Proptech Milestones In The Conveyancing Industry

Developments in Proptech is ever-evolving and is fast becoming a top priority amongst conveyancing firms’ strategies across the country.

This growing technological sector which includes artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning algorithms, blockchain technology, the rise of online portal facilities (chatbots) and a host of digital resources is gradually being embraced by the property sector.

More and more firms are realising the huge potential Proptech has on the sector which can protect consumers, improve efficiency, and reduce the time it takes to complete a legal service which ultimately improves the customer experience.

Land Data, the National Land Information Service (NLIS) regulator and the NLIS Hub have grown to be the leader in the electronic authoritative conveyancing searches market after recently celebrating a significant milestone in the history of NLIS –  after managing over 25 million electronic conveyancing searches since the NLIS Hub launched in 2001.

NLIS now handles over 40% of all official searches requests and has become the third-largest provider of searches, behind HMLR and the Coal Authority – and remains the only network to offer electronic connectivity with every Local Authority in England and Wales.

Land Data Chief Executive Jan Boothroyd commented:

“The appeal of NLIS keeps growing as conveyancers look for speed, security, certainty and integrity of data for their client’s transactions. We are proud to be leading the way within this area of conveyancing and look forward to developing new opportunities for NLIS as it approaches its third decade in the sector.”

NLIS Hub Director Nick Dyoss commented:

“This is an impressive achievement that demonstrates NLIS has been successful in its vision to re-engineer the search collation process and that our robust business model is still very much in demand.   As more channels sign up to connect to the NLIS Hub and our market share increases, I expect we’ll be marking yet another significant milestone in the not too distant future.”

In addition, this month ULS technology launched a new digital product, DigitalMove Remortgage, which enables mortgage brokers to carry out remortgages quickly and more securely.

The new product is an extension of ULS Technology’s conveyancing portal. Apart from improving security and transparency, DigitalMove Remortgage allows mortgage brokers to complete certain elements of the legal process a lot quicker than before.

Pilot testing of the new product found that remortgage welcome packs were completed and returned in 6 days rather than 22 days and ULS Technology revealed a record time of 21 minutes for a completion and return of DigitalMove’s starter pack.

Steve Goodall, CEO of ULS technology, said:

“DigitalMove is the future of conveyancing and we are seeing some remarkable reductions in the time it takes to complete key parts of the process, compared with non-DigitalMove cases.

“DigitalMove Remortgage enables brokers to offer these benefits to a wider range of customers, helping them provide the best possible customer journey.”

Tammy Jones, a partner at BB Legal said:

“As a law firm that always puts customer service at the heart of what we do, myself and the team have been working with ULS Technology and using their portal, DigitalMove.

“I believe conveyancing is fast-becoming a digital process, with more clarity and less paperwork so online portals are the way forward. Online portals will help clients and solicitors alike make the transition to online conveyancing with efficiency and ease.”

Furthermore, recently legal technology specialists, Teal Legal have created an app that accurately assesses the conveyancing readiness of a property – which hopes to make a smoother conveyancing process for consumers and taking the stress out of the transaction.

‘Lawtech’ is another increasingly used buzzword in the legal industry which is developing fast. £62 million has been invested in Lawtech startups so far this year, which confirms that financial backing has almost tripled over the past two years.

The Law Society describes Lawtech as ‘technologies that aim to support, supplement or replace traditional methods for delivering legal services, or that improve the way the justice system operates.’

Lawtech is a growing sector and is behind Fintech and Insurtech, who have dominated the financial and insurance industries for a while. The legal sector has seen the potential with their own eyes and is prepared to follow in the footsteps by harnessing the power of Lawtech to radically improve law firms’ processes and systems.

Speaking at a recent Business Partner Conference last month about what tech trends pose the greatest challenges to law firms, John Holliday, digital information governance consultant at Lighthouse said:

“We’re at a turning point where the rate of increase in technology is increasing, so the amount of angst technology is causing lawyers and leadership teams is increasing.”

The use of evolving technology has become fundamental in the UK’s leading law firms’ key strategic planning – as a recent survey of the UK’s top 100 law firms revealed that 81% said technology was the most crucial area of strategic growth for their firm.  Developments in artificial intelligence, automation and machine learning are reshaping the world of UK business. And the conveyancing sector is increasingly turning towards Proptech to help meet the needs of the market.

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