By Georgia Grimond, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A website which aims to ease the inconvenience and bureaucracy of renting a property in Brazil has recently made it possible to sign a lease online in São Paulo and Campinas. By joining up with DocYouSign, users of QuintoAndar can now rent a property without physically signing on the dotted line.
The move is the latest step by the two-year-old company to help renters come by a home more quickly and more easily. The electronic signature has the same legal weight as a paper contract and is filed securely by the certification company meaning the tenant and property owner can negotiate from different locations.
Where QuintoAndar really stands out, however, is by circumventing the need for a fiador, or guarantor. In Brazil, most people renting an apartment need someone who owns property in the same city or an insurance company to underwrite their rental contract.
“We have a partnership with the insurer Cardif at BNP Paribas,” Gabriel Braga, CEO of the company, explained to Exame. “As a result, QuintoAndar pay the security bond and ‘wipe out’ the figure of the guarantor.”
Professional and comprehensive photos of all properties are taken and posted on the site giving viewers the chance to see all the details of the place. They can then schedule a visit via an online booking system.
“Instead of visiting thirty properties, they visit just three. So the user saves time and the broker raises his profitability, since he makes fewer visits and has contacts with more engaged customers, who are more inclined close the contract,” says the company’s co-founder, André Penha.
Properties advertised on QuintoAndar also appear on a number of other rental sites, such as VivaReal, Zap Imóveis and Imóvel Web, giving a potential viewing audience of up to 10 million people per month.
Interested tenants are given a single price for each property which includes the condominium fee, property taxes and the rent. It is then the responsibility of QuintoAndar to pay the various fees to the apartment owner.
Once the contract is signed, the owner pays one month’s rent to QuintoAndar and a monthly fee for managing the property from then on. The site takes responsibility for dealing with requests and problems that may arise with the tenant, including the late payment of rent.
By using technology to put owners and customers in contact and eliminating small bureaucracies people have likened the site to Uber, the executive car service app. By saving the owner the time it takes to take and post photos, arrange viewings and draw up the details of contracts, they are able to concentrate on customer service.
At the moment the QuintoAndar only works with properties in São Paulo and Campinas but it is looking to move to other areas of the country.
“Our goal is to expand the role of the site to other regions, but we are doing it gradually so as not to lose quality,” says Braga.