When measured by the number of deals, Kiinteistömaailma is Finland’s largest real estate agency. Kiinteistömaailma employs 600 professionals in the housing trade business in more than 100 units across Finland.
As a result, the number of commissions and purchase orders is tremendous, and the real estate business has typically not been associated with efforts to spare paper, fuel or nature.
The desire may have been there, but owing to the nature of the business, it had for a long time been impossible or at the very least tedious and slow: contracts, commissions, deeds, quotes and other necessary documents had to be printed on paper – and signed.
Then everything changed…
Well, not quite everything, per se. The nature of the business and the need for standard-form documents remained the same, but the applications and signatures became electronic when Kiinteistömaailma adopted the Signom esignature service in 2014.
“We were fortunate to have electronic processes and working tools already in use long before the pandemic,” says Mirka Mäkinen, Director of Development, Information Systems at Kiinteistömaailma.
“Thanks to Signom, we did not need to make hasty decisions or large-scale changes under pressure.”
The housing trade business continued also during the pandemic, as Kiinteisömaailma’s housing sales commissions and purchase orders moved along and were signed as usual, electronically.
The slow purchase order process posed challenges
Before the implementation of Signom, housing trade involved a great deal of cumbersome and costly delivery of paperwork back and forth. Kiinteistömaailma’s real estate agents spent a considerable portion of their working hours in their car – not only on their way to house showings and to meet with customers but delivering quotes and commissions to be signed. In addition to the negative health effects and boredom associated with sitting in the car, this resulted in considerable fuel expenses for Kiinteistömaailma and unnecessary environmental load.
Cooperation with Signom allowed Kiinteistömaailma to transition to using an electronic operating model, the goals of which were:
- Improving efficiency at work
- Promoting employee and customer satisfaction
- Streamlining housing trade operations
- Decreasing costs
- Reducing the environmental load
Electronic signatures enabled electronic real estate transactions
Kiinteistömaailma’s offer process was updated to the digital age when Signom was integrated into Kiinteistömaailma’s own system. Real estate purchase orders and often their subsequent counter offers were moved into a digital environment, but not everything familiar was scrapped: the real estate agents could still manage purchase and counter offers directly through Kiinteistömaailma’s own familiar system.
With Signom, Kiinteistömaailma was able to nearly completely digitise its real estate transactions all the way from commissions to accepting purchase offers:
- Activating and completing real estate purchase orders and electronic signatures
- Making counter offers and electronic signatures
- Authentication for electronic signatures
- Signature invites and confirmations by email
At the same time, Signom implemented for Kiinteistömaailma tailored forms that comply with the formal requirements for real estate offers. Standard forms used in real estate transactions have set mandatory fields that must be filled in and field-specific rules that define the following option offered to the user.
“We have been able to trust Signom’s speedy delivery, technical functionality and ability to tailor solutions specifically for us.”
After the initial push, Kiinteistömaailma has expanded the use of Signom, and in addition to offers, electronic signatures can be used for:
- Commission contracts
- Housing brochures
- Powers of attorney
- Other documents needed in the real estate business
Faster transactions, increased sales
How has the adoption of electronic signatures benefitted Kiinteistömaailma?
1. Efficiency and speed
Real estate agents have more time for sales and meeting with people, which are the core of the work.
2. Reduced errors
Signom speeds up the transactions but at the same time ensures that the necessary information is included and the documents are signed by the right people.
3. Satisfied employees
Electronic signatures make the job of real estate agents easier and leave more time for meaningful customer and sales work, reducing the need for performing routine tasks that fall outside of the core work, such as driving around delivering paperwork.
4. Delighted customers
Happy (and healthier due to not having to spend as much time sitting in a car) employees have more energy to carry out their tasks and provide better service for their customers.
5. Better performance, sustainable business
The recurrent day-to-day expenses are smaller, there are more real estate transactions in a shorter time and the load on nature is reduced thanks to more environmentally friendly operations, in accordance with Kiinteistömaailma’s green values.
Signom delivers on its promises
The safety and security of Signom’s product as well as the company’s operating methods and competent employees have left such an impression on Kiinteistömaailma that the cooperation spanning 8 years is still going strong. The reliability has been enhanced by the fact that Signom is an established partner in the banking world, where data security requirements are extremely stringent.
“Signom is a carefree and safe bet: an external operator who takes care of contracts with banks, data security and updates for us.”
Mirka Mäkinen from Kiinteistömaailma appreciates Signom’s earnest operating methods, clear communications and meticulousness.
"Signom responds to questions with great clarity and explains openly if, for example, the proposed time frame is not realistic,” says Makinen, praising Signom’s honesty: “The people at Signom don’t overpromise, but they always deliver on what they do promise.”