Many Canadians are continuing to invest in real estate and its growth has outpaced gross domestic product (GDP).
According to Better Dwelling, Statistics Canada data shows residential investment set record highs Q1 2021, and now represents a much larger portion of the Canadian economy. The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) in current dollars reached $247.9 billion in Q1 2021, up 15.1% than the previous quarter, and 42.4% higher than last year.
Despite a recent slowdown in residential investment, the real estate market remains very high and as most regions in Canada wind down or loosen their COVID-19 restrictions, there is no doubt the rapidly changing landscape creates challenges.
In this situation, how can real estate lawyers sustain (or even grow) their practice?
The answer lies in technology.
Since the spring of 2020, real estate lawyers have steadily built up resources to allow them to work from home. Even though some real estate lawyers are starting to return to “normal” business operations, they still must evolve to stay ahead of the game.
No matter where the situation goes, if you invest in technology, you can continue your practice online without having to physically be present in your office with staff and clients.
Some of the key areas real estate lawyers can focus on include:
- Document automation – Legal paperwork is time-consuming usually because drafting the documents takes time. By creating templates and using software to process information, you can quickly create customized legal documents.
- Videoconferencing – The Law Society of Ontario has confirmed that there is no requirement for lawyers or paralegals to be in the physical presence of the client to verify their identity. This means that alternative means of verification such as video conferencing can be utilized throughout the property purchase or sale process.
- Electronic funds management – Traditionally, Canadian mortgage processes have relied heavily on the physical pickup, delivery, and deposit of bank drafts and certified cheques. As physical distancing rules will most likely continue to be in place in 2021, this is a good time to consider leveraging secure online transfer options.
At Teranet, we are committed to supporting you by providing technologically advanced solutions. Enter SureFund™, Teranet’s new digital solution that enables you to securely manage and process real estate closing funds remotely. You can organize and track transactions, collaborate with law firms on sales or purchases and access information quickly in one place. This not only speeds up the process of transferring funds, but its also reduces costs and positions you for the future.
SureFund has launched its pilot phase in Ontario in September 2021.