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Holbrook and Co - Specialists in helping people buy, sell and mortgage property

Cheap is not best.

Over a third of home movers would be prepared to pay more for a “premium customer service” from their conveyancer, according to new research that also charts how local solicitors have lost ground to licensed conveyancers and online operations. It said that many solicitors were not responding quickly enough to “21st century mindsets”, leaving consumers frustrated and in the dark about their matters. Over half of consumers (57%) thought conveyancing firms needed more customer focus, while 47% wanted more digital communication. This is something Holbrook & Co anticipated over 10 years ago, when we introduced our “online tracking” facility, with automatic text and email updates, at key points of the transaction.

The study found that UK home movers perceived conveyancing as predominately process-driven, which puts the onus on firms to differentiate by providing added value. Changes in consumer expectations of a positive experience and how it’s delivered are becoming ever more important. But the report said the outlook “need not be bleak” – that 35% of respondents said they would pay more for a service with a premium customer service focus.

Holbrook & Co have proved that the rewards for meeting consumer expectations are out there – It’s just a question of who moves first to claim them. The survey found a “growing shift” towards clients using specialists. Some 57% of those who bought within the last year used a local Conveyancer, compared to 73% of those who bought between three and 10 years ago. Local Licensed conveyancers were used by 21% of buyers in the past year, compared to 16% three to 10 years. This indicates a greater willingness to shop around. The number of consumers now doing this has risen to 59% and could well rise again.

In line with other surveys of home movers, price was not a huge factor compared to factors such as recommendation and reputation. However, offering online conveyancing – important for just 8% overall – was a pivotal reason for choosing a firm for 23% of 18-24 year-olds. Only 22% of people said they were swiftly informed of delays during the moving process, and just 28% felt they received prompt progress reports. The report also established that 50% of consumers want their conveyancer to take on a more consultative role and provide advice when it was needed.

Holbrook & Co believe that businesses involved in home moving have to work harder to ensure they win business. Otherwise they risk losing out in a sluggish market. Consumers feel that conveyancers take care of the most laborious admin tasks, and ensure their money is being moved around safely and efficiently. However, conveyancers should also understand that consumers want consultancy throughout each stage of the process. This is why Holbrook & Co provide regular, detailed information and updates throughout the transaction, to reassure clients that progress is being made, and that they have not been forgotten!

Consumers soon discover that by choosing cheap, often unqualified and inexperienced conveyancers, or conveyancers who are unresponsive, results in no consultancy – and no service. Mark Potter, partner at Holbrook & Co, commented that changing communication methods to involve their customers more closely, has had multiple benefits, from time-saving for the conveyancer, to increased client satisfaction, leading to an increase in repeat business.

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Holbrook & Co
Palmyra Square South
Warrington, Cheshire
WA1 1BL 01925 444422
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