Why conveyancing needs to be brought into the 21st Century
Guest blogger, Mark Montgomery, reveals why the conveyancing process needs to keep up with the times.
A hundred years from now, people will look back on the last decade as the one where the world went online.
Both Google and Facebook have gone from simple ideas in university dormrooms to global phenomena. Online banking has pretty much rendered the good old cheque extinct. And downloads (legal and illegal) have almost brought the leviathans of the film and music industry to their knees!
The need to keep up
The property industry was quick to cotton onto the fact that online might just be the way forward. Property portal sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla are now the first port of call for prospective home buyers and many estate agency websites are undergoing a radical overhaul with some allowing their clients to view properties, book viewings and even plan where their furniture might go once they’ve moved in.
So in this climate of instant communications and online transactions, it’s paramount that the conveyancing process also adapts to keep up with the times.
Speed and transparency are two important factors at the heart of any good conveyancing service. Ask anyone moving house and they’ll tell you that the quicker the process completes, and the more they’re kept in the loop, the happier they’ll be. Aside from keeping customers happy, the quicker the conveyancing process, the less likely it is that a client’s dream move will fall through.
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The industry average for completion times is around 80 days. A huge benefit of modern online conveyancing however, is the shorter transaction times. At 1st Property Lawyers our current average completion time is 52 days and, with some simpler cases, it’s not unheard of for us to complete in under a week!
Not only does this help alleviate some of the stress for our clients but also reduces the chances of delays that may complicate or even stop their move.
Being fast means very little, however, unless you can back it up with excellent client care. It’s important that movers are able to understand what happens at every stage of their conveyancing process and that they’re not overwhelmed by all the legal jargon being thrown at them.
Breaking down the barriers
Modern conveyancers have made it a priority to break down the barrier between lawyer and client by making the conveyancing process as transparent as possible. A big part of that is making things easy and convenient for clients, which is why 24 hour case tracking and mobile sites are a must.
The days of wading through piles of paper are starting to fade from memory as specialist conveyancers offer their clients online case tracking and the ability to complete key forms and review documents online. We even had one client checking through some of his legal documents whilst sat in Hong Kong airport – something that would have been unthinkable as recent as 18 months ago!
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It’s not all about the technology, though. Conveyancing is, and always will be, a process that requires dedicated, professional and personal service.
While high street solicitors are struggling to shake their “oak panelled office” image, online conveyancers are finding new and innovative ways to deliver better service to their clients.
With all the advances and benefits these firms can bring to the table, it’s easy to see what the future may hold for the conveyancing process. In this online and digital age conveyancers can either adapt to meet their clients needs and be the next Facebook or Rightmove, or they can go the way of the floppy disk!
Mark Montgomery is the Commercial Director of 1st Property Lawyers.