Three ways the conveyancing industry can benefit from digitalisation
Conor Murphy, CEO of Smartr365, the end-to-end mortgage and protection platform shares his views on how digitisation can help conveyancing become faster, more fruitful and focused in the future.
While digitalisation was introduced with necessary haste throughout various lockdowns in the last 12 months, the world should now take time to carefully explore its long-term benefits as it begins to emerge from the crisis.
The predicted ‘summer boom’ in the UK property market gives this an added urgency, with many buyers rushing to complete before the looming Stamp Duty holiday deadline in June and demand on conveyancers set to reach an all-time high.
The statistics support this, with the UK government’s latest monthly property transactions data revealing that the number of UK residential transactions in March 2021 was over double the figure recorded for the same month a year before. Digitalisation can help alleviate some of this pressure by offering a significant boost to a conveyancing firms’ financial health, day-to-day efficiency and ability to mine data if we give it the investment and consideration that it deserves.
With digital transformation revolutionising spending habits and consumer expectations, we must consider the best way for businesses to react.
The way we purchase goods and services was changing long before the pandemic, but the crisis has certainly accelerated the move to online. The deteriorating state of high streets up and down the UK is testament to this, but the change in consumer behaviour is spreading to every area of their lives.
In many parts of the economy, the need for large office spaces no longer exists as millions have been working from dining tables and spare bedrooms for nearly a year. Digitalisation facilitates a move to remote work but also offers considerable financial benefits. With footfall dwindling, a fully or partly remote business may well be more profitable.
Businesses can introduce a hybrid work model and lease the unused office space on the days staff are working remotely to generate a long-term income stream. Alternatively, companies can introduce a permanent move away from the office and sell the space for an immediate and significant injection of capital.
Improving client relationships
This will also enable conveyancers to provide a better standard of service to clients, most of which now want slick, efficient journeys when purchasing products or even applying for a mortgage.
Digitalisation means that client meetings can be conducted remotely, whenever needed; it means that lawyers can access all case information on the go, or from home if they aren’t in the office, to ensure that progress is made and clients are kept in the loop; and it means that everything can happen more quickly and easily.
Digitalisation has allowed advisors to add a range of innovative features, including digital application trackingto their list of services. The boost to efficiency that such features provide is becoming increasingly crucial to advisors with complex products, like mortgages suitable for those with multiple income streams, on the rise. Ultimately, any digital development that helps to streamline processes and cut time-consuming tasks is a fantastic achievement at any time, but the heightened demand currently witnessed by the property market makes such progress all the more crucial.
It is well-acknowledged that reflection is crucial for growth. Digital processes mean that the days of sifting through reems of papers are long gone, as monitoring, analysing and recording performance becomes automated and therefore more efficient than ever before. Digital records and in-depth analytics also make it easy to identify areas to target in order to achieve growth plans. This is something that all businesses must focus on as they plan their recovery.
Though the industry is right to celebrate the significant strides taken to digitalise the property industry in the last year, it is only by continuing with pace that we will collectively reap the rewards and best support businesses at a critically important point in history.