Simplifying the home buying process with Docusign

For Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty, which leases and sells expensive houses and rural properties in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, the introduction of Docusign was “world-changing”.

Documents and contracts are crucial to the property business, which turns over more than a billion dollars a year in sales. 

“We need deals to happen quickly. You have to strike while the iron’s hot. So, you can’t leave deals to go for too long. That’s how Docusign helps,” explains Michael Pallier, Managing Director at Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty. 

“I recently had a buyer look at a property at 3pm and by 9pm we exchanged contracts via Docusign. The buyer’s wife actually said to me, ‘He spent more time buying golf clubs than the house’.”

There’s a lot of paperwork and signatures required because for every transaction, there’s a buyer and a seller. Docusign has helped to advance the speed of Sotheby’s transactions and has made it easier for people to make that transaction.

Making a difference

Sotheby’s has been freeing its operations of paper for several years. The ongoing transition has involved moving operations online and digitising where possible.

Docusign has supported this transformation and helped accelerate Sotheby’s digital journey. The company has reduced its paper usage by 80%.

Michael adds that the software is also better for the environment as the business no longer sends documents by post or courier. 

Further, the introduction of the digital tool to the workforce was seamless and presented no unexpected challenges. 

“Our employees started using it without any problems and picked it up very quickly. The technology has helped reduce the stress of handling so much important paperwork and has created more time for our staff to be doing other work,” Michael says.

The signing of documents now takes anywhere from a few hours to minutes, whereas before, it could take several days.

Signing documents in a pandemic 

The COVID-19 pandemic influenced Sotheby’s to accelerate its digitalisation journey. Michael says that people didn’t feel safe signing physical paperwork as they were scared of catching the virus. This was when a team member suggested Docusign.

“We looked into it straight away and decided to integrate the software into our operations. It has changed the world for us,” Michael says.

Since its introduction, Docusign’s eSignature platform has helped the property business process transactions at a much faster rate. It has also saved time and reduced Sotheby’s environmental impact. 

“The software is very straightforward to use, and it simplifies the way that we do transactions. Buying a house is stressful enough– we don’t want to add to that stress,” Michael notes. “Docusign makes the experience easier and faster for our clients, and it’s better for the environment. So, for me, it ticks all the boxes.”