Within the span of a week in March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought more change to the legal and conveyancing profession than had been seen in the prior decade. It has fundamentally changed the way we work and forced many organisations to rethink the way business is conducted.
Firms are now having to reconsider how to structure hybrid practices that replicate the collaboration and cooperation of a ‘2019 workplace’. The disruptions brought on by COVID-19 has forced the industry out of its comfort zone, and we’re seeing growth when it comes to digital transformation.
A recent survey by MyCase shows that approximately 70% of firms agree that COVID-19 will have a lasting way on how firms operate. Data collected by MyCase also found that over 80% of firms surveyed have transitioned to working remotely some or all of the time.
So, with remote working here to stay – what are some practices your firm can take on to gain efficiencies with the use of digital technologies?
Digital technology and remote working practices now a priority
While conveyancing and law firms have adapted to many changes over the last decades, there’s often been reluctance when it comes to remote working – despite the known benefits. However, attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19 by governments mean there’s now little choice for practitioners who want to keep working through the crisis. Working from home is fast becoming the new normal for many across Australia and the world.
Amid all this flux and uncertainty, conveyancing and law firms responded quickly and efficiently. The 2020 move-out was almost instantaneous. Technology, which has moved slowly into law and conveyancing firms, exploded as they added security features, upgraded computers and monitors, reinforced cybersecurity for home use, linked mobile apps to office databases and added videoconferencing technology to participate effectively in meetings online.
In August 2020, Security Specialists Thirdfort, conducted research and surveyed 155 professionals in the legal industry about the adoption of technology within conveyancing. Their survey revealed that 92% of firms agreed that digitalisation was a priority for the future of the conveyancing industry.
Electronic conveyancing tools for consideration at your firm
The pandemic has forced firms to adapt to new ideas and solutions to keep their business functioning. Findings by Thirdfort have also reported that conveyancers are turning to technology to deal with the growing backlog of house purchases as the post-lockdown housing boom continues to gather pace.
As remote and online work become the norm, moving your conveyancing process from paper to digital has now become increasingly important and will help future-proof your practice.
The pressure continues to simplify work and taking the time-consuming and repetitive tasks out of the equation. While technology can be seen as an expensive luxury, especially for smaller firms, it should be viewed as an investment. Adopting technology in your firm to automate tasks means that your staff can spend time on more important matters. Whether that is dedicating time to bring in new business or placing professionalism and exceptional customer service to clients.
In this day and age, conveyancers are transitioning from the manual and paper-based processes, to digital ones – looking to save hours per transaction!
According to CoreLogic, on average it takes approximately 60 days to sell a property in Australia. However, since the pandemic we are seeing Australians buying properties at record speeds with homes selling on average in just 32 days.
Whilst every property transaction can differ – and, some more complex than others, conveyancers want to make the process as smooth and easy as possible for their client.
With the ability to order a selection of eContracts through an online platform like elawforms, users access an easy-to-use, interactive screen where they can finalise documents quickly. In addition, eContracts can be sent directly to agents via email, which is a convenient alternative to the traditional method ensuring contracts are securely sent via mail.
elawform’s online forms allows for the convenience of electronic signatures for your Contract of Sale and is accessible anywhere with an internet connection. To streamline property transactions for your clients, elawform’s word document templates can be implemented into your own practice management system allowing for automatic data population and removes the risk of human error.
With lockdowns and social distancing taking place all over the globe, business operations have dramatically changed. As conveyancing transitions from paper-based processes to become digitised and potentially automated, new technologies are being harnessed to transform the buyer and seller experience by changing how services are delivered by practitioners.
One area that has undergone an unprecedented surge in the adoption and utilisation of digital signatures is the property industry. Adopting digital signing practices comes with a host of benefits for clients and businesses alike. A research study carried out by DocuSign found that upon adopting digital signing practices, businesses’ internal processes were found to be 90% more productive, with document handling times reduced from 90 minutes to 9 minutes.
By embracing the use of digital signatures, conveyancing firms have been able to save time and reduce overheads for printing and postage costs.
It appears clear that while COVID-19 has been the matter on the conveyancing industry’s mind of late, the benefits for increased efficiency in addition to remote working capabilities is still the siren-call of digital solutions for firms. It is without a doubt, the changes brought on by COVID-19 will not be going away anytime soon – and it is during these times that digital solutions are a “must have” to ensure normality and consistency across firms.
If you’re looking to save time, Dye & Durham has a suite of digital technology, including elawform’s online library of documents and forms to help streamline your electronic conveyancing processes. If you would like more information, contact us on 1300 885 662 or visit www.dyedurham.com.au/solutions.