How do developers sell apartments during a pandemic?
What forms of flat sales have developers introduced? How can you book a unit and sign a preliminary agreement? Do companies open sales offices? The survey was conducted by Dompress.pl real estate service.
Mirosław Kujawski, Member of the Management Board of Develia S.A.
Customers now have the possibility to remotely sign reservation agreements. In the case of developer agreements, the presence of a notary is necessary. Signing the contract is possible with appropriate security measures. A novelty on the market, although not in the case of our company, is the possibility of cost-free termination of the development contract. This is a response to customers’ concerns about contracting liabilities during a pandemic. When buying apartments from our offer, they do not risk anything, but can only gain. Our sales offices are open and changes have been introduced to ensure the safety of employees and customers. Part of our team works remotely.
Zbigniew Juroszek, President of Atal
Taking into account the limitations related to the pandemic, we decided to make it possible for our clients to sign reservation agreements electronically using a digital signature. We cooperate in this respect with a technology partner who guides the client through the procedure of certifying the digital signature. Everything of course takes place online. The safety of our employees and customers is our priority. That is why we analyse the situation on an ongoing basis and the restrictions related to a visit to the sales office will remain in force until further notice.
Małgorzata Ostrowska, Member of the Management Board and Director of Marketing and Sales Division in J.W. Construction Holding S.A.
The conditions of reservation on the day of Covid-19 are maintained on the current principles. The reservation and civil law agreement can be signed by correspondence. By e-mail, the customer can receive information about the progress of work, scans of the developer’s statements and all formal documents such as: building permits, promissory notes, land division decisions, powers of attorney, etc. Notary offices work normally, so you can sign a development contract. Our stationary offices are also available to clients. We offer investment apartments and ready-made premises in the Near Wola investment in Warsaw’s Wola district and finished and equipped Jerozolimskie Invest apartments near Chopin Airport. When buying them you can sign a contract by mail, without leaving your home. In the sales offices, out of concern for the safety of customers and our employees, we have introduced extraordinary precautions. We ask that customers visit us with a maximum of one accompanying person. And please wash your hands immediately after entering the office. During a conversation, we use masks and protective gloves and keep an appropriate distance. The desks are equipped with transparent covers. Safety is our top priority.
Eryk Nalberczyński, Sales Director at Lokum Deweloper
We have introduced the option to book apartments on-line by e-mail. With precautions taken, it is also possible to conclude a development contract in a notary’s office. Therefore, clients do not have to visit sales offices to get acquainted with the offer and sign the contract. At the same time, we would like to inform you that our sales offices have just reopened.
Monika Perekitko, Board Member of Matexi Polska
We have really well organized remote work and basically the whole reservation process and document workflow can be done remotely, also with the use of electronic signature. However, we are aware that the purchase of an apartment is a really important decision, so since 4 May, due to the high demand from buyers, we have opened our sales offices also in the classic version, with security procedures and necessary protection measures.
Janusz Miller, Sales and Marketing Director of Home Invest
Customers can visit our sales offices by appointment with a consultant for a specific time. Initial apartment reservation can be made by phone or e-mail. We sign reservation agreements in our offices or remotely. We invite our clients to sign a developer’s agreement at a notary’s office.
Edyta Kołodziej, Sales and Marketing Director at Nickel Development
During the period of the epidemic, we extended the reservation contract. Now, in some cases, we even allow a two-month reservation. The contract can be concluded remotely via the Autenti platform, which operates in accordance with the provisions of the eIDAS regulation governing electronic signatures. This means that it can also apply to pre-contracts. If, on the other hand, clients prefer to conclude such a contract in the form of a notarial deed, we are also ready for it. We cooperate with regions whose law offices have large enough conference rooms to be able to sit in them with the recommended distance, which are ventilated and disinfected after each meeting.
Our sales office was open all this time. From the very beginning of the epidemic, from Monday to Friday, salesmen are on duty there from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. We follow the sanitary recommendations. We have created our own extensive safety rules, and there are up to three staff members in the office. Our employees are personally available to customers who wish to make an appointment with us in advance.
Wojciech Chotkowski, President of the Board of Aria Development
As far as booking contracts are concerned, we have extended their duration from 14 to 30 days. We are aware that customers may have problems with financing their property purchase at the bank, so we wanted to give them more time for all formalities. We only limited the opening hours and the number of people in the sales offices. In each of them there is one consultant who can present an offer, prepare documents and sign a contract. We arrange meetings for specific hours so that there is only one client in the office. Also in the management office and on the construction sites, we have implemented the necessary security measures in accordance with GIS instructions. Masks, disinfectants, disposable gloves are available everywhere. In addition, we have provided our employees with free tests for COVID-19.
Preliminary agreements are signed without changes. The notary office with which we cooperate has also introduced safe solutions. We ask our clients to familiarise themselves with the contract in advance and ask questions before the notarial deed in order to make signing the contract more efficient.
Marek Bortnik, Legal Manager at Skanska Housing Company
Due to the exceptional epidemiological situation, we have introduced the possibility to sign online booking agreements via a platform provided by an external entity. The new solution uses the advantages of electronic signature, which saves time, simplifies formalities and facilitates the whole process. Signing such an online contract does not require the client to set up an account or incur additional fees. The documents signed through it are encrypted, thus secure and legally binding. The reservation agreement guarantees the customer the priority of purchasing the selected premises during the period of its validity. Some of the already implemented online solutions will probably stay with us for a longer time, as it is a great convenience in the process of buying the apartment. At the same time, since 6 May we reopened our sales offices. First of all, those located in Warsaw’s housing estates: Jaśminowy Mokotów at Białego Dębu Street and Scandinavian Park at Jana Nowaka Jeziorańskiego Street. Each of them is prepared for safe meetings of salesmen with people interested in buying an apartment.
Bogdan Borkowski, CEO of Waryński S.A. Holding Group
At present, we have not made any significant changes in the signing of reservation agreements. We adapt to each client individually, guaranteeing security in all possible and available personal protective equipment. Preliminary/development contracts will be signed from the end of June. Our primary concern is security, both for our customers and our employees. Salespeople work remotely from the very beginning. Marketing and sales activities are carried out mainly online, such as the presentation of photographs from the ongoing construction or virtual walks around the apartments. Thanks to this, the customer can obtain all necessary information online.
Cezary Grabowski, Sales and Marketing Director at Bouygues Immobilier Polska
Reservations can be made remotely and the reservation agreement can be signed with a special application. It is also possible to sign a preliminary agreement. Thanks to this, the process of apartment selection and purchase is smooth and efficient. Since 4 May we have reopened our sales offices. We have equipped the offices with personal protective equipment, including masks, disinfectants and plexiglass covers. Personal meetings will be held with all necessary precautions. The health and safety of our customers and employees will come first.
Sebastian Barandziak, CEO of Dekpol Developer
Reservations are made electronically with the possibility of signing the documents at a later date. The use of video conversation, visit at the construction site or in the office provides the clients with all the information they need to make a final decision on purchasing the property.
Zuzanna Należyta, Sales Director at Eco Classic
The activity of our offices was limited only due to a much smaller number of visits. Salespeople worked from home and when necessary, such as signing a contract with a notary or handing over documents, they agreed with clients. In the case of flats under construction, the only possible form of preliminary contract is a developer’s contract, which must be signed personally by the parties at the notary, but other contracts can be signed and sent back by courier. This does not require special solutions.