2023 Annual Industry Leaders Forum: AIC NSW
To bring you the best insights into the Conveyancing industry in 2023 we’ve gathered some of the industry’s most knowledgeable leaders. The Annual Industry Leaders Forum, is an annual series of interviews with leaders from governing bodies like the Australian Institute of Conveyancing NSW (AIC NSW) and leading tech firms from across the industry.
Participating this year is: Philip Joyce, CEO, Sympli; Anna Alexander, CEO, AICVIC; Chris Tyler, CEO, AIC NSW; Matt Dunn, General Manager – Advocacy, Guidance and Governance, Queensland Law Society; Bianca Bowron-Cuthill, General Manager, Smokeball Australia; Renee Schembri, Service Coordinator, Diamond Property Inspections; and our own Taylah Allen, CEO, triSearch.
In this week’s Leaders Forum, we interview AIC NSW CEO, Chris Tyler. He reflects on the successful cessation of paper certificates and transition into electronic transactions.
He added that 2023 will be a year heavily dictated by property market conditions and stay up-to-date with professional development and education of planned legislative changes ahead.
When talking to triSearch PR and Communications Executive, Daniel Hughes, he said:
Q. What were the main highlights and challenges of 2022?
Chris Tyler: There were many highlights and challenges in 2022.
The highlights included successfully navigating and operating through periods of COVID-19-related requirements ranging from employment and staffing obligations, through to remote witnessing and execution of documents.
We also had the cessation of paper Certificates of Title and CORD and the move to 100 per cent electronic transactions, well, 99.9999 per cent
We showed great fortitude in managing periods of extreme business market volatility and finally, had a long-awaited victory in having Conveyancers
correctly recognised as being able to sign Water Access License Transfers.
The year did have some challenges. There was the dislocation, stress, and anxiety experienced by many AICNSW members impacted by flood and
bushfire and dealing with the impact on their transactions and businesses. We also saw a shortage of qualified/experienced staff to support businesses who were experiencing strong demand.
We had challenges with Revenue NSW compliance activity in relation to Surcharge Purchaser Duty and the recently introduced Revenue NSW stamping requirements in relation to options and changes in beneficial ownership.
Q. What will be the immediate focus for conveyancers in 2023?
CT: There are a range of issues/matters that will require the focus of NSW conveyancers in 2023. Some of these include adapting to new market conditions, a new 2022 edition to the standard Contract for Sale and Purchase of Land and legislation changes including the new Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation and the new Property Tax should it go through Parliament.
The industry will need to focus on continuing professional development and education in relation to the above legislative changes. Hopefully 2023 will see full interoperability between ELNOs, introducing some much-needed competition into this essential area.
Lastly, cyber security and the need to remain vigilant against cyber threat actors and the risk this poses to businesses will always be a key focus moving forward in this digital age.
Q. What trends do you predict for the conveyancing industry in the next 12 months?
CT: The trend for the conveyancing industry in the next 12 months will be dictated by the property market.
At this stage we are experiencing a levelling out of property prices and a tightening of availability. In some cases vendors are adjusting their price expectations of the market from six months-ago or are holding back selling, which in turn is impacting clearance rates.
Rising interest rates may also influence the number of mortgagee sales. These trends will work in favour of those purchasers who have been previously priced out of the market and with values now at more affordable levels they may now have success.
Hopefully, after a fraught few years, any slowing in the market will give conveyancers a chance to give themselves a break and take the opportunity to focus on their business plans.
Fortunately, after a few solid years of changes and reform we do not see any significant changes to conveyancing practice in the next six -12 months.
Q. What is the most important advice you have for conveyancers for consideration in 2022?
CT: Conveyancing has changed significantly over the past five years.
Unfortunately, conveyancing fees have not kept pace with the added processes and risks that the industry has had imposed on it due to these reforms.
Conveyancers need to be appropriately remunerated given that they provide one of the most important elements of the property transaction, the legal transfer of the ownership of the property.
Added to this, compliance with the requirements of Federal and State Revenue authorities, continued changes to electronic conveyancing, rising business input costs etc, dictate that conveyancers need to review and understand the value of their service.
Conveyancers must charge what they are worth. Someone must be the most expensive, why not make it you!
A final piece of advice is to use any slowing in business activity to review processes and procedure, undertake education of self and staff and ensure that appropriate risk management is applied within their business.
Read what other trends the leaders outlined in the 2022 Conveyancing Leaders Forum by downloading your free The Conveyancing Handbook: A guide to success in 2023 now.