We digitally disrupted ourselves: land registry


Landgate CEO Mike Bradford.


Landgate WA, which runs the state’s land registry, has managed a bit of a coup. The agency has been making a profit and cutting costs while making its customers happier.

The agency decided to act after grappling with ageing ICT systems and observing major changes to the land registry sector, including the advent of e-conveyancing and the increasing privatisation of land registers.

Local challenges had also tightened the screws on government spending, including diminishing revenue from mining and a softening WA property market.

Instead of sticking its head in the sand, in 2013 Landgate went all-in and opted for a multi-tenanted, cloud-based land registration system (LRS) to support e-conveyancing and automate processes, both paper and electronic.

The agency put in place a new land registration system and the first national digital property exchange, PEXA (an e-conveyancing platform), which meant registering mortgages and discharges, transfers, caveats and withdrawing caveats could all be done digitally, the first time a complete property transaction could happen electronically.

The new LRS slashed processing times from up to seven days to 23 seconds and improved the integrity of the data by automating validation and error correction.

It also led to a reduction in staff – something not everyone would have been happy about – and the introduction of flexible work practices.

Landgate CEO Mike Bradford said: “We had to disrupt ourselves. We said ‘let’s be the most efficient land registry in the world and leverage advantage into other markets’. It was a radical review of people, processes and systems using a low cost, innovative business model.”

He said that although land titles and property valuations may not be uppermost in people’s minds, when things went wrong the WA economy could be in serious trouble and grind to a halt, so it was a critical thing to get right. 


The agency, which also deals with land titles, property valuations, aerial and satellite imagery and location information, created new company –  Advara – to maximise the commercial opportunities for its new LRS.

There are 37 Torrens title jurisdictions globally and Mr Bradford said all of them were using old systems built around 2000 and most were looking to replace them.

“We built the world’s first cloud native, multi-tenanted system so it could meet the needs of other jurisdictions,” he said.

The system went live in June 2015 and every land title for the last 15 months has been processed through it. Landgate already has other Australian, North America and European land registries interested in buying its software solutions.

The wins

  • $52 million savings over five years
  • Customer turn around dropped from 7 to 10 days to 1.5 days
  • Processing time fell from 30 minutes to 23 seconds
  • Workforce reduced from 950 to less than 600 people

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