Paperless World Scholarship Winning Essay

Marcos Ortiz, winner of the 2015 Paperless World Scholarship is currently a sophomore at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. We at PDFfiller are inspired by Marcos’ vision for a paperless world and would like to share his winning essay with you.


 How Online Document Technology Can Improve Governance in Mexico

A movement toward a digital online document management system is an ideal and mutually beneficial method for governing officials and citizens of a country like Mexico.  The necessity of such a system was particularly apparent to me during a clerical task, in which I had to get an IFE card (a document of similar importance as a license is to American citizens). This process can be bothersome because it requires two paper copies of four different documents, including a CURP (Mexican supporting document), a proof of residence, birth certificate, and a photo ID. This totals 8 copies needed, as well as original documents, in order to be considered for this card.  Moreover, this service is only provided every other day between 8 to 12 in the morning, which makes it hard to be attended along with the hundreds of other people. The root of this problem is due to unawareness of technologies and services such as PDFfiller, which would be able to manage large quantities of documents much more efficiently.

Most clerical offices in Mexico, as well as other developing countries, may have computers in their offices, but choose not to use them because no real training is given. However, if they knew of services like PDFfiller, it would cut down on the unnecessary task of storing and maintaining large amounts of paper files for every citizen in the city’s district office. Keeping online documents would also help governing facilities by allowing every department in the government’s system to access information for every citizen. Currently, one can only get things done within their district office because no other office has the required information readily available. This potentially leads to a bigger problem: namely, if one of the offices experiences a natural disaster such as an earthquake (which happens often in Mexico City), then those documents are lost, leading to chaos for all residents.

On a more ecological note, the digitization of documents would dramatically decrease the consumption of paper. No longer would each person be required to bring 8 copies of their documents. Instead, countries could adopt a more modern system, one that the US could also use, which would allow citizens to bring a USB drive with their scanned official documents to carry out formal transactions such as the one I outlined earlier. In addition, once those documents are in the cloud infrastructure of the governing body, then no more paper copies would ever be needed for future transactions.

As a student of Finance at the McCombs School of Business, I increasingly wish that my own school would adopt a digital online document management system. I want to increase awareness of PDFfiller, as it is one that I use fairly often to complete homework assignments. I am in a position where I can push my school to implement electronic document signing, and once I graduate I intend on returning to Mexico to promote this kind of modernization within local government offices. My country’s internal functions will vastly improve with online document management, and we will lead the way in eradicating the use of paper.


  –  Marcos Ortiz

Marcos Ortiz, Winner 2015 PDFfiller Paperless World Scholarship

Marcos Ortiz, Winner 2015 PDFfiller Paperless World Scholarship

2015 Paperless World Scholarship Winner

In June 2015, PDFfiller announced the Paperless World Scholarship Program to help undergraduate students from developing countries generate innovative ideas that promote productivity, transparency, and efficiency in governance and business in their countries of origin.

We are thrilled to announce Marcos Ortiz is the winner of the Paperless World Scholarship for Fall, 2015.  Originally from Mexico, Marcos is currently a sophomore at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.

According to Marcos,

“I definitely want to help improve the organization and consumption of resources back in my home country of Mexico. I am very proud of being a Mexican citizen, but I am highly conscious of the improvements my country needs to make.”

“My parents have taught me the value of being hardworking and passionate, and I will carry those throughout my studies at UT Austin and my future career. I plan on being able to bring back what I learn to my country in the future in hopes that those values will transfer into Mexican society.”

We at PDFfiller are inspired by Marcos’ vision for a paperless world and would like to share it with you – click here to read more about his ideas for using online document technology to improve governance in Mexico.  And stay tuned for our next few posts sharing our scholarship candidates’ ideas on how online document technology like PDFfiller can be used to build more efficient and environmentally-friendly government and business workflows across a paperless world.

The Benefits of Using a Tech-savvy Agent

Welcome back to PDFfiller Realtor Guest Blog series, which brings you advice from the experts!  This week’s post from Connor Southworth lays out why it’s important to have a tech-savvy agent when marketing your home.  For more great posts from Connor, check out his blog at


There was a time when business was done on paper; when homes were sold by a sign in the front yard; when people still had home phones and called regarding real estate ads in the newspaper. It was a simple time filled with huge televisions with small screens – you were really cool if you had a (enormous) cell phone that you probably paid upwards of $2 per minute to use. This was back before GPS, iPhones, and Facebook. As much as we all miss those days, some things have changed – and hopefully, your real estate agent has changed, too.

Yes, he once wore bell bottoms and now he’s sporting some nice skinny jeans – but I’m not so concerned about fashion – except that if he was old enough to wear bell bottoms he’s got to be pushing 60, so his pair of skinny jeans probably don’t look nearly as good on him as he thinks they do. I’m talking more about your real estate agent’s integration of technology into his business.

Business now is done digitally. Documents can be created and signed online without ever having to print. Fax machines are a thing of the past. Actually, I haven’t sent or received a fax in years. Recently I had another agent at the office named Tim ask me for my fax number. We all laughed hysterically and then joked about it for days.

As fun as it was driving 45 minutes each way in rush hour traffic to get a simple signature on a time-sensitive document, it is really nice to be able to send and sign documents with the click of a button from your computer or smart phone. Offers are written, signed and submitted within minutes instead of hours. Working with an agent who uses these tools allows you to be much more competitive in today’s market where homes are being sold in hours. Getting your offer in first can be the difference between getting the home of your dreams and spending the rest of your life living in your parents’ basement.

