Our guest writer Adam Bullion, General Manager of Marketing of InfoTrack, provides here an insight into the conveyancing industry and how it is currently influenced by a whole new generation of conveyancers.
There’s a wave of change happening within the conveyancing sector at present. From regulatory changes and technological advancements, to a new generation of home movers and conveyancers, things are looking a little different in the industry.
I recently read an article from conveyancer Valerie Holmes reflecting on the current time in the sector. One point she made really resonated, and that was the industry is heading toward a skills shortage, specifically a shortage of conveyancers. We are on the cusp of a major shift for the industry attributed primarily to a new age in the workforce, and the habits of the clients they are servicing, but firms need to employ the right tools to appeal to a new generation of conveyancer.
By 2020, millennials will form 50% of the global workforce, and these numbers are also reflected by the modern home mover. The Financial Times reported first-time buyers made up 51% of the market in 2018, and the average first-time buyer is now 31. This very generation, synonymous with taking technology and rapid advancement in their stride, will be influential in evolving both the consumer and business sides of the industry. So, how do firms address this new era?
It begins with what millennials expect in employment. Despite the ideals Silicon Valley start-ups have led us to believe, they aren’t only looking for free breakfast, slides in the office and yoga retreats. As digital natives, millennials are early adopters of new technologies and implement these daily to make menial tasks more efficient. Whether that’s booking appointments with their doctor via an app or preparing for the day by asking their voice assistant for the weather forecast, they’ve come to expect solutions facilitated by technology. These expectations have carried into their working lives and the focus from firms must be on providing products and solutions that meet these expectations, both for their millennial employees and customers.
Particularly in a procedure heavy industry like conveyancing, great technology can mitigate many of the frustrations that arise from inefficient processes and can make the industry more attractive to a new generation of conveyancers, while retaining them for years to come. A recent report from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has recognised that artificial intelligence will not replace staff in firms, but instead free up solicitors’ time to focus on the more enjoyable aspects of their role; guiding people through the biggest, and often most stressful, purchase of their lives.
The enjoyment of using said technologies doesn’t end with the solicitor, the benefits can also be experienced by the end user; the home mover. Providing access to complete compulsory home-moving forms via an online portal will exponentially improve the client experience. When everything else they do is accessible online, today’s clients don’t want to wait to action elements of their home moving process by post. And that is just one example, there are many areas of conveyancing that can be improved by the introduction of technology, I am sure you can think of a few immediately.
Millennials are already the majority of first-time buyers, and soon they will be the majority of our workforce and the next generation will be even more digitally lead. They will utilise technology to their advantage to better communicate and build relationships with their customers.
There will always be a place for human-to-human service, it’s just about harnessing technology to better facilitate more time to achieve it. Providing this generation with the right tools to generate positive user and customer experiences will ensure the skill of conveyancing is not a lost art and overall align the home moving process with the digital age.