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Online Property Sales Tool Wins Innovation Award

Online Property Sales Tool Wins Innovation Award For Qv

An innovative online product which saves solicitors and local authorities time, mistakes and expense has won QV the prestigious Property Institute of New Zealand Innovation in Property Award.

For more than 100 years, the completion of a Notice of Property Sale (Sales Notice) has been a slow manual, paper-based process hindered by delay, error and cost.

But in 2004, QV launched SalesDirect, a free online portal enabling Sales Notices to be completed and lodged instantly with significant benefits to solicitors, Local Authorities (councils) and customers seeking property sales information.

With more than 1100 solicitors signed up and actively lodging sales notices through SalesDirect, and in June to date 25% of sales notices processed by QV coming via SalesDirect, demonstrates that this innovative online product is meeting the market’s needs.

“It’s fantastic to now have the acknowledgement through this award,” says Bryce Johnson, QV’s General Manager Information Technology.

Property Institute CEO Glenn Clark says “Our Innovation Award recognises an individual or team within the property profession who has demonstrated innovative, professional practice in their work generally, or in a specific project that advances work practices in the property profession.

“The QV nomination was most certainly innovative in that it utilises recent changes in technology to improve one of the core aspects of the valuation process. It was that in particular that impressed our judging panel,” Mr Clark says.

Mr Johnson says, “The traditional manual process for a Sales Notice is very labour intensive. To enhance the timeliness and accuracy of property sales data, we developed SalesDirect, a Sales Portal which enables solicitors to complete the Sales Notice online. If the property is an existing rating unit then the base information is pre-populated in the Sales Notice and the completion of the form should take a solicitor less than two minutes.

“The challenges posed by the manual process are that it requires significant resource for both solicitors and councils to prepare and re-key the same document multiple times and there is limited authentication of data or processes to verify the information in the Sales Notice; hence there are often errors in the document which may not be identified until later in the process,” Mr Johnson says.

“The timeliness, availability and accuracy of property sales information is important to a wide range of organisations and market segments. It is a legal requirement and recent property sales data is fundamental to the Valuation industry. The more accurate and timely the sales data is, the more accurate property valuations are.”

Property market statistics and trends are also key indicators used by many Government agencies impacting on issues as significant as the calculation of the CPI, or considered by the Reserve Bank on interest rate policy.

Property market statistics are also important to private sector, particularly financial organisations, the property sector and increasingly the public are seeking to make more informed property purchase decisions by accessing independent and accurate property information, not just at a property investor level, but also on individual home buying decisions.

SalesDirect was piloted in Dunedin and Mr Johnson says being able to work so closely with the Dunedin City Council and the Dunedin legal community contributed significantly to the success of the wider roll out.

The primary features of SalesDirect are:
• Sales Notices can be lodged instantly.
• Sales Notices are faster and easier to complete.
• Validity and integrity of information is maintained.
• Encrypted Security Authentication.

The success of SalesDirect can be measured by the quantifiable benefits that have resulted:
• Reduced time to complete:
The time required to complete a Sales Notice has reduced significantly due to the inclusion of pre-populated information and drop-down menus in SalesDirect. Anecdotal feedback from Dunedin solicitors involved in the pilot indicated that the completion of a Sales Notice has dropped from over 20 minutes to less than 2 minutes per Sales Notice
• Reduced time to input:
There are no staff required to manually input Sales Notices into the District Valuation Roll where councils accept the documents electronically.
• Reduced cost to dispatch:
There is no cost to solicitors to complete and submit a Sales Notice in SalesDirect whereas previously there was the need to print and post the partially completed document.
• Improved accuracy of data:
Feedback from councils using SalesDirect indicates that the error rate in Sales Notices completed in SalesDirect has reduced from nearly 50% to almost zero.

Qualitative benefits include greater transparency, all property sales captured and less paper wastage providing an environmental benefit.

“QV is committed to providing solutions to help all our customers gain access to the information they need in a time and cost effective way. We’re delighted SalesDirect is meeting that commitment,” Mr Johnson says.

…ends

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