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Record day for settlements

Edition 8 // February 2014
The biggest beneficiaries: our banking and conveyancing customers
FRIDAY, 20th December 2013 was an epic day for SAI Global Property.
Our settlement staff across Australia processed a mammoth 6,257 settlements on behalf of our financial and legal services clients – the biggest number to date - with 99 per cent of our clients being notified within 60-90 minutes of settlement.
Despite the very hectic nature of the day, only two settlements failed as a result of mistakes at our end.
All up, a record 53,000 settlements were completed for the month of December.
SAI Global Property’s new General Manager of Operations, Gina Assimakis, attributes the wonderful outcome to well defined settlement service processes, a major emphasis on training and cross-skilling, great team culture and effective forward planning.
“What I mean by well-defined processes is that all activity follows a very specific pattern in terms of what needs to be done, with no deviation from what we’ve carefully formulated. However, having said that we’re continually looking at better ways of doing things and regularly capture and measure data, checking to see where errors are creeping in or what processes are taking longer than they should to complete.
“We also work closely with our clients; looking at how we can tailor processing activity to better meet individual requirements.”
Gina says a robust skills matrix (which defines the key skills required by staff for specific work activities) has helped determine where training is required - ensuring staff are extremely competent and can hit the ground running if and when required.
“We’re also great proponents of cross-skilling and have a strong team ethos which means all team members - regardless of their core function - know how to complete a settlement and can jump in and help during busy periods. This way we’re never under-resourced and can always remain abreast of things no matter how high the volumes are.
“Our staff members also understand and respect the human side of successfully settling a property and will pull out all stops to make sure settlement is achieved.”
Forward planning – particularly for peak periods such as financial year end, coming in or out of public holidays - is also critical to the smooth-running of settlement activity.
“For example, planning for the busy pre-Christmas period was embarked on way back in October when we took a look at historical trends, how the market was performing, projected needs and whether or not we had the capacity to cope.
“However, it is also important to stress that it is not only great forward planning that helps us succeed on our big days. It’s also what we do day in day out that makes a difference and ensures everything runs to plan.”
Gina says the recipe for success that SAI Global Property has developed for manual settlements, is easily translatable to the online world which is rapidly coming our way.
“While the approach may be different, successful settlement will still be about great processes, well trained staff and top-notch planning!”

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