Much of the due diligence performed by commercial real estate legal teams today doesn’t look very different to the work done by lawyers at the turn of the last century. Much of it is still administrative, paper-based and slow. While some areas of the legal profession have moved with the times, real estate due diligence has made only baby steps.
This is about to change as law firms start to use public and private datasets online to unlock a more efficient real estate due diligence process. Big data is allowing some firms to access administrative paperwork in a format that can be instantly manipulated and assessed. Searches happen at the click of a button, and whole developments are visualised on a screen in seconds.
The increased availability of data enables lawyers to skip over much of the heavy lifting. But vast amounts of data alone are not going to help anyone. In order to unlock it and carve out a clear road to the future, lawyers must leverage the right kinds of technology, such as blockchain which requires all data to be totally digitised, but automates due diligence and gives bigger insights into the property transaction.