By Legal Futures Associate Search Acumen
The property market has been operating at breakneck speed over the past few months as a combination of Covid-19 dynamics and Stamp Duty holiday incentives have created the perfect storm. For Scott Gair, Partner at Dean Wilson, there has never been a better time to embrace technology and keep one step ahead of the fast paced and highly competitive market.
Scott’s appetite for innovation led him to be an early adopter of Search Acumen’s Data Snapshot tool 9 months ago. The tool enables lawyers to download essential property data in the form of easily digestible reports, allowing real estate professionals to review and advise clients on the risks in under 24 hours. Scott has found the reports incredibly helpful at a time when sourcing due diligence information in traditional methods fails to keep up with the pace of the market. Local Authority turnaround times can still take weeks and sometimes months as the pandemic aftereffects continue. This coupled with buyers and lawyers working to shortened timelines, with around one week to exchange and only one more week to complete, there was a need for a better way.
Rather than defaulting to using insurance without being able to take stock of the potential risks, Data Snapshot is filling the gap for lawyers. The tool has empowered Scott to be on the front foot and to have more meaningful and sensible conversations with clients that puts them both in a better position to tackle any issues upfront.
The reports have also been an enormous time saver. For example, Scott recently acted on a large acquisition of around 50 properties that was moving at pace and would have been stalled if he had to wait for searches from the Local Authority. Instead, Scott used Data Snapshot reports to discuss the risks, filling the client with confidence that they could proceed. The deal is now on track to complete within the desired timelines. Indeed, for a number of Scott’s clients, it is a no brainer to proceed with a Data Snapshot report instead of waiting for traditional due diligence reports.
Scott, thinks it is important to have an open, creative and inquisitive mind to try and stay one step ahead of the market, and to overcome any potential timing or other hurdles that may arise. While the default position is to keep your head down during a very busy period and keep doing what you have always done, Scott has turned to technology in a pursuit of finding new ways of working that create efficiencies. It can also benefit the bottom line by reducing administrative time, speeding up the time of a transaction and reducing the WIP to enable costs to be recouped faster.. In addition, Scott sees technology as essential for attracting a new generation of lawyers who are more conscious of their environmental footprint and see digital ways of working as the norm. Embracing an open, innovative mindset is the only way to stay competitive in today’s world and that of tomorrow.