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1. Who would ever be a conveyancer? Conveyancing is not a match for a person who is unable to juggle 60-100 clients at a time. Nor for a person who cannot make fast instant accurate decisions each time risking their legal career with a negligence claim. Nor for someone who cannot cope with stress (sorry HR, but conveyancing and stress are the same). And not for someone who doesn’t know property law, and conveyancing procedure, or you will disappoint clients, other lawyers, estate agents and your colleagues.

Wow – who would do that?

The overwhelming reason I hear from conveyancers as to why they do what they do is still….job satisfaction. NEVER about the legal fee. A client paying me £1000 for weeks of work does not motivate me in the slightest. Instead, it is all about the delight I have in helping people sell and buy their home, the journey I take with the client – as if it were my own.

It is a feeling of a gatekeeper I suppose, protecting clients from legal errors. Conveyancers are not ‘Delboys’ – if the car is a lemon, we jump in and protect them and tell them not to proceed, even if we won’t get paid.

2. Busy conveyancers. There should never be a ‘flat out’ conveyancer. There is one thing a conveyancer has to do, and that is to know when they have too much work. When they get to that point, they offer work to a colleague. If they too are at capacity, then the team leader steps in, but too often, the team leader fails to. Fails to take on the work, or fails to spot the warning signs and to have new recruits in the pipeline.

Working beyond 6pm, or at weekends is not expected.

Conveyancers are quite able to achieve £200k fees – with no claims or complaints – without doing much more than 9-5.30. In fact less than £200k with a dedicated secretary is perhaps too low. Anything higher than £250k, you run risks of complaints and claims – meaning the rest of the Team/Firm take a PR beating.

I personally cannot abide any lawyer saying ‘I am too busy’ as that disrespects their clients, and is a sign saying ‘I am mismanaged/I am mismanaging my work’.

The aim is a happy lawyer/conveyancer, as clients will benefit, the conveyance will have motivation, and everyone wins.

3. Is the market busy? All any conveyancer can say is whether their own share based on previous months/years is higher or lower. For us, we have been growing each year, last year being a record year, and this again being higher.

The secret? Just keep adding value. Offer quality when others are not. Do the opposite of the failings you witness from others. Quality attracts quality.

4. Clients. A noticeable change is the expectation of ‘instantaneous’. Where is that coming from? I guess because we all want the internet to be fast, and it usually is. To press a button on our phone and the app loads and we are in. To send an email and off it goes, done.

And so our expectations widen out to our everyday living, our interactions with people.

Yet, no one would dream of calling a doctor or a dentist on their direct telephone line. Or to email them and then call them two minutes later to ask if they have it. Or to jump ahead in a queue in a supermarket, petrol station, airport.

Yet, for conveyancers, client expectations are just that. Some conveyancers bow, others more carefully manage client expectations, which is the key, and to do so at the very beginning, otherwise clients will become unhappy - the last thing that is needed.

5. Help to Buy. Ironic that the very people who need the Government support have to end up paying considerably higher legal fees due to the sheer volume of unnecessary paperwork involved. Not to mention how it can slow down a home move due to the extra time it all takes, with strict minimum timescales imposed on conveyancers by the H2B agency.

The Government paperwork needs to be looked at and streamlined.

6. Conveyancing Fees. For us we have seen prices rise. I suspect it is because the public want quality, especially in times of austerity. They want value for every £.

Price comparison sites for both estate agents and lawyers, demonstrate that the lower the price, the more suspect the cheap service must be. There is always a reason why something is cheap.

Cheap online estate agents have demonstrated why using a traditional estate agent is worth its weight in gold. I suspect it has brushed off on conveyancers.

Having said that, not a single person moving home still ever asks about the quality of the lawyer they are to receive (i.e do they have a law degree, are they an actual solicitor or legal executive).

But I suspect it will not be long.

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