Category Archives: Conveyancing

CONVEYANCERS – help clients to recommend you, let new prospects feel what it’s like to be a client

Conveyancing-WorkshopTwo key findings from recent research by tmgroup that can help conveyancers make the most of new opportunities to grow new business across your practice.

Conveyancers – particularly in the current property market – are in a great position to generate business, not just for their own department, but for the whole of the private client team; and commercial too, as company executives buy properties too of course.

  1. When it comes to why clients pick conveyancers, the biggest factor by a significant margin was communication, not price.
  2. Once a client recommends you to their friends, relatives and work colleagues, those who then use your services as a result see that this is the way things should be done – so they in turn are more likely to recommend you too.

All the more reason then to make it easier for your current clients to recommend you; so how do you do that?

Today’s Conveyancer reports today on tmgroup research which shows that people who were recommended a solicitor through a friend are more likely to make a recommendation themselves; whereas those who took an estate agent’s recommendation were much less likely to make a recommendation … and those who found a conveyancer online.

And … when it comes to why clients pick conveyancers, the biggest factor by a significant margin was communication, not price.

So isn’t that something your prospects should experience when someone calls for a “quote”?   Your people don’t need talk about it; just do it.  

AIDA works but involves some initiative by your people to:

  • Get their Attention
  • Demonstrate your Interest in them.
  • Arouse their Desire to come to you, rather than someone else
  • Agree next Actions, to keep the momentum going

Unfortunately, all our own mystery shopping research shows that little has changed in the last 15 years; still virtually no conveyancers make any effective effort to demonstrate their interest in communicating at this stage!

Conveyancers still keep focusing almost entirely on price – because the easiest question to ask and to answer is “How much ..?”

It could easily be so much better!

Conveyancers may also be interested in the following posts:

Risk of Cyber Breaches so high now that Insurance could become Mandatory for lawyers? Time to explore options.

Shocked young girl in front of computer monitor in a law firmInteresting comments from legal practitioners and the insurance sector at the Doctors Chambers Modern Law Conference 2016 at Old Trafford; reported recently in Modern Law.

According to David Hallam, Commercial Director at NCC Group –  the majority of data breaches arise from “phishing attacks”.  He explained that their expert hackers can gain access to systems “within 20 seconds” and once the hackers are in “40% manage to launch malware”, and of that 40%, “30% manage to obtain or compromise sensitive data”.  Responding to questions posed by the session chair, he concluded that cyber insurance “is moving towards becoming mandatory” for lawyers.


According to Verizon’s Data Breach Investigations Report, May 2015:

  1. 23% of people open phishing emails
  2. 11% open the attachments in those emails
  3. In 60% of cases, attackers can compromise your data within minutes
  4. It typically costs between £33 and £35 to fix each record breached

Michelle Garlick, Risk and Compliance expert at Weightmans said – “Firms can’t just sit and hope that attacks won’t happen … [they are] taking insurance more seriously” and looking more at “AAA rated insurance companies”;  also suggesting that when it comes to cyber risk, conveyancing is more risky than personal injury and that it is “too early” for cyber insurance to be mandatory.

On the other hand, Lesley Graves, MD of Citadel Law said that cyber crime could easily affect the personal injury market because firms often deal with “large amounts of money and sensitive information”. She recommended that delegates undertake a “business assessment” and look at how to build the long term cost into the business strategy”.

Ian Muldowney, Head of Professional Indemnity & Financial Risks (Reich Insurance Brokers) has seen a steep increase in calls surrounding cyber risks, particularly over the last 12 months, “with a huge increase in cyber crime activity both in the UK and globally, our clients are discovering that criminals are looking to target large organisations and SMEs alike.”

With the National Crime Agency noting that losses from such crimes exceed £16bn in the UK annually, clients are right to be concerned and to have cover in place which offers both preventative advice and a security blanket should anything go wrong. This is particularly were an expert broker can prove their worth.”

To address these critical risks:

1) Assess the risks and take steps to prevent breaches. The priority should be to take the 10 steps highlighted in this article to make your practice more cyber-resilient.

2) Insure against the breaches you can’t prevent.  You can be sure that no law firm can eradicate the risks completely – so backup insurance is essential with the risks clearly increasing here.  To give you a feel for the kind of cover available from reputable and reliable insurers, speak with a broker who has taken the time to understand Cyber insurance – such as Reich Insurance – who can review your needs and advise you on the best solutions available.

Reich Insurance, Cyber risksA policy can be sourced to provide:

  1. 24 hour incident number available 24/7.  Essential as it is critical to act quickly.
  2. A specialist IT forensics expert within 1 hour.
  3. Diagnosis of the issue, fixing it and getting the business back on track.
  4. Covering the costs of a) notification, b) data restoration, c) cyber business disruption and d) cyber extortion, all of which are real and potentially substantial costs in this situation.
  5. Help with public relations and specialist legal advice.

