Forward-thinking Australian legal practitioners, major law firms, lenders and industry bodies have been celebrated overnight at the 2021 PropertyX Innovate Awards, hosted by PEXA, Australia’s leading digital property settlement platform.
Now in its fourth year, the event recognises organisations that commit to adopting innovative practices or programs to improve the experience of buying and selling a home for Australian consumers.
Today, more than 80% of all property settlements are processed digitally, with 20,000 Australian homebuyers and sellers each week benefiting from an unparalleled digital experience.
As a result of extensive collaboration between practitioners, lenders and government, Australia boasts the world’s only digital property exchange platform, placing it in a uniquely advantageous position during COVID-19.
At a time when many countries globally have struggled to keep property transactions moving, Australia’s largest asset class, the $9T residential property industry, has remained insulated thanks to its commitment to digital innovation.
PEXA’s Chief Customer Officer, Lisa Dowie, said: “As an Australian start-up driven to be a world leader in digital property settlements, PEXA is passionate about supporting like-minded organisations who innovate with the consumer front of mind.
“The industry has had to navigate unprecedented challenges over the past two years, but thanks to these businesses, Australia’s homebuyers and sellers have continued to benefit from an ever-evolving and truly seamless property exchange experience.”
Winners were selected from a pool of close to 10,000 businesses, with entries judged by an independent panel, including representatives from the Australian Legal Tech Association, Proptech Association Australia, AGL, Ezypay, Propel Ventures, Hatch Creations and Josef.
This year’s winners
Lender: National Australia Bank (NAB)
The number one priority for homebuyers and sellers is that their financials are settled in a stress-free manner amidst the logistical chaos of moving – and NAB was recognised for adapting its internal processes to become the country’s number one financial institution for verifying settlements on-time.
Majors and Developers: HopgoodGanim Lawyers
Queensland’s property industry is thriving in 2021 and HoopgoodGanim Lawyers is undoubtedly playing a key role. In addition to being valued contributors of the Urban Development Institute of Australia and Property Council of Australia, it set a state record for the most property settled in a single day – 199.
Panel Law Firm: Galilee Solicitors
The national firm developed an end-to-end digital platform called KWIL, which facilitates the online delivery, signing and returning of loan and mortgage documentation. The solution enables lenders to provide their clients with an intuitive digital experience that serves as an engaging conduit between the online lending application process and the execution of settlement.
Practitioner (<20 employees): Nest Legal
True community leaders, Nest Legal has built a community of more than 1,200 innovative Australian lawyers, who collaborate and peer-share to find new ways to work in law. Additionally, the Victorian business has partnered with Homeground Real Estate, which reinvests all its profits into Launch Housing to help end homelessness.
Industry Partner: Australian Institute of Conveyancers (NSW)
Residential property is Australia’s most valuable asset class, and the settlement process is a natural target for potential cyber-criminals. AICNSW has responded to this by establishing its Foundation Cyber Insurance policy, to ensure its members are given the opportunity to maintain a base level of protection for their businesses and clients.
As part of this, AICNSW manages an education program to curate and communicate industry knowledge and expertise via a schedule of face-to-face (where permitted) and digital online education events delivered across metropolitan and regional NSW.
Better Together Award: Stockland and bytherules Conveyancing
Stockland was instrumental in the proposal, design, consultation and testing of recently introduced integration between PEXA and the Australian Taxation Office, streamlining the GST Withholding process, which provides significant value to industry.
Meanwhile bytherules Conveyancing is the first law firm in Queensland to successfully operate a franchise model, and in doing so, has pioneered an entirely novel category of employment within the industry. Unlike other jurisdictions, Queensland does not recognise the qualification of a licensed conveyancer, but through its innovative model, more Queenslanders are able to run their own businesses and support their local communities.