Mortgage Introducer’s Mortgage Tech Series features Q&As with businesses that aim to revolutionise the property market by integrating technology to create an optimised solution.
In this instalment, we spoke to Jesper With-Fogstrup at ULS technology (pictured), to discuss eConveyancer, the future of the property market and how their launch of DigitalMove looks to improve transparency for the house moving process.
Tell us about eConveyancer.
eConveyancer is the leading conveyancing comparison service. We work with a host of financial businesses, from mortgage advisers and networks to estate agents and lenders, to help them connect their clients with the best possible conveyancer from our largest-in-market panel of almost 100 solicitor firms. We know how important it is for advisers using the platform to have access to great technology as well as exceptional and rapid support. We take offering a frictionless experience incredibly seriously and therefore focus on it.
Jesper With-Fogstrup starts as ULS Technology CEO
Alongside the core conveyancing proposition, we provide brokers’ clients with access to a wide range of additional services in our marketplace, free of charge, such as Just Move In, the home setup service. A specialist is appointed to handle all of the frustrating admin that comes from a home move on behalf of your client; that covers tasks like setting up with an energy provider, getting a broadband deal in place, and arranging a postal redirect from the client’s old property.
Why did you join ULS technology?
Speak to any homemover, about the process, and you’ll struggle to find anyone who is absolutely thrilled with the experience. They typically feel out of the loop, unsure exactly what their conveyancer is doing and what they are paying for, as well as feeling left in the dark over how their case is progressing. I know this because it’s how I’ve felt about conveyancing too!
There’s a real lack of transparency around the whole process, and I see what we are doing at ULS technology as the perfect opportunity to change that. In my time at both CompareTheMarket and HSBC I’ve seen how critical technology can be in transforming experiences, and I know that with the energy and focus of our business, we can do the same for the home moving experience too.
As chief executive at ULS technology, I have oversight for both eConveyancer and DigitalMove, and I can see the impact that the improved client-facing experience of DigitalMove has already had on everyone involved in the move, including the adviser world. I am super excited about how much more there is to come from both propositions, and as the only panel management solution with access to DigitalMove, eConveyancer advisers really are already in the best place – and, it will get even better.
What role does DigitalMove play in your plans to improve transparency?
DigitalMove is the perfect example of what I’m talking about when it comes to adding more transparency to the home moving process.
We are bringing together all of the key stakeholders on any given case, keeping them updated on exactly how a case is progressing and what tasks need to be carried out next for the transaction to proceed smoothly. Not only does it give an adviser’s clients a much wider view of what’s happening with their case, it can also prove extremely effective in cutting out the delays which often hold back transactions.
Homemovers on DigitalMove are now carrying their transaction in their pocket, on their smartphone. They know when their attention is required, can raise queries and can digitally sign documentation. This means no more physical paperwork, wet signatures or long waits whilst documents make their way through the post. And, it is better for the environment too.
Technology like this doesn’t just promise to speed things up though, it can also help make the homebuying process more secure and calmer. We’ve seen a spike in the money lost to mortgage fraudsters over the last year, and these criminals are becoming more sophisticated in the way that they can insert themselves into an email chain and pose as a solicitor. Because DigitalMove boasts its own secure messaging system, it’s far harder for those fraudsters to access transaction-critical information.
Similarly, DigitalMove also features market-leading digital ID verification, which does an excellent job at keeping identity thieves at bay. It also helps our conveyancing partners replace the slow, manual ID verification process with a slick, intuitive and immediate digital process.
The feedback we’ve had, from brokers and their clients alike, is that DigitalMove has made a significant difference, but this is only the start. We have really exciting plans for the home moving process, even better enhancements that will further improve the homebuying experience for all involved.
How do you see the future of the property market?
It’s not exactly a secret that many parts of the property market have been slower than other industries, and other areas of financial services when it comes to realising the benefits of experiential technology. But the last year has rather forced our hand on that front and pushed businesses across the industry to adapt, from mortgage brokers and conveyancers to mortgage lenders.
This is a huge moment for the industry, because it’s opened a lot of eyes to new ways of working. I really do believe that technology has a far greater role to play in the way that our industry operates, and particularly on the conveyancing side. It can take on a lot of the heavy lifting with administrative tasks, freeing up people to spend their time on those jobs that really require their expertise.
That improved transparency and communication isn’t just a nice thing to have; it will make the whole process of buying a home much slicker, efficient and less stressful, it will cut out some of those needless delays, and it will leave our clients feeling far more satisfied with their experience.
Ultimately, that’s what we’re all setting out to achieve.