#BCAwards2024 | Headline Sponsor Spotlight: Groundsure

#BCAwards2024 | Headline Sponsor Spotlight: Groundsure

The fourth edition of the British Conveyancing Awards is just around the corner.  #BCAwards2024 is all about recognising and rewarding the herculean efforts of conveyancing superheroes who, despite hurdles aplenty, continue to go above and beyond to help clients move into their dream home.

Ahead of the splendour and celebration on the 12th March, Today’s Conveyancer have recognised those who help make the event possible through a series of “Sponsor Spotlight” pieces. Here is the headline sponsor Groundsure’s responses.

After the success of your sponsorship at The British Conveyancing Awards in 2023, what specific highlights or experiences inspired Groundsure to once again lend your support as the headline sponsor in 2024? We’d love to hear about the moments that stood out for you and how they reinforce your commitment to this prestigious event.

We are all about supporting and recognising excellence, whether it is inside our own business or with the customers that we work with each day. We want to share in the collective celebration of all that is good about what conveyancing does now and its huge potential to innovate into the future.

The British Conveyancing Awards has cemented itself as perhaps the leading awards event in our industry calendar. Aside from being so well run on the night, David, Allie and the team worked tirelessly alongside us so that we very much felt like partners putting on the event together, rather than just slapping a brand on an event. The breadth of the awards, nominees and quality of the submissions compelled us to go again and be headline sponsor once again for 2024 and it already looks like it’s going to surpass last year.

Groundsure is renowned for providing property-specific opinions and analysis of land use. How has your approach evolved to offer even more nuanced and tailored insights to land and property professionals, contributing to positive outcomes for clients, in the past year?

We launched ClimateIndex™ in 2022 to provide a fully inclusive way for conveyancers to be able to easily explain forward climate change risks in exactly the same way they have done for contaminated land and flooding. Conveyancers have recognised that this is a relatively simple solution, when combined with standard clauses to ensure clients are clear on any impacts. This is now standard reporting practice across the majority of transactions.

But like the climate, things don’t stand still. Conveyancers understand that physical risks are the same environmental risks projected into the future. However, Transition risks such as flood resilience and energy performance can have an immediate material difference in the negotiation.  That’s why we have added more value to the Climateindex™ proposition with guidance on retrofit costs, insurability and lending impacts, as well as adding UPRNs, and for commercial reports, multiple EPCs and UPRNs in a single report, saving time and money.

This is again supported by clauses to help explain the analysis to clients.

We have also enhanced our free data viewer so that the user is able to get a top level view on environmental risks as part of their own research. As a certified B Corp, we also wanted to make sure that we are working for the public good and this provides open access and transparency before more detailed transaction due diligence.

Groundsure has been a key advocate for understanding climate change’s impact on the property sector. In light of your ongoing efforts, how are Groundsure supporting firms to understand more about the guidance, what it means for firms and how to support compliance?

We have spent the last year travelling up and down the country helping residential and commercial firms implement standard reporting practices on climate risks in the conveyance. And it’s about having a consistent approach across teams, not by fee earner, so that the firm not only meets compliance to the Law Society Guidance but has a simple and effective way of minimising ESG risks from a broader governance perspective. This has also included our comprehensive webinar programme, ESG training modules with Access Legal and an e-certification course with Legal Eye.

It is clear that there was much initial concern that this was perceived as an additional burden. But by taking the same approach as standard environmental search due diligence, with the same PI reliance and recognising that a prudent low-medium risk climate model makes sense, conveyancers can have confidence to discharge their duties as spelt out in the Climate Guidance.

As climate-related challenges continue to shape the property landscape, what proactive strategies does Groundsure recommend for conveyancers and the broader property sector to stay resilient and informed? In what ways can industry professionals leverage Groundsure’s expertise to navigate the complexities posed by climate risks in transactions?

Climateindex™ is automatically included in our key residential and commercial reports, so they do not need to do anything different or more complex in terms of product choice in their search packs. The key thing is to ensure that conveyancing teams understand physical and transition risks and their potential impact on the transaction. There may be costs, but there may be opportunity to invest in better resilience and energy improvements that provide the client with genuine long term returns and peace of mind. Our guidance can help identify where through retrofitting better mortgage rates and insurance terms can be unlocked.

Climate change will dictate our day to day lives long into the future and as such it has to be a standard part of conveyancing due diligence. It is perhaps the single biggest factor affecting property asset values. This winter has been another lesson in demonstrating our vulnerability, but it doesn’t mean that a transaction could be blighted – there are solutions to mitigate and it’s our collective duty to point out what options are available.

As minimum energy standards evolve (and perhaps stop being a short term headline grabber for the current Government and more a catalyst for change) so will the renewed urgency to improve our housing stock and unlock benefits from a more net zero world. It’s important that conveyancers stay across this, particularly if there is a change of administration in 2024.

Katie Johnson, Digital Journalist, Today's Media

Digital Journalist, Today's Media Contact: katie.johnson@todaysmedia.co.uk LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *