updated on 07 January 2022
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Nearly 100% of senior commercial property law professionals said it will be ‘very likely’ (67%) or ‘quite likely’ (31%) that administrative tasks involved in commercial real estate transactions will be fully automated in the next three years, according to a report published by SearchFlow.
The study features the results of interviews with 42 senior commercial real estate legal professions and explores how digitisation, automation and AI will change the legal transaction process.
Of the 42 professionals interviewed, 98% said that the automation of these admin tasks will enable lawyers to “concentrate on more revenue-generating activities”.
The report also highlighted that 95% believe that “data insights or due diligence upfront will mean buyers and investors can make better-informed decisions sooner, and receive fewer or no surprises later in the legal process.”
When asked about the biggest impacts that data and automation will have on the commercial real estate industry in the next four or five years, 48% said it will reduce human error, 55% said it will speed up transactions and 43% said it will improve customer service experience, among other ideas.
While there are huge positives surrounding AI and automation software, there are also several barriers and challenges. For example, 57% believe that the fast-moving area of innovation makes it difficult to scope what is required for businesses, 43% cited budget requirements and expense as a barrier, while 40% said “it will require training, change of mindsets, a different way of working”.
Only 2% of the 42 interviewees felt there are no barriers or challenges to adopting AI and automation software.
Dr Thomas Quirke, SearchFlow’s managing director said: “The Commercial Real Estate Lawyers of the Future research report has been a really useful exercise. It not only shows how firms are already embracing LegalTech today but considers what additional steps are likely to take place in the near future to further enhance real estate transactions. A clear majority agree that by 2025 the automation of specific administrative tasks in the legal process will result in faster completions, reduced risk of human error and primarily mean that lawyers can spend more time progressing deals.”