National Land Survey of Finland
Revolutionizing Digital Real Estate Business
Electronic Residential Property Information
To many home owners, an old fashioned, vintage styled paper share certificate on residential property is probably a familiar one – it’s the one you usually only get a glimpse of when finalizing a real estate deal in your bank.
The paper share certificate is used for proving ownership of residential property, on real estate trade, and as a deposit for mortgages. However, transferring the paper share certificate is troublesome and not very cost effective. In addition, the real estate information and residential property information are hard to access as they are locked behind the housing company boards and estate managers.
Digitalization has now proceeded to apply for housing companies, and the National Land Survey of Finland, which is focused on maintaining registers for properties and apartments, has published an electronic register for housing company shares.
”This is an extensive digitalization project concerning housing companies and residential properties. The aim is that we can get rid of the paper share certificates in the future”, says Jorma Turunen, Program Manager at National Land Survey of Finland.
”Actions related to housing companies are aimed to made easier through digitalization, for all parties. This project concerns housing companies and the management of them, aka the boards of housing companies, estate managers, buyers and sellers, real estate agents and banks which are all parties in real estate business”, Turunen lists.
Access to information improves for citizens when the information of the owners of residential properties and the pledges on them can be found from an electronic register maintained by an official. However, it is not really a public service open to all, but a register that contributes to the digitalisation of the whole sector.
"Our cooperation with Siili has been excellent. Siili has always responded to our needs: we have had access to highly skilled professionals who fit the teams very well."
National Land Survey of Finland
A large-scaled and long-term project
The residential property information system’s development was started in 2016 by the legislation renewal of Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and the system is now being deployed in stages. The reform has been particularly far-reaching, and in the future the apartment information system will help revolutionize the digital housing business.
“In the first stage new, now founded housing companies will start using the residential property information system directly, and they will not have printed paper share certificates. Instead, the residential properties are founded automatically to the system. Housing companies established before 2019 will first transfer their shares of stocks in the housing companies in an online service, and when there is a real estate deal made on residential property, the ownership of the apartment will be registered to the residential property information system. At the same time, the paper share certificate will be annulled”, Turunen tells.
Finnish Patent and Registration Office, Finnish Tax Administration and Digital and Population Data Services Agency have been developing the system together with the National Land Survey of Finland. Alongside with the transfer service for the shares of stocks in the housing companies, interfaces have been developed for 3rd party operators, such as banks and estate managers and their systems.
“It’s a fully custom-made system, there isn’t one anywhere else in the world but in Finland”, Turunen praises.
Scrum in two-weeks prints
Development with agile teams
The residential property information system was kick-started by defining architecture and doing internal testing before the development phase. Listening to users has been important in every turn.
“Besides the internal testing, we have demoed the service for different stakeholders throughout the project and been listening with a sensitive ear”, Anu Laaksonen, Project Manager at the National Land Survey of Finland, says.
“In every team there is a requirement analyst, developers, and a tester. We have been especially focusing on how information flows and how different teams doing different parts of the project collaborate. We have also mixed teams every once in a while, to enable learning and to enhance communications”, Laaksonen tells.
The members of a multivendor team are working at the office of the National Land Survey of Finland, and there’s no separation between different team members. The chemistry between Siili has been exceptionally good.
“Cooperation with Siili has been excellent, and Siili has always provided to our needs: we have managed to get good experts who fit into teams”, Turunen smiles.
You can find more information about the venture in Finnish here: Maanmittauslaitoksen kotisivut.
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