The Register of Deeds Office in Chesterfield County, SC has used Avenu’s system, Landmarc, since 1996. That is of course until they recently upgraded to GRIDS this past August. Faye Williams has been Chesterfield’s Registry of Deeds since 2006. In a candid conversation with Faye, we learn about the pros and cons of the transition and what you should know if you’re thinking about making a switch.
What deciding factors made you upgrade to GRIDS?
Accessibility! Over time, more and more constituents were asking for online access to records, but the pandemic made that a necessity. GRIDS is a cloud-based system and now our records are available online. Searching for records is not only convenient, but it’s also quick and easy with the ways the images have been indexed.
Citizens love the convenience of not having to come into the office. They can access mortgage volumes from 1966 to present day, along with deeds and plats that go back to 1865. The County was actually founded in 1785 but we lost those records due to a courthouse fire in 1865. The fire makes you realize the importance of digitizing and preserving records.
What does your staff think of the new application?
They are thrilled with GRIDS. The application allows for an incredible amount of customization. We have requested many changes unique to our office. Often, the customization is done in a matter of minutes. This gives us more options and has made our day-to-day work easier. The staff also appreciates the flexibility of being able to wrap up any loose ends at home.
What types of customizations have you had done?
We have made so many custom changes that I would not be able to list all. Some of the things include how we receive E-Recordings; scanning while indexing; being able to search in ascending or descending order; adding/deleting columns in search mode; notification options to addresses; being able to open a document to process and assigning it to someone else to complete. The list goes on but all the changes are implemented quickly by the Avenu team and have made a positive impact for us.
Is there any concern of losing any data?
No! GRIDS provides real-time automatic backups. This is a huge improvement and a big time-saver for us since we don’t have to manually backup the data every week.
How was the actual transition?
I realized that the thought of change was the hardest part. Once everyone got used to the idea of a new system, we quickly found out that it was much easier and more user-friendly.
Would you recommend GRIDS to your colleagues?
Absolutely! It is an application that can grow with an office and be customized to meet different needs. It has definitely increased our productivity. Our staff loves it because it has made their jobs easier and citizens love it for the convenience.