How Reonomy’s One-Person Legal Team Implemented CLM in Record Time
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There was nothing else on the market that could do what Ironclad did. We simply couldn't do what we do without a system like Ironclad.
The U.S. commercial real estate market is massive—totaling $16 trillion in 2018. But, surprisingly, this major slice of the economy is years behind the curve when it comes to data capture and analysis. Reonomy is on a mission to change that by providing clients with unified records of over 52 million properties. That’s why Reonomy — and its legal team of one, Ezinne Okpo — needed an efficient, standardized contract process. Today, Ezinne uses Ironclad to streamline contracting, ensure compliance, and better support the rest of the company.
"Clean, seamless, and intuitive": Forging the contract process
Ezinne joined Reonomy in Fall 2019 as its first legal hire.
Before working in-house, Ezinne, who hails from Texas, attended law school at Georgetown and started her career at Mayer Brown’s New York office. She went on to lead corporate and technology transactions at multiple major New York law firms. It was the opportunity to build out legal for an early-stage company that drew Ezinne to Reonomy, whose Midtown Manhattan headquarter was a short walk from her firm at the time.
“The idea of launching the legal foundation for a fast-paced startup became really exciting for me,” said Ezinne, who joined Reonomy as Corporate Counsel. “At a company like Reonomy, you’re able to use your experience not only in the legal realm but across business priorities.”
As Reonomy’s first and only in-house counsel, Ezinne took on tackling numerous challenges in her first weeks—the first of which was the contract process. “Our contracting process was relatively nonexistent,” she said. The company had no standardized process for putting together order forms or consistent guardrails to ensure employees used the most current version of agreements.
Ezinne knew she needed to create and standardize the contract process—and to do it without additional personnel. “I realized I didn’t have oversight over our agreements that are being sent out, and that’s a huge need for me.”
It was very readily apparent within two or three weeks that Ironclad was a great solution. Our Sales and Customer Success teams were thrilled to be able to have something like Ironclad.
She dove into finding contract management tools, and Ironclad quickly stood out. “The first differentiator was that Ironclad’s UI is very clean, seamless, and intuitive,” she shared. “It eliminates distractions to make it more user friendly—that’s one of the things that I valued the highest because people are really busy. They don’t have time to learn the quirks of a specific company’s UI.”
Ironclad satisfied Reonomy’s need for not only an intuitive interface, but also a contract negotiation solution. “The second thing we needed was a full-scale redline solution. The negotiation aspect of the contract process was very important,” said Ezinne.
Unique in the CLM universe: Proving the business case for Ironclad
Ezinne knew that Ironclad was the solution. But she needed to prove to Finance and other business units that Ironclad was worth the spend. Over the next few months, while working on other initiatives, Ezinne investigated a number of other solutions that seemed to have similar functionalities.
“There was nothing else on the market that could do what Ironclad did,” Ezinne found at the end of her months-long search. She realized that if Reonomy chose another vendor, “we would end up settling for something that didn’t give us what we actually needed.”
Having explored “the universe of CLM tools,” Ezinne reignited the conversation with Ironclad and the Finance team. This time, she also brought in Reonomy’s Operations leader. She presented the teams a deck with numerous metrics: Ironclad’s ROI, revenue currently lost due to lack of contract management, efficiency gains for sales cycles, as well as increases in compliance. “I think that’s what piqued their interests,” she shared.
Ezinne successfully garnered the support of the other teams, and after four months of research, Reonomy adopted Ironclad in March 2020. “I was very passionate about Ironclad being something that we need at our stage and volume.”
Ironclad is very intuitive. I feel more than capable of starting new workflows and adapting existing ones to our needs without going to a support team.
Breaking records and saving time: Impact of Digital Contracting
Reonomy deployed Ironclad in only two months—a small fraction of the typical CLM deployment time—under Ezinne’s leadership and with all the teams onboard.
Such record success was particularly impressive given that Reonomy adopted Ironclad in the middle of the global transition to remote work. In her new role as VP of Legal, Ezinne ensured smooth adoption by working with Ironclad’s Customer Success team and leading remote trainings for the company.
Ironclad received overwhelming positive responses across the company. “Within a few weeks of launching, I got feedback like ‘Thank you for pushing on this,’” Ezinne said. “It was very readily apparent within two or three weeks that Ironclad was a great solution. And this wasn’t just coming from me. Our Sales and Customer Success teams were thrilled to be able to have something like Ironclad.”
How has Ironclad impacted Reonomy?
Workflow Designer has allowed Ezinne to create the entire contract process, from streamlining contract and signature approvals to standardizing templates and versions. “I wasn’t positive that I’d be able to manage that as a one-person legal team. But it’s actually very intuitive once you start using it,” Ezinne told us. “I feel more than capable of starting new workflows and adapting existing ones to our needs without going to a support team.”
Ironclad has freed up so much more time that can be spent on other company priorities.
Ezinne’s favorite feature, however, has been Dynamic Repository.
Having all the contracts in one place has saved her and Finance a tremendous amount of time. “On any given day, I receive a number of questions like ‘What was the exclusivity term?’ ‘What were the pricing terms of that?’” said Ezinne. “Being able to quickly pull up the terms of any agreement, filter, and tag certain things on Ironclad has been essential.”
Ironclad has proven to be crucial during a time of rapid changes. Like many companies, Reonomy was not a remote work-heavy company prior to the pandemic, and a virtual environment means teammates can no longer stop at each other’s desk and get immediate responses. “Having Ironclad where people can quickly pop in, leave comments, and attend to things on their own time without having to come to me really frees up so much time in my day,” said Ezinne.
What would work have been like without Ironclad?
“I can’t even imagine,” said Ezinne. With Ironclad, she has much more time for other important company initiatives. “I no longer have to manage signatures or tell people where the latest NDA is. Managing time is so valuable in a work-from-home setting. Ironclad has freed up so much more time that can be spent on other company priorities.”