Sessio aims to take video contracts mainstream
With its innovative video-based solution, this Finnish company hopes to transform how we contract renovation and construction works.
Renovations that go smoothly from beginning to end seem to be few and far between, and misunderstandings and missed deadlines may appear to be an unavoidable part of renovation works.
Sessio thinks it has a solution, and the company’s upcoming app could radically change how we contract construction and renovation services. The key to their solution are video contracts.
The idea is straightforward: the Sessio app lets you record a local video or a video call where you describe the specifics of the works. The app captures the audio and video, and lets you take still photos and draw on them. Finally, you can merge the material into a video contract.
Making the video takes therefore very little time, and it makes it possible to discuss and agree on the renovation project without both parties having to physically be where the works will take place.
Changing behavioural patterns
When it comes to construction and renovations, the buyer and the contracted company may draft a written contract, but it usually only outlines the works in broad strokes.
“And as the works progress, there are always additional details that need to be agreed on,” says Tomas Westerholm, CEO and founder of Sessio.
Usually such details are discussed orally, since writing everything down would take too long. But for one reason or another, things often don’t work out exactly as discussed or the works end up taking longer than expected, Westerholm says. “In those situations, we tend to just accept it and move on, especially as there is no record of what was originally said.”
A video contract, created with Sessio’s app, changes this as it works as a record of the agreement. Westerholm hopes that this will help bring about a transformation of behavioural patterns, as a recording will encourage renovation companies to be precise with what they promise and deliver.
A video also helps clarify the specifics of the requested works, especially in situations where the person responsible for the actual renovations is different from the person who discussed them originally. “Ultimately both the client and the company benefit from this,” Westerholm says. “It really is a no-brainer.”
Sessio is at the early stages of its journey, having a few part-time employees and no commercial product yet. But Westerholm believes that once construction site supervisors have a chance to try the app, they will quickly see its benefits and start using it at their sites.
“When we’ve discussed the concept with construction companies, it has been immediately clear to them how it would help them make savings. Already the fact that it eliminates the need to drive to the location just to discuss the works means they save money.”
The next version of the app, which adds a function to record solo videos, will be launched in November at Slush, and Westerholm is keen to get users’ comments once they get their hands on it: “We have a great concept, but it can still be shaped and sharpened based on feedback, and we’re open to suggestions.”
As an architect, the constructions industry was a natural field for Westerholm to target. He encourages also others to keep their eyes open and identify similar opportunities for new apps and services.
“We all carry portable devices that are always connected and have highly sophisticated tech. This allows for entirely new kinds of services, and I’m sure there’s still massive untapped potential for new ideas.”
Text: Teemu Henriksson