Inspiralia - DocuSign

MMJ Wollongong improves lease agreements and saves time with Docusign

  • 480

    Hours of employee time saved each year
  • $12K

    Annual savings in paper and printing costs

MMJ Real Estate Wollongong has supported property owners, buyers and tenants throughout NSW’s Illawarra region for decades. With a team of 60 experienced and highly skilled real estate professionals, the agency specialises in property sale, leasing, valuation, and management, as well as project marketing and town planning.

MMJ Wollongong is committed to improving its processes to ensure services are simple and effective. That includes digitising manual paper-based workflows to reduce the time staff and customers have to spend on unnecessary administrative work.

An opportunity to modernise lease agreements

MMJ Wollongong provides a range of real estate services, from residential sales to commercial asset management. While eSignatures were already used in some segments of the business, the agency recognised an opportunity to modernise how it managed retail and commercial lease agreements, as they were reliant on slow, paper-based processes.

Lease agreements and all supporting documentation had to be manually signed and scanned by tenants and landlords, creating a large amount of administrative work for staff.

“You’d type up your letter of offer, put it in an email, send it to the tenant and landlord, they’d have to print it out, sign it, scan it and email it back to us,” says MMJ Wollongong Portfolio Executive for Commercial Asset Management, Melody Reid. “In some situations, it would need to go in the post, which could take weeks.”

As an alternative, tenants and landlords could come into the agency to have things signed, meaning staff would have to book appointments, print contracts, get them signed and scan them before sending them back to other signatories. Both processes were cumbersome and prone to error, with staff spending hours on this mundane work.

Keeping track of agreements or retrieving information was also unnecessarily difficult.

“If a tenant or landlord needed some documentation, we’d have to go into our archives or filing system, find the files they needed, scan them, send them and refile it.”

Identifying a simple, painless solution

As Docusign eSignature is already used within the Real Estate Institute of New South Wales’ (REINSW) online forms, MMJ Wollongong was already familiar with the tool and chose to implement it as a standalone solution.  

“It was really easy to set up. One of my other colleagues was already familiar with the tool, so she just showed me how to set up a template and fill in client information for a contract and I was ready to go,” Reid says. “From there, our team just taught ourselves how to use it.”

After a little bit of testing, MMJ Wollongong started using the platform straight away. The agency quickly realised the power of the tool to simplify lease signing and quickly found itself using eSignature for all lease-related workflows.

“We all love Docusign,” Reid adds. “Our team find it very easy to use and we’re finding more and more use cases as we go. The amount of time it saves is amazing.”

A small implementation that’s driving massive results

Docusign eSignature has saved MMJ Wollongong’s teams and clients a massive amount of time. It’s reduced the time it takes to complete lease agreements from two to four weeks down to an average of just 24 hours.

Staff who used to spend up to two hours on manual printing and scanning activity every day now just spend a few minutes setting up a Docusign Envelope for signing. That gives them more time to spend on things that add value to the business.

The faster process means they can turn around their leasing fees faster and manage a higher volume of agreements, providing more capacity for new business.

Visibility and lease tracking have also improved dramatically.

“Now, I can sign into Docusign, see which stage leases have reached, and send reminders or resend documents where I need to,” Reid says. “We really love that feature because it just makes sure things keep flowing nicely.”

Switching to Docusign has also reduced costs. As MMJ Wollongong sends roughly 240 envelopes per year as part of their commercial and retail lease services, Docusign estimates the agency saves over AU$12,000 per annum in paper and printing costs.

As commercial leases are roughly 11 to 15 pages long and retail leases can be up to 35 pages, eSignature also saves thousands of sheets of paper every year. That aligns nicely with MMJ Wollongong’s mission to push towards a paperless future.

It’s also far more secure. With hard copy documents, there was always the risk that they could be altered or copies could be created or stolen. Contracts are now securely stored on the Docusign platform and finalised copies are automatically made available for all parties to access.

Overall, Reid says the implementation has been a huge success and she expects to extend the relationship in the future.

 “We expect to have a very long-term partnership with Docusign,” she says. “Once you start using it, you really can’t go back. I can’t imagine doing the job I’m doing now without it, because it just makes things so much quicker.”