This webinar was first recorded on Tuesday 24th March 2020.
The past few weeks have been a step into somewhat unknown territory for the conveyancing industry. The relatively abstract concept of COVID-19 has now become a reality being faced by the industry as a whole, as well as the entire UK. With No 10’s recent announcement of complete lockdown on the 23rd March, Thirdfort’s Olly Thornton-Berry reached out to Natalie Moore, Aconveyancing’s Director, to discuss what Coronavirus will mean for conveyancing.
As touched upon in our last webinar with Teal Compliance’s Amy Bell, Natalie agrees with the assertion that communication can make or break firms in such uncertain times. Aconveyancing are keeping team morale up by ensuring that they practice open communication; staying connected to colleagues via email, phone and other tech platforms. Natalie urges firms to check in on colleagues and provide support, as supported colleagues are more likely to stay compliant during this disruption to their work routine.
We asked Natalie for her insight into how firms can stay compliant while working from home. Reiterating Amy Bell’s point, Aconveyancing prioritise proper communication with their colleagues to keep them compliant; making sure they’re aware of GDPR when WFH, for example. As has been mentioned before, Natalie notes that firms who were ahead of the curve and already gradually implementing tech into their processes are best placed to stay compliant, as they’ve had a longer adjustment period.
Again, technology seems to be essential for firms in making the transition to remote working as smooth as possible. Natalie notes that, post-Coronavirus, firms are likely to be more flexible with their approach to remote working, as it becomes clear that the firms with this flexibility are adapting more easily to the new government guidelines. As well as using tech for obvious reasons like calls/email to keep in touch with colleagues working remotely, Natalie explains that Aconveyancing have emphasised posting on social media to engage with both clients and colleagues. She stresses that embracing the slight ‘chaos’ of the current situation feeds into the growing sense of community in the conveyancing industry, and that ‘pulling together’ is important in weathering the pandemic’s impact.
Natalie considers the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to the 2008 Recession. With refreshing optimism, Natalie notes that, while the familiar sense of panic may be rising, it’s important to stay positive and keep lines of communication open with clients. Though the housing market may be temporarily slower, Natalie explains that this gives clients the opportunity to renovate and get themselves ready to move, and this could potentially lead to a quicker bounce back than experienced in 2008. With estate agents are offering virtual viewings, and the government agreeing to support workers with up to 80% of their wage, it’s important to acknowledge that there will still be clients in search of conveyancing services. Also, this ‘slow period’ in conveyancing will give firms time to organise themselves and perform ‘housekeeping’ tasks that otherwise may be neglected in busy periods. With positivity in mind, Natalie also listed the extra precautions Aconveyancing will be taking as a business, to stay proactive during a potentially leaner period of business.
Networking, as ever, says Natalie, is key in keeping work flowing in in the midst of a slower property market. As is collecting reviews from your clients, so that any future clients in search of a conveyancer come directly to your firm. Instrumental in this is embracing technology, in allowing conveyancers to stay in communication with peers in the industry, potential and existing clients and also simply demonstrating how a firm is embracing innovation and setting themselves apart from competitors.
In summation, Natalie stresses that communication will become the most important factor in keeping firms compliant, keeping up colleague morale and generating new business in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with tech remaining instrumental to this. Tech’s fundamental role in keeping firms functioning is a recurring theme so far in our webinars, which can only give more insight into how tech is becoming a key part of conveyancing now more than ever. Natalie ended our webinar on a positive note, acknowledging the growing sense of community within conveyancing that will hopefully remain post-COVID-19.
If you enjoyed this webinar, why not watch Thirdfort's Olly Thornton-Berry discuss with Amy Bell of Teal Compliance how law firms can best continue to function in a compliant way during the coronavirus crisis.