4 June 2020

Foxstone holds its first remote co-owner general assembly

By Laura

Digitization of processes during coronavirus periods

The current health crisis has forced us to question ourselves, to be innovative. And while Covid-19 continues to shake up the world at every level, at Foxstone, we have maintained the continuity of our operations, rethought our way of working internally, and above all made it easier for our investors to complete all the administrative procedures involved in the acquisition of a property.

Our team has ensured the day-to-day management of the properties and the timely payment of rental income and has worked hard to find new offers for you.

No physical General Assembly (GA) could be held during the period of confinement. In this particular context, it makes sense to dematerialize the latter. Thus, after having fully digitalized the investment subscription process, we organized our first general meetings of co-owners virtually to enable them to express their views despite the confinement, without having to travel.

It is now possible to take part in a general meeting from a distance

Every owner has already experienced the inconvenience of having to travel and attend a General Assembly which, once the important decisions have been taken, drags on with debates on questions that are not very interesting in terms of the expenses to be undertaken: “Should the mailboxes be redone? What colour should the stairwell be repainted?…”.

Now, we are saving the co-owners of the buildings under our management this ordeal by holding our first general meetings of co-owners entirely digitally. 

A remote vote: to facilitate decision making

In some co-ownerships, the rate of absenteeism is so high that it is sometimes even difficult to bring together at an agreed date and place the number of co-owners or their representatives necessary for the smooth running of the general meeting.

Distance voting is therefore a relevant and very innovative measure that provides a solution to the high absenteeism of co-owners.

This allows those co-owners with a busy schedule or, for example, who do not live nearby, to exercise their voting rights without being physically present. It would have been logistically complicated to physically bring all the co-owners together.

In this context, we therefore virtually brought together the co-owners of the three buildings during the month of April. This represents 83 people spread over several cantons (VD, GE, FR, VS, ZH). The AGMs had a participation rate of 73%.

All the more so as digital accounting makes voting more real and formal at the same time.

Digital technology is investing in the management of co-ownerships 

These AG’s were held in a dematerialized and desynchronized manner. That is to say, the co-owners were able to participate without physical presence and without having to log on at a specific time. They took place in three stages:

For about ten days, the co-owners were able to consult the agenda and the documents related to their accounts online. They also had the opportunity to ask questions and submit new items on the agenda.

They then had two days to securely vote on the various items or send us a proxy to do so on their behalf.

At the end of those two days at midnight, the votes were recorded and the Minutes were automatically drawn up a few seconds later.

“Our mission is to democratize and digitalize real estate investment in Switzerland,” explains Dan Amar, CEO of Foxstone. “It is therefore essential that each co-owner can express his or her views and feel that they are being heard. But it is just as important that this process is carried out in a simple and non-binding manner. During the pandemic, it was imperative that co-owners were able to vote without having to travel. Thanks to technology, which is part of our core business, we provided them with a suitable solution. We are very pleased with the high turnout.”

Although not initially intended for this purpose, this innovation allowed the co-owners to hold their first general meeting in a confined space without any risk. “Everything happened in an extremely clear and simple manner,” said one of the co-owners of the Avenches building. “I received an email inviting me to log on to my account where I was able to find out about the various questions submitted to the vote. Then on the day of the vote, I received another email inviting me to vote. Two days later, I had access to all the rules and regulations. I did everything through my smartphone in a few minutes.”

Among numerous other advantages offered by the dematerialization of AG’s, that of being part of a more environmentally friendly approach.

Voting is now dematerialized and “paperless”

This digitalization of the vote represents a modern tool for sustainable development in line with a “paperless” approach. In addition, co-owners no longer need to travel physically. It may seem ridiculous to mention this, however, on a larger scale, this type of action makes it possible to work in favor of the environment.

This digitalization of the vote represents a modern tool for sustainable development in line with a “paperless” approach. In addition, co-owners no longer need to travel physically. It may seem ridiculous to mention this, however, on a larger scale, this type of action makes it possible to work in favor of the environment.

We are thus one of the first Swiss platforms to set up such a remote deferred voting system, always with a view to making all the procedures as easy as possible for our clients and partners.

We will keep you informed of the next actions implemented.

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