There are some events that just grab your attention. A meeting of some of the leading conveyancing firms along with many of the main players from the world of estate agency was always going to be fascinating.
The event was superbly run at a great venue – the Grosvenor Hotel in London. There is still a buzz around face to face events, as people get that thrill of networking again. Seeing old friends and making new ones. It’s basically the sort of thing I live for!
For those of us with an interest in the conveyancing world, the first point of note was to see whether the two ‘factions’ could play nicely together.
I’m delighted to say they could! Rob Hailstone and Ian McKenzie set the tone with their head to head chat. They exemplified the whole event for me- There was some good natured verbal sparring, but the overall atmosphere was collaborative. In the end, it suits all parties if property transactions can move more speedily and efficiently.
There was spirited debate about the place of technology within the whole process, with many solutions that were discussed rightly looking at tech that interweaves the estate agency process and the legal process. The clever use of data flows and communication tools.
Two of the talks were stand-outs for me. The first was Dan Salmons of Coadjute who delivered a fascinating and highly polished presentation on the opportunity for collaboration. His background with the world of contactless payments lent huge credibility to his subject matter.
The other talk that stood out was the one that dragged the elephant in the room into the light. Do estate agents and conveyancing lawyers respect each other?
A great line up of people from both sides of the divide led to a sparky and informative debate where I believe the answer to the question posed was “Yes, but in some cases grudgingly”.
As always some of the best discussions happened outside the conference room, and for me there was an overall sense that the industry realises that the challenges coming over fees and resourcing will all mean that a change in approach is vital. The caveat is that one person I spoke with, who had last been at one of these events two years before, made a point that others echoed. “Let’s hope that there really is action on these points now, rather than just talk”.