Property: the final asset group to turn digital

By admin - January 17, 2019

For more than 150 years, the exchange process for buying and/or selling property was entirely paperbased, with hours spent on laborious tasks such as travelling to settlement, posting contracts, printing, a multitude of phone calls and so on.

Thanks to an initiative drawn from the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), a decision was made to rectify this manual, and often error prone method and transition it online. Ultimately, this gave life to Property Exchange Australia (PEXA).

PEXA, Australia’s only property exchange network, assists members – such as lawyers, conveyancers and financial institutions – to lodge documents with Land Registries and complete financial settlements electronically. This digital combination is not only unique to Australia, but is also a world first for property settlements.

Why is PEXA better for people working in the propertyindustry?

With the property industry innovating to satisfy today’s increasingly digitally-savvy consumers, the establishment and roll out of electronic property transactions in Australia has become a real game changer for the entire sector.

As consumer needs, wants and expectations continue to evolve, the implementation and adoption of a fully transparent, easy-to-use and ultra-efficient e-Conveyancing platform like PEXA is absolutely fundamental to the future health of the Australian property industry.

PEXA minimises the manual tasks previously associated with property settlement by enabling lawyers, conveyancers and financial institutions to transact together online via a digital platform.

Within PEXA, certain information automatically feeds in from original sources. Documents are signed and lodged online and parties complete the necessary steps to settle the transaction electronically.

It is a vastly more efficient, accurate and secure way of conducting the critical financial settlement and lodgment stages of a conveyancing transaction.

The benefits are undisputable, with PEXA members realising a number of benefits within their business and for their customers alike.

Reports indicate that the industry stands to benefit close to $90 million per annum when a fully digital conveyancing and lodgement platform is adopted.

Further, an average time saving of 7.5 hours per transaction is gained by practitioners, with less time travelling and conducting administrative tasks or the need to physically attend settlement rooms.

South Australian e-Conveyancing pioneers Mark Duffield and Paula Main of Lyon Conveyancing recently celebrated a significant milestone, reaching 50 years of service in the property industry.

Paula Main, business Co-Principal said, “Digital settlements have many benefits for our business and clients. There are many checks and processes in place which eliminate errors, preventing settlement delays. Digital settlements reduce the need for us to travel to the city to attend settlement, resulting in reduced costs and time for our Conveyancers - time that can be used to focus on our clients. Our clients enjoy the benefits of access to cleared funds within minutes of transaction complete and speedy registration.”

100% e-Conveyancing

Realising these benefits, five states have adopted e-Conveyancing – NSW, VIC, SA, QLD and WA. In fact, three of the active e-Conveyancing states have already set their plans to transition to 100% electronic lodgements and settlements.

Developer solution

Another layer to the e-Conveyancing platform is PEXA Projects – the developer’s solution. Projects automatically creates bulk online workspaces1, with mass data upload capability and each settlement status visible on one easy-to-use dashboard.

A developer deal can often consist of hundreds of lots and is more often than not complex, time-consuming and paper-based. PEXA Projects significantly reduces these inefficiencies with large law firms eagerly implementing it into their processes.

Specifically, Mortgagees on Title benefit from the bulk creation of the Discharge of Mortgage in Workspaces, where one would previously need to manually generate the document in each Workspace.

This feature has already proved beneficial for one of Australia’s major banks, NAB.

NAB’s Digital Settlements Lead, Matt Kerr, said the time savings are translating to greater client satisfaction.

“This functionality allows us to improve how we process transactions and gives our customers more certainty that their settlement will occur on time and more seamlessly.”

“Prior to using PEXA’s systems, processing a paper-based property transaction that involved up to 100 settlements would take time. Now, our customers benefit from a simpler and faster settlement experience.”

The ability to complete encumbrances online was also introduced in South Australia to smoothen the transaction of developer lots. Many encumbrances aim to maintain uniformity within a development and are applicable to each and every property in the area. The ability to lodge and/or remove encumbrances is paramount to new property settlements.

The future of e-Conveyancing

The future is ripe for PEXA and the property industry. Over 1.8 million transactions have already been completed using the platform with a settlement value of over $252 billion. PEXA continues to enhance the property exchange experience with a focus on 100% e-Conveyancing country-wide.

To learn more about PEXA, visit

1Shared online area in PEXA where the participants can communicate and prepare documents for a property transaction

This article was written in partnership with Mike Cameron, PEXA Group Executive Customer & Revenue.

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