Real Estate: Conveyancing

econveyance Projects Feature Saves Everyone Time and Money

Case Study

Rebecca Thomas is an experienced conveyancing paralegal at McQuarrie Hunter LLP. McQuarrie’s real estate development department is the largest in the Fraser Valley and Rebecca works on a team with several other specialized conveyancing paralegals and development lawyers. Her primary work involves commercial development projects ranging from 50 to 300+ lots. Rebecca’s clients expect a fast turnaround on assignments with precision work.

Rebecca’s law firm is located in the fast-growing city of Surrey, British Columbia, where many people are seeking housing that is more affordable than Vancouver. Her clients are project developers mostly building high density townhomes or low-rise buildings. Rebecca observes that there are fewer new single-family dwellings, largely because they are still very expensive, and with the recent new mortgage rules in Canada, they are somewhat out of reach for average homebuyers.

A typical development project file spans approximately two years. McQuarrie’s real estate development department moves developments from inception, through multiple application stages at the City Planning and approval level, long before lot sale completions. Upon final approval and lot sale, Rebecca and her colleagues must manage tight deadlines in a high-volume environment.

Rebecca strives to manage a heavy caseload with accuracy. Sometimes she only has 1 to 2 days to work on the transactional aspects of a sale file before closing and she typically closes 40 to 55 files per month. She relies on econveyance to streamline her transactional workflow, making it all seamlessly possible.

McQuarrie’s started using econveyance over 10 years ago. Prior to that, property transfer transactions were completed ‘the manual way’. Rebecca notes a big change in her work process and efficiency when using econveyance. The comparison, she notes, “is like night and day.” She says, “overall, econveyance helps me manage my files with more accuracy and in less time. This saves everyone money.”

Projects Simplified with a Form C Release

One of Rebecca’s projects required 330 mortgage releases within one month. econveyance provided an efficient, simple and streamlined method for managing the project. She now routinely uses this process for all her projects.

Rebecca imports data from the title search into her Master project file. Knowing she has the correct legal property descriptions saves time, but it also helps to avoid the $30 Defect fee that the land title registry office charges for each document containing errors. The flexibility in Projects, means that she can select one, all or any combination of properties for the preparation of Form C Releases.

Rebecca bundles several releases into one Form C. By putting them together, she saves time and money:

- Less administration time to prepare Form C;

- Less time required by the lawyer to review and apply his or her Juricert digital signature to one instead of many Form C’s;

- Pay only one filing fee of $35 instead of $35 times 50 or 100 or 300, etc.

Rebecca regularly uses several econveyance features when handling her files. All of them promote accuracy and speed which results in overall cost savings.

Globally, econveyance ensures accuracy by importing data and copying it to all areas of the program, without further retyping. Getting all the numbers and legal property descriptions correct is extremely important. Rebecca notes that it takes a lot of time to manually transfer data onto numerous forms in her work and doing so comes with a high risk of error. She trusts that the imported information is correct on all forms when she uses this feature.

The auto calculations feature saves time by automatically calculating GST and builders’ lien amounts.

One of the newest features in the program is the missing data alerts, which Rebecca finds helpful to identify whether or not there are undertakings requirements.

Rebecca uses the Tasks feature to stay on top of deadlines and important dates. It helps her ensure that she generates Form C releases on time and receives signed copies. She schedules a 55-day reminder to determine the status of builders’ lien holdbacks and whether or not she can pay out the funds. Setting up email reminders results in time savings because she does not have to take as much time reviewing files to know what is coming up. What she likes about the Tasks feature is that she can assign the reminder emails to someone else, if they occur when she is busy. She says, “There are so many moving parts to Project Developments that it’s important to use the resources available in econveyance to manage the process efficiently.”

By using econveyance for Projects, Rebecca is able to process a high volume of work with speed and accuracy. She not only saves time in the law firm, but she saves her clients money on disbursement costs by filing Form C Releases with multiple lots listed.

McQuarrie Hunter LLP provides comprehensive legal services to businesses, individuals and institutions. The firm’s 1936 origin started a tradition of ongoing judicial appointments beginning with all of the founding lawyers being appointed to Queen’s Counsel. The multi-practice law firm serves clients in Surrey, Langley, Vancouver and the Greater Vancouver area. Focus areas include Real Estate, Business, Litigation, Employment, Personal Injury, Family and Wills, Trusts & Estates Law. 

Trust Cheque Requests

When Rebecca first started using econveyance, there was no way of efficiently creating a trust cheque requisition. All the required information was captured by the program, so she worked with Dye & Durham to create a simple method for generating this form. Each request form generated adds up to long term time savings over the course of her work week.