Why do great estate agents end up with particularly poor lawyers?
15 March 2017 4993 Views
Estate agency is a tough business, no doubt about it. It’s probably tougher now to win a listing and tie up a sale than it has ever been before. What baffles me therefore is why, after having worked so hard to get the deal done, do some estate agents then entrust their much-prized pipeline to particularly poor lawyers?
Could it be the simple promise of higher referral fees?
Good estate agents can still command good fees and so surely the promise of an extra £50 conveyancing commission wouldn’t be sufficient to risk jeopardizing their pipeline.
Could it be their all-singing, all-dancing case tracking systems?
Agents know that if a lawyer looks after all of their clients as they should then there should never really be a need to rely upon a ‘case tracking system’ to get an update.
Are they seduced by the attentions of the field based BDMs?
I genuinely don’t think that a successful estate agent would ever be that naïve.
The simple answer I fear is ‘why not?’. You can’t blame these agents for continuing to search for a better solution when most conveyancing providers have proven to be unreliable long-term partners. Naturally, this has led to a lot of promiscuity within the industry over the past decade with lots of agents going from one relationship to another every time their pipeline conversion ratios begin to suffer, which invariably they always do.
I regularly speak with agents that have tried both their local solicitors as well as the national, volume conveyancing businesses and now flit between the two in a desperate search for their corporate soulmate. Their stories are all very similar. The local solicitors always seem to struggle with capacity management, never knowing when to stop accepting new cases until such time as their service starts to suffer and so the agent ends up making that decision for them. After a brief honeymoon period, the national providers never seem to come close to delivering the service first promised by their local BDM. And so the cycle continues.
These two, mutually-dependent sides of the property industry would seem to be at a stalemate with agents tolerating, at best, an average service and most of the conveyancing industry either unwilling or unable to challenge the status quo. This is what led to the launch of Elite Conveyancing 18 months ago.
Ever since we first launched, our aim has quite simply been to be the best. Not the biggest or the richest but the best. We knew that we could do it because of the caliber and commitment of the solicitors we already had on board, the challenge was how we proved it.
When we first announced to our solicitors that we were going to ‘guarantee’ the time from instruction to ready to exchange in just 30 days you might have thought that we had just asked them to work weekends! It was a hugely ambitious and unprecedented target but it was also necessary because unless you are able to clearly differentiate your service from the rest of the industry and moreover, be prepared to be judged on the service you provide, then the only alternative is to compete on price and this is a well-trodden path that we most definitely did not want to follow.
The other benefit about setting such a big challenge is that it galvanizes the team. Without giving away our trade secrets, our 30 day guarantee does require everybody to work together and this in itself is a very rare trait within the conveyancing industry. We now enjoy a very close relationship with our agency clients and panel solicitors, as they do with each other, and our buyers and sellers continue to benefit from an enhanced level of service.
Conveyancing is too important to be left to chance and so if you are serious about wanting to improve your agency and better protect your pipeline then so are we. Get in touch today for an informal chat.