When Using Your Mouse To Buy A House Is Not Enough

by Raymond Notarangelo

Monday, January 15th, 2018

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Is it not so long ago that buying a house pretty much only involved a trip to the local SPC office or a sweep of the Scotsman Property supplement, to be sure you could be armed with a list of properties to visit, either on a Thursday night or Sunday afternoon.

At the same time, dealing with a lawyer was strictly confined to the hours of 9-to-5, Monday to Friday, and even then it was often a condescending experience with no guarantee that you could speak about your property or be sure to get a call returned.

Today, and let’s celebrate this, the situation is very much changed.

The way we live our lives in the digital age, combined with ever-emerging trend for solicitors and estate agents to up their game as competition in the sector has intensified – fueled by the surge of internet-based agencies –  has transformed the process of buying a house.

The mantra of ‘using your mouse to buy your house’ is the norm today – and it is not just among buyers of a younger generation.

But while it has become increasingly easier for house-hunters to sofa-surf – or indeed browse at a time convenient to them – to view prospective properties on their tablets, phones and laptops; solicitors and estate agents are understanding that good customer service needs to go beyond this.

Clients want – and rightly – expect a better, personal service; gone are the days when buying a property should be seen as different from any other consumer transaction.

As a society, we have become used to products or services being accessible and easy to source at the time we want – so why should property transactions be any different?

It’s the reason why we have moved to a seven-days-a-week conveyancing service. We think this service could make the difference between securing that dream home – or losing out.

Traditionally, people look at a range of properties over the weekend and if they see one, they have to wait until the Monday to contact their solicitor – and by the time they have tracked them down, discussed its merits, agreed a price and submitted a formal offer to the sellers, it could be late in the day or even into the Tuesday.

With Gilson Gray, you can talk to a highly skilled conveyancing expert over the weekend to be given expert guidance on the market and the property, and then agree a formal offer.

That way, the offer can be with the seller’s solicitors first thing on Monday – with the added value of them also receiving an e mail alert over the weekend to say an offer is on its way.

With a fixed price property that could seal the deal immediately. But an offer received at 9am on the Monday that beats all the other competition could be all that is needed to convince a seller to accept – avoiding potentially the need to go to a closing date.

A weekend conveyancing service is also meeting the needs of many people who use the weekend to meet with mortgage brokers and/or view property showhomes and who like the idea of all their property-buying needs being met at a time that’s convenient to them.

Another area of change in the sector is the increased need for effective case management systems, providing a means of accessing and creating bespoke documents; and to provide triggers to remind staff when they should be communicating with clients and completing other key tasks on a particular day.

While it is right that the traditional way of doing things is on its way out, one constant should remain. And that’s the human touch. Buying a house is still a hugely emotional and important decision.

So there will always be a need to provide depth of expertise – and sometimes even a voice of reason or a calming influence – on the end of a phone or in a face-to-face meeting. The digital age will never replace that.

 

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Raymond Notarangelo

Raymond Notarangelo, co-founded Scottish PR agency, Holyrood Partnership after spotting a gap for colourful and innovative public relations in Edinburgh. He now leads a team providing media relations, social media, video, photography, brand newsrooms, crisis communication and media relations.

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