As the economy picks up again, we can expect to see conveyancing transactions grow quickly, so there is good business to be had here. Not a lot has changed in terms of how lawyers sell their conveyancing services since the crash, but introducing improvements here will result in more business – here are just a few key areas where new focus will make a difference.
Although a lot of knowledge and skills have been lost because many experienced conveyancers moved to other areas of work when the property market collapsed, there is an opportunity now for new recruits to learn new and better ways of working.
The findings from this (estate agency focused) research should help you refocus on the key initiatives you ought to be implementing now to develop a successful conveyancing practice fit for today:
- Just 18% of homebuyers based their choice on getting the lowest price. 82% were more concerned about other aspects of service. Not a surprise; our research since 2000 has always shown this to be the case.
- 78% would recommend the conveyancer they used to a friend – but only 14% did. (i.e. choose based on a recommendation from a friend!) Conveyancers are still missing out badly here!
- 38% particularly valued a conveyancer who keeps in touch once a week.
- Just 31% chose a conveyancer they had used before (4% less than the previous year, so conveyancers are not improving). This is very poor for the solicitors that 69% used previously! From these results, conveyancers can to a lot better by being more proactive in developing and maintaining relationships; and it doesn’t take much to make a big difference.
- 68% of home buyers would consider using a conveyancer recommended by their estate agent – not a surprise as estate agents make it easy to ask the question.
- 46% chose the conveyancer recommended by their estate agent – a 5% increase on last year. If conveyancers were proactive, this could be a much lower figure.
- Prioritise getting to know your client and their situation from the outset – don’t just focus on the legal transaction; a huge failing before the recession and it hasn’t changed much. Ensure that how you are set up and how people work prompts discussion outside what is just essential to get the job done.
- Get the technology and systems in place to streamline your work and leave time for communication with clients (and other parties e.g. estate agents who want to promote your services)
- Work on your database and relationships with clients after the legal work has been completed, to make sure they don’t forget you.
- Help to let the personality of your people stand out so that their clients recommend them (and the practice) to friends for conveyancing work – and in other areas.
- Help your conveyancers understand how to sell your services.
Two Key elements here:
- Help your people respond to enquiries in a way that enables them to talk about other aspects of the service – not just price; something you can change overnight using the approach we recommend here.
- Review your systems for handling enquiries to make sure you are following up as effectively as you can on every one of them – via the telephone, from the web, recommendations to make sure you don’t lose opportunities; most firms do.
You can obtain a full copy of the research report here.