Taking Advantage Of Technology
Written by Carole Ankers, Chief Product and Technology Officer, poweredbypie
Online sales have seen a huge rise since the Lockdown. The Office of National Statistics has recently reported that £3 in every £10 is now spent online. Fashion brands have adapted; one innovative retailer now enables customers to upload photos of themselves so they can ‘virtually’ try on clothes! On other websites, you can even try on glasses and new hair dye colours online!
In the conveyancing sector, The Land Registry and The Law Society will now accept both digital and electronic signatures. Many local authorities are now providing search information remotely and some mortgage providers have gone digital too. It’s clear there have been some significant changes to consumer buying behaviour and organisations are responding rapidly.
Law firms must also keep pace with the changed marketplace. In a world where customers are less willing to meet face to face, the high street is no longer the best way to attract new clients. In the future, it is unlikely that patterns of behaviour will ever revert back completely, and so the new ‘virtually normal’ is here to stay.
To generate new business, online estimator tools can offer a simple way forwards for conveyancers to respond rapidly and remotely to enquiries. Even firms with the most limited resources, can buy off the shelf web calculator tools which enable them to remain compliant and offer instant communication on prices. If firms don’t offer information in this way, consumers will simply turn to an organisation which does.
Taking advantage of technology and operating virtually does mean conveyancers can cast the net wider, attracting new clients which are not just limited to their local area. Providing all the AML due diligence can be met (by virtual meetings for example), a conveyancer in London can just as easily handle a transaction based in the North of England as they can a house move around the corner.
However, this means secure remote communication is critical. Email is not secure as it is easily intercepted and means cyber-crime is a real threat. According to the Office of National Statistics: the total year-on-year increase in UK cyber-crime is 23%, with hacking social media and email 55% of crimes recorded.
To remove the risk associated with email, an online portal using 2-factor authentication (the same level security used by banks), is a suitable option for law firms. Developing a solution in-house is a costly exercise, so it is far wiser to partner with an organisation who can supply tried and tested technology, created specifically for the conveyancing sector.
Online document portals can enable conveyancers to exchange sensitive information with clients securely, eliminating the need to print and post or meet in person, providing the necessary ID checks can be verified. They can offer a real competitive advantage, as they can speed up the transaction and make the customer journey smoother using communication methods clients both expect and are now used to using.
Like the retailers, those law firms who are able to move with the times and be agile enough adopt enabling technology, will be the ones who will survive and thrive. For the others, attracting and retaining clients in our new virtual world, will be challenging and profitability will likely be affected over time.
However, implementing new tech need not be concerning providing law firms partner with organisations experienced in the sector, who can offer full and simple cloud-based implementation, training and back this up with excellent customer service. The consequences of the Pandemic have changed the way we work forever. It has taught us many things and one of the lessons learned must be that now is the time to take advantage of the technology available.
This article was submitted to be published by poweredbypie as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Conveyancer. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Conveyancer.