London’s One Great George Street played host the 19th annual Property Forum Dinner, sponsored by SearchFlow last month. Welcoming 133 delegates from across the property transaction market, from estate agents and mortgage providers to conveyancers and suppliers, the event featured a Question Time-style panel which saw industry experts address concerns raised by the floor.
These included questions relating to data input and inefficiencies in the conveyancing process. The panel recognised the need to improve service and processes and urged greater use of available technologies for a more efficient and digitised process.
Concerns were raised about Local Land Charges (LLC) in England and Wales and the role Land Registry will play as the sole provider of official search results. The changes had created uncertainty, guests reported, with many experienced members of staff leaving the organisation.
“Service is an industry-wide challenge,” commented John Pickford, managing director of SearchFlow, speaking at the event.
“Transaction processes are poorly perceived by both buyers and sellers for a number of reasons. What’s clear is that we talk a lot about the issues, but now is the time to take action. All those involved in the property transaction market have a part to play.
“Consumers use technology more readily and expertly, and have higher expectations of how it is applied, so this could be part of the solution,” he added.
“There is evidence to suggest that conveyancers are also showing an appetite to do business online and there is certainly room to make better use of technology in the property market. SearchFlow has a role to play and we know there is more we can all do to ensure conveyancers and clients feel the benefit.”
Panellist and CEO of 360 Legal, Viv Williams, notes “We have an issue of an ageing industry and there’s more we can do to bring the market into the 21st century. Fewer law firms are specialising in conveyancing and now is the time to make use of technologies and focus on providing better services to turn around a flat-lined industry.”
Commenting on the evening itself, Viv said “This year’s Property Forum Dinner has been fantastic to say the least. It’s a great opportunity for influencers and delegates to come together and raise critical issues and looks at ways of resolving these. I look forward to the next!”
Attendees at SearchFlow’s Property Forum Dinner helped raise over £1,400 for Demelza hospice, a charity supporting children and young people who are not expected to reach adulthood.
Details of next year’s Property Forum Dinner will be disclosed later this year.