Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Conveyancing Lawyers Get Help Showing Lender Panel Status

Gone are the days when a home buyer could be certain that the conveyancing lawyer of their choice could also act for their lender. Hardly a month now goes by without news that yet another lender has culled its conveyancing panel by removing hundreds of firms. 

Estate agents have seen 18% of their transactions delayed or derailed after discovering a buyer’s lawyer was not on their mortgage lender’s panel of approved solicitors. In many cases this discovery resulted in the transaction being delayed by as much as 21 days. It is estimated that this issue affects in the region of 100,000 home sales every year.  
That lack of visibility presented a problem in search of a solution.

I am pleased to say that the launch today of LenderPanel.com is that solution.

For lawyers, LenderPanel provides an online tool to let borrowers and estate agents know which lenders have approved the solicitor to act. We feel that our pricing of the service, effectively as little as 39p for each lender panel that your listing includes each month, means that you've got a marketing tool that's cheaper than a Mars bar.

For estate agents, mortgage brokers, and borrowers, it's a free-to-use resource that provides access to subscription listings of law firms along with the specific lenders for which they are approved to represent, the closest location, contact details, and other helpful information to keep the conveyancing process moving.

LenderPanel.com is a win-win, something in short supply on today's conveyancing landscape.

Friday, 9 May 2014

No Time for Checklists

An early mentor of mine had a framed print hanging behind his desk showing a Victorian-era solicitor with a client and below it was written: “A lawyer’s time is his stock in trade”.

Time is money. Yet I often find it odd, when talking with conveyancing lawyers (as opposed to practice managers or COLPs) about pre-completion checklists, they tell me “we are so busy… we simply don’t have the time.”

What they mean is that they don’t think the checklist is important enough. It’s not high priority, profitable or urgent enough to change their processes. Yet, as with most of us, they do have the time to consult Facebook and Twitter. Those activities are important enough.

Where did that time come from?

What did we do before social media was here?

Weren't we busy five years ago?

That conveyancers manage to do conveyancing without a comprehensive checklist system is beyond me. Despite what the public may think, conveyancing is fraught with  complexity. There are a thousand ways things can and do go wrong. The volume of insurance claims is proof.

When Harvard’s Atul Gwande introduced his checklist for surgery, a significant number of his medical peers told him “this is a waste of my time”. However, when asked, “If you were to have an operation, would you want the checklist?”, 94% wanted it.

Of course,  conveyancing is not a life or death situation and comparing a surgery checklist to a comprehensive, dynamic conveyancing checklist may be over the top. However, please permit me to ask the following question to those who don’t have time for checklists:

If your employment contract held you personally liable for the cost of conveyancing errors or the cost of the differential in the increase in insurance premium as a result of an error, would you find the time to use a comprehensive conveyancing checklist?

Don’t answer too quickly.  Take your time.