Embracing transparency? It may be simpler than you think
With the 6 December deadline now come and gone, the legal community continues to work through the new transparency rules with which all SRA- (Solicitors Regulation Authority) and CLC (Council for Licensed Conveyancers)-regulated firms must comply.
The shift towards more transparency in the industry is both welcome and unsurprising. In a world where customers are time-poor and bombarded with options, they have started gravitating towards companies that are able to provide clear, concise and easily accessible information.
In fact, recent studies show that close to 40% of consumers would switch to a brand that is more transparent, while a staggering 73% said they would be willing to spend more on a product that offers complete transparency . All industries must adapt to address customer expectations – conveyancing is no exception and the new transparency rules are designed to help companies offer a better experience for consumers.
As is the case with any change, there is an understandable degree of concern and uncertainty amongst conveyancers. Recent conversations with some of our Geodesys customers reflect this. Some have commented on the amount of work involved and mentioned their uncertainty about how it will be policed. A handful have even hinted at taking down their websites because they are worried about not being compliant!
Our advice to conveyancers is not to panic. The required changes are by no means unattainable. There is an understanding within the SRA and CLC that this is a transitional period and the CLC has confirmed that it will work collaboratively with firms to make sure they find the best way to become compliant, tailored to each company’s individual needs .
The practicalities of implementing the new rules are less complex than they might seem at first glance. There is no need to completely overhaul your processes or put a new system in place – in fact, you might find that a lot of the information required is already available. The key is to make sure that those details, particularly around the prices of services (and what is and isn’t included) are displayed clearly and on a prominent page on your website. It’s also important to provide a clear explanation of how you handle potential complaints. If you don’t have a website, ensure that you provide clarity of information throughout any marketing materials available to clients.
If using an online estimate generator, it’s really important to note that clients should not have to enter their personal details. In fact, if this is the only way to receive an estimate, your company is NOT compliant with the new rules. The CLC advises that if your system is designed in this way, you also need to provide cost information on your site in a different format, such as sample prices based on a variety of property values.
Aside from a better interaction with customers, the new transparency regulations also create the opportunity for conveyancers to showcase the talent within their team. By seeing the qualifications and experience of those providing the services listed, it’s easier for clients to understand the value for money that your law firm offers.
Our overall advice is to use the resources you already have on your site and build on this rather than worrying about the use of additional software. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help – whether that’s speaking to the SRA and CLC, or chatting to your conveyancing search provider, you will find that there is plenty of support available.
By Tracey Martin-Heard, Head of Sales at Geodesys
Kindly shared by Geodesys