Getting properties marketed faster with Allsop


Allsop logo on a background

Allsop is one of the UK's largest property auction houses, as well as offering a range of estate and letting agency and consultancy services to domestic and international clients. Like many in this sector, they've grappled with the growing wave of anti-money laundering (AML) regulations for vendors and buyers. Over the past decade, as the regulations have become more stringent, they've had to modify processes to simplify things for their clients while remaining compliant. We spoke with Shane Dennedy, AML Manager at Allsop, how he and his team have navigated this changing landscape by embracing technology to eliminate delays in marketing properties.

What were they looking for?

Allsop conducts multiple auctions every month for commercial and residential properties. They were seeking a solution to help meet their regulatory requirements for verifying large numbers of vendors and bidders. Previously, they required clients to provide certified copies of identity documents which would be screened using basic electronic AML screening tools.

However, with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) intensifying their scrutiny of firms, Allsop sought an enhanced tool capable of verifying the individual and document authenticity quickly and providing ready-to-review reports. They anticipated this would reduce the number of declined registrations and reduce delays in the property marketing and bidder registration processes.

Implementing Thirdfort

After evaluating several providers, Allsop chose Thirdfort. While implementing a new tool can often be challenging, Allsop found the integration of Thirdfort into their existing processes to be straightforward.

It was so easy. Thirdfort’s team took us through the training. It couldn't have been more straightforward. It really is so simple to use. I've used a number of other providers in the past and Thirdfort is head and shoulders above everything. I'd be lost without it."

Shane Dennedy, AML Manager at Allsop

Whilst training was provided to help with the rollout, people can be resistant to change when they are used to working in a certain way. However, any initial concerns were quickly removed when the team started to use Thirdfort.

Whereas before AML checks were clunky and included multiple different steps, Thirdfort wraps everything up in one place in that respect, it saves our admin staff a lot of time. It’s a nice process to do now.”

Shane Dennedy, AML Manager at Allsop

How does it work for the range of clients that Allsop work with?

When new vendors come to the commercial or residential auction teams, the surveyors will gather a mobile phone number for the individuals that need to be verified prior to marketing. This is passed to the AML team who use the information to send the vendor a Thirdfort check. The vendor completes the necessary checks using the Thirdfort app at a time and place convenient to them, with average completion times of less than three hours.

Not every client will use the Thirdfort app when registering for an auction. For these clients Allsop employs Thirdfort’s AML screening tool. This tool verifies the bidder’s residential address and checks international lists for sanctions, politically exposed persons and regulatory warnings.

Peace of mind

The main benefit that Shane and the team at Allsop have found in using Thirdfort is the peace of mind that they are meeting their AML requirements. Everything they need is neatly packaged in a single report that is easy to understand. The report contains clear results that are easy for the team to review, instilling confidence that they are on the right track. With the rising threat of fines for non-compliance, having a tool like Thirdfort has helped the Allsop team rest easier.

AML can be such a big scary thing. We've seen firms fined in the past and it doesn't matter the size of the firm. If you don't comply, then you're going to get fined or censured. Requirements are constantly evolving and Thirdfort helps us stay ahead."

Shane Dennedy, AML Manager at Allsop

Get properties marketed faster

Ultimately, marketing properties faster helps attract potential buyers before an auction. While AML is a crucial step that must be taken seriously, outdated processes for carrying out checks can slow down the marketing process. By using Thirdfort, Allsop has found that they can expedite the property marketing process.

We need to get a property marketed on our website as soon as possible. If we have to wait around because a client can’t get to a solicitor to get a certified copy of a document that holds things up. Whereas, if I can ask for a phone number, immediately send them a link to the Thirdfort app, they can verify their identity in no more than five minutes.”

Shane Dennedy, AML Manager at Allsop

Easy for clients

Getting properties marketed faster by removing delays caused by AML checks is only possible if the process of completing checks is easy for clients. Allsop clearly communicates the benefits of using Thirdfort to their clients when completing their checks. As well as talking about the time clients can save, they also highlight that this is more convienient and cheaper than using a solicitor to certify documents.

Allsop have found that Thirdfort’s app-based checks work well for clients of all age groups.

We recently had one 85 year old client who was initially sceptical about the process. After a quick call he had completed his checks in five minutes. He called us back to tell us how easy it was.”

Shane Dennedy, AML Manager at Allsop

What would they say to fellow compliance professionals considering Thirdfort?

“I recommend Thirdfort highly. It’s such a time saver. It’s great for peace of mind and it helps keep the whole journey clean and simple. We no longer have the back and forth where we were being sent out of date documents or documents we couldn’t use. By using Thirdfort there are all these little bits that we no longer have to deal with which saves the firm time and money.”

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