Success Story

“The cloud solution is just the start of our digitisation strategy”

The Dortmund-based housing company DOGEWO21 has fully digitised the tenant changeover process and integrated it into the cloud for speedy information sharing. Thanks to the networking platform, the tenancy documentation is not only accessible for admin staff: it is also available to property managers and tenants. We interviewed Christian Nagel, a senior manager at DOGEWO21, about the “iModa” project.

What prompted DOGEWO21 to digitise the previously paper-based tenant changeover process and then to transfer it to the cloud?

Christian Nagel: The definite disadvantage of analogue ways of working is that it is extremely difficult to standardise them. Before we made the change, our customer service offices used many very different working methods: Information was recorded over the phone, in person or via email and then passed on. As a result of this, workflows kept becoming bogged down. We have now created a platform that brings together all the information and clearly states who is responsible. Property managers can handle the property inspection on an iPad, the tenant can sign on the spot and all the information is already in the central tenancy file just a few seconds later. During this process we have the support of an IT service provider with real estate expertise, whose solutions cover the entire process chain within housing companies. Our aim is to digitise all processes that relate to real estate unless it is absolutely essential for them to be carried out in the office.

Where do you think most can be gained? It is already possible to measure this?

Nagel: The immediate provision of all information and documents in the system, from property acceptance to tenants' certificates of registration, speed up the flow of information considerably. Our employees now know immediately who is responsible for individual processes and the current processing status. Standardised input of information via a uniform ticket system is now also used. Our service teams believe they are achieving time savings of between 30 and 50 percent across the different work processes.

Christian Nagel, senior manager at DOGEWO21

The key aspect you wanted right from the start was to involve colleagues. What steps would you recommend to other market participants who are faced with change management in their own companies?

Nagel: Our recommendation would be to actively involve as many employees as possible and to keep them informed at all times. Around 30 percent of all our employees were directly involved in the project. They contributed their experience and specialist skills, expressed their concerns and suggested improvements. One of the factors behind this was a healthy attitude when errors occur: It is only when shortcomings are actually experienced that the desire for innovation increases. The IT service provider held workshops before and after the contract was awarded and the results of these were directly incorporated in product development. Our customers were also involved as early as the pilot phase and they are now delighted about the efficiency gains. After such a positive reception, it is clear to us that this is only the start of our digitisation strategy.

Thank you for the interview.

Text first published in DW – Die Wohnungswirtschaft, issue 10/2017.

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