With the demand for housing and property prices currently at an all-time high, sales volumes are now 116% higher when compared to this time last year. As such, the competition is rife, and the need for security and efficiency is increasing.
Cyber criminals follow the money, and in doing so aim to capture personal details. In the sale of a property, bank details, personal details and large money transactions are shared between property professionals and individuals. It is not uncommon for these details to exchange hands multiple times – each time providing an opportunity for a cybercriminal to intercept an email, impersonate a party or change bank account details.
We spoke with Leonie Jarrett, Solicitor and Principal of First Class Legal who shared with us how focusing on protecting her clients from cyber fraud in turn, helped her firm to implement better more efficient administration practises.
ITK: What sets your firm apart from others?
LJ: First Class Legal is built around communication, and technology is a key plank of that communication piece. We strive for proactive communication with our clients and all stakeholders in the conveyancing transaction. We also are transparent as to the status of the transaction. The fact is many people have never heard of “conveyancing”, so we try hard to show our clients what we are doing for them. We think this helps to take some stress away from them.
ITK: What areas is your firm focusing on this year?
LJ: We always aim for the highest level of service we can provide. Our job is to clearly explain what we will do and what the client needs to do and then to keep the client informed along the way so that there are no surprises nor last minute stresses.
ITK: How important is cyber security in your firm?
LJ: Crucial. We are dealing with millions of dollars. A property sale or purchase is usually the highest-value transaction a person makes. Given how much of the process is now electronic, there are new risks which we need to try and guard against.
ITK: What was the reason the firm adopted Securexchange within your workflow?
LJ: First and foremost, we did not want to keep getting client bank account details via a hand-written form which was posted, delivered or, increasingly, emailed to us. Securexchange provides a method where our client can log in and complete their bank account details in a secure way. There is no app that they need to download and there is the benefit of the guarantee offered by Securexchange.
ITK: Since you began using Securexchange, what benefits have you noticed?
LJ: We have a direct source of bank account details from the client that doesn’t rely on a scanner and printer (as per our old paper method). Securexchange is more secure, more accurate and more efficient.
Providing clients with a safe way to share their private information allowed First Class Legal to save time and increase accuracy when dealing with data. Using Securexchange allowed them to achieve their goal of transparent communication with their own clients on what is one of the most important purchases they will ever make. Securexchange is the first and only one of its kind and the only digital product that holistically solves traditional property transaction challenges, namely lack of transparency, lack of security, lack of automation and consistent manual handling. To experience how protecting your clients from cyber fraud can positively impact parts of your firm, find out how Securexchange works.
Leonie Jarrett is a Solicitor and Principal of First Class Legal. As a Victorian legal firm with a very large conveyancing practice, First Class Legal has a team blended with a wide range of experience, expertise and qualifications. The team comprises talented and enthusiastic solicitors and paralegals.