How Is The Industry Moving Forward?
As the Covid-19 pandemic hits the conveyancing market, take a look at how the sector was evolving before the outbreak took hold.
The conveyancing market was already set for major change in 2020, long before scientists and the general population had ever heard of Covid-19. The outbreak has certainly affected the market, as it has every type of industry. However, many of the changes that have occurred this year, were already in place, allowing us to move towards a more digitised approach to conveyancing. Here, we take a look at what the conveyancing landscape looks like today.
Conveyancers haven’t been the quickest industry to embrace new technologies, and there are still a few examples of smaller practices who choose to print out and file email exchanges with clients rather than relying on case management systems.
Yet, technology comes at a cost and investing in modern technology can be a challenge for some law firms. Specialist conveyancers count for approximately 40% of the overall market and they’reconsidered most likely to have the means and willingness to invest in sophisticated conveyancing tech to facilitate their caseloads and operations. However, it is expected that smaller firms will gradually follow suit as they’re drawn to the benefits and time-saving potential that new tech can have on their conveyancing cases.
Data vs Human Interaction
Conveyancing clients will have better communication options available to them when they’re buying or selling property. In the past, clients have felt frustration at having to wait for face-to-face meetings or for a telephone call with their conveyancing solicitors. Now, artificial intelligence and machine learning have reduced the difficulties of client-conveyancer communications, by offering smart portals and digitally supported transactions which give the client much more scope.
Data will be available for the client to access via apps or online portals, and there are additional methods of communication available including online chat facilities and audio or video calls. All of these changes allow clients to be kept abreast of their property purchase or saleprogress, and be rewarded with real-time information on their individual case.
A firm of conveyancing solicitors in Southend on Sea points out that of course not every conveyancing client will be a digital native, and there are many people who still want the comfort and reassurance of receiving face-to-face legal advice. In 2020, the progress of technology still needs to be balanced against what consumers are looking for. In many practices, it will be necessary to offer traditional methods of conveyancing alongside new and improved technologies to support your work. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has taught everyone to embrace the ways in which technology can help us stay connected.
It has long been expected that estate agents will branch out into conveyancing work as they have done in other related areas such as offering mortgage brokeror insurance services. These expectations have been largely unwarranted as only a handful of estate agents have adopted conveyancing as a core service package thus far. Conveyancers and estate agents will likely still work alongside each other, using referral fees to support the business model.
What happens to the conveyancing market during the remainder of 2020 will be focused on the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. It will be interesting to take another look at the industry after the lockdown has ended.