Australian Conveyancer magazine sat down with Sydney based Your Move Conveyancing (YMC) who openly discussed their conveyancing journey through both prosperous and challenging periods.
At the heart of success for YMC lies a philosophy of agility and preparedness, championed by founder David Winning and CEO Felicity McAllan.
This approach has enabled the company to not only survive but also thrive during the tumultuous periods of COVID and a volatile interest rate environment.
The leadership team’s focus has consistently been on the importance of adaptability and readiness for change, which has been crucial in steering the company through uncertain times.
The challenges brought by the pandemic and economic fluctuations have been significant, yet they have served as catalysts for Your Move Conveyancing to strengthen and grow.
The company’s ability to embrace change and leverage it for development has been a defining feature of its journey.
This has involved a strategic balance of maintaining core values while being open to new opportunities and approaches.
AUSTRALIAN CONVEYANCER: What changes have impacted conveyancing the most in recent years?
It’s hard not to reflect on the COVID period. It brought forward a lot of people’s desires to upsize, downsize, swap and tree change.
It accelerated the market incredibly over a short period but that growth and volume wasn’t sustainable.
Rising interest rates in the past 12 months have increased cost of living pressures and forced people re-evaluate their goals and desires.
The recorded transactions in NSW were down about 30 per cent year to year; July and August saw that stabilising somewhat.
We’re starting to see numbers slowly increase again suggesting growth ahead.
AC: What changes should we be pushing for in the next five years?
The uptake of electronic conveyancing since COVID-19 has been a huge change and there will be continued improvements in that aspect of service delivery.
The biggest change I’d like to see is standardisation across the whole of Australia – federal regulation or national conveyancing provisions, making sure everybody’s delivering to a high standard in any state or territory.
However, for that to happen in the next five years would be a miracle.
AC: What technology do you use to drive the business forward?
We’ve been able to utilise a lot of the integrations with triConvey with our billing, trust accounting, searching – everything’s all in the one place.
We’ve also built custom software integrations to cover our business functions and enable us to scale effectively.
It’s been a really a significant component of us being able to provide services as efficiently as we can.
We use triConvey as our CRM and it’s an amazing platform because of its integration, searching and billing.
Having centralised information is important to us as it keeps the team on the same page. We are continuously evaluating new technology for improvements to quality, service and productivity.
We look to automate repetitive tasks and have created internal tools that save time and give our team an advantage when working at scale. triConvey is a key component of this.
AC: Is there a place for artificial intelligence (AI) in conveyancing?
McAllen: I believe that the face-to-face and human interaction with customers will forever be valuable.
The best thing we can do is learn more about AI and how it can help us complete tasks to make us more efficient.
AI could be great for the industry, but learning how to adapt it into workflows and ensuring quality and correctness is most important.
AC: Is cybersecurity a concern for your business? How are you mitigating risks?
It’s a huge issue. Conveyancers and solicitors alike aren’t generally cybersecurity experts so it’s a space where we need to continuously educate ourselves.
We engage experts, read recommendations from financial institutions and talk to others in the industry to keep up.
Client emails being hacked and incorrect bank details being provided is a particularly worrying area because of the large sums involved.
We spend a lot of time educating our clients at the beginning of the transaction, talking to them about what account details they should be expecting to use, and vice versa.
We’re getting account details before there’s an opportunity for those details to be manipulated and always checking verbally as well. You cannot be too careful in this area.
The banking industry also needs to come to the party in that respect, make it easier to adopt emerging technologies and ideas that mean there is more security in the transfer space.
AC: How can conveyancers stay up to date in this ever-evolving industry?
By speaking to people, build networks, share ideas, speak with all the stakeholders and consumers, real estate agents, mortgage brokers and software practitioners.
Just share and listen. It’s so important to understand how other people view a topic so you can consider your own perspective and draw an informed conclusion.
AIC offers networking groups which are a great way to get involved with the wider industry, meet new people and find new opportunities.
AC: What’s your advice for conveyancers looking to grow their business?
People like interacting with other people, and the biggest thing that we found in the early days was that nothing beats personal interaction.
Being able to pick up the phone, talk to someone directly, go out and meet them for coffee, let them get to know you and vice-versa.
That really helps define your position are in the market and the services you provide to clients that make you stand out. Is it availability, pricing, different types of technology that you’ve adopted?
They’re the sorts of things that referral partners in particularly just want to know about.
For news and insights from experts around the industry, download edition four of the Australian Conveyancer, today.