Nobody is perfect and no firm is immune to making a mistake.
However, there are some blunders that should definitely ring alarm bells if your conveyancing partner commits them more than once. After all, you can’t maintain a trusted relationship with a firm that repeatedly lets you and your clients down.
If any of the following sound familiar, start shopping around for a new conveyancing partner:
You regularly need to chase them
Of course there will be the odd occasion where you have to chase your conveyancer, but this should be rare. A specialist firm will have invested in state-of-the-art technology that automatically updates you at every stage of the process. More importantly they should have an efficient telephone service that backs this up.
Frankly, you shouldn’t need to chase at all but, if you do, your call should be answered quickly and your query dealt with promptly. If it isn’t, find a legal partner that prioritises service.
Your referral fee isn’t paid promptly
The bottom line is that you are probably paid a referral fee for the business you give to your conveyancer. Some conveyancers will offer to pay on exchange of contracts, others will pay on completion. It doesn’t really matter which of these they do, providing they always come up with the money.
What is really important is that payment is prompt, accurate and consistent. If it isn’t, move your business.
They have no conveyancing specialist
Perhaps you have had a long-term referral relationship with a local law firm. The relationship could be reciprocal, with them recommending you if their clients need financial advice.
That’s great, but are they actually a conveyancing specialist? If they aren’t you could be doing your clients a disservice. A high street law firm may cover lots of areas, possibly specialising in family law, for example. If they only do a handful of conveyancing cases a year, you are taking an unnecessary risk, because conveyancing needs a specialist.
You speak to different people each time you call
There is nothing more frustrating that having to explain your query and the background of a case to a new person each time you call. It is essential that your conveyancer gives you one named point of contact that has overall responsibility for your cases, saving you valuable time.
Conveyancing is complex and it requires one specialist to have overall knowledge of the case to ensure that nothing is missed and there are no unnecessary hold ups. If you speak to different people each time you call, move your business elsewhere.
They are kicked off a major lender’s panel
It doesn’t matter how good your conveyancer is, if they are not on the major lenders’ panels, they can’t offer a full service to you and your clients. It’s an unfortunate truth that lenders are still actively managing their panels and hundreds of small firms are being barred from serving the major players.
A specialist conveyancer that gives lenders both high quality business and the volume they are looking for is well placed to remain on their panels, and therefore better placed to meet your clients’ needs.