Property Button Reduces Homelessness by 27% across 127,000 Properties. Property Button doesn’t just complete tasks faster; people get homed faster, too.
Property Button is a marketplace used by property professionals to reduce rental void periods so they can minimise vacancies at their properties. Its mission is to provide property professionals with high-tech services and solutions to capture and manage all tasks necessary to progress a property through its lifecycle, from vacant to occupied.
From advertising rentals and scheduling viewings to managing move-ins and recording rent payments, Property Button’s marketplace manages the commercial transactions and tasks relating to over 42,000 properties, 143,000 products and €60m of revenue per annum.
With DocuSign for Salesforce, Property Button doesn’t just complete tasks faster; people get homed faster, too.
Property Button has grown rapidly since launching in 2012 at the bottom of the property crash in Dublin. No homes were built in the Republic of Ireland for seven years as a result, at a time when the rental market was growing. Family homelessness has increased ever since, growing at a rate of 93 per cent in 2015(1), so it’s imperative that rental properties are filled faster. Property Button aims to do so by automating the paper-heavy tasks inherent of the property industry, according to CEO, Jim Urell:
“When we originally looked at the real estate business in Ireland, we saw mountains of paper; leases, identity management and references. We looked at the market and said, ‘We can remove all that; it can all go to the Cloud and be electronically signed.’”
Whenever a tenant leaves a rental property, there are many jobs that have to be finished prior to a new tenant moving in, which Property Button also sought to reduce.
“The properties turn over every 27 months on average, but they’re empty for almost five-and- a-half months during that period. We found that many of the required tasks were being done manually on paper,” said Urell.
Mobility and real-time access to data are just as critical to Property Button and its potential tenants.
“60 per cent of property views in Europe are done exclusively from a mobile device. Tenants, landlords, everyone wants to experience through mobile; there is zero tolerance for paper and manual business processes,” said Urell.
“Tenants, landlords, everyone wants to experience through mobile; there is zero tolerance for paper and manual business processes,” said Urell.
Property Button therefore looked for a feature-rich electronic signature tool that would fit into its existing processes, but wouldn’t compromise on security and compliance.
“We wanted our provider to be fully compliant with the regulations, a partner we could really trust and that would integrate with Salesforce,” continued Urell, “Security and trust are crucial for us. We’re dealing with high value assets and working with some of the biggest brands in the UK and Ireland.”
Through its seamless integration with Salesforce, DocuSign was a natural fit. Property Button uses DocuSign for Salesforce to send, sign, and manage property documents, from any device and without ever leaving Salesforce.
“Our business is totally based on Salesforce. We use Salesforce for acquiring customers and also managing our customers in-life,” explained Urell, “Our customers experience us through a Salesforce community where they create and issue new documents out to their customers using DocuSign.”
Crucially to Property Button, DocuSign has the highest level of certifications and audits across the entire company and its data centres.
“We can turn around to our customers and say we are working with DocuSign and Salesforce: The best in the business. They wouldn’t work with us otherwise,” said Urell.
The Key Benefits
By digitising its central processes, Property Button has removed the tasks associated with paper to benefit from faster document turnaround times, increased accuracy and a more streamlined business.
“We’ve reduced the vacancy time by one month-and- a-half across 127,000 properties in the Republic of Ireland. There’s a societal benefit to that, which is reduced homeless, and there’s a benefit of course to the owners of those properties with an increased return on investment,” said Urell.
This means less work for Property Button’s stakeholders, easier signing for its customers, and ultimately, occupancy of residential property is maximised. Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council in Ireland has reduced the vacant period of its properties by 21 per cent, for example.
“It’s a really fantastic experience for our customers’ customers. And that’s what makes us stick out – if we can give that to our customers and let them know that their customers will benefit from that slick experience – then it’s an easy sell for us,” said Urell.
By putting DocuSign and Salesforce at the core of its business, Property Button has been able to digitise the property management lifecycle for hundreds of housing associations, estate agents, private landlords, and local councils.
“DocuSign ticked all the boxes for us and more. The team were so easy to work with and are really helping us with our key decisions along the way. They continue to support us and introduce us to customers for our business so we couldn’t ask for more,” said Urell.
Haven taken the Irish market by storm, Property Button launched in the UK at the end of 2015. With plans to build a global brand, Property Button has a scalable eSignature solution that is compliant with global regulations.
“A lot of the landlords that we work with are based internationally. One of which is in Saudi Arabia and he would tell us about being able to sign off a document on a building site in the middle of a desert,” said Urell.
For letting and estate agents, automated processes mean they are better equipped to compete with competitors. For example, Sherry FitzGerald Lettings in Dublin has reduced administrative tasks by 28 per cent.
“The documents are all stored and can be searchable immediately. If there’s any issue at the end of a lease term, you’ve got a full audit trail to reference. It’s very clear; it’s lovely for everybody involved,” said Urell.