Since launching our Call for Kindness campaign, we’ve seen the sector really getting behind the initiative as we all continue to navigate through the next couple of tricky months. But we must remember we’re all in this together.
The fact that the industry has come together demonstrates the need for recognition of our colleagues in the property industry. Our British Conveyancing Awards go hand in hand with the Call for Kindness as we want to take the time to recognize the herculean efforts by so many individuals, law firms and suppliers during the unprecedented time.
The Conveyancing Foundation has launched their ‘Be Kind, We Care’ initiative, which has a dedicated resource hub, which offers access to a host of useful guides, top tips, podcasts and webinars to provide support to the industry.
During the budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed an extension to the SDLT holiday, which sees the cliff edge moved to the end of June. Then a tapering over the following months, which is a move not many foresaw. This adds more pressure to conveyancers, as more home movers will now expect to benefit from the saving, not just those who have completed.
David Opie, Managing Director of Today’s Media who publish Today’s Conveyancer, said:
“This added pressure has the potential to knock some of us off kilter again, as we attempt to motor through and manage our client expectations. We’ve talked about being kind, and we can see over social media that so many people are starting to take this on board. Remember we are all in this together, and in the Musketeer spirit, ‘all for one, one for all’ we will get through this tough time. But for now, remember, be kind.”
Sheryl Hodgson, Key Relationship Manager at Lawyer Checker, commented:
“It’s easy to forget when we’re stressed that our words and actions can have such a huge impact on someone’s day. At a time when so many people are working under an immense amount of pressure, it’s important to remember that we’re all human and that pulling together in the face of difficulty is the best way forward. As they say, a challenge shared is a challenge halved. Please show your peers kindness and in return you will no doubt receive the same kindness two-fold. Conveyancers must now unite to deliver the same excellent service they always deliver to their clients, and know that as a sector, we are all in this together.”
Nigel Lewis, Head of Content, at TheNegotiator.co.uk, said:
“It’s important that everyone gets behind this initiative and we’re keen to play our part – the industry is going through one of the busiest periods in living memory as the stamp duty holiday drives transactions higher and higher.
“But everyone should remember that conveyancers are doing their best to cope as the whole industry is, and that it’s vital we remain civil when dealing with each other, especially as the Chancellor gives buyers more time to complete this week.”
Tony Leonard, Chief Customer Officer, at ULS Technology commented:
“We are acutely aware of the issues affecting conveyancing firms and the home moving sector in general. The challenges extend to everyone involved in a home move and we are urging all stakeholders to treat each other with empathy, courtesy and respect.
“While we understand that some clients are experiencing a more challenging home move than anticipated, we strongly support conveyancers being given the space to do what is needed wherever it’s reasonable to do so.
“In our experience, conveyancers communicate frequently and effectively, concentrating on the elements that you really need to know or respond to. For this reason, we particularly encourage other parties to pause before enquiring or engaging with them on issues that have already been discussed. This can be particularly difficult with all parties experiencing their own pressures, but ultimately the customer benefits if the conveyancers have fewer enquiries and more time to progress cases.
“Wherever possible, we endorse the use of the electronic engagement tools that are available in the market. This greatly assists with communication and the monitoring of case progression.
“Finally, we urge conveyancers to recognise that this is very much a two-way street and support introducers and other professional parties in their correspondence with clients, as many will be experiencing similar challenges in their own operations”
Rob Gurney, Managing Director at Ochresoft, said:
“Before taking the role of MD at Ochresoft – exactly 1 year ago today – I spent the previous 24 on the front line and so have had my fair share of “challenging” experiences with other parties in conveyancing transactions, albeit this current situation is probably the most extreme we’ve ever witnessed. It all stems from the incredible and unprecedented switch from market closure to record-breaking demand in a matter of months during 2020, all of which happened while people were learning to WFH, home-school, self-isolate etc etc – basically the perfect storm for stress to manifest itself.
