Wilford Smith On What Clients Want From Conveyancers In 2020
The typical homebuyer is savvier than ever; they want a proactive service with quick turnarounds and regular updates, and they have the tools at their fingertips to help them find a service that meets these requirements.
As the demand for efficiency and innovation in the conveyancing process increases, market disruptors are stepping in to meet these needs.
With this increased competition and demand, no conveyancing firm can escape the need to innovate. Indeed, the Government’s 2018 review of the home buying and selling process identified greater digitalisation, efficiency and transparency as key areas for improvement.
As we enter the next decade, what will clients expect from conveyancing services and more importantly, how can we meet their expectations?
Comprehensive online presence and digital marketing strategy
The legal sector, as a whole, has been slow to adopt modern technology, even in its most simple form. However, as lawtech start-ups continue to disrupt the sector and larger firms embrace modern ways of working, there is a real risk that more traditional firms will get left behind.
To survive and thrive in this digital revolution, conveyancers must have a full and carefully considered online presence and digital marketing strategy at the very least. When done correctly, your firm can use technology to create competitive advantages and gain greater insight into your clients’ behaviours and needs.
Clients want answers, and they want them instantly. They will no longer tolerate a lack of communication about the progress of their transaction – a complaint that has followed conveyancers around for many years.
From quote generation tools to search portals, it is now possible for homebuyers and sellers to find the answers to their questions without even having to contact a firm. Conveyancers offering these tools, as well as chatbots, apps and automated updates, will not only meet client demand for convenient and regular information and communication but also make effective time-savings.
The internet has brought greater connectivity to the world. An important consequence of this is that your service will not only be compared to other conveyancing firms’ offerings but also to the level of service provided by leading companies in other sectors.
For example, Amazon, eBay, and other online shopping forums allow customers to find products quickly, compare prices, offer one-click buying and keep us updated of progress at every stage. These businesses are setting the standards for customer service across all industries.
Since the introduction of pricing transparency, it is easier than ever before for customers to compare prices. To gain competitive advantage, your firm must offer enhanced levels of client service.
While most firms have begun to adopt technology allowing them to see, manage and automate elements of their workflow, 2020 could be the year that we join the dots and begin to see end-to-end management of the conveyancing process enter the mainstream. Improved workflow means greater efficiency, more profit, greater transparency and better cybersecurity. It can also mean a reduction in the number of transactions that fall through because the process is quicker and more straightforward.
From generating an initial quote right through to the completion phase, conveyancers should assess and improve every client touchpoint in their workflow, and aim to build a streamlined, communicative process with automation and data integration efficiencies where possible.
Integrating data into conveyancing workflows is becoming more common and sophisticated all the time. In terms of property searches, conveyancers now have access to more intuitive and intelligent products that can transform their conveyancing processes. In many search portals, conveyancers do not merely receive a PDF report, but can interact with data sets and can easily share this information with their clients.
Intelligent search and workflow portals have been on the rise for the last few years. What firms can do in 2020 to get even more out of these systems is to integrate the data available into their workflow processes fully. Some examples include using the data from search portals to auto-generate client letters and compliance reports or even integrating this data to a mobile app to provide real-time notifications for clients.
As this seamless integration creeps into mainstream conveyancing, clients will expect a streamlined service. This is how we interact with almost every other buying process, and 2020 could be the year that legal services catch up.
While much of the technology required to meet client expectations in the coming year is available, it is yet to be fully realised. Most firms are taking steps to make the conveyancing process more efficient, streamlined and client-centric, however the coming year could see greater strategy around how to make the conveyancing process even better for clients. Ultimately, conveyancing continues to become more competitive, and the best way for firms to stay ahead of the competition is to meet client expectations better than any of their competitors.
Wilford Smith has celebrated over 30 years in the profession, becoming a most prestigious law firm with a richly deserved reputation for independence hard work and results. You can find and connect with Wilford Smith’s team of solicitors on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.