Property data in the UK is mined from a labyrinth of sources such as local authorities, various government departments and private organisations. These often work in their own information silos, with complex processes and varied standards of data and security, creating unwelcome barriers to the easy and secure sharing of data that have been stifling the speed and efficiency in which residential properties are able to transact.
A vision for a trusted, common data standard for the property industry has now taken a step closer towards realisation with the establishment of the Open Property Data Association (OPDA), the UK’s independent industry body for companies revolutionising the property industry through data collaboration.
The OPDA was set-up to foster innovation and industry-wide collaboration for a more digitalised, streamlined home-moving process, borne from the Homebuying Selling Group (HBSG), following the release of its Property Data Trust Framework’s (PDTF) V.2.0 schema, it is designed to break down the data barriers delivering one common, shared method and approach.
Paving the way for more open property data access
As a working member of the Homebuying Selling Group (HBSG) and one of the OPDA founding members, tmgroup promotes open property data and a shared trust framework across government and the industry.
As CTO and COO at tmgroup, I sit on the OPDA committee. I’ve been with tmgroup for 20 years and have over 30 years’ experience of leading tech teams in developing large scale IT platforms and digital platforms, and share the ambition of driving forward the changes that are needed.
tmgroup are actively engaged in the HBSG and helped steer the development of its PDTF common data standard. That PDTF standard is now promoted via the OPDA, who underpin how the sharing and use of trusted open data property data across a property transaction can become easier and facilitate a wider forum for greater collaboration and innovation in the property industry.
Upfront property information cuts fall throughs and transaction times
As a leading technology provider in the property industry, tmgroup is focused on developing and delivering technology solutions which overcome problems and streamline various elements of the conveyancing process.
tmgroup believes in the openness of data sharing principles to help improve and reduce transaction times for all and wholly supports the HBSG-driven industry initiative for the provision of upfront material information in the residential sales market. tmgroup was one of the first companies to create, contribute to and to adopt the PDTF standards in its own software solutions with the launch of its digital Sellers Information Pack earlier this year, through its estate agency-facing brand, mio. Underpinned by secure, trusted data, the Sellers Information Pack allows agents to comply with the evolving material information requirements governed under the legislation for Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulation 2008[PA1] . This has been proven to reduce failed transactions and speed up the sale process by instructing conveyancers and sharing information much earlier in the process whilst the property is being marketed by the estate agent.
A recent year-long pilot programme involving residential conveyancing experts, Thomas Legal and specialist search provider, Conveyancing Data Services, part of tmgroup, shows transaction times reduced by 40% when local searches were initiated ahead of time.
What benefits customers, benefits your business too
Greater property data accessibility and sharing shifts movers towards a more seamless and successful buying and selling experience that’s fit for the digital age and consumer demands.
Already, where data sharing is being used and deployed in a timely manner, green shoots of progress are being seen. The question is how many more businesses are willing to learn from the HBSG and help shape a better future for property transactions through greater cross-industry collaboration under the guidance of the OPDA, or face being left behind as the digital property data revolution grows in strength and numbers.
The OPDA welcomes anyone who is involved in property transactions to become a member of the OPDA and adopt the PDTF standard, which reduces the financial and time burden for bespoke data integrations.
I am encouraged by the energy that has been created by the development of the Property Data Trust Framework over the past couple of years and it is refreshing to see the appetite for collaboration by organisations from across the property transaction. Having been involved in the development of PISCES (OSCRE) standards in the past I have seen first-hand the benefits that a standard can deliver and the PDTF takes that integration and sharing of data to the next level. I look forward to assisting more organisations in its adoption.”
Click here to find out how to become a member of the OPDA or discover more about tmgroup’s range of agile business data solutions for conveyancers and estate agents here.