How to generate more conveyancing work for your law firm

By Mike Connelly, Director at Legal Bricks, an Access Company

Mike Connelly Legal Bricks

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Thomas Edison

Conveyancers have been unusually busy for the last 18+ months, but at some point (and arguably for many this has already happened) the rate of transactions will slow down and there will inevitably be a shift in focus to looking at how firms can generate more conveyancing work. The process needs to be simple and easy for firms to adopt so it doesn’t just feel like extra work.

How do customers choose which law firm to work with?

First things first, let’s take a step back and look at how potential clients make their decisions about which law firm to use when they are looking to buy or sell a property:

Some of the latest IFF Research findings shows us that:

Let’s explore the market share we can more easily control and the one we should aim to actively penetrate:  the recommendations and the estate agent referrals section – which accounts for over half the market.

Generating more “Family and friend” referrals

When clients come to a law firm without being referred, as you’d expect, around 86%* rate price as a key consideration, with 82% of people also citing “conveyancing specialism” as a key factor in their decision-making process.

When clients are referred via a recommendation from a friend or family member, these figures change – price is a key consideration for just 32% and Trust comes top for 84%. Figures aside, let’s look at some of the key ways you can get more referrals.

It’s worth remembering that some of the key aspects of service delivery that customers are looking for their law firm to fulfil are:

Generating more work from estate agent referrals

We surveyed 50 estate agents and the number one reason that they stopped working with a law firm:

“Lack of communication and a perception of the process being harder than needed”.

It’s imperative to build relationships with estate agents to keep you and your firm front of mind and give them the confidence that you can support them and their clients through the transactional process from start to finish. Some of the key areas that law firms need to excel in in order to maintain and gain those all-important referrals, include:

Embrace Technology – Simplify the journey from quote to completion.

Of the 50 Agents we surveyed, 72% believed technology wasn’t used enough in the conveyancing process.

Provide your partners with an easy way to understand when the key milestones are met or achieved.

Of the 50 Agents we surveyed, 68% wanted a clearer understanding of what stage you were at in the transaction, without having to chase for updates.

Be clear and concise with your communications.

Of the 50 Agents we surveyed, 53% wanted a simpler way to communicate with the law firms they worked with. This is where client portals could greatly benefit firms and estate agents.

And then there’s the follow-up.

No article about generating more conveyancing work would be complete without looking at the “follow-up”. Many law firms, finding themselves overworked or under-resourced, do not follow-up on enquiries – and by that we mean that they send out a quote for the work but don’t then follow-up to see if the client is interested. It goes without saying that this is a missed opportunity – and customers will often respond positively to approaches which take away some of the leg-work for them. So having the functionality within your CRM to capture prospect data and not just the details of those who go on to become clients is key.  You could also use a quotation system which retains prospect info and even generates a reminder for follow-up. After all, even if they choose another provider this time, you may still be able to cross-sell other services.

And finally…

As we’ve outlined above, getting referrals and recommendations, following up and using technology are all key to generating more conveyancing work for your law firm. Legal Bricks and Access Legal have used their extensive knowledge of the property market to build technology to manage the referral process, convert more work, manage quotations to clients, digitally onboard clients and enable all those involved in the transaction to be kept up to date and access key information throughout the process.

**Information from an independent survey of 200 home buyers or sellers (2020)