Buying and selling property is about to get a whole lot easier in Queensland. Property exchange can now be finalised online.
Property transactions are one of the last major financial dealings to come into the digital era, promising consumers a better experience. And for the first time, lawyers, banks and land registries can now collaborate online rather than travel to settlement rooms to finalise transactions.
The property exchange network called PEXA is now live in Queensland. It offers an alternative to manual, paper-based property settlements.
Properties are exchanged via a secure platform with final funds settling through the Reserve Bank of Australia. PEXA is supported by the Queensland Government with direct transaction participation by the Land Titles Office and Office of State Revenue.
Peter Maloney, CEO of Brisbane based GlobalX Legal Solutions, highlighted that the launch of PEXA would provide peace of mind for Queensland buyers and sellers, secure the conveyancing process, and fast track settlement times.
Ushering the property market into a new era
The push to take property transactions online is a Coalition of Australian Governments’ (COAG) reform to bring property exchange into the digital economy. The Queensland Government laid the early groundwork by digitising its land titles office many years ago.
Queensland is now a part of the digital change that is bringing the legal industry, financial institutions and the land registry together so that they can efficiently and virtually interact.
Liz Goli, Commissioner of State Revenue, Queensland Treasury, said the PEXA innovation aligns with the Queensland Government’s GoDigitalQld strategy, encouraging the use of digital technologies by government agencies, business and individuals.
Marcus Price, PEXA’s CEO said there is a better way after 160 years of transacting property using a past era process. “The $6 trillion residential property market is Australia’s largest single asset class and a national wealth generator. It’s too important to be held back from going digital.”
“Many lawyers undertaking conveyancing are already scanning documents and deploying practice software and other online solutions. PEXA is helping businesses to build their online presence with the necessary training to confidently use the network. Over coming months we expect many firms will modernise their practice by turning to e-conveyancing.”
Tech is set to greatly benefit law firms in 2016
While not the sexiest topic on the planet, legal technology is set for a stunner year in 2016, with features like electronic conveyancing, integrated software solutions, and mobile and cloud-based programs expected to trend in the new year.
Despite the legal industry’s notorious resistance to new technologies, 2015 saw promising movement by firms to make use of tech trends that have aided the growth and success of other Australian industries like finance and e-commerce.
Industry-wide digital disruption, spear-headed by PEXA’s national roll-out in 2015, has been highly influential in demonstrating the benefits new technology can bring to law firms big and small.
These benefits include faster conveyancing and settlement times for property transactions, business cost savings, increased operational productivity and staff efficiency, and quicker access to data.
Are lawyers finally ready to fully embrace tech?
GlobalX CEO Peter said in response to the industry’s increasing adoption of digital and mobile platforms, his company was preparing to boost its training and support programs for law firms in 2016.
“It’s important for practitioners to understand emerging technologies; what they are, what they aren’t, and how they operate, so firms and legal practitioners can decide the best way forward.”
“The data we have on the industry’s willingness to move forward with technology is very promising, and the benefits speak for themselves. For example, “PEXA-Ready” firms – those registered to perform property transactions electronically via the digital PEXA platform – could save as much 25 per cent, or up to $200, per settlement transaction.”
Leading Western Sydney firm, Coleman Greig Lawyers’ CEO, Warrick McLean said the biggest changes in the coming twelve months would need to occur in small to mid-tier firms.
“If smaller practices want to keep up with evolving technologies and stay relevant, they need to invest in business technology like integrated software solutions and marketing platforms.”
“A good place to start would be to integrate the firm’s existing software with platforms like PEXA, which will help save considerable time and money.”
Peter said mobile and cloud-based tech is also expected to deliver value for legal practitioners in the New Year, and will have a huge impact on how companies interact and conduct business.
“Already we’ve seen a shift to mobile-based platforms, and as legal practitioners realise the value of mobility this trend will only increase,” he said.
“Generationally, young lawyers expect everything on their mobiles now; so the more we can provide flexible working solutions, the more productive they will be within the business.”
“We encourage law firms to be prepared for change and be open to new ideas, particularly as the industry moves further into the 21st century. Technology is changing the way we do business in Australia and we are pleased to see the legal industry starting to take advantage of that.”