COVID-19 is causing businesses to rethink how they can reduce person-to-person contact in their operations. This has led some businesses, like those in Property Management, to redesign the process of how they handle legal documents with required signatures. Property Management businesses are document intense operations and rely heavily on legal contracts, lease agreements, stipulations for non-payment of rent and other tenant communications, some required by law.
One of our customers in Property Management has a huge system tracking multiple properties and tenants. With COVID-19, they decided to invest in technology to minimize tenants having to come into their office to sign legal documents. Nearly all signatures are now handled online. The tenant gets an email with a link to review and sign a document, like a lease, online using DocuSign. The tenant signs the document using their computer, tablet or phone and the document is automatically appended to their customer record in the system. Some documents, like stipulations of non-payment of rent, require a tenant signature, a property owner signature, and a lawyer's signature—in that order. These multiple signatures are captured in the system as well and everyone involved gets a signed PDF copy in email. Any of the people involved in the process can provide a legal signature from any other location as long as they have a computer with internet service. All legally binding document records are kept safe in one place.
The customer's walk-up office counter still exists, but signatures and payments are now by appointment only to abide by social distancing requirements. Bright Software helped with this too, establishing a feature that linked appointment setup to customer records. We had already enabled them to append, via “drag and drop”, legally signed PDFs or other pertinent documents to a customer database record. So any physically signed paper documents are scanned and added to the customer's file. This technical change alone saved 8 hours of labor a week and documents are much easier to find.
The customer was very happy to implement this new process as it speeds tenant communications which were mostly one-on-one emails. Plus, it helps ensure the safety of tenants, lawyers and employees, by enabling them to obtain "no-contact" legal signatures independent of anyone's geographical location.
If COVID-19 has impeded your business operations and you want to explore how technology might help you conduct business in light of social distancing, talk with us, we may be able to help.