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By Ben Ridgway

Group Managing Director, iamproperty

OTHER FEATURES

Could tech be the answer to inflated timescales (and tempers)?

With soaring property prices, supply continuing to be outstripped by demand and overworked and overtired industry professionals; we’re seeing the sector reach fever pitch .

Lorraine Richardson, property solicitor at Adapt Law, issued a vlog recently on the heightened levels of abuse that she and other property conveyancers have had levelled at them by stressed clients - something which is unacceptable for anyone to experience in the workplace. Those pressures of delays are certainly showing the cracks and fragilities in the home moving process and the experience it is creating for buyers and sellers.   

We have come to accept that buying and selling homes is stressful and continues to get worse. We’ve all had to make do and mend around the snags in the fabric of an outdated infrastructure, which are now showing themselves to be gaping holes.

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Everyone in the sector is stretched, with conveyancers and agents taking the brunt of the negativity due to the being the ‘main pieces in the puzzle’ and quite literally, the keepers of the keys. It’s time we moved beyond this and questioned the current arrangement and make improvements to something that clearly doesn’t work – for agents, clients, and conveyancers, putting speed, transparency and experience at the forefront.

Reform, modernise and regulate

We’ve spoken to lots of industry experts during the development of iamproperty movebutler and they have shared our concerns about the current pressures within conveyancing. 

Beth Rudolf explained: “It’s been a tough 12-18 months for conveyancers and the unfortunate perception is that they themselves are the sticking point in the process and the delays are of a human making. The reality is that it’s the humans behind the scenes that are mostly working with a system that has been stacked against them.

Since the dematerialisation of deeds packets, the onus is on the homeowner to retain the material facts of a property and, even with the best will in the world or even industry experience, having the full picture is now a rarity. Many conveyancers are re-producing the property history every time, leading to the huge delays that we’ve seen recently. The solution is to formalise this process, regulate the requirements as much as possible, and to modernise it, like we’ve come to expect in every other area of our lives.”

With movebutler, we set out to modernise the moving process by using technology to bring much needed automaton to key parts of the process and offering an end to end service  in one cohesive platform, we knew that we were answering a gap in the market and addressing the most burdensome proceses. However, we couldn’t have predicted just how much the sector would need this solution as the pandemic hit and the need for digitalisation accelerated.  

Gail Furnival, sales director at Barbers Estate Agents, was one of the early adopters of movebutler. We chatted to her about her experience: “One of the huge benefits of using iamproperty movebutler has been our ability to build good relationships with trusted, local solicitors – alongside the ability to earn a referral fee. It feels like a sensible, joined-up journey and our clients are happy with the digital-first approach, allowing us to add value and a personal touch elsewhere in the process."

"This, alongside the support we get from the iamproperty team of ‘movebutlers’ means that we’ve cut down a huge amount of administration time because we can just trust that things are being dealt with. Even things like the platform monitoring the service levels of the solicitors on our panel, if a case load is too high in one area, that’s automatically redistributed to another, without our involvement and without the worry that we will see a change in quality. The system makes a huge difference to us and helps us drive efficiencies.”

Innovation for real change

The reason movebutler is working for agents is because we won’t innovate for innovation’s sake. We’ve consulted, tested, and reviewed the platform alongside estate agents and conveyancing professionals throughout every stage of development.

When we say it’s built by agents for agents, we really mean that. It’s a solution that works for lots of different business needs and different types of agencies because we’ve ensured it’s flexible and adaptable.

The modularity of the platform means that agents can use part or all of it to address business challenges, and we can address inefficiencies in the journey, at different stages. It’s designed to fit around the needs of the agent and client to make improvements, drive efficiencies and make everyone’s lives that bit easier – just as good tech should. 

Visit the iamproperty website to find out more about movebutler.

*Ben Ridgway is Group Managing Director of iamproperty

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