• 16%

    Increase in number of contracts signed year-on-year
  • 5%

    Increase in ‘Closed Win Rate’
  • Considerably faster closing time of deals

SHB Real Estate is a market-leading commercial property agent delivering on a range of advisory and transaction services for real estate occupiers and landlords. The company’s overarching goal is to find businesses the right office space, at the best price. Unlike many of its competitors, SHB prioritises the use of data and analytics to power customer experiences.

SHB identified a need to redefine its out-dated work practices, improve employee efficiencies, and deliver smarter workflows for its clients. Using DocuSign products, including DocuSign CLM and DocuSign eSignature for Salesforce, it has streamlined the contract lifecycle from preparation through to signature. At the same time it has centralised all documentation for greater business visibility.   

The drive for a digital-first solution

SHB prides itself on being a digital-first business that offers its customers the best solutions in an ever-changing commercial real-estate market. However, as little as two years ago the company found itself lagging behind its competitors in terms of digital transformation. To drive innovation, SHB instigated its own platform development strategy built around a core tech team. This team is responsible for new processes, employee product training, as well as providing enhanced customer experiences.

Prior to using DocuSign, SHB surveyors would use up to 12 different platforms to complete a single real estate deal from start to completion. Contracts were created manually, often from scratch or by duplicating previous agreements, which was not only time consuming but also open to errors occurring. Once drafted, contracts were printed and sent via post, courier, or scanned and emailed to clients for their wet signature and return.

Once documents were sent, the impetus for completion was placed on the client rather than the business, so relinquishing company control over the flow of information. Along with the inherent time delays this process caused, SHB found that with no centralised filing system, contracts were not being filed correctly. This ad hoc approach to processing and storage caused considerable issues for the business. 

Josh Pattison
The implementation of DocuSign solutions has had a huge impact on SHB, improving employee efficiency and productivity, while driving new seamless digital customer experiences.”
Josh Pattison
Head of Technology
SHB Real Estate

Defining a digital-first business with DocuSign solutions

The company began its journey using DocuSign eSignature in a very simple fashion: to upload and send the final version of contracts to clients for signing. However, it quickly became apparent the business could further streamline processes by generating and managing contracts within DocuSign CLM.

By combining DocuSign CLM and DocuSign eSignature for Salesforce, SHB employees are now able to dynamically create contracts directly from within Salesforce, reducing the need for them to leave the CRM, or work across multiple platforms. This has created considerable time and efficiency savings. At the same time, delivering greater visibility of the end-to-end contract process for the business.

The digital team faced initial pushback from employees more accustomed to old ways of working. However, following training sessions and practical hands-on experience, the benefits of using DocuSign were quickly experienced by all.

“Before DocuSign, the contract process was very disjointed with multiple touch points. Therefore, one of our primary goals was to simplify the employee experience. Now, the biggest impact we have seen since using DocuSign is the ability to have an end-to-end process that works.” Said Josh Pattison, Head of Technology, SHB Real Estate.

A key time and efficiency saving for SHB has been the creation of templates within DocuSign solutions. Templates enable surveyors to quickly build out bespoke contracts, vastly reducing the potential for mistakes, as all client information that would previously have to be entered manually is now automatically populated into the contract. The team simply needs to review the draft contract before sending it to the client.

The client is no longer responsible for managing the processing and returning of documents, as this too is handled automatically. Clients can request changes, or sign and return all within DocuSign. Once the contract has been signed it is updated within SHB’s systems and closed in Salesforce. As a final step, the surveyor team is notified of contract completion. 

By automating its processes, SHB has seen a complete transformation of its business procedures, making it a truly digital-first organisation. Using DocuSign, SHB has also seen a 16% increase in the number of contracts being signed year-on-year. This has resulted in a total reduction in the closing time of deals and an overall 5% improvement in ‘Closed Win Rate’ for the business to-date.

DocuSign allows SHB to develop smarter client services

DocuSign is an integral part of the SHB digital transformation story, making internal administration jobs as seamless as possible. Now, having redefined its employee user experience, SHB’s digital-first ambitions with DocuSign will next focus on the client side.

It is currently implementing DocuSign Identify, allowing client company directors to verify their own identity before signing contracts. The result being that SHB is now more AML (anti-money laundering) compliant, reducing the risk of fines or penalties to the business.

But things won’t stop there: “We have a lot of internal development work that is looking to improve the client experience,” said Josh, “such as a portal area for managing the upload of contracts, which I know DocuSign will easily accommodate.”