We’re excited to have reached our first milestone of 100 cases! In this blog we’ll take a look at our key findings and how we have reduced transaction times by up to 7 weeks.
As the new year begins and as we all get our brains back in gear for the next 12 months and all those strategic operational plans are being polished up for implementation, I am sure an important part of those plans will be the question of how quickly you are going to be able to turn over stock and what obstacles could lie in your way. Like it or not, conveyancing plays a vital part in how quickly that stock turns over and faced with an average of 18-20 weeks from instruction to completion, any time shaved off would be a pleasing development and something you would welcome.
I’m pleased to say that there is something that can be done….
YouConvey, our new customer facing conveyancing service has today hit its first milestone of 100 customers using its services, and can now report on its initial findings – but first some background…
YouConvey is the brainchild of Eddie Goldsmith, a well known national conveyancer, and was launched in February 2022 with the aim of working with home movers as part of the first collaborative conveyancing service in England and Wales – helping them navigate through their moving experience and reducing their stress and anxiety by guiding them through the process from start to finish.
“Over my 40 years of conveyancing I have always thought what a poor customer experience many conveyancing customers received, I have never come across anyone who enjoyed the journey, with most vowing never to move again!
I launched YouConvey with the customer foremost in my mind by looking at the process from solely the customer’s perspective to see how I could reduce the stress and anxiety and lack of transparency. I am delighted with the response that YouConvey has had so far from both customers and the industry”. Eddie Goldsmith – Founder and CEO YouConvey Ltd.
So this is what we have learned from our first 100 customers:
1. Conveyancing is stressful for customers, there is no silver bullet which is going to revolutionise conveyancing overnight and the existing process is clunky and not fit for 21st Century conveyancing clients. However, there is a lot which can be done. Firstly make sure the customer is engaged from Day 1. They are hit by a barrage of forms to complete, pages and pages of questions and declarations which are unfamiliar and daunting. Even the friendliest firm of conveyancers leave them to get on with completing them. Having a friendly voice at the end of the phone guiding and assisting them to complete these forms makes them feel more comfortable. There is no way round completing these forms but it’s much easier if there is someone there to explain what is needed and why.
2. Customers want to know how much it is all going to cost. I know from my own experience that customers have to budget and even £10 more than what was originally quoted is irritating. Make sure they know that if it’s leasehold it’s going to cost more (and give them a good guide). Customers are not unreasonable if you explain in advance why a case which turns out to be non-standard is going to cost more – but try your best to keep to the original quote.
3. Customers don’t understand the conveyancing process and have little idea of what is involved. I know that lots of conveyancers provide classy literature about the process but how do you know they have read and understood it? Break the process down to a few headlines to make it easier to digest.
4. Good communication makes all the difference – there is nothing more irritating for a customer to be left hanging wondering what, if anything, is going on. Customers have reasonable expectations, as long as they get regular updates then they will be reassured.
5. Explain the legal jargon – conveyancers blithely talk about raising enquiries – why not just say that you have raised questions and queries on the paperwork? After all, that’s the way we speak in the real world.
6. Home movers need to feel engaged and given lots of TLC – please don’t underestimate the anxiety that builds up with a home-mover who has found their dream property but is faced with a mountain of paperwork and obstacles to get to their ultimate destination
7. Manage their expectations – most customers know that conveyancing takes time – some think in terms of weeks (put them right) but if you ask them at the start how long they think it will take, it will reveal what their expectations are.
8. Work with the right conveyancers – any service will fall foul if an important stakeholder, such as the conveyancer, is unresponsive.
9. Always think like the customer – if you are not getting anywhere with the other side – involve the customer. They can speak directly to the Seller or the Purchaser to find out what the hold up is. Too many times conveyancers are disingenuous with the truth and the customer is left hanging in the middle not knowing who to believe – no one comes out of that well.
10. Be empathetic – it’s a really stressful process and the conveyancers’ job is not just to do the conveyancing but to guide the customer throughout.
So what does all this mean to the customer and, just as importantly, to your bottom line?
Statistics from completed cases are already showing the benefit of the YouConvey service. Whilst the average transaction time for conveyancing is now running at 18-20 weeks from instruction to completion, the stats from YouConvey,following research by our leading panel conveyancers Rowlinsons solicitors, show the majority of their cases completed within 13 weeks – a saving of 5-7 weeks.
Alicia Sheath of Rowlinsons commented, “We compiled the statistics from the first batch of cases we completed and it is clear that many have completed weeks sooner than the average transaction times. We primarily put this down to the work which YouConvey carry out at the start of the case by helping us quickly obtain all the initial information we require, saving weeks at the early stages of each transaction.
“Although it is of utmost importance to us to be on hand to support our clients and provide guidance, the constant availability of YouConvey combined with their support and cooperation throughout the process is of real benefit to our mutual customers too”.
Eddie responded, “It’s great to hear from Alicia about the positive benefits of YouConvey. Just like our customers we are on a conveyancing journey, there is a lot more we have planned and so much more we can do to help our customers. By ourselves we cannot change our antiquated conveyancing process, but we can at least work to make it fit for purpose for 21st Century home movers, and that is an achievement of which we are very proud”.