For more information about this and other relevant insurance policies, contact Reich on 0161 830 5491.

To discuss what steps you should be taking now to reduce the risks of cyber breaches and build cyber resilience into your practice, contact NIgel Stott at Inpractice UK on 0161 929 8355 or fmanning@inpractice.co.uk

Residential Conveyancers: Get focused on generating new business from your best prospects.

Define, agree and act on opportunities to improve performance and produce more profit from your residential conveyancing services … and your wider private client practice.

ConveyancersInpractice UK have partnered with TheConveyancingMap to deliver a tailored service to help conveyancers quickly and reliably set out a sound plan to develop their residential conveyancing business; also engaging the conveyancing team in the initiative to make sure that plans are put into practice.  This service is delivered by Allan Carton at Inpractice UK and Richard Hinton of theConveyancingMap – each with more than 20 years’ experience of developing conveyancing services in the legal sector.

Objectives

  • Define and implement an assured strategy to develop a more profitable residential conveyancing business.
  • Identify the weaknesses of your competitors and exploit them effectively
  • Generate more profitable private client instructions as a direct result of an increase in  your conveyancing business.
  • Engage your people in your plans for your business, by helping  them to understand it.
  • Establish a presence and effective relationships where they really matter to generate the conveyancing business you want.
  • Focus any spend on marketing and promotion where you can be sure it will target the people you want as clients.

Who is this for?

Any practice that provides conveyancing services will benefit from an objective review of the market in which they operate.  Conveyancers may also be interested in our specialist workshop on dealing with conveyancing quotes / enquiries and maximising referral opportunities.

WHAT YOU GET:

A:  Market Intelligence

TheConveyancingMap intelligence on transactions completed in your local area, including a clear picture of who is doing what,  This includes mapped distribution, volume and value of conveyancing transactions handled in your catchment area by:

  • Each conveyanConveyancing Market Intelligencecing competitor.
  • Each estate agent

B:  Expert Interpretation in Context

A preliminary report providing expert interpretation of this information in the context of your business, identifying key opportunities and potential challenges.

C:  Brainstorm with Our Experts – Explore Options, Agree Strategy & Plan

Up to a day of consultancy, working with your team on your premises to develop an agreed strategy and action plan to develop your conveyancing practice, most effectively to meet your objectives for your practice.  During this session, Allan Carton of Inpractice UK and Richard Hinton of ConveyancingMap will work with you to:

  • Explore the data and opportunities, and potential strategies
  • Identify best prospects and where they live
  • Define how to extend services with current clients
  • Develop, agree and refine a strategy and outline action plan to capture these opportunities.
  • Engage your key people in the discussion to build a shared view

D:  Defined Plan of Action

We then deliver a concise report recording the conclusions, strategy and plan of action agreed during the workshop session and any other recommendations.  This is to be shared and actively reviewed to engage the whole conveyancing team and to track progress; and to be adapted over time.

Optional Extra: We can “mystery shop” your practice and your competitors to add more intelligence to identify more opportunities to differentiate your practice, to make you stand out above competitors.

To find out more, complete the enquiry form on this page or contact Allan Carton at acarton@inpractice.co.uk or Tel: 07779 653105.

NEW E-signature approval – now, how can you put this to work to reduce your operating costs and make legal transactions easier for clients?

Process improvement in Law firms - lean thinking, legal practice managementGood news here for clients (and for law firms) as we now have reliable backing for use of e-signatures in commercial transactions at least. The linked note from this Joint working party probably provides the clearest concise summary you will find of the current legal position on e-signatures across different areas of law, so you can decide how far you are willing to go in introducing more efficient (for you) and easier ways (for the client) of getting the job done.

I strongly recommend that you download the guidance note from the link below and share it widely in your practice to help initiate or progress improvements in process.

Download the working party’s guidance note and review here >>

A joint working party of more than 20 City law firms, co-chaired by Linklaters, has come together today to endorse the use of digital signatures in a business context. The joint working party of The Law Society Company Law Committee and The City of London Law Society Company Law and Financial Law Committees has produced a guidance note to help parties who wish to execute English law commercial contracts using an electronic signature.

The aim of this initiative is to make document signing faster, easier and more convenient by offering signatories the ability to sign documents directly from a smartphone, tablet or desktop. Electronic signatures have the potential to put an end to the time consuming practice of having to “print, sign, and scan” multiple documents and allow a signatory to access a document securely over the internet and insert his or her signature in the appropriate place.  Read more here >>

To explore how best to implement this guidance in your processes and working practices, contact Allan Carton at Inpractice UK on 07779 653105 or at acarton@inpractice.co.uk.  We are happy to have a preliminary confidential discussion to explore options for free and without obligation.

