Conveyancers and stakeholders in the home moving process have been working tirelessly for months in a bid to keep the UK housing market open and moving during unprecedented times.
Today’s Conveyancer has launched its ‘Call for Kindness’ campaign as we implore the sector to be kind and calm at a time when the pressure is certainly going to become unbearable. Especially now, following the overnight announcement of the three month stamp duty land tax (SDLT) holiday extension, expected to be announced by the Chancellor in his Budget next week.
Over recent weeks, more and more of our peers have been taking to social media to share their honest opinions of how the current situation is impacting the way we behave, type and speak to each other.
Molly James, Conveyancer at Convey Law, took to LinkedIn to share her thoughts. She wrote:
“Quite shocked and disgusted that in these trying times for ALL conveyancers, there are still a small few that do not know how to stay professional and ‘be kind’ in their email replies. Polite reminder to those people, you do NOT know what that person on the other end of your snappy email is going through, be it work or home life. Your email could just be what tips them over the edge into feeling completely helpless. PLEASE be more mindful when you type your snappy emails. We are all in the same situation.”
“Thankfully 97% of other people I speak to are lovely and understanding. Unfortunately it’s a very small minority (and also one firm in particular) that I always seem to have issues with. I feel sorry for them. When I’ve come off the phone to a friendly conveyancer it puts my in a much better mood than if they are rude and miserable! A smile and friendly chat costs nothing!”
Molly’s account resonated with many in the sector. With lots of professionals reaching out and offering their support.
Taylor Ann Dearnaley, Licensed Conveyancer at Countrywide Conveyancing Services:
“Agreed Molly. I’m no Saint, and have my regretful moments when the pressure builds, so it is hard. I’m trying to either apologise and realise afterwards, or if someone snaps at me, ask them if they are okay.
“I don’t think any of us mean to upset anyone else, but there is somewhat on a one upmanship and blame culture inherently built into the Conveyancing world that may take a while to overcome.”
Ryan Letts, Director at The Priory Law Group, commented:
“I had a conversation over Zoom today with someone who was juggling home schooling and handling some complex drafting with me. On a number of occasions she had to mute the conversation apologizing each time. There was no need for the latter. One should step back, breathe and realise the cumbersome stress and unrest these stay at home instructions bring and help each other along the path to normality especially if that person provides an avenue to progress what it is that you are both trying to achieve for yourself or a client.”
Claire Liddy, Conveyancer at Thomas Horton LLP:
“I’ve had to remind people that the obligations under protocol require them to remain courteous on a few occasions.
“I know they’re getting it in the neck from their client but that doesn’t mean they shift that aggression along the chain.”
Jenna Hogan, Solicitor in the Real Estate Team at JMW Solicitors LLP, said:
“This is so important. We are all colleague at the end of the day, and we are all human. I respectfully asked someone to change the tone of their emails recently and was told it was a mistake on their end. There is no mistake in typing in capital letters and exclamation marks and no hello #killthemwithkindness.”
Tom Lyes, Director of Engagement at Today’s Conveyancer, said:
“Reading comments like the above shows that at times we can forget to be calm and kind. We are asking people to take a step back and collect your thoughts before firing off an email or picking up the phone. Everyone is in the same pressure cooker environment. We are asking that conveyancers and stakeholders all work together to pull in the same direction, show some love to the people who are sharing the same challenges as you, which includes not taking your frustrations out on them, and wow your clients with brilliant service. They do recognize and thank you for it.”
Elizabeth Rimmer, Chief Executive of LawCare said:
“The legal profession and kindness do not often go hand in hand but at LawCare we believe that kindness and civility go a long way to ensuring workplaces are happy and healthy. We are all under huge amounts of strain at the moment, personally and professionally, and we should remember that in our daily interactions with each other. We are delighted to support this campaign and would like to remind conveyancers and everyone in the legal profession that LawCare offers a free, confidential emotional support service on 0800 279 6888, [email protected] or www.lawcare.org.uk”
Today’s Conveyancer has also launched its British Conveyancing Awards where we recognize the efforts of the industry in keeping the housing market moving.
Over the coming weeks we’ll share ways we can show kindness and stories from throughout the sector, and remember #BeKind
Is there anyone you want to give a special nod to with regards to showing kindness during these trying times? Email [email protected] and we’ll share your kind words with the sector.