Digital property logbooks: levelling up to higher industry standards

Digital property logbooks: levelling up to higher industry standards

Like it or not, conveyancers aren’t the first in the queue when sellers eventually get round to moving. On average once every 23 years or so home movers gird their loins and through gritted teeth call estate agents for the dreaded valuation. 

As the first agent pulls up outside it becomes apparent that things have changed since the turn of the century. It all seems rather more understated and dare I say more professional than before with digital comparisons and property reports to wow people in to realising how amazing their house is; almost to the point that they might want to stay after all.

However, the oversimplification of the process is sold to the home mover hook line and sinker, who remains focussed on whether they have chosen the right agent, are they at the right price, how should they present their home for viewings and so on. To the homeowner, they feel that they have hit a home run and everything will be plain sailing. How wrong they are!

The industry, as a whole, is stuck somewhere betwixt manual and digital, new, and really old and to many it is quite a painful space to navigate. Fax machines and floppy discs still exist in our industry and many hope they will stay, lamenting the passing of the quill pen and causing chaos with chains. Granted there is block-chain, digital signatures, online ID/AML, and a demand for upfront information BUT HOW can you and your progressive conveyancing business promote positive change and really make a difference?

Estate Agency is ostensibly a “database business” which is a polite way of saying it’s a numbers game. If the phone keeps ringing and valuation appointments get booked, agents stand a hope of gaining an instruction, selling it and, if all goes to plan with the conveyance, banking the cash. Conveyancers rely on this cycle and hope that their referrers continue to do well as they are the hand that feeds them.

The challenge is that conveyancers are, more often than not, only considered as worthy of joining the party at the point at which a sale has been agreed, which, in my opinion, is far too late. How many times have you received a memorandum of sale from an estate agent containing details of a client that you have never heard of before? Far too often.

We have collaborated with the development of a digital property logbook to helps estate agents with their brand awareness marketing strategies. It is fair to say that, at present, very few people are considering a home move and much of the physical response marketing is falling in to recycle bins and the digital invites overlooked. As a result, brand marketing has to be where the majority of effort is placed.

A digital property logbook, at its core, is an engaging and informative environment that helps homeowners to keep their property asset well organised and, when it comes to thinking of selling, complete paperwork and collate all the material facts and evidence in readiness for their transaction. Within the digital property logbook has been created a client inception platform that guides would-be clients to complete certain tasks for the agent and their preferred suppliers enabling them to get involved at a far earlier stage.

Where is the value for the conveyancer? When an Estate Agents deploys Digital Property Logbooks distribution as part of their marketing strategy, the reason for homeowners claiming one is not because they are thinking of selling, but because they are interested in their property, keeping it organised, keeping up to date with market trends and price fluctuations and having somewhere to keep all their property related documents together. As such, an estate agent can build a significant database of property owners across their regions. Each month, each logbook owner is sent a market update email that helps drive engagement with the logbook. If your business is a preferred supplier of a progressive agent that is doing more than just agreeing sales and hoping you will convert their pipeline, your brand will be visible within every one of those logbooks helping to drive your own brand recognition across the region.

If you are working closely with the agent utilising logbooks with their clients, you will be able to help guide their set up of the client engagement platform ensuring that you are there to help would-be movers at a much earlier stage than is the status quo. Perhaps even getting a call, email or quote from them before they have even had a valuation.

We are very proud and excited to be innovating in this exciting new frontier, but as one wise industry leader said to me the other week “The pieces of the progress jigsaw are already there and the industry needs to work out how to put them together. If we don’t, government departments will decide to mandate something that they don’t truly understand and they’ll stuff it up again!”

We would urge you to have a look at what digital property logbooks are, how you can get involved and how the industry can pull together to drive positive change. We are attending The Guild conference on 10th March and the Fine & Country Conference on 11th March at the QE2 Centre in Westminster. So if you happen to work with a Guild Member or a Fine & Country Agent, you may wish to ask them to visit PSD Logbooks at stand 25 on the day to find out more about how we can support them, their clients and your business.

Throughout the rest of 2022 we also plan to host a number of online events with thought leaders and market influencers to discuss numerous industry topic about the future shape of the industry and driving positive change.

Daniel Hamilton-Charlton, founder and Managing Director, PSD Logbooks/Property Searches Direct Ltd 

 

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