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Maddocks electronic document exchange platform to save developers time and money

• 03 February 2016 • 3 min read
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Maddocks launches new electronic exchange platform for development contracts

4 February 2016

Maddocks has today launched a new electronic exchange platform for development contracts which will save developers time and money.

The head of the firm's Development practice, partner Nick Holuigue, said the platform will significantly streamline the process for signing contracts associated with development projects of any size.

'The 20th century method of printing out massive documents, posting them or having them couriered and then having the physical documents securely filed goes against the grain of what is a fast-moving and dynamic industry,' Nick said.

'The use of an electronic document exchange platform, such as the one Maddocks has introduced, will potentially save developers tens of thousands of dollars on large land subdivision and apartment development projects.

'Early indications suggest that our overseas clients and those who sell to overseas purchasers will especially take to this platform.'

Maddocks, as one of Victoria's leading development practices, has been involved in key acquisitions and dispositions for its clients, and processes up to 10,000 development contracts and settlements every year. The firm was involved last year in about $3 billion in development sales in the residential sector in Victoria alone and counts industry leaders such as Mirvac, Satterley, Gurner and Woodlea as clients.

The platform has been welcomed by leading developers.

Matthew Dean, the project director for Woodlea, a joint venture by Mirvac and Victoria Investments and Properties, and which research from Charter Keck Kramer shows is the fastest-selling new community in Melbourne in the final quarter of 2015, said the success of their development in Melbourne’s west meant there was a heavy exchange of hard copy documents last year.

‘We sold about 800 lots in 2015 alone and each of them came with documents that had to be created, posted, handled and filed.

‘We are excited by the opportunity to streamline that part of our business with Maddocks by shifting how we sign our documents from mountains of paper to the push of a button.’

Tim Gurner, founder of property development company Gurner, said: 'We are in the business of developing world-class residential projects and we work to incredibly tight timelines to bring our projects to market. Being able to move all our legal paperwork online will save us valuable time and allow us to focus on our core business.

'Our projects embrace leading technology and innovation so we are excited to move onto Maddocks’ electronic exchange platform and streamline our processes.'

Urban Development Institute of Australia (Victoria Division) CEO Danni Addison also welcomed the initiative.

'As technology changes, the Institute encourages and supports all stakeholders within the property and development industry to seek ways to streamline processes and reduce costs.

'Furthermore, legislation now more than ever needs to be flexible to encourage and allow innovation within the property and development industry. The current review of consumer property law is timely in consideration of current developments.'

Nick Holuigue said the platform will allow agents and developers to complete their master contract for a particular development online with the agreed commercial terms. The contract will be encrypted and cannot be altered, save for particular agreed fields.

Once completed the platform facilitates electronic signatures by all relevant parties and all parties are provided with a copy of the fully executed and exchanged contract

'One of the issues we have focused on with the platform is to make sure the banks and their legal representatives were comfortable with the system and that it was bankable from their point of view,' Nick said.

'We have done that and we expect there to be a significant take up in the use of our platform.'

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