We must invest in technology to succeed in 2017

Published: 21/02/2017

By Emma Coffey, Head of Sales at Goldsmith Williams Solicitors

These are unpredictable times for the property market with forecasts changing from joyfully optimistic to the polar opposite within what feels like the blink of an eye, but there is one thing I am sure of - the future of conveyancing is online.

Whether you’re a mortgage broker or property lawyer, it is becoming increasingly clear that the only way to succeed in the current marketplace is to introduce and perfect the digital processes necessary to meet the demands of modern, tech-savvy clients.

We are in an age of the instant, everything. More so than ever, transactions – whether that’s a class at the gym or a week’s worth of grocery shopping – are literally made with the click of a finger, online.

The problem then becomes this – how do we, collectively as an industry, fulfil the expectation for instant gratification when it comes to conveyancing, a process known historically to be complex and time-consuming?

The answer to this question, I believe, begins with mind-set. Teams must be tech-focused and forward-thinking, period.

That starts, first and foremost, with well though-out internal processes. Great IT systems; less paper (where possible within the constraints of the law) and time wasted at the printer or photocopier; the mentoring necessary to shift staff from old to new (because ‘that’s how we’ve always done it’ is never an excuse!), etc., etc.. You will surprised how quickly a few small changes in-house will filter down to your (much happier) clients.

Investing in tech

But internal change isn’t always enough. As anyone working in the property world will know, we all rely on one another. Advisors work with brokers who work with solicitors and so forth. It is in everyone’s best interests (especially the client’s) that we utilise the technology now available to us to save as much time, money and resources as possible.

That is why Goldsmith Williams has this month announced it will launch a renewed version of its online case management tool GWlive in early 2017.

The revamped GWlive will enable brokers and introducers to open cases instantly and maintain 24-hour access to them on desktop, mobile or tablet, monitoring the case progress constantly to keep clients up-to-date.

The new generation software revolutionises the way mortgage introducers work with solicitors, in that it gives the exact same information to both parties.

Introducers can review all case notes and correspondence such as emails, letters, call logs and faxes sent. Instant quotes and updates on case progression, as well as transaction milestones, can also be received. In turn, telephone and fax bills are reduced and time is saved. All this can be integrated into the introducer’s own system with virtually no training required.

As such, it is my belief that efficiency in the property market is something we must achieve collectively.

We are entering the age of aps to find housemates; virtual reality to view property; online-only mortgage brokers; and the list will no doubt go on.

While it’s unlikely conveyancing services, at least in their entirety, will become ‘click and collect’ any time soon, we owe it to ourselves to start thinking truly digital in 2017.

Article originally published by the Society of Mortgage Professionals in 'Mortgage Professional' issue 15.

Content correct at time of publication

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