Prices keep rising, incomes are squeezed, and everyone is worried about the cost of living. Add to this the interest rate rises resulting in mortgage products being withdrawn, and it isn’t likely to spell good news for the conveyancing market. Fewer people can buy, and uncertainty may halt sellers, too.
This perfect storm of negativity puts mounting pressure on conveyancing firms to maintain market share. Where should conveyancers and their firms turn when there are fewer transactions to go around?
Reducing fees isn’t really an option. After all, the amount of work a transaction takes doesn’t ever change. Lawyers and support staff are highly qualified and professional, dealing with often-complex cases, and deserve to be paid accordingly, as in any other profession. Plus, lawyers are impacted by the rising cost of living, just like everybody else.
A safe haven
A ‘race to the bottom’ where fees are concerned is not the answer to overcoming harsh conveyancing market conditions.
At Setfords, we see ourselves as offering a safe haven for conveyancers worried about the changing market and its impact on traditional firms.
Many mid-tier and smaller firms are feeling the mounting pressure of all these factors. In this article from Legal Futures, author Jeff Zindani says:
“Where growth has stalled, rising costs – from salaries to indemnity insurance – mean that some are in danger of imploding if they fail to act decisively.
Some are laser-focused on the need to scale up. Indeed, our research published earlier this year suggested nearly half of managing partners were actively considering M&A in order to grow.
Others, however, remain in denial, hoping that by continuing to do what they have always done – relying on organic growth and putting a bit extra into marketing spend – they will survive.
Perhaps for some, by luck or by having a particularly resilient niche in the market, this approach may work without the need for change. For others, sticking with the old ways will not be enough and the clock is ticking.”
At Setfords, we aren’t feeling the pressure to merge, acquire, or panic. Our consultancy-based model focuses on the future, and allows us to have far fewer overheads than traditional firms. Thus, we can save costs, which we then put directly back into the business and generating more leads for our lawyers.
Our attitude towards business generation is progressive. We ensure that our conveyancers aren’t left on their own, with our award-winning Business Development team. In the last financial year, we drove over £10 million worth of leads to our lawyers. Conveyancer Sarah Edwards says:
“The Setfords support team are really helpful. There’s no way I would be able to invoice half as much as I do if it wasn’t for the support of head office. Business Development are amazing too! I was initially hesitant to become a consultant because of the uncertainty of not having a set salary each month. I thought I would need to bring in all clients myself, which isn’t the case, thankfully!”
Rising costs = rising opportunities?
Conveyancers who are worried about the cost of living rise and the impact this may have on their real-life wages will also welcome the fee-share structure at Setfords. Our lawyers earn up to 80% of what they bill. This means that the best conveyancers who are dedicated to providing the excellent service we are known for can earn far above and beyond what they would at a traditional firm. One such conveyancer is Maria Schultz, who states:
“I have ended up being more successful than I had ever imagined; I am earning 8 times what I had expected! You just have to go for it and be determined. The longer you think about it, the further you are away from having your own business. You’re just lining the pockets of the partners whilst you are contemplating.”
And there has never been a more crucial time to start lining your own pockets instead of those at the top of traditional firms!
A strong brand to withstand tough times
Furthermore, as one of the UK’s largest firms for conveyancing, we have built a trusted reputation for quality work and solid client relationships. Our conveyancers can benefit from this whilst also having the autonomy that comes with consultancy.
Setfords Conveyancer Samuel Ogden says:
“I recognised Setfords as being the biggest consultancy-model law firm with a strong brand and great position in The Lawyer 200. Most importantly, I recognised Setfords offered a supportive and adaptive environment. I have heard that other consultancy firms still set targets for their lawyers and they do not allow them to be truly free to manage their own caseloads.”
At the end of the day, the market may change, but conveyancers will still be needed. Firms need to do what they can to stand out in terms of quality and value, so that they remain a top choice for those who are still looking to move.
Law firms must also do more to support their conveyancers through tougher times. At Setfords, we provide both the practical and wellbeing support our consultants need to succeed. If you’re a UK-qualified conveyancer with 5+ years PQE, we want to hear from you. Call us on 0330 058 4011 or email email@example.com
Is consultancy for me?
If you want to find out more about becoming a consultant with us, get in touch. We are happy to conduct interviews remotely for suitable, UK-qualified candidates with five or more years’ experience. If you’re a good fit, you’ll be joining a team that was created for lawyers to do their best work.
The next step towards a better way of working…