deedDeeds Office search costs are often overlooked, since all search costs are disbursed to the end client. What firms don’t realize is that invariably they recover a standard amount anyway – typically around R80 per matter. That means, however, that whatever they spend on searching is still a cost against that income amount. So how can you reduce your search costs?

  1. Ensure that all your staff are properly trained in how to use your search software. Untrained users perform a lot of ‘not found’ searches, which now cost as much as a ‘found’ search.
  2. Similarly, ensure your users know what they are looking for before performing a search.

  3. There are now a few search products in South Africa, and you should shop around to see which will save you the most money. Of course, price is not the only issue, since some firms provide better support and software than others.

  4. If you are running multiple accounts for your branches, consolidate all users into a single account and if necessary, do your own allocation of costs. The higher your Deeds Office volumes, the less you pay per search.

  5. If you are a low volume searcher, you might want to opt for a supplier that does not charge a monthly administration or support fee.

  6. Do you really need to order a copy of the Title Deed, or can you wait for the original?

  7. The Deeds Office charges recently went up significantly. Have you adjusted your disbursement rate accordingly?

  8. You may also want to consolidate your searching to a single operator, since that person will then become more proficient in the use of your search software, and is less likely to be tempted into doing ad-hoc searches that aren’t absolutely necessary.

  9. Where you are handling both the bond and the transfer, you can share search information between secretaries. Check your company searches to make sure you don’t duplicate the search request, and check whether your software can warn you that you have already performed a duplicate search, since this will also save money.

  10. With no less than five search suppliers in the market, you may find that you can negotiate pricing if you are a high-volume user.


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