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Outsourced settlement services for conveyancers and solicitors

Edition 4 // September 2013 
Determined to reduce the failure rate of settlements and remove much of the pain involved in the settlement process, SAI Global Property is now providing legal firms and conveyancers with the opportunity to offload some or all their settlement activities.
We’ve already had considerable success in this regard with the banking sector and now feel it’s time to extend a similar service to our conveyancing and legal clients.
We currently complete over 55 per cent of settlements in Australia and there are a growing number of banks (both the Big 4 and second tier) outsourcing some or all of their settlement processing services to us. 
The suite of services now available to conveyancers and legal companies includes:
·         Online booking settlement services
·         Stamping services in Victoria and NSW
·         Attendance at settlement
·         Attendance at security document registration
·         Banking of settlement cheques
·         Dispatch and return of security documents
·         Court filing
Being in a position to provide an improved settlement processing service to our clients has largely been as a result of transforming our back of house operations and building up our business over the past 18 months to two years.
Much of our transformation effort has gone into improving overall business efficiencies by providing greater operational consistency across all states and streamlining settlement platforms and services. It has also included replacing outdated legacy technology with a state-of-the art IT system, implementing a disaster recovery program, business continuity plans and governance mechanisms to meet APRA standards.
On the settlement side of the business, our service delivery has been radically transformed by improvements in three key areas – people, processes and technology.
We’ve enhanced the productivity of our settlement rooms by up-skilling and cross-skilling staff, developing a training and mentoring culture and introducing service level agreements for measuring performance.
We’ve also put considerable work into mapping and defining our business processes, paying particular attention to our customer ‘touch points’, then building metrics around those processes and introducing quality management systems to track defects and take remedial actions where necessary.
This attention to detail has paid off. Within our first year of operating under the SAI Global Property banner, our settlement operations achieved ISO 9001 accreditation, making us the only settlement services’ provider to achieve this level of accreditation in Australia.
The net result of these improvements has been a dramatic reduction in failed settlements. For every 3,000 settlements, only one fails as a direct result of an SAI Global error! Few, if any of our competitors could boast a similar track record.
Our hard work has not gone unnoticed. Soaring consumer confidence has seen a dramatic increase in the number of banks outsourcing their settlement services to us. Overall we’ve doubled the number of settlements we are processing - from just 250,000 settlements last financial year to an anticipated 500,000 plus this year.
And now that we’ve effectively bedded down our banking customers, we’re turning our attention to our conveyancing and legal clients, providing them with the opportunity to outsource their settlement activities to us.
Because we already represent one (often two) banks at settlement, we are well placed to perform a similar role for other parties.  
For our conveyancing and solicitor clients this would eliminate the inconvenience of attending settlement while at the same time keeping down costs and reducing the likelihood of the settlement failing.  It would also ensure the appropriate monies were collected and released, that transactions were completed when required and documents lodged with the correct authorities.
Another major benefit of becoming a client of ours is that we will help make your transition to an electronic settlements’ environment as easy and painless as possible and ensure you enjoy continuity of experience in a time of considerable disruption and change.
And for settlements that will never “qualify” to be settled electronically – such as deceased estates – we will continue to retain our existing manual settlements infrastructure, providing you with certainty of outcome, regardless of how your matter is settled.

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