Telephone Quotes For Residential Conveyancing: Finding The Missing Millions

Telephone Quotes For Residential Conveyancing: Finding The Missing Millions

by Professor Ian Cooper, law firm skills trainer / consultant, Author of the ‘Financial Times Guide To Business Development’

Every single day most firms with a residential conveyancing department receive telephone calls from prospective clients who ask the question … “Can I have a quote for conveyancing please?” Every day, most of these firms lose potential new business that they could win, because of the way these calls are handled! How much are you losing?

This article looks at this daily challenge, the potential opportunities being missed and reviews the recent survey / report into this topic ‘Converting Telephone Enquiries: Residential Conveyancing’, which I co-authored. The study is based on reviewing the results of mystery calls for quotes to 387 firms nationwide; interviews with senior management from residential conveyancing departments in over 100 firms and feedback from over 1,000 call handlers.

This first article in my series of four on this topic, is simply meant to make you think and provoke you into looking again at your own ‘quotes’ handling approach, performance and results. It will I hope, challenge you to re-examine whatever you are currently doing and ask yourself … “is there anything that we could do differently to get better results?” The stakes are high!

Let me explain in blunt financial terms why this is the case. From a business development and marketing perspective, though most firms don’t appreciate it, this issue is the number one priority. Why? The answer is simple. Because, what is the point of spending time and money trying to generate enquiries, if the firm then fails to convert them and loses potential new clients to competitors?

Did you realise for example, that if just one office in your firm receives an average of just 3 ‘quotes calls’ per day, collectively these enquiries are easily worth around £1 million of potential new business in a year.

Increase your conversion rate by just 10% and your extra success is worth an easy additional £100,000 of revenue, without any further marketing spend!

One firm I went to train ‘in house’ last year, was getting 12 quotes calls per day across its four offices. Their average single transaction quote was around the £675 mark plus VAT. Do the sums on this and believe it or not they were dealing with 3,000 calls per year and a potential of just over between £2 million – £4 million worth of new business, depending on whether the quotes were for single or double transactions.

Their conversion rate before the training was 35% and afterwards around the 70% mark. This additional 40% gave them an extra £800,000 – £1.6 million. Not bad for a couple of days training!

I am not telling you this, to impress you with how effective the training was, but to impress upon you what is possible and what you might be losing, in terms of missed business.

So what is the problem? How difficult can it be to give people a price? Well let me share some of the findings in the survey and you will begin to realise what is really going on and why the terrible truth, is that the majority of firms condemn themselves to the inevitability of quotes conversion failure.

Amongst the many findings, the study shows that:

– Over 85% of firms treat ‘residential conveyancing quotes’ as a purely ‘low level’ administrative task.

91% of firms make no attempt to differentiate themselves from competitors, either during the telephone enquiry, or in any follow up email. Ask yourself this question: If your firm is more expensive than a competitor, why should the caller choose you?


If you do have an answer, how is this communicated to the caller? Most don’t. If call handlers don’t get this message across, then it is hardly surprising that a potential client might choose a cheaper option!

90% of call handlers admit that they don’t actively like handling quotes, or are not very good at it. Not exactly a recipe for conversion success.

85% of firms have not given any skills training to call handlers to help them maximise conversion rates.

69% of firms use email as a way of actually avoiding a proper conversation at all and lose business as a result of it.


These firms are simply taking the basic transactional details in a minute or two and then immediately sending out semi-automated emails. Many of the firms who do this, then pride themselves on their efficiency for speeding up and simplifying the process.

Yes, it might be quicker, but if the results are poor, it is false economy. Many firms are failing to realise that this method limits conversion rate success. If the emails that go out only contain the figures, it forces the caller to choose on price!

When to send out an email quote and what it should contain is a massively important issue. This is part of your sales and business development strategy. I will devote an entire article to this topic later in the year, with many tips.

56% of call handlers who spoke to a potential client failed to introduce themselves.

– In over a third of all calls, neither party knew who they were talking to, as the caller’s name was not taken and the call handler had not introduced themselves!

– In 97% the call handler failed to ask if the caller wanted to go ahead, even when the caller had responded positively to the quote.



The truth is, that there is a nationwide ‘equality of inefficiency’ amongst the way the vast majority of firms deal with their requests for residential conveyancing quotes.

The good news however, is that for those firms who recognise the potential and then take steps to improve, there is the opportunity to ‘clean up’ in their marketplace, with results that are transformational.

The really great news is that the strategic changes, skills and techniques needed, are not difficult to understand and master. More of these to come.

To learn more about Converting Enquiries, the online training platform dedicated to helping a conveyancing department get the most out of their pipeline, visit

This article was published by Converting Enquiries 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.

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