Relations between conveyancers and estate agents show improvement: Lloyd Davies

Davies, who was speaking on a Conveyancing Foundation webinar to mark Stress Awareness Month, explains that clients’ behaviour during the pandemic was “quite good”, however, post-pandemic he suggests that it has become “very demanding which is putting a lot of pressure on our teams”.

He says the change in client behaviour is fuelled by “the very buoyant property market”. 

“People are very impatient now because they know that house prices are going up and they may get gazumped so t. is very little tolerance in the market which is putting a lot of pressure on all conveyancers,” he explains. 

Davies says the ‘Be Kind We Care’ campaign launched by the Conveyancing Foundation during the pandemic, prompted by growing reports of aggressive professional behaviour in the property, conveyancing and legal sectors, had encouraged many working in those industries to consider and manage their dealings with each other to ensure more kindness

He comments: “I believe that relationships with others in the property world like estate agents and introducers of business have become a lot better. They are not quite as aggressive and are far more understanding of our predicament as conveyancers which is a good thing. Of course, it’s also all down to supply and demand: if they are nasty to us, we don’t work for them! It’s quid pro quo!”

Davies also highlights that conveyancing was still very busy in the aftermath of the pandemic and living through a period of peaks and troughs.

“We are in a little bit of a situation in the conveyancing world. The industry has had a very busy and difficult time with people working from home but also the stresses within our environments with the Stamp Duty Land Tax ( SDLT) deadlines which gave us a false set of waves throughout last year leading up to September was hugely stressful.”

“I don’t think they have quite gone away and certainly the volume of instructions coming through is quite considerable and managing capacity and the amount of work is an important factor. We had a dip in completions at the beginning of the year but we were back to a high at the end of last month,” he adds. 

Also speaking on the webinar, LawCare chief executive Elizabeth Rimmer says managing the expectations of clients whose transaction was probably “the biggest thing going on in their lives” while conveyancers might be dealing with 100 transactions was key.

“An understanding of why people might be behaving in a certain way is vital,” Rimmer notes.

Meanwhile, Agents Together mentor and easyproperty chief operating officer Jason Bull says tolerance in dealing with others is “all down to education”.

“I am pleased to hear that estate agents are becoming more tolerant. Sometimes problems can arise when agents don’t understand w. their job ends and w. the conveyancer’s job begins. I have seen agents interfering with a conveyancer’s job and that just adds extra time, extra complaints and layers of conflict and yet we share the same problems and by talking to each other, we can solve an awful lot of them,” Bull adds.