The past few years have been diffcult for many conveyancers and residential property practices The recession put a stall on the previously booming property market, and property transactions dropped to an unprecedented low However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The economy is showing signs of recovery and it is hoped that this will positively impact the property market - with some regions already seeing increased business. For those law firms and conveyancers who are hoping to attract new business and see growth, it is only by staying on top of the issues in the market, and by developing a reputation for quality and customer care that they will be able to do this. This report is designed to help firms to do exactly that. The legal market as a whole has undergone major adjustment. Changes in regulation, client expectations, and technology are just some of the factors that have impacted how a firm and its departments operate. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has played a major role in influencing the work of solicitors. Firms and their solicitors are now expected to act in a manner which is compliant with the Principles of the SRA Handbook, and the focus is on achieving outcomes-focused and entity-based regulation. While the OFR regime has placed pressure on firms - and has undoubtedly increased the workload for many - it is also true that by embracing this new regulation, property departments can improve their customer service and ensure they are setting themselves apart from their competitors in more ways than on price alone. With the importance of compliance in mind, and both the requirements it places on firms and the opportunities it can present, this report contains information on compliance for conveyancers, with advice shared on embedding a compliance culture, on the systems and controls firms are expected to have in place, and on the challenges that need to be faced. One of the contributions also takes a closer look at referrals in property transactions and examines how a firm can remain compliant with the Principles in their own referral arrangements. Risk management has come to the fore for all law firms and, in particular, an area of risk associated with conveyancers is that of fraud. Included in this report is guidance on how firms can introduce practical measures to reduce the risk of facilitating mortgage fraud and reducing the risk of negligence claims. The conveyancing process has also become more complex with initiatives such as the new Help to Buy scheme being introduced. This report shares a practical guide on the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme and a step-by-step guide to the process. It explores the information revolution and the risks and opportunities that the increased availability of information have on the property world. One contribution also details how the internet has changed client behaviour for good and how property solicitors should take advantage of online content and social media to attract and retain clients. One of the most important messages to property departments and conveyancing solicitors, so that they may benefit from the recovery of the market going forward, is that customer service is a powerful tool in differentiating a firm or department from the competition. By focusing on client care, a firm can set itself apart from competitors and reduce negligence claims. Effective pricing strategies that include transparency and communication with clients will help to foster greater relationships with clients and will reduce complaints. Volume conveyancing and the threat of competition in the form of the new ABS entrants to the market are also dealt with in the report. It explores both the possibility of providing a volume conveyancing service and how this can be structured and operated, as well as advice for smaller firms on how to compete in the ABS world. Property practice is the area in which the most negligence claims are made against solicitors. With a growing economy and so many recent changes in the market, the pressure is greater than ever to tackle issues effectively. This report will help property solicitors to overcome increasingly complex changes to how they work, will help them to effectively manage risks, and it provides advice on best practice. Residential Property Practice: An Expert Guide draws on the experience of well-respected conveyancing experts and practitioners to provide essential industry insight to small and medium-sized firms.
Publisher: Ark Group
Number of pages: 80
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