How can conveyancing firms stand out in the digital age?
The digital revolution has given consumers endless choice at their fingertips, shifting the balance of power between businesses and consumers. We’ve already seen the traditional path to purchase being disrupted across industries in our day-to-day lives – from booking a house viewing online, to ordering a taxi using the Uber app. With this easy access to online services, consumers now expect all businesses to offer a 24/7 service, and this is particularly true in the property sector, with a quarter of home movers saying that having an online presence is an influential choice factor when they are selecting a conveyancer.
Having an online presence will help to drive business – but what happens when you gain a new client? With home movers having changing expectations of service levels, there’s also an appetite to be regularly updated on their home buying process. In the recent research, Home Moving in the age of the Consumer, it was reported that only 28% of home movers felt they were informed of progress during the conveyancing process, and worryingly over half (55%) were frustrated with the lack of communication from their conveyancer. This should be a wake-up call for the sector, for a majority of consumers this is the biggest purchase they will ever make, and there’s plenty of room to provide a great service that’s a cut above the competition.
One of the biggest changes we’ve seen in recent years is in consumer loyalty, more than half of home movers will now head online to find quotes for conveyancers that provide immediate information. The previous blind loyalty towards a local conveyancer or recommendation from an estate agent is being challenged with online accessibility. With this in mind, if home movers struggle to get a quote online, then they will not think twice about going with a firm that provides instant information.
Although the research shows that the use of online portals has more than doubled in the last three years, it’s fair to say that on the whole, the industry has been fairly slow to adapt to new technology. However, to address current expectations, conveyancers must take steps forward to be more digitally-savvy when communicating.
Digital tools can bring benefits across the conveyancing process – from easily issuing quotes, to providing an improved customer experience, as well as creating internal efficiencies. Paperless electronic contract packs, for example, can bring time-savings to both home movers and conveyancers by cutting out the printing, scanning and posting. Adopting the latest solutions can empower conveyancers to enhance how they operate both internally and for their clients.
New technology also means that it’s easier than ever to update consumers on the home moving process. Rather than relying on the traditional forms of communication such as face-to-face and phone communication, 54% of home movers would prefer to hear updates from their conveyancer online by email. Interactions over an online portal (13%) and Instant Messaging (12%) also proved increasingly popular, illustrating that home movers want the assurance of regular updates, and to access the information at a time that is convenient to them – whether it’s while they’re on the go, or in the comfort of their home.
If conveyancers choose the right technology, then it doesn’t just improve customer service but brings overall efficiencies to the administrative process. For example, digital platforms that are intuitive and can eliminate the time spent re-keying the same data, reduce risk and manage documents, as well as tools such as electronic signatures which allow conveyancers to quickly and easily locate files, bringing crucial time-savings to the daily operation.
Being digitally savvy will not only help to attract home movers, but also increase the likelihood of being recommended to future home movers, while bringing in internal efficiencies too. To achieve this, conveyancers should now be looking to invest in developing capabilities for a better consumer-centric model and choosing the right technology will help to underpin this.