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Swift change could be the solution for agents and conveyancers

I write this during the week that David Cameron resigned as an MP – it is quite startling how quickly politics changes and individuals, who seemed like racing certainties to be around for at least the foreseeable future are no longer players on the scene. 

Just three short months ago, Cameron was a PM contemplating victory for the Remain campaign and no doubt thinking about his leadership of party and country over the next four years, and the legacy he would leave behind. 

Now we (and he) are acutely aware of what that legacy will be and he is off to write his memoirs.

The point is that change can be swift; we don’t necessarily need to move slowly towards an end goal many years away. 

Instead we can forge ahead quickly if we have a clear idea of the problems, and solutions. 

By the same token, the very relationships and ways of working which might have appeared completely set in stone may require only modest tinkering in order to get them more effective. 

One can’t help but feel that the relationship between conveyancers and estate agents could be defined in this manner.

This has certainly been our thinking in developing our Annual Conference which covers off the theme of ‘Modernising Conveyancing’ and will take place in December. 

For us, this represents a point in time when (with industry engagement and Government support) we can move the conveyancing process in a much more positive direction for all stakeholders. 

And, with the right wind behind us, we can move quickly. 

At the heart of this will be the customer experience of course but the interaction between conveyancers and agents is also crucial because we know that a collaborative approach is the best way to deliver a positive moving experience for all. 

Now is the time for us all to get our heads together and recognise the improvements that could be made and how to make them.

One of our panel sessions at the aforementioned CA conference will focus on the integration between all stakeholders in the conveyancing process, and I suspect there will be considerable interest in how agents and conveyancers go about their business. 

We want to focus on all the positives, not just in England and Wales but in other countries too, and how the whole industry might benefit from adopting practices that support one another and the process.

I think it’s important we are brutally honest about what we do, why we do it, and the results it achieves because without this type of self-knowledge and transparency we’re not going to be able to get where we want to be. 

From a CA member firm perspective, we want to ensure (where possible) that we have protocols in place that help generate quality communication; so that you and your client can be confident that if you’re dealing with a CA member firm they (and you) are going to receive certain standards of communication and information that you can rely upon.

When we first heard about the Government’s ‘Call to Evidence’ regarding the house purchase process, and its all-encompassing nature, we were quick to acknowledge the size of the task in hand. 

However, one of the ways we move through this, and improve both ours and the customer’s experience, is to split out the various parts and to look to make positive strides in those areas. 

It seems an obvious point to make, but I believe we can achieve some ‘quick wins’ within the agent/conveyancer relationship which will have considerable benefit throughout the entire process. 

At our conference I believe we can have an open dialogue and set in place a number of steps that should make the whole process a little easier for all.

So come along to the conference, share your ideas, have your say and let’s get the positive collaborative communication started.

*Eddie Goldsmith is Chairman of the Conveyancing Association

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    The Government's call to evidence will receive an enormous array of reasons why conveyancing standards are low, and the suggested cures. The quality of the actual human allowed to do the work is the issue.

    Every Conveyancer should identify what makes their Jo more difficult, and if that means naming legal businesses and the professional body that governs them, then so be it too.

    The public need the very best conveyancing lawyers. Expert in what is a legal process after all.

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