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Craig Campbell, Product Director at tmgroup, explains why an increasing number of conveyancers and solicitors are embracing a digital revolution that will significantly streamline the house buying and selling process in England and Wales.

22 years after the introduction of the UK’s first online banking service, consumers now expect to be able to access to their accounts around the clock, every day of the year. Today, you can access your accounts from almost anywhere in the world and make secure transactions on your smartphone.

But, when it comes to buying and selling a house, the conveyancing process has remained in the dark ages, with many firms still relying on faxes and the post to send and receive vital pieces of information.

Part of the reason why most law firms haven’t kept up with technological developments is because conveyancing is often seen as an entry level service that simply doesn’t justify the investment in new technologies.

However, if managed well conveyancing provides an excellent opportunity to offer a wider range of services that will not only benefit the client but will also increase the fee-earning potential. If conveyancing was seen as the service that could be a springboard for additional fee-earning work, it would be much easier to justify the investment in new technologies to harness the growing range of digital services.

The emergence of off-the-shelf consumer portals, like tmconnect* that my company offers, makes it much easier and cheaper for law firms to adopt platforms that streamline and automate the more mundane elements of the conveyancing process; they also offer added value elements to the customer experiences, including the ability to track the progress of their transactions in realtime.

Well-designed portals also provide a secure environment for the completion of documents and key stages in the conveyancing process from anti-money laundering checks through to ordering property searches.

Consumer portals, in isolation, will not mend a broken process, which is why we’re proactively working with all the key stakeholders in the property transaction sector to lobby for change and to help property professionals simplify the process and to offer house buyers a far better experience.

We are encouraged by the output from the Home Buyers and Sellers Group and we are actively working on initiatives that improve the collection and distribution of data at the start and during a transaction. 

There will continue to be a need for all those involved in delivering and regulating property transactions to work together to deliver a truly streamlined process, which will allow property professionals to provide valuable and meaningful advice to those who need it the most and to finally get to the point where buying and selling a property becomes at least tolerable, perhaps even enjoyable.

*Developed by tmgroup (the UK’s leading provider of property searches for over 20 years) tmconnect is a secure and customisable conveyancing platform that allows multiple parties to manage, access and share one view of a transaction. 

Since 2011, over 375,000 transactions have been completed by the platform and they’re looking forward to reaching the half million mark in the next few years.

For more information visit tmgroup’s website HERE