Challenging times for conveyancers

It’s been a mixed few weeks at Aconveyancing. In the last six weeks alone, I’ve taken part in panel discussions, podcasts, webinars, roundtables. Loads of really exiting, proactive work alongside some very talented and inspiring people within our industry. It would be easy to think that on the face of it, I am a confident founder and Aconveyancing is a thriving business. We’ve been shortlisted as UK Employer of the Year at the 2023 Investors in People Awards. We were shortlisted in six categories at the much-anticipated Modern Law Conveyancing Awards. Not to mention the ESTAS, which many of us will be very much looking forward to next week.

But the reality is that it’s not all rosy.

Underlying all of the perceived success is the undeniable fact that business across our industry is not booming. In fact, right now, it’s quite the opposite. The redaction in the housing market is something that over the last twelve weeks, we have started to feel intensely across our offices. Every event I now attend has the whisperings of fear as we head into a really difficult period over the already tough winter months. Research released earlier this week from an influential property company revealed that nearly half of the population feel as though they are in a worse financial position than a year ago. Our customer base is feeling the pinch, less people are moving house and this has a direct impact on our revenue. We have the data to match. Our sales have dramatically slowed down. New business is waning. Clients are notably more stressed. Files are taking longer to complete. Staff are feeling despondent with the ongoing cost of living crisis. As much as I want to look on the bright side, I can no longer sugar-coat the reality that it’s an enormously challenging time to be living in the UK and working in conveyancing.

From a business perspective, I have spent the last six years building my firm, opening new offices and employing more staff. And again, I have to be honest, we have hit a brick wall. After much reflection, I am looking to downscale our physical footprint in a bid to reduce costs. This has been a deeply disappointing decision for me and will mean that staff in the areas affected will be faced with longer commutes to offices further from home. But I have to take drastic measures to balance outgoings and the business breaking even.

The highs and lows that residential conveyancing has faced over the last 20 years has left many veterans with motion-sickness. Between two recessions, global pandemics and stamp duty cuts, firms have taken a battering between the peaks and troughs. There must be a better way of working more steadily between the inevitable economic waves. Technology is getting better but will only work if firms are open-minded to testing and learning.

I have always avoided a reduction in fees during tough times. I don’t believe in the long-run it does my business or the wider industry any good, and while I remain reluctant to back-track on that value, what happens in the New Year might leave us with no other option. Right now, I am holding out for improvement but I have to be realistic about what 2024 holds for property market.

On the positive side, we’ll use this quieter period to build the Aconveyancing brand. We’ll be reviewing our original mission and values, we’ll spend time evaluating our workflows and team structure. I am keen to explore how we can improve the onboarding process and trialling new ideas around how we can deliver a more efficient service. How can we test and implement the best new technologies. While the economic landscape is out of my control, I plan to focus on what I can change and improve within my own business.

I know that other leaders and companies are feeling this pressure too. As we see the news of firms going through ‘managed closures’, and the impact of high indemnity insurance costs, I am applying a renewed sense of frugality to all business decisions. It won’t stop us entering awards though, our conveyancers deserve the recognition and we all deserve the party.


Natalie Moore is the Founder of Aconveyancing. For more information about Natalie Moore, visit

Want to have your say? Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read more stories

Join nearly 5,000 other practitioners – sign up to our free newsletter

You’ll receive the latest updates, analysis, and best practice straight to your inbox.