"The increased risk of fraud, reducing margins within conveyancing and restrictions being seen around recruitment can all only be solved with the help of automation."
FR: LMS seems to have transformed under your leadership. Can you tell us a little bit about LMS’ aims and goals for this year?
It’s really been a whole team effort. We’ve made it our focus to be at the forefront of the conveyancing sector, pushing the importance of technology and collaboration to the top of the industry agenda. Support from our shareholders has allowed us to do that without limits, and really focus on innovation to better the industry as a whole.
This is very much still our key priority and we hope the launch of our exciting new products such as the fully automated digital remortgaging proposition will go a long way in facilitating this.
FR: Towards the end of 2021, HM Land Registry (HMLR) announced its move towards digital conveyancing. What difference will this make to the industry?
It will have a massive impact in terms of reducing the burden of manual intervention in the conveyancing process, as well as reducing the risks associated with the current submission. Essentially, the digitisation of signatures on deeds, ID and the automation of applications to HMLR allows for an additional level of streamlining within the overall conveyancing process and will speed up the entire process for all stakeholders.
Hopefully the next stages from HMLR will include real time access to property data and information to speed up the work conveyancers do. Technology has the ability to bring together the many moving parts of the conveyancing process, making it faster and more reliable – hopefully now a precedent has been set and we will start to see tech rolled out across the industry!
FR: How far do you think digitisation/automation of the conveyancing process can go?
Digitisation and automation is really the only way forward. The increased risk of fraud, reducing margins within conveyancing and restrictions being seen around recruitment can all only be solved with the help of automation.
And it can go as far as the industry is willing to take it. There already exists a wide range of tools to automate tasks and reduce admin time including removing the need for manual data entry and implementing digital document sharing and ID verification. The next step is to fully digitise the whole remortgage journey.
The digital remortgage proposition from LMS can automate all repeatable processes. For example, it can autopopulate the borrower questionnaire from existing client data, saving time, reducing admin costs and minimising the margin for error by taking away the need for data re-keying for multiple different lenders. For the simple cases, this tech means the whole journey can be automated while also freeing up the conveyancers or lenders to deal with more complex clients.
FR: How can the industry become more customer centric, particularly when it comes to what can be fairly lengthy remortgage journeys?
Work together. Becoming more consumer centric means we need to set expectations early, especially in a world where instant gratification has become the norm. By using technology to reduce duplication of processes and/or data, lenders and conveyancers alike can make sure they assess how much more information they’ll require to complete the remortgage process at the outset. They can also identify any complexities of the case, both of which mean they can give more accurate timescales and fees to the end customer.
This technology is ready, but it will work to the best of its ability when the whole industry collaborates to implement it across the board and give everyone the same seamless experience. Not only does it speed cases up, it also means that customers get a much more accurate and reliable completion date.
FR: If you could read one headline about the industry this year, what would it be and why?
I would love to see a headline about the completion of the first fully digital remortgage. The tech exists now to facilitate it, we just need to embrace it. this is just the start of what the industry can achieve, there’s a full digital revolution to come, but a headline like that would confirm that steps are being taken to achieve our ambition of changing the face of conveyancing as we know it.