In our latest Member’s Spotlight Interview, we spoke with Jonathan Bennett, Digital Marketing Manager at GlobalX, a market leading provider of accurate, trusted and critical business, property and consumer information, enabling businesses around the world to improve their productivity.
Jonathan discusses their award winning new solution, BuildX, shares further insights into how technology is evolving at GlobalX, and developments they are working on.
Q: GlobalX is a market-leading provider of property and commercial information. Can you share insights into how GlobalX enables businesses to improve their productivity?
A: We provide data and information generally for the real estate and property industry, whether that’s a flood risk report for a residential sale or a winding-up search before a commercial deal is complete. We realised a few years ago that just providing data wasn’t enough and we wanted to offer more value to our customers. Our goal is to make information easy to obtain, store and understand.
One of the ways we’re achieving this is through deep integration of our services with our clients existing technology. For example, we’ve recently integrated our winding up searches product into a leading lender’s internal mortgage application system. Instead of having to login into multiple websites to get the information they need, it’s now just another step in their workflow.
Q: GlobalX won the Housebuilder Best Business Product 2020 Award for your BuildX Platform. Could you tell us more about BuildX?
A: BuildX was something one of our business developers came up with about 18 months ago. BuildX helps reduce the amount of time it takes for a new build sale to go from reservation to exchange of contract by supplying vital property information upfront. Most housebuilders aim for a 4 to 5-week turnaround but rarely achieve this. The longer the process takes, the higher the fall through rate and the more costs occurred by all parties. With our solution, we’ve seen, on average, a three-week reduction in this process.
Q: What problem does BuildX solve?
A: We were working with a lot of conveyancers who were finding that new build property transactions were just taking a lot longer than they should. The issue, as is the case with a lot of residential sales, was that search results were taking weeks to come back.
As these were new properties, we felt there was an opportunity to get this information much faster and avoid some of the legacy issues associated with older properties that had exchanged hands several times.
The solution is quite simple really, the platform makes the data available to both the developer and the conveyancers allowing for a much quicker exchange of information.
It removes one of the more significant delays in the process, eliminates a lot of time spent between parties chasing each other for updates and gives the buyer confidence that progress is being made.
Q: How do you expect technology to evolve in your company?
A: When GlobalX started some 30 years ago, we used to get our corporate data but walking into Companies House and going through their archives. Our location gave us a significant advantage over our competitors at the start, but that’s eroded over time due to changes in technology, and that data is now openly available online.
As a business, we had no choice to evolve or get left behind, which is why we’re always looking ahead and trying to see what the next big disruption will be. We’re currently looking at how we can use data science to create new reports and new standards for corporate due diligence as well as the software used to process that data.
Q: Lastly, where do you see the industry headed in 2-5 years?
A: Right now, it’s an exciting time as the property, and real estate industry is just starting to embrace the next wave of technological innovations like AI, automation and blockchain. There is a lot of different possibilities, lots of different outcomes and different ideas out there. Is blockchain the solution to everyone’s answers? Is this or that app going to revolutionise the home buying process?
At some point over the next few years, there will be some clear leaders that stand out and help shape the next few decades. With so many different stakeholders involved from lenders to estates states, legal firms, insurers and obviously the consumer. There is a need for standardisation and an industry-wide acceptation of certain technologies. Once the industry has a better idea of the direction everyone wants to head in, then resource can be focussed more strategically to see real benefits of the technologies currently being discussed.
The legal industry might be a bit behind the rest of the stakeholders involved in the process but there’s a been big push from both the Council of Licensed Conveyancers and the Law Society for firms to embrace LegalTech which will hopefully accelerate its adoption.
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