Property Expert Discusses The Growing Industry Of Proptech
Proptech is a growing industry that is forcing legal service providers to consider how they interact and use technology to improve the property moving process. The most well-known examples are real estate websites like Rightmove and Zoopla.
Furthermore, The HM Land Registry have been transferring all local authority data onto a digital system and the City of London Corporation is now live. This is now the third local authority to have successfully migrated all land charges to the national and digital system, following Warwickshire and Liverpool.
And recently the first property sale was conducted by Artificial Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence auctioneering company clicktopurchase® simulated the traditional property auction but used an online medium to facilitate the sale. It is believed the AI auctioneer will eliminate the problematic element of a human error; creating a fair and transparent bidding process.
This continued digital roll-out across the industry shows the property sector is embracing technology and The UK Prop Tech Association have speculated that Lawtech and PropTech integration of more blockchain powered property sales in the UK will increase.
An industry expert talks about embracing technology and whether AI and blockchain will be used more in house sale transactions and how he thinks technology will affect the conveyancing industry as a whole.
Harvey Harding, Managing Director of PM Property Lawyers said “It is my long-held opinion that LegalTech specifically and PropTech will revolutionise our industry in our lifetime – in fact likely, a lot sooner.
“Customers and their experience in other industries is fuelling a demand for open, transparent and rapid interaction and technology is generally at the forefront of those other industries (and professions) and the customer expects to be able to interrogate the process when and how they wish. As a minimum, a customer will expect interaction with the conveyancer and their data as and when they wish. Over many years there have been a real growth in portals ‘for portal’s sake’ but now, client expectation has caught up. A customer will want to interact via app, e-sign documentation, upload photos and documents and complete online forms – the days of paper are nearly over.
“This is of course beneficial if adopted as there are time and cost savings as well as happier customers.
“This though is the start. Blockchain, AI, big data, parsing, OCR tied to machine learning are all here to stay and our industry is ready – whether that be civil litigation, commercial or conveyancing and with the political push (if not direct, say via HMLR Geovation) there is a real prerogative to get there. Blockchain though is just a tool, a piece of the puzzle and is only part of a technological solution but utilised in the right way with some of the above, could replace a great deal of what humans now do (and in my view shouldn’t be doing).
“Lawyers need to learn, adapt and then survive. We don’t need to be reading the same thing time and time again, or be checking documents for a series on ‘yes or nos’ – we should focus on where we add value, at the margins and the exceptions, which a machine cannot do. Sometimes customers will have different views on risk – again a real human trait – we should again focus here. On the other hand, machines do not have an off-day, get hangovers or colds and will always be ruthlessly consistent – perfect for risk management.
“As part of my life, I co-founded the Legal Technology North conference which is here to showcase the best LegalTech has to offer and this is again one of the reasons I am convinced we have to adopt Tech to move forward and be successful.”
As a Conveyancer, what is your opinion of PropTech? How do you think it will impact the industry?