Conveyancing Comment: Homemovers demand a faster service and many are willing to pay!

Elliott_VON01117Veyo, the home conveyancing portal which will offer an efficient, secure and transparent way of managing the conveyancing process has been developed by The Law Society and global IT solutions specialist, Mastek UK, and is scheduled to launch in Spring 2015. Looking at research from a national survey into the consumer experience of buying and selling a home, Elliott Vigar, CEO of Veyo, highlights what customers are looking for in this increasingly competitive market and how the conveyancing portal will help conveyancers meet their demands…
The first national research survey of its kind, which was carried out by a leading independent market research company, reveals some fascinating insight into what consumers want. A key finding was that the most popular single change homebuyers would like to see to improve the home buying process is a faster service. And when the 2000 respondents, who were recruited through an independent research panel, were asked this question, more opted for a quicker process than lower costs, fees and stamp duty.
And interestingly, a significant number of the consumers are willing to pay more for a speedier service. With only 35% of the respondents stating that they are unlikely to pay more, up to a quarter of respondents were readily willing to pay more for a quicker service and the remaining percentage were undecided. This strongly suggests that this is not an overly price sensitive market and that many consumers would be prepared to pay higher fees for a more efficient premium service.
One in ten consider home buying to be the most stressful life event they have ever experienced, placing it above other life events such as a redundancy and having a baby for the first time. Understandably home buying is incredibly stressful, there is a huge sum of money at stake. But the waiting aspect of buying a home was revealed as the greatest stress point. There is a long history of misgivings for the lengthy conveyancing process. Our survey revealed an average conveyancing time in England and Wales of just under 12 weeks. In our digital era this is simply not good enough for homebuyers and they have made it clear what they wish for to improve their home buying experience.
The obvious way to improve speed is to use more process managements and integration of IT. Veyo brings together all the processes, checks and documentation prepared and undertaken by solicitors and licensed conveyancers in the sale and purchase of residential properties. The system will enable greater efficiency for conveyancers. It will allow professionals to better communicate with each other, clients and other parties, satisfy due diligence obligations more quickly and facilitate the conveyance of residential property through established protocols, with an automatic audit of all changes, with versions and approvals captured for each case.
Veyo will speed up and make the house-buying process more efficient, helping solicitors and conveyancers to save money and offer a better service to their clients. Veyo is built around the Law Society protocol which means that users can rest assured that best practice is being followed. Veyo will enhance risk management as audit trails, anti-money laundering and identity checks will be embedded in the system.
In addition to the lengthy process, many consumers in the survey vented their frustrations about poor levels of service and poor communication. And most consumers have limited knowledge of the conveyancing process, with over a third of respondents feeling they only had basic knowledge or no idea at all about the process. In particular, consumers find the negotiation, reviewing vital documents and responding to enquiries as the most onerous part. Therefore it is unsurprising that the third most popular change consumers would like to see to serve them better in the future is improved communication and greater transparency with advice up-front, enabling them to feel more in control.
What makes Veyo unique is that it is a system which has been designed for conveyancers but it also meets the needs of all parties involved in the transaction process. All documentation for each transaction will be kept online, in one place, on the user-friendly system that will track activity and progress and issue automatic diary reminders of actions needing to be carried out.
Consumers will be able to go online to review documents such as search results, check the progress of their home purchase or sale, and even view the status of other buyers and sellers in their housing chain. With your clients able to track progress online, it is inevitable that less of your time will be spent on the phone or answering emails to keep them in the loop.
We have long been aware of the homebuyers’ misgivings about the conveyancing market. The independent research clearly reveals what the customers want and the important areas for those in the profession to modernize and innovate in order to raise the standard. Just under half of respondents said they were not sure or unlikely to offer repeat business to their solicitor or conveyancer. And with 36% of the respondents planning to move in the next 3 years, this is a huge amount of repeat business lost.
The industry has been recognising and talking about the need to change and finally we are coming up with the answers. Whilst many conveyancers have started to put systems in place to streamline the system there has yet to be a service for the entire end-to-end conveyancing process – until now! There is an appetite for change amongst homebuyers. They are frustrated with the system and we believe they will be championing a product that will make the conveyancing process faster, more efficient and more transparent.