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Tech pioneer slams BASPI property data initiative as too ‘old school’

Robert May says he welcomes the initiative but says agents won't want to slog through such a vast PDF, Word or Excel document.

Nigel Lewis

robert may proptech

Proptech innovator Robert May has criticised yesterday’s launch of the Buying and Selling Property Information (BASPI) standard dataset which, if adopted widely, will make home purchases quicker and more resistant to fraud.

May, who helped established what is now Jupix before setting up his own firm Rummage4, says it’s strange that in today’s super-tech world, the BASPI document has been published as an old-school 19-page PDF.

“Rather than asking agents and conveyancers to fill in a huge document with a  pen, it would be better to have published it via an online proptech platform where the different people involved fill it in rather than bits of paper flying about,” says May.

“I just can’t see agents happily wading through so many pages of guff.”

May says his own system can auto-populate much of the information from say Land Registry and other information provider APIs that the BASPI form is asking property professionals to include.

Beth Rudolf imageBut Beth Rudolph (left) of The Conveyancing Association, which is backing the BASPI initiative via its membership of the Home Buying and Selling Group, says the intention is that by making it freely available to the industry, tech companies can ‘work their magic’.

“The BASPI questions have been made available in variety of electronic formats including Excel and Word with form fields to ensure that they can be picked up and deployed,” she says.

May is sceptical, claiming that most CRM providers already have a huge backlog of change requests to complete, and by “altering their system Reapit, for example, will have to change work flows for their 4,500 or so clients,” he says. “I don’t think they’ll do it.”

March 17, 2021


  1. I have to agree with Robert that this is a really not a very significant move forward. This is not the stage of the process that causes delays: it is searches and enquiries. What would be far better would be for much more standard information about all properties to be held on a central database (rather like the Gov.Uk site for MOT information on cars) with a much simpler one pager for vendors to update any changes to the central information/ disputes etc. Rather than re-imagine the process this is just HIPS2: it is like developing an electric car but keeping the petrol engine!

  2. If filling in ’24 pages of guff’ saves days or weeks on a transaction and improves the success rate surely it is time well spent. Yes, a lot of this data can be obtained digitally and I very much imagine this will be the next evolution of this- but this can deliver results now. So surely, agents should adopt immediately where possible and hope for a digitised version in the near future.

  3. Robert well knows that the information is far from “Guff” and that right now we have the ridiculous situation where Agents should be completing a PIQ/CPR form before marketing commences and then having to complete a similar (but different) Property Information Form (TA6) for their conveyancer.

    The Baspi is an attempt to bring these 2 together so the clients only complete them once. Furthermore at Minerva we ask clients to complete the one Form Digitally and then we send the agents and the law firm the completed forms they require. This is how Rummage4 / Ryder & Dutton / Minerva have been operating since July 2020

    The real shift is to get conveyancers instructed when the house goes on the market, use the new Land Registry Safe Harbour standard to ID them and for Law firms to use tech like Minerva to onboard customers quickly, sharing the data with the agents.

    Then agents can have most of their compliance requirements provided by the law firms free of charge !

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