Embodying the adage of “doing well by doing good,” New York-based Esusu is the leading financial technology company advancing rent reporting and data solutions for credit building across the United States. Esusu’s rent reporting platform captures rental payment data and reports it to credit bureaus to boost credit scores. In addition to earning credit improvement, renters also have access to apply for 0% interest rent relief in times of financial hardship, and can access a suite of resources like credit education courses through the Esusu Renters Marketplace to help support their path to financial independence and success. In the last few years, rent reporting has become more common, and Esusu played a significant role in gaining broader acceptance of rent reporting for credit benefit. To meet the demand, Esusu quadrupled its headcount in 2022 and significantly increased its customer base, straining its two-person legal team. They quickly realized the need for technology to accelerate sales agreements, automate reporting, and manage compliance within a highly-regulated industry. To tackle these challenges, the Esusu team brought on LinkSquares.
Measuring the Method
The Esusu legal team quickly faced significant resource challenges with the company’s growth. A larger company meant more contracts to track, more amendments, more renewals, and more cross-functional reporting. Their contract templates were locked in Word documents. Their signed agreements were stored across shared drives, meaning that every request was handled manually. Time being of the essence for a growing start-up, everyone needed more visibility into where each contract was in the workflow.
Melissa Snyder, Corporate Counsel, was responsible for rolling out LinkSquares to the company. “We create up to 15 new contracts per week, and often need to roll out updates monthly to reflect service enhancements or regulatory changes accurately,” says Melissa. “We were also fielding many report requests from internal teams about payment terms and renewal dates. This was especially cumbersome to complete manually, and it was hard to guarantee accuracy every time.” The finance, operations, and revenue teams were all stakeholders, but they had no way to self-service their requests. Sole responsibility on the legal team created bottlenecks and bandwidth restrictions.
“We are always looking for ways to get contracts executed faster – and it’s not just for our own bottom line,” Melissa explained. “The sooner we can get these deals papered, the sooner we can get fundamental services such as rent relief, credit education, and positive reporting to people in need and help them on their way to possibly owning their own home one day.”
A Whole New World of Visibility
Melissa worked hand-in-hand with her dedicated Customer Success Manager (CSM) to ensure a successful LinkSquares roll-out. “Our CSM made herself available for countless training sessions and follow-up questions, which was invaluable for me as I got LinkSquares fully adopted across the teams.”
Esusu started by migrating their agreements from a shared drive to LinkSquares, where the documents were stored and the key data points extracted for easy searching and reporting.
They then provided access and training to stakeholders across the company, allowing them to find what they needed without going through legal. This included the operations and finance teams, who can now surface specific agreements to understand payment terms and also see all upcoming renewals and expirations.
“We set up a report that pushes out weekly updates on all contracts set to expire or renew in the next 30, 60, or 90 days,” says Melissa. “This ensures that we never allow a client contract to lapse when we wish to continue services. It also prevents vendor contracts from auto-renewing when we want to discontinue services.”
To help accelerate drafting, Melissa built a group of templates within LinkSquares to cover their most used client agreements. She also streamlined review requests for vendor agreements and other third-party contracts. The templates improved compliance by allowing quick updates to be made with any necessary service or regulatory changes and assured that discontinued versions of agreements would not be utilized.
With LinkSquares’ deep reporting capabilities, Esusu gains real-time visibility into its contract processes. Dashboards enable them to see exactly where each contract is in the drafting cycle, track trends, and identify specific areas of improvement. Melissa used these reports to justify additional hires on the legal team, eventually growing the team to five.
“LinkSquares saves us five hours per week by making it easier to find legacy contracts and has reduced contract turnaround time by two days,” says Melissa. “Meanwhile, the reporting saves us roughly 10 hours per month.” Additionally, Esusu reduced the time it took to confirm that legal had signed off on a contract before the signatory executed by 1-3 days.
To further boost the power of LinkSquares, Esusu integrated LinkSquares with Salesforce and DocuSign. With the Salesforce integration, the revenue team can request and track contracts without leaving Salesforce. The DocuSign integration allows contracts to be sent for signature and tracked through full execution right from LinkSquares.
“The three-way integration between Salesforce, LinkSquares, and DocuSign is a godsend. The amount of manual effort it eliminates and the time it saves is incredible while keeping documents from slipping through the cracks,” says Melissa. “It’s also a massive win for the account executives. They can kick off a contract, get real-time status updates, and send for signature right within the opportunity in Salesforce – they never have to log in to LinkSquares; it’s all done through the tool they’re already in all day, every day.”
“Our primary reason for bringing LinkSquares on was to shorten the sales cycle. LinkSquares provided the expediency, automation, and integration capabilities that helped us achieve that”Melissa Snyder
Beyond the Bottom Line
For Esusu, the impact on the sales cycle was the most transformative. Like many in-house legal teams, Melissa and her team were concerned about being seen as “a department of no” when it comes to contract work. LinkSquares has empowered Esusu to work more efficiently and collaboratively while ensuring compliance, mitigating risk, and expediting sales.
But for Melissa and the Esusu team, their work is bigger than the bottom line. They’re working to make the financial landscape more equitable, and every deal accelerated with LinkSquares translates to a person getting the help they need sooner.