A Law firm has launched an app designed to improve transparency of transactions in the residential property market.
The app is specifically designed for property buyers, vendors and estate agents, with firm Harding Evans setting out to enhance communication between the parties in the wake of rising complaints. This includes a report by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) which found that conveyancing has generated the most consumer complaints to the Legal Ombudsman, with residential conveyancing making up 22% of all complaints resolved in 2015 – 16, and 24% in 2016 – 17.
That, along with increasing downward pressure on profit margins across many legal services, led Harding Evans to invest significant resource in the development of a dedicated app.
Offering a 24/7, on demand service, the app allows clients to access key documents and information on their transaction and check for updates on progress at any time. This includes any urgent information, allowing clients and other parties to identify and work through any potential issues before they arise.
For clients, the app will offer reassurance at a stressful time, allowing them to see progress is being made in their case even when they may not have been able to make contract directly from their solicitor or estate agent. The app will facilitate the free flow of information between the solicitor, client and estate agents and the fact it is available 24/7 means that clients can access it at their convenience rather than being tied to making contact in traditional office hours.
The conveyancing app is the first of a series aimed at introducing a faster, more efficient service for clients, which enables them to play a more active role in their transaction. Future app development will concentrate on Wills & Probate, as well as some of the firm’s commercial services.
Wyn Williams, Partner and Head of Conveyancing at Harding Evans Solicitors, said: “As anyone who has been involved in the sale or purchase of a residential property will know, there are times during the process where you get very few updates. This is usually because work is going on behind the scenes and isn’t a cause for concern, but the lack of communication can be worrying and clients understandably want to stay up to date on their case.
“Our clients increasingly expect a more efficient, accessible service. This app is aimed at making the conveyancing process more transparent, and saving the client the time and expense of checking in directly with their solicitor, by keeping all parties ‘in the loop’ at all times.”
Joy Phillips, Chief Executive, said: “We’re always looking to develop the way we work and, in an age where you can check anything from your emails to your bank balance on your smart phone, we believe this is the next step in improving legal services for our clients across Wales and the wider UK.
“The owners of the business had the business foresight and confidence in the our house software development team to invest in this technology. The platform now exists that will allow us to expand with apps across the business and the fact that these are being developed by an in house team that understands our business and the way we work means that we are able to continuously improve what the apps can deliver for the benefit of both clients and our business.”