Hey Real Estate Professionals –

How about we all start to use some intelligent, useful, time-saving file names for all the scanned documents we are passing back and forth these days?

Here is the problem:

Every day I receive documents from lenders, title companies and other agents/brokers that are labeled things like “scan.pdf”, “document.pdf”, or “QTEhome.pdf”, or “FAX34234.pdf. None of which helps me know what the document is.

Here is a recommendation:

If you start the file name with the eight-digit date code it will self-sort in your “downloads” file or where ever it ends up on your computer. And the date is very helpful in locating information on transactions at some point in the future.

If you then add either the name of the street the property is on or the name of the consumer, it will be much easier to recognize what transaction it is related to. I normally try to add both.

Finally, if you include one or two words that would uniquely identify it by the purpose, that becomes very helpful also.

Here is an example:


This document is about a buyer named Wilson buying a home on Maple, and it is their financing contingency removal. And looking at the eight digits upfront I know it was scanned on February 25, 2010.

Many scanners these days will provide the eight-digit date code automatically so you just need to add a couple of words to get a really useful file name.

I find it much easier to not have spaces between the words because in some situations computers have trouble with these. Also, I like to capitalize the first letter of each word to make it easier to read.

Okay, you may feel this is a bit extreme, but here is my challenge:

Try it for a couple of weeks. See how easy it is to find documents on your computer and see how much your recipients appreciate knowing what each file is.

I bet you’ll never email out a “document.pdf” again.

Happy Scanning!

If you are looking to buy a home and you want a real estate company that will always be on your side, in your corner, and looking out for you, call us.


Jon Boyd Broker/Manager
The Home Buyer’s Agent of Ann Arbor, Inc.
1908 W. Stadium Blvd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

We serve the Ann Arbor – Brighton – Plymouth – Novi – Canton – Ypsilanti areas in Southeastern Michigan.

And we can guarantee that you will never be stuck with designated agency, dual agency, or non-agency.