8 Changes Coming to the Conveyancing Sector
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Change is occurring rapidly, and most industries are re-shaping the ways in which they work. Conveyancing is one such industry changing and adapting with the times.
Conveyancing is an essential element in the legal transfer of a property from one owner to another. The conveyancing sector has undergone significant change in the past year, most notably perhaps because of the pandemic. However, as we move further into 2021, there are more changes coming.
In this article, we will be looking at the 8 changes coming to the conveyancing sector this year.
1. Making Important Upgrades
Conveyancers would save a lot of time and unnecessary costs by investing in and improving the quality of their service through the use of technology.
Conveyancing 2030: A Discussion Paper says, “technology will rapidly improve transparency for consumers about what they are buying and the progress of their transaction. Because of the Internet of Things, properties will maintain up-to-date logbooks with little human intervention.”
According to the paper above, there are around 200 specialist conveyancers (accounting for roughly 40% of the market) who have both the means and desire to invest in technology that will utterly change the way conveyancers work.
By 2030, it is expected that technology will have opened new ways of providing services, accelerating the conveyancing sector into new opportunities.
2. Digitisation of Services
The conveyancing sector has often been criticised for being behind the times in terms of digital uptake. For example, many firms are still printing and filing emails rather than using online systems. However, this is starting to change. Digitisation is changing the way people work for the better.
Digitising processes, such as automating filing and account processes, are making work more efficient, improving customer service, and ensuring workdays are more productive. “Digitisation is changing the way properties are sold, making what used to be an extensive process of paperwork, meetings, and amendments, a seamless online experience. It’s fast, secure, and efficient.” says Town & Country Mortgage Services.
However, despite the call for more digitisation in the conveyancing sector, it is important to be mindful of remaining accessible to all. While there are customers who like to reduce in-person interactions where possible, for others these are very necessary. Striking a balance is crucial to success.
3. The Future is About Data
“In a world of rapid technological change, automation and instant purchasing, it is entirely possible to envision the conveyancing process of 2030 based on a range of Amazon style one-click websites with the legal professional replaced by an AI chatbot and the human involvement a receding memory.” – CLC
If you didn’t know already, the future is about data. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are making businesses more efficient, and customer driven than ever before. Now, digitally supported transactions that are consumer controlled are the way forward. This can be in many forms, from applications on smartphones to online portals.
For the conveyancing sector to stay relevant and customer-led, the digitisation of data is imperative. Digitised data helps deliver business insights that allow for well-informed decisions to be made for the bettering of business operations. This will allow conveyancers to benefit from new and emerging technologies to evolve their business model and launch bigger and better services for their customers.
4. Increased Consumer Protection
In amongst all the changes and the future developments, one thing that remains central to the continued growth and success of the conveyancing sector is customer protection.
Despite all these changes and the exciting future projections, customer protection must remain at the forefront of any and all development. Of course, systems can be completely digitised but if consumers remain inadequately advised on what they are buying or if they feel they aren’t being allowed the opportunity to ask the questions they need to, where is the improvement in that?
As much of the conveyancing sector becomes automated, the focus should remain on improving the quality of the service through customer-led changes. Ensuring customer protection is at the forefront of these changes will make for better services, greater customer uptake, and long-term success.
5. More Customer Driven Change
Arguably one of the biggest changes to come out of the coronavirus pandemic for all businesses was customer driven change. In today’s digital society, we are used to doing most things online and getting things as and when we need them. Today’s customers are demanding the convenience of online engagement for processes that feel smoother and more efficient.
As a result, the thought of receiving vast documents through the post to manually fill in and then return face-to-face with a lawyer to sign, for many consumers feels like a step back in time. Digitisation is driving customer-led change and enabling the conveyancing sector to offer an improved and more convenient service at all levels.
6. Improved Financial Security
In the past, fraudsters have taken to targeting the property market – attracted by the large sums of money swapping hands on a regular basis. As a result, new solutions have been sought after to help improve the financial security of buyers.
One such development is open banking. This is a secure way for financial services to access the financial information of individuals and can significantly speed up the mortgage process. In addition, open banking provides greater security and peace of mind for all parties involved in the process by protecting vendors, preventing fraud, and enabling lawyers to fulfil their obligations. It is more safe and secure and allows money and financial information to move around quickly and securely.
7. A Change in the Conveyancer’s Role
“By 2020, 25% of customer service operations will use virtual customer assistants like chatbots, up from 2% in 2017.” – Gartner
It is expected that there will be a change in the conveyancer’s role. While digitally supported transactions will be controlled by the consumer, perhaps via an app on their smartphone, consumers will then be able to speak to a conveyancer in whatever way they wish. It might be through chatbots, video calls, phone calls, or face-to-face, but whichever method if selected, means a change in the conveyancer’s role.
Conveyancers will be expected to answer any questions consumers might have, explain to them further about the suitability of a property for their needs, and generally provide reassurance. No matter how much you digitise a process and make changes towards efficiency, people will still want to speak to a seasoned professional who can answer their questions and provide advice with confidence. This is very much what the conveyancer’s role is expected to become.
8. Automation and Investment
As the role of the conveyancer changes and adapts to keep up with consumer demand and digitisation, many administrative aspects of the job will become automated. Technology will improve transparency and conveyancing roles will become far more advisory.
As such, it is important that conveyancers invest in the training and skills required to meet these changes head-on. Investment and training into skills such as listening, communication, and empathy will be more important than ever as customers demand a combination of convenience and professionalism. Providing this will ensure your conveyancing service is one people can trust and return to again and again for guidance and support.
As you can see, there are many changes coming to the conveyancing sector – with some already underway! The best step conveyancers can take today is investing time and resources into improving their service for their customers. After all, great customer service is what people are looking for!