Case Study

Closing international commercial
& residential deals online

How to unify your cross-border transaction process and provide safe experience to HNWI clients.

Who is Atsuko Yube?

Atsuko Yube is the CEO of Global-Estate Link, Silicon Valley California, also an affiliate of Sperry Commercial Global Affiliate, commercial real estate brokerage network. She is both a residential and commercial real estate professional with a focus on serving international clients. She was Silicon Valley Chapter president in 2015 and is currently a National Treasurer of the AREAA (Asian Real Estate Association of America). She is a co-founder of Japan Connect group with AREAA Global where she helps members to connect with real estate professionals in Japan. Her customers are Japanese HNWI investing in Silicon Valley real estate.

The Challenge

A significant challenge for foreign HNWI property investors is privacy.

The customers are worried to share proof of funds and exchange paperwork to people they don’t know personally or via emails, which could be easily hacked. Today transaction documents in the US are shared to more than 60 people through the closing, often non-protected links on Google Drive and Dropbox are created and shared amongst many parties.

In addition, the closing of cross-border transactions has become very difficult because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the travel ban, all those foreign investors need a secure, private, and protected online environment to sign paperwork and exchange documents.

Many HNWI abroad have not used to use e-signatures like Docusign and need a platform to guide them through the process. Using emails is not an option for Atsuko Yube’s clients, so during those challenging times, she had to find a way to help her clients do transactions remotely.

While it is great for clients that there is someone familiar with the culture and service across different countries, sometimes, as a broker, managing complex real estate transactions with her team across a time difference of over ten hours is very difficult.

"I have heard about Propy sometime ago and was inspired by the big mission to automate transactions. Propy is a pioneer in blockchain but I didn’t know how it would be helpful to my business till I tried the product."

Here is the list of challenges for Atsuko Yube:

One of the Atsuko listings was a hotel sold to a Japanese investor, who cannot travel as before and privacy is a top priority for the client.

Atsuko Yube has always been transparent with her clients during the closing process. At the same time email is an insecure medium to exchange sensitive paperwork. Often customers required to not receive documents via email and rather lose hours on in-person meetings and even thousands of dollars on flights to the US.

Team collaboration was challenging for Global Estate Link Inc. as for the majority of brokerages due to the need of constantly exchanging documents and tasks with clients, title agents and remote team members such as a transaction coordinator. To check statuses the team members have to call each other and the clients multiple times throughout transactions spending hours on this work.

The Solution

"We started using Propy in 2020 after hearing their pioneering work in blockchain."

Atsuko Yube

CEO of Global-Estate Link

“Immediately after the onboarding, we began with a commercial transaction for a client in Japan. Getting started was easy, as our team received initial training and support – they always had someone to reach out to from Propy.

We were very excited about bringing our business online. Especially with such an innovative platform that not only enables collaboration, but also adds an additional layer of security and eliminates potential wire fraud.

Since we have been using Propy, we have closed several commercial and residential transactions in two states, Florida and California, with a total volume of almost 50 million USD. We have had both buyers and sellers invited to the platform. We were all excited to be a part of an online closing process that would allow us to review and sign documents while traveling or working and in the meantime being able to stay informed and up to speed with things all the time.”

Challenge

"It was challenging to educate HNWI abroad that they can trust e-signatures (because they are not allowed in Japan).
Propy helped by sending guides for buyers."

The Results

Closed several commercial and residential transactions in two states - Texas and California, with a total volume of almost $50 million USD.

Buyers saved 3 hours on paperwork and spent only 30 min on the platform and 15 min on the guides.
Both buyers and sellers were all excited to be part of an online closing process that would allow them to review their documents and sign them in one platform.
4,5 hours on average saved for closing transactions and collecting all documents in one secure place (for the agent and her transaction coordinator).
Executed documents were verified against the checklist of the coordinator. The transaction coordinator didn’t have to download all documents from email and upload them to a transaction management system which is normally the case for other TCs.

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