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By Nat Daniels

CEO, Angels Media


Property Natter: a day in the life of a Conveyancer

In a welcome return to a favourite series of mine - and a timely one at that, given the current back and forth swirling around between agents and conveyancers over who is to blame for delays and hold-ups - this Day in the Life of...piece gives us a perspective into what a conveyancer's average day looks like.

Alicia Sheath (pictured below) joined the property industry at the age of just 17 as an apprentice in a local law firm. She joined Rowlinsons Solicitors in 2016 and has since qualified as a Conveyancing Technician with the CLC. From flats to listed buildings to new builds, Alicia deals with it all.

With the caveat that no two days in conveyancing are ever the same, Alicia has provided us with an insight as to what the average day in one of the country's busiest markets looks like.


6am: After many alarm snoozes, it’s time to get up. I’m not much of a morning person and so my mornings involve a lot of coffee. My two French Bulldogs, Arnold and Elsa, aren’t grateful for the early get-ups but there’s nothing worse than getting ready for work in a rush.

8am: My commute to work usually takes only 20 minutes – providing that the M56 isn’t playing up! I subscribe to several channels on Spotify and listen to the odd podcast to pass the time. A favourite of mine is ‘Conveyancing Coffee Break’ which is great for getting the latest conveyancing updates. I then arrive at work around 8am. This gives me a head start on catching up on last night's emails and gives me a chance to make another coffee before the rush to get into the staff kitchen starts!

I spend the first half an hour or so catching up with my assistant Cerys and setting out the plan for the day ahead. This includes arranging our completions for the day and submitted the relevant payment requests to our Accounts Department. I then complete any urgent matters on my to-do-list and return any calls left from the evening before.

9am – 12pm: I spend a large part of the day reviewing contract and title packs, raising enquiries and reporting to clients on their contents. The type of matters I am dealing with decipher how much I can get through. I could raise enquiries on two or three freehold properties in the time it takes to review a contract pack and associated documents on a flat! This is certainly the most time-consuming part of the job which requires a lot of concentration and can be challenging, especially on days where the phone doesn’t stop ringing.

It's here where I will often discover what issues lie ahead on each file and this gives me a rough estimate as to how long a transaction could potentially take. Unfortunately, a common issue that I come across more often than I would like are defective leases that require rectification. It’s never nice to have to deliver this news to a client who thought they’d be in before the end of the school holidays (or Christmas!).

12pm: Most completions take place around this time and it is arguably the best time of the day. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as letting a client know that they can finally pick up the keys to their new home – although you agents often beat us to it!

1pm: Lunch time starts when the sandwich van arrives loudly playing Booker T’s “Soul Limbo” (aka the BBC cricket theme tune). I try and bring my own lunches in most days, but I often take a trip to the sandwich van instead – I blame the sausage rolls.

2 – 4pm: The remainder of the afternoon is typically spent responding to emails and phone calls. I also use this time to chase up any outstanding matters and to update clients whose files I’ve worked on today. I’m fortunate enough to deal with properties primarily based in the region which means I have a great working relationship with the local agents who are always on hand to assist me where needed. This makes my life a lot easier!

4pm: The post gets distributed – I keep my fingers crossed that the postman hasn’t gifted me a large bundle of deeds for an unregistered property. Most of the time I get my wish. Sometimes I don’t.  I then clear as many emails as I can before assessing what completions I have for the following day and rest of the week.

It’s usually towards the end of the day that I will deal with post completion requirements. This includes paying stamp duty, serving required notices on Landlords, checking in with clients who have recently completed and passing files over to our Post Completion Department. My all-time favourite post completion call has to be with a client who, during the phone call, realised he’d forgotten to take his cat in the move. I still wonder to this day whether the cat ever forgave him…..

5:15pm: Home time! A quick check of Google maps tells me the quickest way to go home – getting home before 6pm is an achievement.

7pm: After making something quick for tea, I log back in to ensure that we have everything we need for tomorrow’s and any completions. I’ll also use this down time to focus on complex matters without the regular pinging of my inbox distracting me. Although I try not to make a habit of this, as I do believe that a good work life balance is very important, the occasional extra hour or two doesn’t hurt and is for the benefit of my clients.

10pm: I’ll use this time to catch up on the soaps and will occasionally take a trip to the gym. I’ll then head to bed ready to see what tomorrow brings.

Thanks for the terrific insight, Alicia. Certainly sounds like a full and busy day.

Until next time...

*Nat Daniels is CEO of Angels Media, publishers of Estate Agent Today and Letting Agent Today. Follow him on Twitter @NatDaniels.

  • Rob Hailstone

    That doesn't seemn like a bad work life balance Alicia. Can you tell us how many transactions you have on the go at any one time, and whether or not you use much tech etc?

    Alicia Sheath

    Hi Rob, my caseload is around 75- 80 at any given time although can creep to 100 in busy periods.

    A large portion of my caseload is run through the Rowlinsons app which provides clients with updates at various stages so reduces the time spent in being chased for updates etc.

    I also deal with quite a few transactions through YouConvey. This allows me to primarily focus on the legal side of a transaction by having a large portion of the admin work dealt with by YouConvey instead - this certainly has made a difference 👍



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