Time to combat change fatigue, we the practitioners are ready for Interoperability.
I often get asked about interoperability and what it all means for a practitioner. Interoperability is not a new concept, it is a word that has been used over the last few years, and one that many of us can barely spell let alone relate to. But what exactly is interoperability? Ultimately interoperability is not just about technology, it’s about people being able to work together and collaborate across providers, as we do in many ways today, without even realizing. Isn’t this what we practitioners want and need to serve our clients better and provide more value?
Change fatigue is real!
Practitioners have seen tremendous number of changes over the last 10-15 years, and change fatigue is real. You have told us, and I as a practitioner myself understand the challenges you face in running your business daily. The meat in the sandwich, the ultimate multitasker, managing relationships between real estate agents, the financial institutions, keeping up with state revenue and ATO requirements and all the electronic conveyancing regulatory changes are just to name a few and managing all of these whilst working to protect your clients’ best interests and getting them into their homes. Your main priority and true focus.
I am well familiar with the excitement our clients feel when we make that call “your property has settled, you can now collect your keys”.
The E-settlement journey continues
Just when you thought you had settled into E-Settlements, transformed your business process from paper to digital, the journey continues and is evolving to enable us to serve our clients better. E-settlements has removed the need to attend settlement physically, allowing practitioners, financial institutions, land registries and revenue offices to complete the last piece of the property transaction electronically, bringing with it both benefits and efficiencies across the property sector and the end consumer, your client.
The best is yet to come for practitioners
Every industry needs a competitive market, and the property sector is no different. The ACCC rightly points out that without competition in the electronic conveyancing community the outcomes would be poor for all.
Practitioners could be forgiven for thinking the job is done, but not quite. Digital reform is an evolving space and keeping up with all the developments at times feels like we are running a marathon. But we are not completely there yet, the best is yet to come. We need you to stay with us as we implement interoperability and bring choice, value and efficiency to the industry.
Benefits of choice and competition for the practitioners
We have all seen firsthand the benefits competition can bring and have come to expect it. The concept of Interoperability can be likened to that of the telcos. Think back to when there was just one telecommunication service provider – Telstra. Over time consumers demanded more choice and fair playing field and so the industry and competition evolved to address consumer needs. Today we are able to choose between multiple phone and internet providers offering consumers choice and better value.
And for practitioners multiple practice management systems, all of which seamlessly slot into your daily lives.
Current state of the industry
Where are we today? Currently, all parties in a conveyancing transaction must use the same ELNO to complete the transaction. Interoperability is an API solution (the sharing of data electronically) that allows the ELNO’s to communicate with each other, making way for practitioners, banks, land registries and revenue offices to transact seamlessly via the ELNO of their choice, just like Telstra and Optus do today.
Do you ever stop to think which network the person you are calling is using, I know it never enters my mind and nor should it, it just works!
The ELNO you settle your client’s property on should be your choice, until now there was no choice for practitioners, particularly as mandated e-conveyancing was introduced across the states, embedding both the regulatory and operational changes into our businesses.
Part of the e-conveyancing reform included the introduction of digital certificates into practitioners’ lives. Where once your client executed their transfer documents, you the practitioner in a digital world were now asked to do on their behalf, requiring you to make certifications to the validity of the transaction and replacing your physical signature with that of a digital one.
As Interoperability opens the path to choose, your ability to use your digital certificate and signature across multiple ELNO’s, will play a big part in the ease in which you are able to make that choice.
Interoperability does the heavy lifting for you, you will decide which ELNO supports the needs of your business, making those daily tasks easier giving you the time to spend with your clients and focusing on your business, while interoperability quietly works to deliver continuous innovation, looking at ways to provide better value for customers and delivering the benefits e-settlements promised, ensuring resilience to the $9 trillion property market.
Article by Angie Nguyen