Editors Note: This is a guest post written by Steven Jaffe, founder and CEO of Propdocs
Is it the case that too many cooks spoil the broth when it comes to real estate deals? Does an increased number of players involved in getting a deal across the line necessarily mean less efficiency, slower deal velocity, and time spent on closing an existing deal that could be used to work on lining up the next one?
And conversely, does having fewer people involved mean a smoother, speedier ride to that signature on the dotted line?
In my opinion, the number of people involved in a deal doesn’t really make a difference to the experience, service levels, and crucially efficiency and speed of the deal-making process. Consider that the number of people involved in a deal hasn’t really changed, and might even have grown since our workplaces have become more digitized. The same number of people are involved, but things definitely took a lot more time and cost more money in pre-digital days. You had to meet in person and then proceed with the deal by couriering printed documents between offices for physical redlining. Then, new versions of the document would be typed up and the old document shredded – old school version control!
Today, we fast forward much of the process by emailing documents and using digital track changes to markup amends. Or, even speedier, we use the collaboration capabilities of Sharepoint or Google Docs to work on a single version of the truth – eliminating time wasted by having to reconcile various versions of Word documents. Then, once we have reached an agreement, we have the option of legally binding e-signatures that can also be completed remotely, further increasing deal velocity.
Despite these fairly fundamental changes to how we carry out deals today, the core process is identical and essentially the same number of roleplayers are involved. To enter into a legal agreement for a transaction, two parties need to agree on a specific set of words that get put together in a document and then bound by signatures. This is not dissimilar to the difference between ecommerce vs bricks and mortar shopping. You’re still exchanging some form of payment for some kind of goods and/or services.
So what then, you might ask, is the value of digital tools and further embedding technology into our deal-making process if we haven’t managed to remove people from the process? Well, if the number of people involved in a deal doesn’t really change, it’s down to how you use your tools and processes that can allow you to provide a great experience and service, and to do it efficiently.
Just as ecommerce streamlined shopping by allowing you to do it from the comfort of your home or office, and then having your purchases delivered to your doorstep, digitally-enabled CRE tools and processes can streamline your real estate deals. For instance, a simplified approach to creating, collaborating, negotiating and signing a deal with the fewest number of ‘transitions’ can reduce human error, boost trust, reduce the number of touchpoints needed to get the deal across the line, and give you more time to focus on making the deal instead of the headaches of making the best deal.
Every deal is different, but at the same time, they’re all the same. No technology is going to change the fact that a buyer and seller need to agree on terms before they sign on the dotted line. The time it takes to get there, and the pain experienced in that process IS a variable that we have control over and can improve.
About Propdocs: Propdocs is a cloud-based solution for CRE leasing and investment professionals. Combining document generation, redlining, real-time negotiation, and eSigning, Propdocs eliminates paperwork and streamlines the entire transaction end-to-end. Propdocs empowers landlords, transaction managers and brokers to cut time and cost by accelerating time-to-close on one secure online platform. Get in touch and request a Propdocs demo today.