Key Conveyancing is a fast-growing firm with offices in Northampton and Baldock. It styles itself as a “no nonsense solicitors that helps you buy and sell property with a minimum of fuss at a cost-effective rate.” It puts a great deal of emphasis on its conveyancing specialism – “we do nothing other than help people buy and sell houses” – and works hard to ensure that every part of the process and every client relationship is handled to the highest possible standards. To achieve that level of performance consistently, to be competitive and to remain profitable saw the practice turn to technology for answers. And with its growth ambitions to factor in as well, it was diligent and exacting in identifying which solution would best underpin these various objectives. We talk to Key’s John Turner about the decision to go with Intelliworks, and what impact it has had on the firm’s development to date and how it will influence the business going forward.
What was the background to the adoption of Intelliworks? We launched back in 2013 as a specialist start-up with a very clear vision – offering high quality, good value conveyancing services to the region’s consumers, characterised by efficiency, openness, responsiveness and above all, strong personal contact and client relationships. We had growth ambitions, so we focused locally at first but with a view to becoming more regional, with strategic office openings. But we were also aware of the challenges – the pressure on fees and referrals, the increasingly risky climate around conveyancing despite, an improving economic picture, and above all, the realities of successful expansion. It’s one thing to say ‘let’s do more’, quite another to be confident of doing it to the same standard as you scale up your operations. We recognised that the solution to each of those challenges lay in technology, specifically in a specialist workflow system that we could put at the heart of our operations.
How would you describe the move to the Intelliworks platform? One of the main reasons we were attracted to Intelliworks was that it was going to deliver for us in our key areas – quality, efficiency, compliance and consistency – without compromising the user experience. Intelliworks has created an incredibly positive, productive environment for our team by being extremely well engineered and very intuitive. When we looked around the market initially, one of our concerns was that so many case management systems were just toolkits, that would a) need a lot of additional work to get to a usable point and b) never be the simple, user-friendly out of the box tool that we were after. We were also mindful that fee earners can be slightly precious about their precedent letters so it was a huge relief to find a ready-to go system, with a comprehensive workflow, well authored library and regular content updates, all there in one tidy package.
What has Intelliworks delivered for the firm? We may be growing but our service has to stay the same – it has to be the same good value, high-class conveyancing that we promised our clients when we first opened our doors. We’re also actively broadening our own referral network now, via relationships with estate agents and third parties. Intelliworks is core to the success of both of these long-term ambitions. It has enabled us to build teams much more quickly because we have this fantastic framework in place that allows us to compartmentalise our work much more effectively – that means we can resource the administrative and legal aspects more appropriately (with skilled lawyers free to focus on the important legal points and the client), whilst maintaining full visibility of the matter, monitoring all milestones and managing risk proactively. That has had a significant impact on our ability to develop individuals, bringing them on to handle more work with greater confidence and certainty; and to forge teams capable of comfortably handling increasing volumes. Through deploying Intelliworks’ Quotes and the VirtualFirm module, we’re also now able to give agents a powerful marketing tool of their own: they can access on-demand conveyancing costs for a potential homebuyer as well as track progress once an instruction is given. This value-add is proving a great asset as we look to extend our regional reach through networking.
What’s the final verdict? In three years we’ve been able to grow our team from just four to 25, with new office openings actively planned to supplement our two existing sites. In that time, we have never suffered any adverse claims and we have a mission plan to maintain that zero position. We have demonstrated that people will pay for good quality conveyancing and we don’t need to enter into any destructive price war or pay absurd referral fees. We’ve successfully scaled up to meet increasing demand and established a reputation for delivering on customer experience and our service promise. That’s Key Conveyancing today and Intelliworks has been a major part of our journey. We look forward to continuing our progress – and our relationship.”
Tangible benefits delivered:
- Team has grown by 600% in less than three years
- No adverse PI claims since the firm launched
- Increased appeal to estate agents thanks to value-add tools
- Underpinning regional expansion with new teams planned for new offices
- Significant time savings from Intelliworks SDLT submissions vs. HMRC website
- Boosting profitability through leaner, more efficient and appropriate task allocation
- Securing consistency of quality, standards, compliance and customer care