With the ever-persistent compliance hurdles materialising within the property market, Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark, speaks about how the use of the correct technology can help ease the burden and limit the chance of agents falling foul.
Technology, whilst there is a cost, does bring consistency into the process. Effectively, if some agents choose to manually complete these systems, there’s more chance of inconsistency in human error whereas the beauty with an automated compliance function is that there is consistency, an audit trail and transparency.
Whilst this has created an opportunity for PropTech developers to enter the space and create useful tools and products, it also created the opportunity for reliable data collection. Between developers we will start to see more of a consistent standard, valuable time saved and, in some cases, a saving in cost.
The biggest area of development at the moment is within the anti-money laundering framework. With changes to the third edition of the guidance on the horizon, it’s a crucial time for agents to ensure compliance as dozens have been hit with fines of up to six-digit figures for various breaches. HMRC has shown their teeth recently in their latest list of businesses not complying with money laundering regulations which reported that 175 companies received penalties totalling £2,180,708, meaning massive financial and reputational stakes for an agency's non-compliance.
There’s a wider scope of products emerging in line with these changes with more end-to-end services and enhanced development than seen before. Agents should be encouraged to shop around and understand the products that are out there at the moment and analyse integrations with any existing software to ensure efficiency.
As we enter a tougher market environment alongside a world of greater sanctions, the lack of awareness of PEPS and a centralised government database also means there are challenges in some areas of identification with inconsistencies across the platforms. Feedback from agents who have embraced new technologies has been positive and we continue to work with our partners and members to help further shape technology in the world of property.
As an organisation, Propertymark works with leading innovators in the technological field to help shape and encourage new PropTech to the industry. In our latest webinar, James Kent, Founder and CEO of Safe2, a PropTech compliance company, and award-winning journalist and editor, Nigel Lewis, discuss the role that technology and automation plays for compliance in property management.
As well as providing tips on the best-in-class providers and how to navigate the PropTech market, they dive into available technology tools fo property compliance and certification. You can watch the recording here.
*Nathan Emerson is CEO of Propertymark