What Will DocuSign Payments Mean for Real Estate?

by Victor Lund on December 20, 2016

docusign_logo_2014_225pxThe ability to set recurring payments through DocuSign Payments is coming and will be a boon to the leasing, event space rental and other industries.

DocuSign Payments will also support ACH and Electronic Check Payments in the future which will be a perfect fit for Earnest money deposits.

As the industry standard for eSignature, DocuSign offers a major contribution to real estate. There are two major forms companies that provide services to the industry – ZipForms® and Instanet Forms ™. In the case of Instanet®, they offer Authentisign ™, in the case of ZipForms, agents have a choice to use either Digital Ink™ or DocuSign®.  Zillow® subsidiary Dotloop® is also a competitor in this space with its own signature solution. DocuSign has built the category and created consumer brand equity that has driven more than 250,000 companies and more than 100 million unique users to adopt DocuSign across 188 countries. Their Lead to Close strategy for Real Estate is enabling brokers and agents to integrate CRM, accounting, and, now Payments, to reduce manual data entry and minimize compliance challenges. DocuSign truly sets themselves apart with their world class security and unparalleled reliability, giving the industry complete control over their documents, information, and data.

While Real Estate is certainly important to DocuSign, they have clients in virtually every other sector outside of the industry too. And the company’s launch of DocuSign Payments plays big in all of them.

Slated for release early next year in partnership with international payment processor Stripe – and supported by Apple, Google and Visa’s Authorize.Net – DocuSign Payments saves time and effort by providing a fast and easy way to collect payments and signatures in just one step.

This delivers a superior customer experience, instant payment, and an error free contract-to-payment process. At launch, the pre-built integration with Stripe will give customers the option to use Apple Pay, Android Pay or any major credit card; PayPal, Authorize.Net and other payment options will follow soon after. MLSs and Associations may turn to DocuSign for contract signatures and payments by members.

For real estate, we see this as a way for buyers and renters to easily make deposits and payments on properties for sale or lease. Let’s face it, people rarely carry around a check book anymore. The DocuSign real estate team has not really said much about Payments yet. I would venture that they are focused more on their transaction management roll out as a key launch. But, don’t be surprised when you log into DocuSign and see Payments as a new field that can be used in your agreements so you and your clients can sign and pay in a single transaction.

VALUATION IMPACT

Overall, DocuSign continues to evolve. In October, CEO Keith Krach spoke on the floor of NYSE indicating that their Series F from 2015 raised that money at a $3 Billion valuation. The prior year’s Series E was at $1.6 Billion. With each of these rounds, DocuSign has more than doubled its revenue, so one would expect an IPO reaching valuations of $6 Billion or more.

DocuSign’s Valuation Lifts All Transaction Management Companies

In 2015, Zillow acquired DotLoop for $108 Million. No doubt that valuation came as a shock to many in real estate, but DotLoop was a well-priced deal relative to the valuation of DocuSign. With my speculation hat, I cannot help but to wonder if Zillow will sell or spin out DotLoop if DocuSign has a major IPO in 2017. At the very least, a DocuSign IPO should signal strength to Zillow’s valuation. DocuSign’s success and DotLoop’s success are somewhat correlative – very different companies with very different approaches to the broker/agent relationship importance in a deal that share a category of competition. The sensational success in the transaction management valuations will also ripple into the valuation of other privately held companies like ZipLogix, Instanet, Skyslope and the many others. We do not know the price that NewsCorp’s MOVE paid for Reesio – but they may be in a position to benefit from DocuSign’s success too.

DocuSign Payments will certainly provide a snack of innovation in transaction management in 2017, but we think that a DocuSign IPO would be even more significant. With the market at an all time high, one would think that this is the year for DocuSign.

 

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