Lorenzo Tejada-Orrell is the Co-founder and Director at cloud-based property search company, Big Property Data. Lorenzo has a successful background in founding technology related businesses and has transferred his entrepreneurial experience into the property sector to co-found Big Property Data. In this interview, he discusses the importance of innovation within the sector as well as sharing his thoughts on how the market will change going forward.
So Lorenzo, what originally sparked your interest in the property industry?
I’ve always had a keen interest in the property industry and given my background in technology, it became a no-brainer to combine the two. Having worked with high profile companies where innovation was at the core, it became clear to me that whilst the property industry had the opportunity for innovation, it wasn’t always being grasped. For example, the conveyancing market has seen little change over the last ten years, with systems and order processing remaining largely the same for most firms. Whilst some headway has been made more recently, there’s definitely room for improvement where utilising technology is concerned.
With this in mind, I felt that by bringing together my background in technology and with the legal expertise of our co-founder, we had the perfect combination to actively disrupt this industry.
What led you to start up Big Property Data and what’s the thinking behind it?
The ethos behind Big Property Data is rooted in wanting to challenge the current market and introduce a more innovative way of doing things. It can be easy to become complacent in any industry, particularly when you’re used to doing something a certain way for so long; however, this often serves as a signpost for change.
We found that whilst there seemed to be a wide array of data available to professionals, there was a lack of centralisation, with a clear gap in the market for a system which could effectively mass aggregate it. However, we wanted to ensure that it would work for conveyancers, so really built Big Property Data from the ground up with the needs of those who would be using it in mind, for example; direct integration with HM Land Registry and the National Land Information Service (NLIS) gives us an advantage in terms of speed and usability.
How does the service work for conveyancers and what sets it apart from similar services?
We’re not your typical search provider. We host a staggering amount of environmental data within our servers. Whilst a typical provider might simply provide reports obtained from resellers, we actually host the raw data ourselves. Having teamed up with experts within the environmental sector, this gives us a real advantage, enabling us to investigate the data further should we need to.
Thanks to the way we’ve built Big Property Data, we’re also completely autonomous, meaning that when a search comes through, it’s processed automatically. As well as our utilisation of the latest technology, the streamlined process of our system has largely been made possible through our relationships with key data providers within the industry. These direct relationships mean we’re able to pass on the cost savings to customers.
Looking forward, how do you see Big Property Data adapting to the changing legal services market?
Working closely with other organisations, lenders and data providers enables us to stay ahead of the curve and be alert to developments and changes within the market, however subtle. On an internal level, we have just completed our ‘Phase 1’ development strategy, building the core foundations of Big Property Data; with several further phases being developed as we speak, the future of Big Property Data is looking very exciting.
I strongly believe that as the legal market changes, particularly in regard to conveyancing, there will be much more collaboration amongst businesses. Following proposals from the government and regulator recommendations, more and more data is becoming available under the OGL (Open Government License), the attitudes towards data and risks in general are changing, especially with the lenders. I feel that over the next couple of years, the way in which searches are obtained and digested will undergo significant change and we aim to be at the forefront of this.
Watch this space.