Of course, it was a bit of fun — even if the anagrammatic Olaf Lipor did not agree!
But it was also designed to feed the current industry debate on how an increasingly sparse conveyancing human resource can meet the demand arising from the recovering property market.
Smart conveyancers are looking to harness technology to their processes to increase productivity. At Search Acumen, we aim to help them — not with robot conveyancers but with technical innovations that allow conveyancers to do more conveyancing rather than the process that surrounds it.
The alternative does not look that viable. with dwindling numbers of lawyers and licensed conveyancers — recruiting good people will become expensive. But that will be limited by the margins being made on a conveyance. There is not enough economic headroom here to square the circle by recruiting more expensive resource. At least not in the medium term. The immediate prospect for conveyancing firms is that they will be struggling to meet demand and therefore passing up profit.
It seems to me that a more tech-savvy, smart conveyancing practice is the way forward — boosting productivity so that conveyancers can be more productive because the process surrounding their conveyancing is maximally automated.
This is what we at Search Acumen have coined “Intelligent” conveyancing and we aim to fully play our part with “Intelligent Searches”. We are aiming to boost conveyancing productivity by reducing the amount of time conveyancers take to process conveyancing searches. This is a time for innovation. It is the time for the entrepreneurial conveyancer. I am sure that other parts of the conveyancing process lend themselves to automation without compromising the quality of the actual conveyancing and I am sure entrepreneurial, innovative people will deliver solutions.
It is important that we re-emphasise here that this is not about replacing conveyancers with robots as in our April Fool. Conveyancing is an industry where the active presence of a professional is key to the integrity of its process. I am not suggesting that this is compromised by harnessing technology. Just the opposite. I am suggesting that it can be enhanced by the intelligent application of process to support the conveyancing professional — to make them more productive without any dilution of integrity. However, the fact that this professional integrity and the process that surrounds it are so entwined makes it complicated. Not physically — intelligent application of technology that is mindful of the need to preserve integrity is eminently possible. It is the emotional challenge for the professional of embracing technology to replace elements of what they currently do — notwithstanding that these elements are not conveyancing per se. It is time to be brave and grasp the opportunity.