Electronic signatures digitise the property sector
250 public housing offices (OPHLM), 3,400 franchisees, 12,000 co-owner syndicates, 12,000 notaries… the property sector is made up of a wide range of different parties. And what do they all have in common? They have all been affected by the digitisation of processes, which is a massive change for a sector that is so reliant on paperwork. This is where electronic signatures come in, and they have proven to be very effective, something that professionals understand very well. They provide the necessary guarantees in regard to regulatory compliance and secure digital transactions. For example, as part of their digital transformation, more and more property companies are recommending that their customers sign their tenancy agreements electronically, which saves a lot of time in the processing of files. So what are the current digitisation trends in the sector, and what are their impacts? Read on for an overview of the opportunities provided by electronic signatures for the property sector.
The digital transformation of the property sector accelerated in 2018 thanks to the ELAN law, which introduced a digital tenancy agreement. As a result, when signing a tenancy agreement, the guarantor no longer needs handwritten information and can instead use an electronic signature, which complies with the European eIDAS regulation. As a certified Trust Service Provider, in accordance with the aforementioned regulation, our trust services comply with all current regulations.
Electronic signatures make property transactions more secure
Electronic signatures enable property professionals and networks of agencies and agents to sign various different documents (selling and rental mandates, viewing confirmations, inspection reports, sales agreements, purchase offers, etc.) either in the agency or remotely, which applies to all kinds of property transactions, whether they be purchases, sales or rentals.
Do you work in the property sector? You should know that electronic signatures enable you to prove:
- The integrity of the signed document, guaranteeing the agency, buyer and seller that the content of the contract has not been modified;
- The signatory’s identification, proving that they are indeed who they say they are.
Electronic signatures streamline the various processes within the property sector:
- Simplicity: it’s no longer necessary to initial each page of leases and contracts, because the electronic signature guarantees the entire document.
- Reduced lead times: the electronic signature frees you from the constraints of geographical distance throughout the contract process.
- Savings: a reduction in printing, archiving and storage costs. For example, a simple tenancy agreement can easily be longer than 50 pages.
- Increased efficiency: you can access all your documents and those signed by your customers at the touch of a button, directly from your phone.
… and strengthen the sector’s foundations
Networks of agencies and agents
Business models for estate agents are now contingent upon the digitisation of sales and rental processes. Since these are high-stakes transactions, it is important to offer digital services that are of a high quality, involve a high level of security and provide an optimum user experience.
With more than 20,000 transactions every year (and more than 100,000 documents signed each year), Digit RE Group (Capifrance, Optimhome and Refleximmo) is one of the top 5 estate agent networks in France. The Group is largely made up of networks of independent property consultants.
Our electronic signatures help to:
- Simplify processes and improve the quality of monitoring procedures, by reducing the potential for human errors during the manual processing of documents;
- Reduce the time it takes to process files by removing the need to post various documents to be signed;
- Make savings on the purchasing of office supplies and postage costs.
Specialist providers and classified advertisement sites
Leboncoin is the number 1 website for posting free classified adverts in France. This ‘pure play’ company wanted to be able to sign advertisement publication contracts online with its BtoB customers. This was made possible with our electronic signature service, and now more than 2,500 contracts are signed online every month. In addition to the productivity gains achieved thanks to the reduction in transaction times, Leboncoin has also improved the conversion rate of its telemarketers.
Habiteo offers property developers a 3D visualisation tool and a collection of other tools to help them market new properties. Through the use of a dedicated website, customers can visit apartments that don’t even exist yet and plan their layouts. Thanks to our electronic signatures, potential buyers can reserve a property online immediately by electronically signing a pre-reservation contract, within the framework of a VEFA contract (vente en état de futur achèvement).
Public housing offices (OPHLM) and social housing rental companies
A number of laws have helped to digitise dealings between lessors and tenants by allowing electronic signatures and enabling documents to be sent electronically. The purpose was to allow lessors (private or professional) to manage their property portfolio with a number of digital solutions, such as the use of electronic signatures for property inspections and tenancy agreements, either signed in the agency or online.
Eure habitat wanted to offer its customers the ability to sign rental and sales contracts electronically, in order to simplify their administration processes. Our trust service thus allowed the company to reduce costs and complete the signature process in just a few minutes, when previously it would have taken several days.
Immobilière 3F is the largest social housing rental company in France and a subsidiary of Action Logement Immobilier. It is made up of 14 different social housing companies and manages more than 250,000 social accommodations, shelters and businesses. The company wanted to implement electronic signatures for its tenancy agreements and property inspections. We were able to help them by enabling their documents to be signed directly through our online platform, without any interruption to the contract process.
By digitising their processors, co-owners of all sizes and management styles are able to send notices for meetings and general meeting minutes electronically. This secure process saves them money on postal costs.
Property professionals in France are represented by the SNPI, the top French union for the property sector, which works with 8,300 different companies.
SNPI (Syndicat National des Professionnels Immobiliers)
The SNPI wanted to help its members digitise their signature processes for various different documents (tenancy agreements, sales agreements, mandates, property inspections, etc.), in order to simplify their administration procedures by streamlining the signature processes and saving time. The union also wanted to reduce the costs connected to the signing of contracts. Our electronic signature solution enabled them to achieve all these objectives, while also providing a smooth user experience.
Are you a property professional who is currently undertaking digitisation projects?