What is your vision for the future of property sales in a 100% digital process?
Greg:I see the legal administration being entirely digital. All the compliance material where you simply must “dot the i’s and cross the t’s” can be done really well in the digital space. But there will always need to be a human touch and/or thought process throughout the sales process.
I think people still expect that as the option and as soon as the millennial generation start buying property in earnest then all the digital channels may take up more of the space. I expect when my daughters go to buy a property, that they will demand 99% of the process would and should be digital.
What benefits do your agents currently enjoy from digitisation?
Greg:Always being at the ready at all times and no longer having to run out to the boot of the car to get the paperwork that’s in carbon triplicate. It’s a simple but powerful benefit.
Why is digitisation of the end-to-end process of property transactions so important?
Greg:Two words – “property consumer”. You hear too much about the “d” word – disruption. I prefer to think of all these changes as simply a better way to service the customer. More importantly, consumers demand better customer service, and property transactions are no different.
What are the wider industry effects that you anticipate from the digital disruption of property services?
Greg:We will continue to see business and consumer process improvements in many facets of the transaction, but I am yet to see how AI could deal well with the human nuances such as emotion. Whether it be the sale in equity or the legal sale, human interaction will still be needed.
Over your years, what has been the biggest change you’ve experienced in Real Estate?
Greg:There’s been two.
The simple act of signing the old blue memorandum of transfer documents for legal settlement is now so far in the past that it has gone the way of the cheque, which is a phenomenon I recently had to explain to my daughters.
The second item sounds so simple but being able to sign digitally with certainty has been a significant change for the better.
What is your position on electronic conveyancing and the role it plays in providing a service to your real estate agent members?
Greg:In SA, Agents can act as lawyers in land transactions to get a contract executed. That sale in equity remains an absolute necessity. Now that the front-end equity sale is properly digitised, it will then enable an easier handover to the lawyer or conveyancer to undertake the legal transfer. Anything that makes the compliance stronger and safer and benefits the property consumer like e-Conveyancing is a huge advantage.