The Power of Data in the Conveyancing Sector
Finding new business in the property sector, where clients move house only once every 12 years or more, has its challenges. The answer lies in harnessing the extensive data that we now have at our fingertips. Richard Hinton, creator of The Conveyancing Map at Pitsford Consulting, explains how knowledge is power.
Actively finding new business instead of relying on estate agents or financial advisers can offer conveyancers a level of control and self-reliance that has been missing in the past. Using reliable data will ensure a better flow of new work and could also inform strategic marketing decisions such as where to target marketing efforts or where to open a new office.
Law firm marketing: proactive versus reactive
Traditionally, law firms have marketed reactively, placing adverts in obvious places, attempting to climb search engine rankings and looking to those in adjacent industries such as estate agents to provide referrals. While this can offer success, it is not always the best use of a marketing budget and it can’t always be relied on for a consistent supply of new business.
In contrast, proactive marketing relies on data analysis to set out a plan for targeting new clients. Shown to bring in a higher return on investment, data-driven marketing strategies can be monitored throughout, rather than just at the end, giving the option to adapt to market changes or disruption.
What does proactive marketing look like in practice?
A proactive strategy starts with a written plan based on research and analysis of data and trends. As well as client feedback, acquiring a solid set of useful data related to your specific corner of the market is essential.
By way of example, The Conveyancing Map provides transactional data in respect of conveyancers and estate agents so that firms can see who their competitors are, the levels of instructions and market share they have and their strengths and weaknesses.
This allows firms to compare their market share, track competitors, monitor the market and create a marketing plan for the business, looking at where they can improve their own offering and where they can capitalise on gaps in the market.
A targeted approach
Staying with the example of improving a conveyancing business in a competitive market, one of the main problems has traditionally been capturing repeat business when clients only move house every 12-18 years. Keeping in touch is one option, but this doesn’t guarantee contact at exactly the right moment when a homeowner is considering a move.
The answer again lies in data. The Conveyancing Alert system notifies a law firm when a previous client puts their home back on the market, by using data from property portals. The firm can then retrieve their old file and contact the client, offering their services with the advantage of having all of the information from the previous transaction already to hand and maybe even a loyalty discount.
There are now many firms in the property market from the largest players by completion volume to SME law firms making use of this data – receiving thousands of alerts every month to shape business decisions and proactive contact.
The proactive approach also offers insights into business development opportunities. By using the data to look geographical variations, such as prices, volume of sales and the firms operating in the area, management teams can look strategically at where they might want to open a new office or even whether there is another business they would consider collaborating or merging with.
Planning for the future
Many law firms surprised themselves in their ability to switch almost overnight to remote working when the disruption of 2020 hit. Traditionally sometimes slow to make decisions, legal businesses suddenly realised that they had the power to invoke change.
Coupled with the fluctuating market, many have realised that the time has come to exercise more control of the future of their business and put a stronger and more strategic plan in place. The secret to achieving this will be to use the proactive model, based on objective data, to build a robust and independent organisation that has the best possible chance of long-term success.
Richard Hinton, Pitsford Consulting, has three decades of experience in the property law sector. To discuss how The Conveyancing Map or Conveyancing Alerts can help you develop and improve your conveyancing business, do get in touch.