By Legal Futures’ Associates tmgroup
The findings of the new ‘Thriving in a Pandemic’ report, recently published by tmgroup and mio, have highlighted that the market has not been able to cope with the sheer volume of transactions brought on by the post-lockdown and Stamp Duty holiday surge.
Despite creating unprecedented demand for property services, and helping the industry to appear to be thriving on the surface, a survey of over 600 property professionals – including residential conveyancers, real estate professionals, estate agents, developers, surveyors, and more – has revealed what’s really been happening ‘behind the scenes’; with an inability to handle rapidly increasing work volumes resulting in significant delays and an underwhelming customer experience.
Multiple parties under huge personal pressure to work longer hours
Sadly, the report findings also highlighted a trend of multiple parties connected within the transaction, particularly residential conveyancers, feeling under huge personal pressure to work longer hours to cover for the inadequate processes and technology in their businesses, as reflected in this comment from a residential conveyancer; “Increased caseload together with search and mortgage delays leading to frustrated clients has had a hugely detrimental effect on conveyancers wellbeing.”
Unsurprisingly, this has raised significant concerns about mental health in the industry, as recently cited in this article from LawCare which claimed; “The number of legal professionals contacting the charity for emotional support continues to rise year on year, with 738 legal professionals seeking help in 2020, a rise of 9% on the previous year.”
The challenges of 2020 have focused the industry on making better use of technology to ease the pressure on their processes and staff
Yet there is positive change afoot, with many property professionals acknowledging the need to review their systems and processes in 2021, as Joe Pepper, CEO at tmgroup commented:
“Looking to the year ahead, the report findings showed a strong focus on better use of technology, including system integration, which could help improve overall business efficiency and ensure that all property professionals are better able to cope with an expected increase of volume again, as the economy returns to normal in the second half of the year – a prediction based on a widely-anticipated COVID-19 and Brexit bounce-back supported by the continued availability of historically cheap lending. It’s interesting to note that these priorities reached across all of the professional groups within the property market, but the demand for better technology and system integrations was especially high up the list for residential conveyancers, with a strong feeling that the industry must demonstrate that it can handle higher volumes more efficiently if it is to thrive in the future.”
Want to find out more? The ‘Thriving in a Pandemic’ report is available to download now.