Some days back we published an infographic about building and construction apps. Now its time…
There is a mind boggling diversity of apps available to address problems that don’t even exist. That is not to say that an app must address a problem or need of course, but if it does then it can mean serious returns for the developer that solves the problem.
One such problem has frustrated home buyers and sellers for decades, the problem of uncommunicative conveyancing solicitors. Anyone who has bought or sold a house may know of the ‘void of uncertainty’ that can follow once a conveyancing solicitor has been instructed.
There are good, even great solicitors out there of course, many of whom who take a pride in their proactive approach to communicating and keeping everyone in the loop.
Some solicitors still fear email!
Sadly however, much of the profession simply hasn’t modernised with some lawyers still regarding email with suspicion.
With that in mind it seems almost ‘pie in the sky’ to ask why an app that might facilitate better communication between solicitors practices and lawyers, does not exist.
Why haven’t more progressive firms created an app?
At the other end of the spectrum there are modernisers in the conveyancing world such as Indeed or Fridaysmove. These companies have dragged the conveyancing process into the 21st century with advanced web enabled platforms that significantly improve efficiency.
Yet even these web savvy companies are yet to to concoct a mobile app that might further enhance home-buyer experience.
Lorraine Imhoff, speaking on behalf of Homeward Legal (another progressive conveyancing company) said “For the past few years we have offered online case tracking through our web portal.
This has given clients 24/7 access to key stages on their file as well as any pertinent notes.
However, systems such as these have in fact been around for years and have been met with lukewarm reception at best.”
“Its not that the idea is flawed per se, its just that if solicitors won’t call clients pro-actively, they are equally unlikely to update their case management software which informs the case tracking system. Worse still many solicitors choose to hide behind the software making it even harder to reach them over the phone”
Opportunity for a prime mover advantage
So there is an opportunity to steal the march here with a next generation case tracking system. Such software might be a more responsive case tracking site design or a tailored app that would enable remote document viewing and signing for example.
At the very least some sort of smart 2 way matrix, such as the much vaunted but ultimately doomed (back in 1997) chain matrix proposed by the Land Registry should really have made it to fruition.
This promised to give complete transparency to all parties in the moving chain and it was a pretty good idea. So why didn’t it happen? Simple. Such was the adverse reaction in the profession to this ‘new fangled’ technology, it never stood a chance.
So it seems that technology is not really the issue here. It is more about the much needed cultural revolution that will bring client centricity to the fore in consumer legal services.
Tony Lilleystone is Panel Director at Fridaysmove and has 30 years advising companies on conveyancing law and the application of technology within the legal sector.
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