May 07, 2021
How e-signing can help real estate companies during the corona pandemic
Since the coronavirus took off in earnest over a year ago, large parts of society have more or less shut down. In a very short time, organisations have had to switch to teleworking and the question is whether we will ever return to what we once saw as normal.
The report "Swedes and the Internet 2020" provides a unique picture of the rapid digitalisation that has taken place in our society as a result of the corona crisis. All industries and organisations have been affected in some way, but for some industries the crisis has meant a very rapid transformation in order to survive.
The report shows that the proportion of people working full-time from home has increased more than tenfold in the last year. Half of those working from home had no previous experience of teleworking. However, the vast majority, 8 out of 10 respondents, think that working from home works well. Most also want to continue working from home in the future, at least part of the time.
A new everyday life for real estate companies
For many in the real estate industry, physical access to all documents and records in the workplace has been the norm. In the past, most have had the opportunity to meet prospective tenants to sign contracts. That reality has changed forever. Today, most real estate companies do not meet with their tenants to any great extent. Nor do they have access to physical documents and forms in the office. However, they still have to do their job and keep the business running.
The situation has given many real estate companies turbo fuel in their journey towards a more digital business. It's a journey that would certainly have been made in the future anyway, but with everyone moving back to their home offices overnight, the transition had to be made in a very short space of time. We think this should be seen as a huge opportunity to digitise while increasing security, traceability and control regarding the contracting process.
Real estate is an extremely contract-intensive industry
Real estate companies are incredibly dependent on their contracting process. It's an industry with a lot of contracts. Every month new leases have to be written, garage spaces have to be rented out, apartments have to be changed and so on. Digitising the signing of contracts and access to forms and documents is now a matter of survival. In order to continue operating during the corona pandemic, many real estate companies have seen digital signatures and forms as the only solution.
Here are some of the most common examples of contracts that can be signed electronically and where the parties can identify themselves electronically:
- Rental contract for accommodation or premises
- Rental of garage space
- Supplier agreement
- Digital application forms
The list goes on, but the common denominator is that you don't have to meet your counterpart in person and can complete the deal online. This means that you can maintain your business even if all your employees are at home and even if your tenants no longer want or can come by the office.
Our top three tips for getting started with digital signatures
- It should be easy to get started! It can be difficult to change your company's internal processes overnight, or you may not even want to change them. So choose a solution that is already integrated with your real estate system and works independently. Then you can be up and running in no time.
- Start small and scale with the needs! Look at the needs of your business and start where you see the most benefit, for example with recurring contracts like garage spaces. You don't need to take on all contracts at once, it's often good to test on a single area or process and then scale up the solution later.
- Choose the right partner! Choose a supplier that is flexible and understands the real estate industry and your specific challenges. The digitisation process should support your core business and enable you, not limit your operations.