PDF

Reducing file size – Most PDF apps have the ability to reduce or optimize file size, but exporting it to a TIF, depending on the app, usually lets you reduce size/quality/color. This is especially handy when someone sends a PDF they created using a scanner that recognized their text pages as big ole images.

Wonky fonts – Every so often the fonts in a PDF go crazy after being processed or uploaded by some systems, such as Transaction Management. By turning the file into a TIF and back into a PDF, the font issues go away.

This TIF export/import is an extra step, but is usually a good last resort in those cases where you might otherwise have to print the PDF and scan it back in.

Thanks for your tips!

Aaron Charlton July 9, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Thanks for the tip about Nitro PDF. I have always been an Adobe user because I get it included with my design software. I did not know there were better options.

Evan, Everything is editable, even images. In the future I think we’ll have to go more and more to electronic signature to avoid fraud. In the meantime, I suppose converting the image to a TIF does keep some people from editing them.

Evan Fuchs July 9, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Aaron, text and other edits are not directly selectable as independent objects once the document has be flattened by turning it into a TIF. Essentially, it’s like a fax.

Doug McVinua July 13, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Great article and comments. Another use for a full blown PDF program is assembling documents.

Example: A Short Sale file: It is easy to collect the needed documents separately and then compile into one large (50-100) pages file in the order you desire and then fax or email off as needed.

Love it with Short Sales when the banks come back and say you are missing a document, ask them if they have the original fax and would they go to page 62! The banks often have the original fax complete and can locate the missing document.

Barbara Morrow September 2, 2010 at 7:03 am

Hi Jeffrey,
I told my husband about Nitro PDF. He went online and searched and found “PD Fill” for only $20. I have used it a few times. Do you know of any differences between PD FIll and Nitro?
Thanks

Jeffrey "Mr. Tech" Raskin September 2, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Hi Barbara,
Where do I start. There are lesser priced programs- even free programs that can do some basic functions that pdf writer programs can perform. But I promise you, it won’t be able to do 1/2 of the amazing things I can do with this $80 program.

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