British Conveyancing Awards Sponsor Spotlight: Groundsure

In a series of Spotlight pieces, we are thrilled to introduce our supporters of The British Conveyancing Awards 2021 

Alongside headline sponsor Lawyer Checker, we look forward to recognising individuals, teams and companies who have gone above and beyond to support buyers and sellers to move home during the most challenging year the conveyancing industry has perhaps ever seen.

Today we profile the Young Practitioner of the Year Award sponsors Groundsure

We’re delighted to have Groundsure on board with us for the inaugural British Conveyancing Awards. First of all, tell us who you are and what you do.

Groundsure is a technology and information business focused on geospatial property risks. Our goal is to give homemovers confidence and certainty when making investment decisions with regard to the broad range of risks covering everything from contaminated land and flood to mining and future development potential. In the conveyancing market we produce thousands of searches each day where our experts, advanced algorithms and extensive data come together to deliver simple and clear client advice.

What has Groundsure been doing over the past 12 months? I imagine it’s been a busy time working through a pandemic.

We had a busy and successful year in spite of the pandemic. When the lockdown hit we embarked on an unprecedented education programme with a series of bitesize webinars allowing our customers to keep informed and up to date whilst the market was flat. With the V-shaped recovery we were busier than ever before – supplying record levels of environmental and geological search reports and even finding the time to launch GeoRisk –  a brand new mining and ground stability solution.

What do you think is the biggest challenge the sector has faced over the last 12 months?

Across all sectors, naturally we would look at the pandemic as being the key challenge, the conveyancing sector experienced the same challenges seen across other sectors. Managing the overnight cessation of new transactions as lockdown landed was a worrying challenge for all, but perhaps more notable was the impact of the SDLT holiday which allowed the housing market to bounce back with unforeseen vigour – this was a huge challenge for conveyancing firms, having to adapt quickly by bringing people back from furlough and in many cases speedily recruiting more staff to cope with the huge increase in demand. Delays in access to content and data has had a significant impact on turnaround times with bottle necks delaying transactions and frustrating all parties in the chain. The sector has had to adapt and transform massively – this has been no mean feat.

And what innovations were you seeing in the market?

The switch to home working opened the floodgates towards an adoption and acceptance of the technology needed to help the conveyancing workflow; enforced online collaboration and processes had to be implemented to keep the market moving – but because of the data bottlenecks experienced through the pandemic, many of our customers are now keen, and vitally able, to adopt a more digital approach – we have seen increased requests to access more of our products as data APIs as a result. From a supplier perspective,  the switch to online conferences and seminars saw a whole host of different tactics to engage with audiences. All of this was forced onto the market but it was quickly accepted as the new normal.

What are your predictions for the sector in 2022 and beyond?

We predict that residential transactions will continue to increase; alongside an upwards shift in house prices; we expect the recent trend in moving out of big cities to continue; commercial transactions will continue apace albeit in slightly different arenas;  the sector is keen to streamline processes with content to speed up transactions so the digital world will become the norm with an uptick in adoption of new technologies to support this;  the increased focus on climate change and severe weather will be increasingly factored into transactions; consumers are understanding the process and interrogating  their reports in more detail than ever before – this will only continue so we need to ensure that our reports continue to be as accessible as possible to all involved in a transaction.

Have you got any messages for the sector and our shortlisters?

We are delighted to be a category sponsor for the British Conveyancing Awards 2021 – at a time when conveyancing is seeing unprecedented busy times for many of our customers, it is great to be part of this new type of award – an appreciation of the hard work that has been put in over the last 12 months, whilst recognising some of the unsung heroes in this sector. Through sponsoring the Young Practitioner of the Year Award we would welcome young practitioners to be part of our development panel to enhance and enrich our products and services moving forward – contact [email protected] for more information on this.

We wish all of the entrants the best of luck and look forward to celebrating with you in a few months time.

Thank you to Groundsure for their support for The British Conveyancing Awards 2021.

The British Conveyancing Awards are taking to the virtual stage on Tuesday 25th May 2021 with the multi-award winning journalist and broadcaster Samira Ahmed leading the celebrations.

More information about the awards is available here.

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