FREE ONLINE ACCESS: The Jan / Feb Issue of Internet Newsletter for Lawyers is now available.

infolaw, Internet Newsletter for Lawyers, Delia Venables, Nick HolmesA helpful review of the new Free2Convey portal here for conveyancers amongst another interesting range of topics covered in this issue of the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers from Infolaw:

  • Publishers – Paul Magrath describes how ICLR are developing their service by expanding coverage online only
  • Resources – Delia Venables looks at the most important sites for free current awareness legal resources online
  • Conveyancing – Matthew Lancaster of Pracctice tells us about Free2Convey, the new free conveyancing portal
  • Marketing – Gavin Ward of Moore Legal Technology provides his ten top tips for effective content distribution
  • Technologies – Alex Heshmaty of Legal Words on driverless cars, their relevance to lawyers and the legal issues
  • Resources – Rosalind English describes the background and current activities of UK Human Rights Blog
  • Documents – Nick Holmes offers guidelines for working with documents sourced via the internet.

FREE ACCESS to the newsletter web pages here >>

Conveyancers’ New Year Resolution – Get closer, dig deeper with new prospects and clients to win more business … and enjoy the job more.

Silhouette person jumping over 2015 on the hill at sunsetEvery conveyancing practice that wants to grow their client base by providing more service to existing clients, their family, friends and work colleagues should help their conveyancers take a step back; help them to think and talk between themselves about what they could do to make it easier to help their clients to recommend them. 

This would help … so read on to find out about just some of the opportunities that are currently being lost (there are more that we discuss and address during this workshop).  Something to share with your team to help kick 2016 off in the right direction?

Key conclusions from our review of the results of the most recent research by the Property Academy and TM Group of 4,500 consumers and comparing them against the previous year (which we reported here):

Finding:  Confirming our research over many years, only 13% of the clients chose conveyancers that offered the cheapest price; down from 18% the previous year.

Our Advice: Conveyancers should be investing time now to learn how to sell their service much more effectively on value, not price.  Our mystery shopping of conveyancers confirms that very few firms are getting this right with most of the questions being asked revolving around “how much?”

Finding:  It also no surprise that clients who chose the service primarily for a lower price were significantly less likely to recommend their conveyancers enthusiastically to others.

Our Advice:  The key lesson here is that if you want to keep clients for life and build your business around new business from their friends, family and work colleagues, it is dangerous to cut your prices and service.  If you have little margin to ensure they get a service they really value, the chances are that a good number will not be happy and won’t come back.

Finding:  21% of people chose their conveyancer through a recommendation from a friend; up by a third since the previous year.  However, more than double that number (42%) would be willing to recommend their conveyancers, so opportunities are still being lost here.

Our Advice:  Conveyancers should focus on understanding and delivering what each client values in the service and relationship; then make it easy for existing clients to recommend them.  That involves routine ongoing research and review of what clients want and get; both formal and informal. Always ask clients if they would recommend.  You don’t want any “smiling assassins”, so talk to your clients and show willing to adapt.

Findings:  Choosing from an estate agent recommendation is still the most frequent route, but the 38% of clients who made their choice this way was down by 8% from the previous year.

Our Advice:  Perhaps clients are becoming more cautious, which gives conveyancers more opportunity to win new business directly by selling services better – on value.  However, there are clearly significant benefits in working with estate agents.

Property Academy Research - How did you choose your conveyancer, 2013, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

Findings:  Older clients and owners of higher value properties are more likely to recommend their conveyancers to others.

Our Advice:  Again confirms all our research and experience in practice over the years.  It hasn’t changed but lawyers have failed to be pro-active in developing the opportunities.  If you are going to invest time in developing relationships, focus on them as you are likely to get the best return on your investment.  Few firms segment private clients by age and property values, but should do.  These are also the most likely people to benefit (directly and for their families) in other higher value private client legal services.  Have you done this and initiated relationship-developing initiatives focused on their particular needs?

Findings:  On how and how often to communicate with clients during the transaction …

Property Academy Research - How to contact, 2014

Property Academy Research - How often to contact, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Advice:  When it comes to deciding what a client will see as giving them the value they want, you simply must ask them.  Different people want different things; confirmed in the critical questions about communication (where many firms unintentionally get it very wrong); how and how often clients feel they want to be contacted by their conveyancer?

There is more enlightening information in this Home Moving Trends 2014 report; well worth downloading here to share across your practice.

If you are interested in developing your conveyancing services and your people to make the most of the opportunities available now, call me on 0161 929 8355 for a free, confidential discussion to explore some options; or complete this form and I will contact you.