The concept of FREE conveyancing can be a reality and is likely to become one in the very near future.
As with most things in life nothing is ever completely FREE, there is always a catch or a set of conditions. This is no different in the case of a FREE conveyancing service. For this to happen the insular approach to conveyancing and the distrust in referral fees has to change.
The profession can no longer continue to believe that a competitive service can be built and developed solely on the back of diminishing conveyancing fees.
From October there will be increased competition and this can lead only to even lower pricing and possibly a falling in the quality of service to the end user. If those providing a conveyancing service believe they will still be able to compete I am afraid they are in for a big surprise.
The time to think outside the box is here and now.
There are many solicitors who have steered away from referral fees because of the horror stories that have over the years emerged on failed partnerships with non-lawyer entities. I have sympathy for this line of thinking. However we live in a very competitive world where marketing costs remain high and profitability is becoming more and more difficult to sustain. For businesses to survive and flourish business relationships within and outside the legal sector are essential.
We should not feel ashamed about charging a fee for an introduction providing of course all the necessary conduct rules are followed. We have spent money and time in securing the client; the client has developed confidence in our service and if at the client’s behest the client is looking for other services why not charge a fee.
At MJP we have gone a stage further and as part of the transparent approach we take to referral fees we offer the client a share of the fee if they make use of one of the services offered by an external supplier. This helps to get around the uneasiness there often is with referral fee accountability and also serves as a means for the client to receive money back that is often well in excess of the modest fee we charge for conveyancing (www.mjpconveyancing.co.uk).
We also operate a FREE web based system for other legal firms to make inter-firm referrals of cases such as clinical negligence in return for a share of the end profit earned on that case. It has proved very popular. Further details can be found at www.mjpconnect.com
The creation of local networks of local professionals is nothing new, however with the Legal Services Act just around the corner it has, at least for us, taken on a new and essential meaning.
If you wish to become part of our network or find out how you reduce the cost of your home move please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01603877004
David Pett who is a partner with Morgan Jones and Pett wrote this Blog Entry. His role involves the supervision of the firm’s Residential Conveyancing Team. He also runs the Business Development and IT Team.
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