Scott Bozinis is CEO of InfoTrack which, ten months ago, entered the UK market with a pedigree as the largest one stop shop for legal services in Australia – and a massive 65% of the market over there. Today’s Conveyancer’s Jane Common caught up with Scott at Legalex to ask how the UK launch is progressing.
What’s your background Scott? You look very youthful to be CEO.
“We’re a young company, as are most tech firms. I’ve been with InfoTrack for seven years – my parents were land title officers and I studied technology so it’s a good fit for me. My job prior to this was providing tech for the oil and gas industry – obviously I knew nothing about bringing oil out of the ground when I started but I knew about the tech and I quickly learnt everything else. Then I joined InfoTrack and became chief technology officer in Australia before moving to the UK as CEO of the UK operation.”
What makes InfoTrack an exciting place to work?
“Some companies just get the formula right and I believe InfoTrack is one of those. In Australia we have over 65% market share and that’s phenomenal. We have six and a half thousand law firms using the system.
“Why? Simply because our technology is the best there is – absolutely. It’s all we do. We wrap that technology around the legal industry to make legal processes smooth and efficient. It’s like train travel – the actual process hasn’t changed but technology has made it all so much easier. People used to have to queue up to buy train tickets for every journey; then along came the Oyster card and now people can tap in and out with their bank card. And that’s a good analogy for InfoTrack’s relationship with conveyancing. Similarly, Uber and Airbnb – they’re tech companies that are changing the taxi and hospitality industries.
“On top of that we have passion and a great workplace culture. Design and innovation shine across the whole business. I always say to the team: ‘You’re not here to operate a company – you’re here to build a company.’ So many people go to work and plod through the motions but here at InfoTrack everybody is involved in shaping and evolving the company and what we do. We’re relaxed – we have an open plan office so everybody has an understanding of what their colleagues are doing. Some big companies have such established pillars and structures meaning change is slow but with us, because we’re young and new, we can adapt quickly and improve all the time.”
And what makes InfoTrack better, in your opinion, than other search providers?
“First off, I think the industry focuses too much on this whole search provider term – we don’t describe ourselves as that because we’re multi-faceted. So a search provider will come up with, for example, a flood report and a local authority report and, while that’s obviously vital to the conveyancing process, it’s only one step of it. No service provider – until now – has addressed the need to start at the beginning of the process and finish at the end, ticking every box along the way.
“So a conveyancer is required to visit about seven websites – Land Registry, an AML provider, Lawyer Checker and others. We bring all those sites together within a single website and the operational processes performed up front mean conveyancers benefit from AP1 forms and SDLT forms that are up to 90% pre-populated. That’s how we worked – and succeeded – in Australia and that’s how we’re working here. It’s a whole new way of thinking.”
How long did it take to convert your systems for the UK from Australia?
“Only three months – that shows how similar the two countries’ legal systems are. In Australia our system is performing around 40,000 actions each day – big transactional volumes and millions of dollars in turnover. So, while we’re still small here, we’re employing technology that works for the legal market. And between the Australian and the UK operations we have 35 dedicated software developers, improving the system all the time.”
What do you think the biggest challenges are in introducing lawyers to this sort of technology? Are they slow to adapt?
“There’s this idea that lawyers are a bit staid around innovation but I think that’s a myth– the lawyers that are entering the market now have had smart devices in their hands for 15 years. And, just like everybody else, lawyers of all ages go home and use the Internet – for Facebook and buying flights etc. So of course they’re not scared of using technology at work. Ten years ago they might have been relying on the office fax but not any longer.
“I think the issue is more that legal technology hasn’t provided lawyers with the right services. In the current search market nobody, until we arrived, has wanted to help with the entire conveyancing process – only with the searches. There’s an entire workflow of which searches are just one step but the conveyancer really needs help with the whole process. And that’s what InfoTrack does.”
Do you think technology in conveyancing is going to keep improving?
“Definitely because we’re in the market now and we’re going to drive it forward. What’s the future? I believe there will be a far more collaborative, electronic, online sharing culture between purchaser and vendor. A lot of buyers are international these days so I’d imagine electronic signatures will become more commonplace, as they have in banking. It’s all good news for lawyers as technology will increasingly allow them to do a lot more law and a lot less form filling.”
What’s your market share here in the UK?
“We’ve only had the doors open for ten months and we already have over 220 active law firms – 100 of which have signed in the last three months now our marketing and our message is kicking in.”
And what are your longer term goals?
“We have a five-year target to become a trusted partner to conveyancers in terms of improving processes. That was our goal in Australia and whilst people were sceptical as to whether it was achievable at first, we have now made that a reality. We continue to achieve it by employing simple, smart technology. Combined with our approach to the market and ensuring the right people in place, we can emulate that success in the UK too. Already, in less than a year, we’re setting new standards and causing our competitors to scramble. Everyone’s now playing catch-up which I view as a real positive for legal professionals.”
For more information about InfoTrack log on to www.infotrack.co.uk