On 10 May, 2021 NSW Land Registry Services announced “all eligible property transactions have gone digital.” To get to this point, the NSW property industry has undergone significant changes in transitioning to digital. Paper lodgments will no longer be accepted once the mandate comes into full force later in the year. The full schedule of eDealings can be found on the Office of Registrar General’s website.
Many practitioners may find the transition to electronic conveyancing a challenge because they will need to learn to navigate new working procedures to lodge their property matters and stay compliant. So, how can legal practitioners navigate these changes? Here are three paths to prepare your firm and how to help your people navigate the changes ahead.
1. Become an Electronic Lodgment Network Operator (ELNO) Subscriber
As electronic dealings become mandated, there will be an increase in demand for solicitors, as consumers will be required to go through a subscriber to lodge electronically. This move means that solicitors should consider becoming an ELNO subscriber or utilise other services, such as InfoTrack’s SettleIT, to fulfill these requirements.
If you choose to become an ELNO subscriber there are certain responsibilities that must be met including:
- understanding ARNECC’s (Australian Registrars’ National Electronic Conveyancing Council) Model Participation Rules and adhering to subscriber compliance audit processes,
- ensuring there is a Right to Deal,
- obtaining additional authorities such as Client Authorisation forms, and
- undertaking Verification of Identity in compliance with the Verification of Identity Standard or by taking reasonable steps as defined in version 6 of the Model Participation Rules. InfoTrack’s award-winning Verification of Identity technology, WebVOI allows you to verify that your client is who they say they are, by going above the simple identification steps.
2. Outsource the conveyancing process to an online conveyancing platform
The property industry is continuously changing, and many solicitors may find it difficult to keep up with the legislative changes along with adjusting to new working processes. Instead of doing it yourself, consider outsourcing the process to an online conveyancing platform such as SettleIT. Solicitors do not need to keep up with these changes themselves, but instead can offload the conveyancing work to a team of experts to handle their property matters on the solicitor’s behalf. The benefits in transitioning to digital, includes faster registration times, reduction in manual activities and decrease in requisitions consumers are receiving.
SettleIT offers a simple to use online portal where solicitors can easily place an order and upload the required documents and simply leave the settlement for a team of experts to complete. SettleIT users can utilise the platform to conduct settlements, lodgments and stamping across all Australian states, and will gain full visibility of their matters on the portal’s dashboard once their order is placed.
Kai Martin from Wheeler Family Law has found benefit in using SettleIT to assist with settlements:
“Since using SettleIT, we have become more efficient because we no longer have to deal with PEXA. We continue to provide conveyancing services, but the process is quicker on our end. Outsourcing e-conveyancing has meant InfoTrack handles the administrative aspects of our property transactions.”
3. Next Steps: Help your team embrace the technological changes
Once you have decided between becoming a Subscriber or outsourcing, it is important that firms prepare their employees for the changes and empower their team so that they feel confident to navigate and execute tasks with these new processes in mind. Change is never easy. While the transition to digital brings about many challenges, it also brings about many benefits.
To support their teams, employers should provide the team with transparent information on any adjusted roles and offer continuous training and resources to expand skill sets.
Transitioning to electronic conveyancing will bring immense benefits to the NSW property industry, and solicitors should start preparing for these changes now, before the mandate comes into full effect across all States. For support setting your business up for electronic conveyancing, request a complimentary demonstration with SettleIT. For more information about the NSW electronic lodgment mandate and how to mitigate risk, you can register now for our on-demand webinar, Transitioning to digital and mitigating risk with the NSW Land Registry Services.
SettleIT, powered by InfoTrack
SettleIT was established in 2018 by InfoTrack, Australia’s leading innovator in legal technology. SettleIT allows law firms and conveyancers the ability to outsource the settlement and lodgment of registry documents – both manual and electronic. The SettleIT team have over 100 years of combined experience in handling conveyancing matters and operate as an incorporated legal practice.