A longstanding commitment to innovation and integration of proven technologies has seen LegalStream cruise to 5,000 PEXA transactions.
Operational since 1970, LegalStream’s decision to ‘go digital’ has been felt industry-wide. Since 1997, the business has provided continuous mortgage processing services for mortgage originators and brokers – including for four major bank lenders – and is subcontractor to more than 450 law firms.
For Joe O’Neill, LegalStream Managing Director, being a non-bank and achieving the milestone is reward for effort.
“LegalStream is proud we got there. We identified early that a move to digital operation was inevitable, we were proactive and it’s paying dividends for our clients. We have 27 banks, mutuals and credit unions and pleasingly all have the ability to use PEXA”.
LegalStream’s mindset of improving the ways in which they conduct business is not always shared across the industry. Despite outside conservatism to new technology they ploughed through, resulting in a forward thinking, customer-focussed business.
“In the finance space, there’s often resistance to change, but we planned for it. It was up to us as innovators to encourage our clients to follow our lead. We ran workshops, made calls and sent email campaigns explaining the importance of digital transformation within our industry. Like most new initiatives, it was a hard slog at first. Fortunately, there’s been a steady increase in activity for the industry since LegalStream started transacting in 2015”.
Being an early adopter of PEXA, LegalStream experienced what Joe describes as ‘teething problems’. Most brought on by the nuances of transacting online across different states.
“We knew being involved in new technology that LegalStream was almost a test-case. I’m pretty sure PEXA benefited from our feedback and have improved the platform since then. The problems we experienced were easily fixed as we had direct access to key personnel able to help within PEXA”.
“I’m hopeful that as stipulated deadlines arrive and more conveyancers start transacting, the likelihood of problems will lessen. I don’t think it’s a technology problem more a familiarity one”.
For Joe, digital transformation is just one area of evolution within the industry that customers can be excited about.
“The rate of change within finance has never been greater. Customers have different expectations than in previous generations and they want it delivered to them efficiently. Improved customer experience is just one benefit of an industry moving to a digital model”.
As a veteran of the finance industry, Joe has near two decades of experience in which to judge the digitalisation of property and has a stark warning for those disinterested in innovation.
“It’s smart practice to move to digital operation, customers and clients already exist online. Denying what they want is counterproductive. I’d be highly surprised if digital transformation is not on everybody’s radar”.
By Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreement, states are transitioning to digital operation ahead of stipulated deadlines.