Question : Is case tracking a cheap conveyancing gimmick to disguise poor communication skills
I recently read an article in the Negotiator where a director of one of the leading conveyancing firms spoke about how innovative some conveyancing law firms are. In particular, he referred to the benefits of case tracking.
Why are case trackers needed in conveyancing ?
Ask yourself the question as to why so may law firms need case trackers. I can tell you the answer. It is because so many are absolutely hopeless at communicating with clients and estate agents. I know it sounds harsh, and it is dangerous to generalise, but on the whole this is true. Surely the reason why the legal industry introduced "case trackers" is because they acknowledge the fact that they are incapable of communicating where they are in a transaction.
Let me put it another way, as an agent would your expect you client to go on line to see if you have shown any applicant their property or would you expect that they receive a phone call from you? I think I know the answer. It is generally accepted that buying a property is exceptionally stressful, not just for the buyer and seller of the property, but also the negotiator who has put the deal together and whose income depends entirely upon the success of the transaction completing. It is the conveyancing lawyers that make or break that deal and they are the ones that should be able to communicate with the clients and negotiators. Incidentally I do think it works for Mortgage Brokers as they are not so involved from a communication perspective.
No doubt my comments will hit a nerve with some law firms who will argue that they use " case trackers " to supplement their personal communication rather than replace it. I wonder if these are the same firms that have a " team " dealing with the case as opposed to one lawyer who deals with the case from beginning to end.
Your conveyancer should be your case tracker !
Five years ago Fridaysmove built a case management system which had a tracking system which we did turn on for a couple of months. I remember speaking to one estate agent who had phoned up for an update and I politely pointed out that if he could have looked at the case tracker. His response was “Simon. . . . you are my case tracker!”. As a result of that comment I turned off the tracking system. The agent was right I was and remain his case tracker !
Conveyancing is not an automated system and it is shameful that some online conveyancing practices actively promote and urge their clients not to communicate over the phone but instead use the case trackers. One only needs to look on to the Internet to see how many firms state that they do not need to attend their offices.
Next time you hear a conveyancer talk about the virtues of a case tracking system listen out for that little voice in your head saying “What they are really telling me is that they cannot communicate with me”.