Digital documents arrive just in time for property management

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Industry News, Property Management,  Property Managers

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is reshaping the way we live and work. Many businesses are quickly adapting to keep the wheels moving while staff work remotely and consumer demand changes. Property management is one particular business where the show must go on.

Tenants rely on property managers to maintain a safe and usable home, owners rely on property managers to protect their investment, the government relies on the private sector (mostly managed by property managers) to supply housing for the 1 in 3 Australians who don’t own their own home and real estate agencies rely on property management business while sales are depressed.

In this new world though, the old way of doing property management with pen and paper is no longer possible. While at home, most tenants don’t have access to printers or scanners and currently cannot access the same at work. Let’s face it, it’s an antiquated process anyway.

For about a year now, the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has been working with a start-up called Hutly on the provision of a fully digital contract. Not just a digital signing method, but a digital contract – one that stores all of the relevant contract data points in order to streamline other forms and related processes, provide better reporting and eliminate the need for property managers to manage contracts via email and/or paper.

The REIQ’s Realworks product is the market-leading forms platform in Queensland, representing around 85% of total tenancies. In response to the fact that many property management businesses don’t have digital execution capabilities, we have fast-tracked the implementation of our One Touch Execution (OTE) feature. OTE has been in BETA testing since before Christmas and has already executed hundreds of tenancy agreements (Form 18a) across Queensland. This week, The REIQ will roll it out to everyone who uses the Form 18a in Realworks.

Property managers will notice a significant visual change in the way the form is presented, designed to streamline the process and make it much easier to use and train new property managers on. Of course, the prescribed form is being generated in the background as you complete the Realworks form and everyone, including the tenant, will still see the prescribed form.

Directly from the form, property managers can insert an email note for the tenant who, once you click “One Touch Execution” will receive an email to sign their documents. From the form, property managers will also be able to set a timeframe for the tenant to return the form with automated follow ups and reminders that are sent on your behalf via the app. With just a few short clicks from the tenant and a property manager will have the form back, ready to finalise.

I personally believe that One Touch Execution (OTE) will not only be the new standard but will quickly become what tenants expect. OTE is already rock solid and has everything you are already using such as CRM integration, pre-population of data, agency templates and so on. We were hoping to roll it out to most people once we had a few other features such as integrated payment of bond and rent plus much more but in the face of coronavirus it was clear that we needed to make this incredible technology available to everyone straight away. The best part is that OTE is included as part of your existing Realworks subscription so there’s nothing more to pay. All you need to do is push the button – One Touch Execution.

2020 will no doubt go down in the history books as a year of rapid digital transformation. At The REIQ, we’re playing our part in ensuring the real estate industry keep serving the community as they currently do, only better.

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