Conveyancing clients often complain about poor communication – so Welsh law firm Harding Evans is harnessing technology to tackle it.
A report by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) reveals that conveyancing complaints to the Legal Ombudsman are rising.
In 2015-16, residential conveyancing made up 22% of all complaints resolved, and in 2016/17 it accounted for 24%.
The main complaints were revealed to be delays in the process and lack of information for vendors and buyers. Solicitors and Estate Agents are busy people, if clients can only call in their lunch break, and a professional happens to take lunch at the same time, clients can feel like they are being ‘avoided’, even when that is not the case.
Welsh law firm Harding Evans is known for their progressive approach, and decided that the profession could harness the app technology used in many other businesses in order to improve the service. As a result, Harding Evans have introduced its own app.
Offering a 24/7, on demand service, the Harding Evans App allows clients to access key documents and information on their transaction and check for updates on progress at any time. This includes any urgent information, allowing clients and other parties to spot and deal with any potential issues before they arise.
For estate agents, the app allows them to monitor the progress of all their ongoing cases from a single portal, with real-time updates, including what has been requested in each case and anything outstanding.
For clients, Harding Evans hopes the app will offer reassurance throughout the process, allowing them to see progress is being made in their case even when they haven’t heard directly from their solicitor or estate agent and ultimately reducing the number of purchases which fall through.
Wyn Williams, Partner and Head of Conveyancing at Harding Evans Solicitors, said:
“As anyone who has been involved in the sale or purchase of a residential property will know, there are times during the process where you get very few updates. This is usually because work is going on behind the scenes and isn’t a cause for concern, but the lack of communication can be frustrating for all parties including estate agents who want to stay up to date on the latest developments in their cases.
“All the parties we work with increasingly expect a more efficient, accessible service. This app is aimed at making the conveyancing process more transparent, and saving estate agents the time and expense of checking in directly with solicitors and clients, by keeping all parties ‘in the loop’ at all times. We are offering access to the portal to those estate agents with whom we work on a regular/volume basis”
Joy Phillips, Chief Executive, said:
“We’re always looking to develop the way we work and, in an age where you can check anything from your emails to your bank balance on your smart phone, we believe this is the next step in improving legal services for our clients across Wales and the wider UK. By offering the portal options to the estate agents that we are in regular contact with, we are helping them improve efficiency and ultimately their profit margins.
“The fact that we have the in-house expertise to develop a product that meets both the needs of our clients and our business allows us to continuously improve our offering.”
Harding Evans is one of South Wales’ most progressive law firms, offering a full range of legal services to businesses and individuals. It is a previous winner of Western Mail’s Welsh Law Firm of the year, a BITC Cymru award winner and most recently was awarded GOLD for Best Regional Conveyancer at the ESTAS awards. For more information go to www.hardingevans.com.