As for marketing your home, an agent with a strong web presence has a huge advantage over other agents. Posting ads in the newspaper classifieds doesn’t work anymore. Are newspapers even still around? I was a paperboy as a kid and now I haven’t seen a real print newspaper in years. In fact, if you still have one, call up the Smithsonian and see if you can make some money on it.

People look online for homes now. Extensive knowledge of internet marketing, social media, SEO, PPC, CRM’s and a bunch of other 3-letter abbreviations that I may or may not be making up as I go, are all critical for a good agent to know. A tech-savvy agent can sell your home faster and for more money and can make you a more competitive buyer.

Now get on out there and find yourself a good, technologically inclined Realtor. If you live in Utah, I know a good one 😉

Connor Southworth, REALTOR, CNE, SFR
Licensed in Utah
801-792-5326 (direct)

More Happy Customers than All of Chicago

Having just reached 10,000 reviews on our Shopper Approved review service, PDFfiller took time out to review some of the facts and figures that lead to so many happy customers.

PDFfiller serves hundreds of thousands of customers, and with more of the features that you need and want to efficiently manage your documents, we found that the numbers of customers and the amount of forms they fill, sign, and send just keeps growing.

Infographics are a great way to brag.. so we decided to brag a bit about the great work we’ve been doing at PDFfiller.

Let us show how we are winning people over, one happy customer at a time!

Working with Purchase Agreements

Welcome back to PDFfiller Realtor Guest Blog series, which brings you advice from the experts!  This week’s post from Jeff “Grimm” Nelson focuses on the elements of a purchase agreement.  For more great posts from Jeff, check out his blog at


Working with Purchase Agreements

Almost everyone at some point in their life will have to fill out a real estate contract and this can bring a feeling of trepidation, even to seasoned buyers. However, there is nothing to fear. Here we will go over the most common real estate contract, the purchase agreement, discussing what is meant by some of the terms and how to fill it out – from a buyer’s point of view. Real estate license law varies slightly from state to state but there are general aspects to the purchase agreement that remain true no matter where you live.

The Purchase Agreement
A real estate contract is usually a bilateral contract (between two parties) and in order for it to be enforceable, it must be in writing and include the following:

• Identification of the parties

The parties of the sale would include both the buyer and the seller, who are identified as the principals to the transaction. The full names of both parties must be on the contract as it reads on their driver’s license.

• Identification of the property

This is often referred to as “real property” as opposed to “personal property”. At the very least the address to the property must be on the contract; however for the best protection it is smart to also include other identifiers such as the legal description, property identification number, and even the MLS number. The legal description and property ID are available to the public through your city’s tax records. In most cities, this information is readily available online.

• Purchase Price

The amount of the initial offer must be included for the purchase. Negotiations may cause this number to change but the starting price from the buyer must be on the contract.

• Contract must have a legal purpose

Real estate contracts are void if the property is for illegal purposes.

• Consideration

A real estate contract must include consideration or something of value to be offered in exchange for real estate at the time of the offer. This is often referred to as an Earnest Money Deposit or Good Faith Deposit. There is no set amount that the consideration has to be legally however different areas of the country usually have “traditionally” set amounts. Legally, consideration doesn’t even have to be money but the seller always takes this into account when reviewing your offer. Whether your consideration is $500, 1%, or even 10% of the purchase price, the more substantial the amount is the more serious you appear to the seller which could benefit you if there are other buyers for the property. Once the purchase agreement is accepted and as long as the buyer doesn’t default, the consideration is credited back to the buyer at closing.

• Competent parties

The mentally impaired, persons under the influence of drugs or alcohol, etc. may not enter into an agreement. Minors can enter into an agreement but the contract is voidable.

• “Meeting of the minds”

Each party must have a full understanding to the terms, rights, and obligations of the contract.

• Signatures

All real estate contracts must be entered into voluntarily and is represented by the signatures of both parties.

Provisions and contingencies do not make a contract legal but are necessary in every real estate contract. You can literally offer or ask for anything that you want in an offer but always remember that “both” parties must agree on the terms.
Some provisions to include in the contract: who pays for title insurance, what is the closing date, how long does the seller remain in the property at closing, can the buyer get early possession, will the seller pay any of your closing costs, do you want a survey of the land, what kind of deed will the property convey, do you want a home warranty, etc…

Contingencies are an event that must take place in order for something else to happen. For instance, if you are getting a mortgage, the contract is contingent on you getting fully approved for the loan. Also, if you are getting a loan the offer is contingent on the property appraising for the loan amount or sales price, whichever is applicable.

You may have a home sale contingency that means that you must close on your current home before closing on your new home. The most important is the home inspection contingency, which in my opinion should be in every real estate purchase agreement. The transaction is contingent on a satisfactory home inspection or the repairs made by the seller, agreed upon by both parties. As long as the contingencies are in writing, have a timeline, and are signed by both parties, they are a viable part of every real estate contract.

Real estate contracts can be a little intimidating but hopefully this article has helped you with some of the basics in working with a Purchase Agreement. Thousands of homes are bought and sold every day and the vast percentage of them started with the information on this page.
Jeff “Grimm” Nelson
RealtySouth of Orange Beach
27267 Perdido Beach Blvd # 207
Orange Beach, AL 36561
Office : (251) 974-5625
Cell: (251) 654-2523