The importance of technological advances within the property industry (Topic of the Month – Technology)
The inclusion of technology within law firms is becoming more vital to business success. It seems clients are increasingly making property buying decisions based on quality of service, rather than pricing structure.
You’d expect the newest firms would emerge with the most revolutionary technologies and practices. However, it appears these firms actually falling behind within the market, while more established firms are reinventing themselves.
Recently there has been an increase in the “breakaway” trend, where many solicitors are leaving firms to set up their own practices. This comes in response to the disapproval of changes being made within the business. Solicitors and property professionals are now seeing establishing their own firm as easier than introducing modifications to an existing business practices.
Practice culture needs to evolve to become open to change, in order to keep up with the developing market. Software implemented must be efficient, dynamic and secure enough to support the relationships between firms and their clients.
In regards to the matter of implementing change, mid-size firms have the potential to be the dark horses. Without being too large to easily alter the business structure, they have an established client base and are able to apply technologies to transform services, in order to cater more effectively to their clients’ needs.
It is critical across all legal sectors to have the ability to obtain and analyse data surrounding customer behaviours and demands, and show how the firm is performing in relation to these.
Typically, old software was designed around finances. However new software is now being created with a focus on customer experience. This shift in focus has the ability to shape a new ethos within a business that aims to improve customer experience, enabling advancements against competitors. Software isn’t just technology — it’s a critical element within business strategy.
Third-party managed cloud-based systems are becoming more popular within the property industry. This type of system provides an easy and efficient way to maintain a database and hold documentation, in a way that doesn’t incur loss of time and earnings of the business.
Whether cloud systems are right for your firm depends on if you want to retain full ownership of your technology, or have specialists managing it for you. It will also depend of the size of your practice — new companies will have the potential to progress quicker within the market and large firms will be able to apply greater focus on their core business services.
The overall focus of technology now needs to be around software advances and streamlining business practices — with clients at the centre of the decision making process.