Legal experts have blamed “inertia” in the property industry for holding back moves towards a more streamlined transaction system during Property Week’s second Talk Property event held in collaboration with Search Acumen.

The 90-minute session titled ‘A digital-first mindset: 5 ways to positively disrupt real estate workflow’ was hosted by Julia Streets, founder of Streets Consulting.

Osborne Clarke's head of international real estate and infrastructure Ian Wilkinson was invited to appear on the expert panel.  The participants discussed how processes in the buying and leasing of property could be streamlined.

Ian Wilkinson highlighted the existence of silos between developers, occupiers, agents, legal experts and property managers: “How many times have we been in situations in deals where the lawyers have read the leases and reported, the property managers have read the leases and taken the data from the leases and the facilities managers have done the same?"

“The big challenge here is to take that huge group of professional people and create a single source of truth to recycle the data rather than reproduce it."

“Added to all of that, there’s a whole load of inertia. We are all very comfortable doing the way we’ve done transactions for years. We get paid for it. Our risk processes are set up to cope with."

“So, while we’re open to small changes around the edges like virtual data rooms and comparison software, we still view professionals in their separate buckets without really recognising that the processes that sit behind their functions are often the same.”

Other speakers at the 90-minute deep-dive session were Andrew Lloyd, managing director of Search Acumen; Katherine Crowley, legal director at Womble Bond Dickinson; and Owain Morgan, managing associate at Simmons & Simmons LLP.

The event was the second in the Talk Property series and followed on from the success of the debut Talk Property session on vacancy rates in the industrial sector titled ‘Industrial & Logistics - Sorry no vacancies!’.

The event can be viewed on YouTube or on-demand via the Talk Property website.

Osborne Clarke's report called 'The new age of data in real estate', published with Nuveen Real Estate, is available vis this link.

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