Home movers are opting to use specialist conveyancers over local solicitors, according to new research.
Conveyancing software firm InfoTrack says 43% of movers last year chose a specialist conveyancer, compared to 27% who opted for a local solicitor.
The research project, which surveyed 1,000 UK movers and 100 conveyancing professionals, also reveals that consumers are shopping around more than ever when it comes to choosing a conveyancer.
Some 59% of those surveyed said they obtained multiple quotes before choosing their conveyancer, up from 24% three years ago.
Consumers are increasingly interacting with conveyancers online, with 52% of those surveyed making initial contact with their chosen provider via email or their website.
In 2015, 41% of consumers made initial contact via the phone while 26% met their conveyancer in person.
“Home movers are now being more critical than ever when selecting a conveyancer," says Scott Bozinis, chief executive of InfoTrack.
"The proliferation of digital channels means consumers now have all of the information they need to immediately research prices and compare services to handle the purchase of one of the biggest investments in their lives – a home."
The research also indicates that conveyancers are starting to react to consumers' changing habits.
The proportion of movers that have received instant or text messages from their conveyancer has more than trebled to 11% since 2015.
Similarly, those who have communicated with their conveyancer via an online portal has jumped to 15% during the same period.
"In order to survive in this market, conveyancers now need to utilise the digital platforms that are available to them," adds Richard Roberts, a solicitor for Lovedays Solicitors.
"Home movers want to be in regular contact with their conveyancer at a time that is convenient for them."