Based on a survey of nearly 500 UK property professionals, the ‘Working Better Together’ report gives insight into the complex and changing relationship between conveyancers and estate agents and found that, despite the challenges they face, 42% are confident the relationship can be better.
The report also shows both parties share a similar frustration around a lack of mutual respect (32%) which prevents them from collaborating together effectively. Despite their contrasting professions, building positive relationships and achieving customer satisfaction is what unites both.
Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, says: “consumers have changed, so as an industry, we must change too. For estate agents and conveyancers, this starts with better communication and an openness to see things from each other's perspectives. One thing is clear, everyone working on a property transaction wants the same thing. So, any barriers that stand in the way of achieving success for the customer must be addressed.”
Rob Hailstone, Founder of the Bold Legal Group, added: “Can better collaboration heal the relationship? I believe so. As an industry, I'm confident we will find our way through the existing challenges. The reality is we've got to as people will be buying and selling homes for a long time to come. The right technology is there to help speed up the process, but it's only part of the solution. Meaningful change can only happen when there is a willingness on all sides to achieve it.“
The survey of almost 500 property sector professionals also found that better communication and cooperation will lead to better outcomes: both estate agents (36%) and conveyancers (27%) indicated that they believe improving how they communicate, and work together is key to improving the home-buying process.
Feeling unappreciated was revealed to be a source of angst on both sides: out of the total conveyancers and estate agents surveyed, 16% feel undervalued, and 15% feel overworked.
However, technology is strengthening ties, with 68% of conveyancers and estate agents believing technology has had a positive impact on the relationship, but also that simpler processes (26%), more skilled people (24%), and access to the right information (17%) are most critical in making work easier.
Customer satisfaction and job satisfaction go hand in hand: 21% of the total conveyancers and estate agents surveyed view client satisfaction as the most enjoyable part of their job. Closely followed by building long-lasting client relationships (19%) and working with property peers (15%).
Referral fees are a major concern for both parties: 67% of conveyancers and 51% of estate agents surveyed feel referral fees have had a negative impact on the relationship.
The more senior in the industry, the more optimistic about the future: 72% of those in the industry 15+ years are most optimistic about the future of the relationship, compared with only a quarter of those in the industry less than 5 years.
Dan Salmons, CEO of Coadjute, concludes: "It is clear the difficulties of recent years have created even greater challenges for both conveyancers and estate agents and the relationship between them.
"Although they play different roles in the property transaction, our findings show that fundamentally they share the same goals and frustrations. Encouragingly, our survey results also show the genuine desire across the industry to overcome the obstacles and move forward.
"I believe this points the way to the future both professions would like to see: a more seamless property market, where buying and selling a home becomes a less stressful —even enjoyable—experience for all involved. That sounds like something we can all agree on, and a worthwhile goal for the industry to work towards.”