Agent Provocateur: Technology is fine to speed up home buying and selling but the old-fashioned phone is great too!

So the DCLG has been consulting on the home buying and selling process, but will they actually listen?

I recently attended a round table discussion set up by the British Property Federation and moderated (very well I might add) by Eddie Holmes of the UK Prop Tech association.

The reason for his being in the chair was that DCLG wanted to know how technology could alter the home buying and selling process.

It was disappointing not to see anyone there from the mortgage and finance side.

However, at a subsequent meeting I had with mortgage broker Andrew Montlake of Coreco, he seemed to feel that most areas of the process (obviously as long as you use a broker) are now easily navigated.

I’m not so sure. Certainly the issue of shrinking over-worked and under-paid mortgage panels that can significantly slow the process, needs to be looked at too.

It was vaguely reassuring to hear almost everyone at the round table agreeing that 80% that agents do to earn their fee is mostly after a sale is agreed.

However, they also believed that the whole process would be heavily improved IF anyone even thinking of selling actually got ALL their paperwork together before they embarked on the process.

Similarly anyone buying should also have all their ducks in a row.

Any agent who doesn’t prepare themselves – and you’d be amazed how some of the august solicitors at the round table felt they were simply deal progressors for agents – should take a long hard look at their practices.

I’ve mentioned them before but conveyancers such as AVRillo don’t win loads of awards for nothing: simple communication and using a strange thing called a telephone to speed things up are still at the heart of getting deals done and progressive companies really do improve the process. DCLG could learn a lot from them.

For me the main way tech can help the buying and selling process is better communications and access to data, but it all requires human interaction to progress. There was a slight feeling left at the end of the round table discussion that there is inertia in the system.

Has everyone got just a bit too comfortable?

sprift end of

Email the story to a friend


  1. Essjaydee51

    How do you get in on these round tables, is it an invite or is it a closed shop for the usual suspects to attend?

    we instigated trying to speed up sales 30 years ago by asking our vendors on instruction to instruct a solicitor and start the paperwork process but it only worked if everyone was doing it and as long as the solicitors joined us and didn’t ask too much as an advance (local search) fee

    so if this was to be implemented we would need the government to make it law that vendors and potentially buyers have a solicitor pre sale already prepared with AMLR cleared, PIF’s and warranties etc there and ready at sales memo stage, not to mention solicitors being happy to work off e mails in this electronic age, I appreciate them needing to have sight of originals but to be obstinate and await having it via post, a little bit of good will and it could shorten the process by a week to three weeks but as I said, everybody needs to be doing it otherwise it’s dead in the water.

    1. SammyP58

      Hi Essjaydee51,

      This roundtable was hosted by the UK PropTech Association (UKPA) and British Property Federation and open to respective members of these organisations.

      The UKPA regularly run roundtables for members to address topics/trends/challenges impacting the PropTech and Property industries. If you would like to know more about membership and take part in future discussions, please email me at
      Sammy Pahal (Head of Memberships at UKPA)

  2. Essjaydee51

    Thank you Sammy, it seems i fall down on this because i am not a member of either body, shame that 32 years of experience and climbing through the ranks of Mann and Co and Bairstow Eves, where i was in the top 10 sales people for most of my time there and on their board of directors and then running my own business for 15 years that I’m not recognised likewise a lot of us that refused to pay to have letters after our name (NAEA) and yet were and are more qualified than a lot of our colleagues and I wonder that should there be a certain requirement of qualifications before being recognised/licensed as someone who knows the rules,regs etc, where i might be judged and qualified or if after those 32 years if i might have to start at the bottom tier all over again, quite frightening and not something i would bow to I’m afraid, so many detractors out there hitting on ****** good,qualified,knowledgeable,caring Estate Agents out there, you know them, they post on here, and many more out there every day.


You must be logged in to report this comment!

Leave a reply

If you want to create a user account so you can log in, click here

More top news stories

Thank you for signing up to our newsletter, we have sent you an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Additionally if you would like to create a free EYE account which allows you to comment on news stories and manage your email subscriptions please enter a password below.