Thursday, 26 March 2015

Veyo - A Trojan Horse?

The Veyo PR train continues to gain momentum with the bold announcement the week of attracting ‘orders’ in its yet to be released on line case management system from ’47 %’ of the conveyancing fraternity. 

Talking in the Law Society publication - Law Society Gazette - Stefanie van den Haak, commercial director of Veyo, said: ’The number of enquiries since the pricing was announced has been phenomenal but we are not complacent. We know we are offering something that is unique and we need to continue to promote our USPs. We are keen that conveyancers see for themselves that there is nothing comparable in the market.’

Going on record, and claiming such a significant number of potential customers is a bold step, and one which will either herald the onset of a conveyancing revolution or the start of a slippery slope for those investors behind the product, which includes of course the Law Society.   Ten million of pounds is a large sum of money to gamble, and on top of this also lies the professional reputation o a body which has been representing  and governing the interests of solicitors since 1875. 

So where does the truth lie?  Are conveyancers flocking to offer support for the product or is it the consequence of a well managed and orchestrated PR machine?  There is no doubt that Veyo has succeeded in the promotion of its brand as well as making Veyo a hot topic for discussion.   Hats off to Miss Vanden Haak and her team.  Even though much of the discussion has focused on negative features of the product, the fact is that any publicity whether it be good or bad must be a welcome outcome for Veyo.   

So in answer to the question, I very much doubt that half of the conveyancing businesses in the Country have ‘signed up’ or even at the very least registered an interest with Veyo.  I suggest the  claim is nothing other than ‘sales talk’ designed to appeal to our inherent sheep  gene.   If there is any truth in the figure it must represent a measure of the level of curiosity that  clearly  exists. Its out there in abundance. Curiosity however is one thing, from an investors point view hard cash is all that counts.  

One must also question the perimeters of the basis on which the claim is made.  The Land Registry has over 7000 firms registered with conveyancing interest.  So does this mean Veyo has received firm orders from over 3000 businesses?  I say ‘orders’ because this is how it was stated in the press release. Sounds fanciful, but clearly would if true, represent an epic achievement on the part of Veyo’s sales team.  

One should also ask how many completions do these 47% of conveyancing businesses produce each year, and what percentage of the overall completions number for all firms does this represent.  Keep in mind that the top 200 conveyancing business have around a 36% to 40% share of the market. 


I can understand why there is a need  for the statement to be made when the commercial success of Veyo hinges precariously on the products purported unique selling point.  Indeed Miss Vanden Haak makes specific reference to the importance of this in her statement.   So what is the USP?  Difficult to tell at this stage but it seems to centre around a ‘chain matrix’ and a ‘deal room’.   These features may explain why Veyo needs to convince us all that it already has accumulated critical mass since without this the product losses its USP.  It is as simple as that.  What is the point of singing up and parting with you hard earned cash if all you  are left with is an incomplete picture of a transactional chain?   The Land Registry spent  millions of pounds on a similar project which it then had to abandon in 2009 because of lack of interest. I am not sure why Veyo believes the market will take a different view now, especially when it will involve having to hand over money for the privilege. 

Only time will tell if the statement is true or not.  One thing is for sure that even with 47% of conveyancers as users this still means there are 53% who are currently not interested and unless these firms can be won over the platform and its USP will become meaningless.   

Just a thought.  If you were an investor in Veyo I am sure you would be thinking of Plan B to cover the prospect of the product nose diving.   It seems obvious to me that one plan B must be for Veyo to enter the market as a business offering a conveyancing service of its own. It already has the profile and brand awareness as well as, if you believe the hype, cut throat technology.  A trojan horse in the making.   The only thing that would prevent this from happening is its commercial tie with the Law Society.  Now that would be a story! 

Morgan Jones and Pett are solicitors who provide legal advice and services to clients based in England and Wales and who can be contacted on 01603877000 or via email at davidpett@m-j-p.co.uk

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