Managing client’s expectations
In late August 1988, when the world was young and I was a fearless negotiator, I was on the way to my first million, or so I naively thought. Having agreed industrial amounts of sales due to my brilliance – in reality due to the tidal wave of activity caused by Nigella Lawson’s dad the then chancellor who was fiddling with the property market, (sounds familiar?) I was certain that soon I could trade up my Fiat Uno for a more suitable chariot.
Cold water came in the shape of a phrase – used by a solicitor – who was acting at the top of a chain of five, where we had three of the sales, and were juggling the needs wants and threats of all parties – telling the solicitor we were under hostile fire, he said ‘it is all about managing client’s expectations dear boy’.
Fast forward to the cusp of 2021, and that solicitor was right, but not in the way he meant, as now Generation-Z who are hitting their 40’s, and form a solid phalanx of the property transaction sector expect and are getting, thanks to Amazon backed by technology – ‘service in a Nano-second with a click or swipe of their digit.’
The tech savvy consumer of today, is seeking out those who like doing business with them digitally, and explicitly on their mobile, and have never heard of the fax unless visiting a museum. Do I think lowly of the legal profession no, I actually love them, and feel those in conveyancing charge too little and do too much in what is a thankless and Groundhog day driven process.
Do I think that Artificial Intelligence and machine learning can help? Yes. Are there are many bright minds like Stuart Young – Etive, Sally Holdway – Teal, Joe Pepper – TM Group etc – helping win hearts and minds, for sure.
But perhaps what the conveyancing industry should be forward planning is to meet the demands of the pushy client expectations of even younger generation who soon will be their bread and butter clients in the next decade.
Luckily maybe, there are equally pushy under 30-year olds with great technological solutions like CEO Riccardo Iannucci-Dawson from Yourkeys, who has put conveyancing on roller-skates, at the same time helping conveyancers and all the stakeholders.
Maybe rather than pressure groups asking for a SDLT holiday extension past the 31st of March, we should be asking for huge government investment to modernise the system, Digital Street at the HM Land registry is doing sterling work, but there is a need to join all the dots and quickly.
If anyone has views on the state of conveyancing – or is directly involved in its moving parts from search providers all through the ecosystem – please let us know by emailing me at [email protected] – Andrew Stanton Executive Editor moving property and proptech forward.