COOP construction

Interview with Yvan CORMIER - General Manager

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Happywait: If you could introduce yourself in a few words?

Yvan Cormier: We are a cooperative property developer based in Rennes, and for over 70 years, our raison d'être has been to make home ownership accessible to as many people as possible, on the basis of their income. We have a very wide range of customers, from social and open-access buyers to investors and social landlords, and our aim is to produce housing at the right price for as many people as possible.

Happywait: How do you feel about digitalization in the new-build sector?

Yvan Cormier: Digitization has become an essential element in our business, but the transformation is not always easy because our profession is very paper-intensive, with all kinds of written documents, plans, contracts, registered letters, etc. But our employees understand the need for it, because it's all very time-consuming, and increasingly difficult to do in a world that is speeding up, and where demands, particularly from customers, are ever more pressing and hurried.

Digitization is therefore necessary and should enable us to free ourselves from our dependence on paper, not only from a commercial point of view, but also from a technical or accounting one.

By saving time and ensuring secure archiving, digitization promotes a certain sense of well-being at work, reducing as far as possible the least interesting and rewarding tasks, such as archiving, filing, document research, mailing and registered mail, and making it easier to sign contracts without having to wait for everyone to be physically present, or to share the same file directly... We can do away with distance and time.

Happywait: How would you describe your collaboration with Happywait?

Yvan Cormier: For more than 10 years, we've been setting up a program association called "Vivre ensemble à ..." (Living together at ...) on every project, with multiple objectives: to create a "living together" atmosphere between future residents of the same project, but also to enable us to involve them in the progress of the work by organizing visits and meetings, and even to develop a joint project within the residence (shared gardens, common room...).The collaboration with Happywait began in early 2017, when we took the decision to set up a customer area that would enable us to stay in touch with them during the phase following the signing of the contract and right up to the delivery of their home.This offer complements the "Vivre ensemble à ..." (Living together at ...) associations mentioned above.The aim was to develop the relationship initiated during the sales phase with our customers, and to keep it alive throughout the construction period, right up to delivery.To do this, we need to be able to provide information, without this becoming an additional constraint for our employees.In this respect, the Happywait solution was a real plus for us: step-by-step support from Happywait staff enabled us to easily deploy "COOP & Nous", the name given to our digital customer space. Today, the tool is up and running smoothly. Happywait is very responsive when malfunctions appear, which is why we turned to them when we wanted to digitalize our sales in 2018.

Happywait: You're digitizing your sales. Can you tell us how you feel about the implementation and use of the system?

Yvan Cormier: The main problem we encountered was activating the flows between the CRM and the Happywait solution, but once this was resolved, we were able to make our first sales.

The introduction of digital sales is a real revolution in our profession, just as it was for notaries 2 or 3 years ago.

The system is working well, but I still have a few corrections to make, particularly in the area of registered mail, to ensure that our customers have a really smooth signing experience. Signing opposite each other is an important moment for both the customer and the employee: for one, it can be the purchase of a lifetime; for the other, it's the culmination of a job well done. Employees have taken charge of the solution, offering customers both digital and paper versions. In the short term, I think that digital signatures will become the norm, not only for reservation contracts, but also for service provider contracts (architects, design offices, etc.), works contracts or registered letters.

Happywait: What feedback do your customers have on this new know-how?

Yvan Cormier: Reactions are varied, with some customers fully embracing the system and keeping only a dematerialized version, and others wishing to return to a paper version after the digital signature. For some customers, the physical signature on a paper document is still preferred. But I think this will gradually evolve, in line with current practice among all notaries.

Happywait: We'll leave the last word to you.

Yvan Cormier: For me, digitalization shouldn't mean the disappearance of the human element, but rather more human involvement in what's essential and what machines can't replace... for the time being anyway. Freed from certain burdensome tasks, it should enable us to devote more time to our customers, to our worksites, to developing new operations and new products, and to thinking about what tomorrow's housing might look like.

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