Digital property group aims to “accelerate use of AI”

Harlow: Common goals

Upfront information and accelerating the use of emerging technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) are among the priorities that the Digital Property Market Steering Group (DPMSG) has pledged to progress this year.

Top of the list of priorities in a work ‘roadmap’ published this week is upfront information for buyers, meaning there are “no surprises after the buying decision and no waiting for searches”.

The DPMSG is a government and industry partnership which includes the Land Registry and the Law Society that launched last summer with the task of promoting digital technology.

It said it would consult key stakeholders next month on how to “action upfront information” and whether a joint statement of responsibilities would be beneficial.

This would be followed in April with a further consultation on a list, in priority order, of the property information that needed to be digitised and how this could be achieved.

The final step, in June, would be work with owners of the “top three data sets/points” to take action on barriers to data improvement.

On transparency, the second priority in the roadmap, the DPMSG said its aim would be to share information using an “open protocol” which allowed everyone to see what was happening in a transaction.

Working with organisations such as the Open Property Data Association, the DPMSG would consult on principles for an “open data and connectivity protocol” in March.

This will be followed in May by a report with “actionable recommendations to include a business model and methods to drive adoption” and in July by delivering a “self-sustaining open protocol”.

On security and e-signatures, the DPMSG would “draw up an action list of what was needed to remove paper-based processes and see general and rapid adoption of digital ID and secure e-signatures”.

A separate “roadmap of activity, targeted across the property sector” would be published in May to increase uptake, with a report in September.

On technology, the fourth priority on the list, the DPMSG said “collaborative research across users and the proptech sector will accelerate the use of emerging technology such as artificial intelligence”.

A research and development roadmap would be produced for consultation by April this year, to be followed by collaboration on research, to include “the possibilities presented by AI” and publication of its findings.

Last on the list was a general commitment to being open and collaborative, including publishing an annual review on the digital health and future direction of the property sector.

Mike Harlow, deputy chief executive and director of customer and strategy at HM Land Registry, said the roadmap set out the group’s strategic objectives and highlighted the steps needed to achieve its goals.

“We will be actively monitoring and reflecting on our progress over the next 12 months, so it is important to note that this is a working document that will be ever evolving, helping us to align ourselves towards common goals, fostering better collaboration and better understanding.”

Kate Faulkner, chair of the cross-industry Home Buying and Selling Group – which focuses on broader reform – added: “Over the last few years, all those involved in the home buying and selling process from trade bodies to professional organisations, regulators, redress schemes and practitioners… have worked tirelessly to agree on how to change the process now and in the future.

“However, without the support of government, working together with industry to lay key foundations to digitise the buying and selling process, we just couldn’t make the enormous changes required.”

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