New technology is bringing WA property settlement agents a competitive edge according to Mandurah-based Waterways Conveyancing Licensee Lyn MacQuarrie. “With a high speed internet connection and a strategy to digitally exchange property we’ve quickly settled 105 properties online,” she said.
Hi-tech smarts a marketing tool to capture more business
“With PEXA we can compete on an equal footing with city-based outfits because we don’t have to waste one hour of our precious client-facing time heading into the city by car or train each time we settle a property. This old method of paper-based settlements is outdated. I urge other property practitioners to get online now before we go fully electronic in several months’ time. Free training is available. Don’t wait and get left behind. When online property exchange is legislated our firm plans to use our new-found hi-tech smarts as a marketing tool to capture more business.”
Most WA property transactions are moving online by May 2018
State government-led deadlines are hastening the move to digital property transactions with the lion’s share going online by May 2018. For Lyn the change can’t come fast enough.
“Trekking into the city to settle a paper transaction and exchange bank cheques is like going backwards in a time machine like we did more than a decade ago to do ‘stamping’ at the state revenue office. We’ve progressed from snail mail to faxes and now to emails and SMS communications. Now it’s time to finalise property online. No one wants to go back to those time-wasting days,” she added.
Running both a paper and digital system doesn’t work
“I’m right behind this government mandate to take paper property exchange online. I was looking forward to the 1 December 2017 date and was unbelievably disappointed when I heard it was pushed back to 1 May 2018. Until these changes start to take effect I have to keep running two systems – one paper and one digital. It doesn’t work for me. It means that I have to pay an outside clerk to run back and forth into town with paper documents. It makes economic sense to start planning to remove the need for pre-printed cheques. It’s wasteful and yet another unnecessary cost to our business that can be avoided by going digital.
Settlement agents that delay going digital won’t be ready for the 2018 deadline
“It’s a big wake up call for firms to go online now. If they wait until a few months before 1 May 2018 they won’t be ready for when a larger number of paper property matters are turned off. Acting for clients online also frees up our hours and promotes flexible working. Not everyone works nine to five anymore. We can have all our settlements on any given day taking place within a specified hour or two not having to worry about time restrictions that we have to adhere to now. This includes having to try and re-book another property exchange time if the paper settlement fails because of an error. We can be more responsive now that many digital property settlements can be quickly and efficiently completed – sometimes in a matter of minutes. Using the old paper-based methods it could take days. If there was a printed error or a document was lost in the mail we had to start all over again.”
Lyn MacQuarrie has been the Licensee of Mandurah-based Waterways Conveyancing for 14 years. She is a proponent of digitising property transactions to bring home sales into the digital age, delivering buyers and sellers fast and efficient property exchange.