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Property logbooks “will go mainstream by 2025 at latest”

After senior government ministers recently got behind the emerging tech as a solution to the slow sales market, logbooks are now taking off.

Nigel Lewis

walley property logbooks

Property logbooks now have political backing at a high level and, it is claimed, will be an established part of the property sales process by 2025 at the latest.

Nigel Walley, chair of new trade body the Residential Logbook Association, says he and the other founders had initially struggled to make headway until the housing ministry suddenly began taking an interest as political promises to ‘make moving home easier’ came to the fore.

“One day we were battling to even get low-level ministry interest in logbooks, and the next minute big political guns were sat around at meetings showing a keen interest,” says Walley.

Ministers are interested in logbooks because it’s an ‘oven ready’ solution to creating a central database of the nation’s properties that doesn’t require government funding; many of the different logbook providers are already making revenue and profits.

Estate agent challenge

“It’s important to flag up that most of the logbook companies are already live and signing up users,” he says.

“We just don’t yet have good integration with the estate agent industry although one of our new members, Sprift, is doing well in integrating to supply property data.”

Walley says that with agents it’s a chicken-and-egg situation – many of them are waiting for logbooks to gain traction before they get involved, and yet they are one of the keys to making logbooks successful.

“Although it might take until 2025 to achieve, with the government behind us and agents beginning to see their benefits, logbooks will get there in the end,” he says.

Other companies already up-and-running in specific sectors including the National Deeds Depository in conveyancing, Spaciable within new homes and Chimni (which Walley leads) in consumer property management.

It already has 1,000 users in West London where it is trialling a ‘property history’ database with Knight Frank that will see the histories of famous and important homes added to its logbooks.

Leading house historian Melanie Back-Hansen has been involved.

Read more about property logbooks.

Photo credit: London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

December 14, 2020

5 comments

  1. A seller will normally have their property valued by an Estate Agent prior to selling. A good Agent (well i always do ha ha) will advise the seller to appoint a Solicitor/Conveyancer immediately, so the process can be started and get ahead of the game before a sale is agreed.

  2. The way in which log books will work is that it will require an additional cost paid for by the buyer/seller to store their information. This will then require the agents, solicitors etc to perform additional tasks in order to ensure the information is uploaded and correct.
    Am i missing something here, more tasks for more people in an industry where time is not a luxury that anyone has? just ask any solicitor at the moment if they have time to have lunch at the moment..

    A solution is required, that requires no lengthy additional tasks on behalf of the industry professionals.

  3. Surely anything that enables some structure for up front data in a property transaction has got to be a good thing?
    Not all estate agents use the same case management system, not all agents use the same marketing portals, not all agents use the same conveyancer so why should they all have the same logbook technologies?
    The quicker the industry appreciates that nothing is going to change for the better if it continues to just point the finger at conveyancing or Lending the better. There is so much more a home mover can do to help speed up their transaction and it needs to be lead by the estate agent.
    I can see in the future a property chain where most agents required their clients to engage with up front data and one in the chain didn’t. They will no longer be screaming at the conveyancer but suggesting that the backward estate agent be avoided next time as they will become the liability and reason for delays. It is just that at the moment, it is most agents not getting to grips with changing behaviours and all pointing the finger at conveyancers.
    The whole system is broken and agents are a part of it whether they choose to believe it or not.
    As for taking money from the consumer, I am sure they would dig a little deeper if it actually did make a difference, as at the moment there is virtually nothing to choose between an agent offering 1.5% and another offering 1.75% as very few, if any in most towns, have a real differentiator.
    Genuinely sit down and list what you offer as a business to its clients and what the next agent does and tell me what you do differently. I bet it comes down to “well they don’t get me if they go elsewhere” (LOL), been there wore that T-shirt in 1994.

  4. I agree with David, and at first sight it just looks another way of taking money from the poor ole consumer. More bureaucracy is not required in my life.

  5. Not sure ‘oven ready’ is likely to inspire a great deal of confidence at the moment! A property logbook initiative only makes sense if run by the Land Registry or other government agency, just like the recent online MOT database for motor vehicles. There needs to be a single source ff agreed information, not a lot of fragmented views provided by different companies.

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