“All I will say is that in my experience, taking out frustrations on others is never the right thing to do, from a personal nor a productivity perspective. I always used to respond better to a friendly request than an unreasonable demand, and transactions always proceeded more smoothly when conducted with calm and supportive collaboration, rather than hostility.
“Thankfully, despite the crazy times our industry finds itself in, the vast majority are working together with kindness and professionalism – and I for one take my hat off to them all.”
Rob Hailstone, CEO of the Bold Legal Group, commented:
“The next few months look like they will be as busy and as challenging as the last nine. Frustration levels are increasing and pressure is mounting. Whilst this is not an ideal time for the faint hearted, it is important for all involved in the process of property buying and selling to remain courteous when dealing with others. I have found that you often get better results when you treat others with dignity and respect.”
Nat Daniels, CEO of Angels Media, publisher of Estate Agent Today, says:
“We’re happy to pledge our support to Today’s Conveyancer’s ‘Call for Kindness’ campaign. Moving home can be a stressful process for all parties, so poor relations between agents and conveyancers only makes things worse.”
“A lot has been made of mental health issues in the estate agency sector in recent months and rightly so. However, it’s also important to consider the impact our own actions can have on the mental health of others.”
“With the stamp duty holiday extended by three months, high levels of activity are set to continue and pressure on the conveyancing system will remain.”
“It’s therefore crucial that agents play their part in fostering positive relationships and maintaining professional communication with conveyancers.”
“By working together harmoniously, agents and conveyancers can help more people to move home and ultimately benefit from a higher level of transactions and commission.”
Tom Durbin St George, UK Managing Director, Dye & Durham:
“At Dye & Durham we understand the intense pressure faced by the whole industry at the moment. The Today’s Conveyancer Call for Kindness campaign mirrors our own ethos not only as we navigate through the impact of the pandemic but also when it comes to supporting each other. We are here to help.”
Nicola Ashley, from ntitle, commented:
“ntitle supports the ‘Call for Kindness Campaign’ because we understand the pressures faced by the ENTIRE industry. We speak to extremely busy Conveyancers nationwide and every one of them is under strain. At ntitle, besides offering a solution to ease the sheer volume of work, we are very keen to promote kindness, empathy and support to everybody working in Conveyancing during these unprecedented times. Everyone is busy, everyone is under pressure and everyone is stressed- if Conveyancers could take a second to remember this when writing an email or on every phone call, perhaps Conveyancing would be a happier place in the next few (busy!) months. Please be kind!”
Scott Bozinis, CEO at InfoTrack
“InfoTrack is committed to Today’s Conveyancer’s Kindness campaign. We are here to support the conveyancing sector in any way we can. If we can be of support to you or your business please do not hesitate to reach out. Our business is here to help.”
David Greene, President, Law Society of England and Wales
“Our Conveyancing Protocol includes the obligation to maintain high standards of courtesy towards others,”
“Solicitors have been under great strain ahead of the now extended stamp duty holiday deadline – often working late into the evening and across weekends, with the added challenges of working from home and home schooling and pressure from clients and estate agents to know what the current position is in regards to their transaction.
“We fully appreciate the home moving process is stressful for all involved – including clients, estate agents and solicitors – and we hope that our calls for high standards of courtesy and mutual assistance are heeded, along with the ‘call for kindness’.”
Sarah Millican, Head of HR, PLS Solicitors:
“Be kind to each other” have become the buzzwords throughout what has been a challenging time for all. It is a phrase the team at PLS Solicitors have made their mantra when it comes to dealing with colleagues, customers and fellow property professionals.
With the extension of the stamp duty holiday and the introduction of new incentives, we have been able to keep the residential market moving at a pace but with it can come stressful moments for our teams.
The need for patience with each other is paramount. While delays may frustrate, they are almost certainly not deliberate or down to someone dragging their feet in any of our industry’s residential professions. Why would they be?
Regardless of the role we play in the process, we are all working to achieve the same goal of enabling customers to turn the key in the door to their new home.
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.