The Council for Licensed Conveyancer’s ‘Conveyancing 2030’ whitepaper predicts that the role of conveyancing professionals is going to change considerably over the next decade as will the shape of the conveyancing market as we know it.
The report envisions a world where the home buying and selling process is conducted entirely online. It’s a bold vision for the future of conveyancing and one that should be seen as inspirational rather than literal.
To get there it will require the conveyancing to be, quick moving, flexible and collaborative, any attitude that is already being adopted by some.
What is likely to change over the next decade, according to the CLC?
As we have already explored in recent articles, the CLC believe that the legal sector will be data dominant in the next ten years and is already committed to migrating huge amounts of historic data onto a digital platform.
As technology develops further, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, automation and blockchain can help create a holistic home buying and selling process whilst alleviating the conveyancer of any heavy administrative duties.
The CLCs’ vision for the future will place the client as the foreman of the transaction, compiling the data from all stakeholders, and consulting legal professionals to translate the data.
With the reduction in administrative obligations, the CLC predict service will become key and over the coming years, external quality indicators, such as feedback and comparison sites, will become more important in highlighting best practice.
Online recommendations will become a vital part of new business generation with consumers given more choice and control over who they choose.
Feedback in the present legal market
The modern conveyancing firm is already committed to demonstrating its excellent customer feedback through testimonial sites and apps such as Trustpilot.
Here clients offer their views and assess the service they receive through a rating system. The review considers the entire process and is therefore completed at the end of the transaction. In a data driven society, this may act as a restrictive barrier as improvements cannot be made during the process and conveyancers can only reflect on the review and use it for future transactions which will not help the frustrated client.
Some firms are even using feedback sites to monitor quality assurance throughout the process rather than reflective post-transaction comments.
Collating and auditing customer feedback is now a fundamentally important element for most law firms.
Customer feedback on their experience, before it reaches a complaint stage, can ensure that the client feels valued and part of the legal process rather than ostracised and overlooked.
Myriad law firms ensure their business is attached to review sites like Trustpilot as consumers feel reviews to be a normal part of all transactions.
However, these review platforms are often reflective with consumers completing this process after their interaction with the company.
This may not help a law firm committed to improving the client journey before the process reaches a final conclusion.
Customer satisfaction thermometers are now acting as a benchmark, documenting and auditing customer satisfaction throughout the legal process rather than at the end.
The thermometer requires a simple tick box symbol response, allowing the consumer to share their feelings very quickly, all delivered through client email inboxes as the survey is attached to the legal service provider’s email signature.
A negative response during a significant stage in the process gives the legal service representative the power to ascertain the issue and deliver better service in the future.
What does the future hold for conveyancers?
The conveyancing sector is currently on the precipice of entering the price and service comparison market. Comparison sites have fundamentally changed a lot of other industries and how to attract new businesses.
In February, MoneySuperMarket announced that they were set to launch a price and service comparison for conveyancers with Optimus, a conveyancing panel management business for mortgage brokers, collaborating and sharing data with the comparison site juggernauts. MoneySuperMarket will use the data to highlight best rated solicitors and legal professionals.
Whilst this could seem intrusive and uncomfortable in the short term, if the CLC’s data driven and service-focused future for the professional is realised, it could allow conveyancers to highlight their expertise.
Given the state of affairs at present, the trend of recommendations could be overridden by service comparison and online testimonials and the modern conveyancer should be prepared for the change of tides in the years ahead.
There are benefits of price comparison sites to. It allows new firms to quickly gain exposure or allow for national expansion. Smarter firms will be able to tailor their bids to target the type of work they want to attract, and the data can be reused to reduce admin.
Conveyancing is likely to change quite dramatically over the next decade, hopefully for the better. A more digitally enabled process will allow conveyancers to focus on advice over admin which should make conveyancers rejoice.
Right now, though there is still plenty of opportunities to improve the home buying process. For the past three years the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) has found a fifth of all legal complaints are made in relation to delays to legal work and communication breakdowns between law firm and client.
Our user-friendly online platform enables conveyancers to conduct residential property searches in the knowledge that they will receive quick and efficient service to ensure the transaction is not unduly delayed.
If you require comprehensive, efficient and timely service for your residential and commercial property searches, please get in touch to enquire how GlobalX can help.