Many years ago my grandfather said to me, “Martin, as you get older, you will come to realise that change is not the same thing as progress.”
Years later and considerable time having passed, I am forced to agree.
It can certainly be argued that a great deal of change is annoying and inconvenient. It might even be argued that the majority of change is, in the end, unhelpful. It is, however, equally self-evident that without change there can be no progress.
Which brings me on to the subject of this month’s report:
For some time residential conveyancing clients and Estate Agents have been saying that they want to have a clearer view of the progress of their transactions. Clients (and Estate Agents) have also said that they want to be able to generate a fee quote/estimate then and there in the early stages of a transaction, when they are contemplating whether or not to buy (or sell) a property so that they can budget for the expenditure at that stage and to instruct solicitors easily and quickly once that quote/estimate is received.
Enter, then, Perfect Portal.
On Monday last week (24 July 2017) Barrett and Co went live with the provision of services through Perfect Portal, a web based estimate and referral system. This can be accessed by going to the firm’s website (http://www.barrettandco.co.uk/) and clicking on the link “conveyancing estimate, click here.” (You may want to try this even if you are not currently contemplating a property transaction just to get an idea of what is available.)
Perfect Portal, then, takes the user through a series of steps which are, hopefully, self-explanatory - inputting various details about the transaction, property price etc. - at the end of which a comprehensive written estimate is generated.
If the customer decides to proceed with the instruction then this can be done at the click of a button – following which a file will be set up here at Barrett and Co and the transaction will proceed in the usual manner. The difference is, however, that the customer will receive (via Perfect Portal) automated updates at key stages in the matter and will receive a personal log-in which will enable them to log on to the system (any time and from any connected device) to see the current stage of their transaction.
Barrett and Co will also be offering access to this service to certain Estate Agents, who – despite the occasional bad press – we see as a key element in any property transaction. Where work is referred to Barrett and Co via an Estate Agent, that Agent will also receive a personalised log-in for the Perfect Portal system and will, again, both receive automated updates at key stages and be able to log in at any time to monitor progress of the transaction.
So will this change be progress? Will it be of benefit to our clients (and key business contacts)?
We very much hope so and we will, in the meantime, be working together with Perfect Portal to further hone and perfect detailed elements of the system and further tailor these to the needs of Barrett and Co and of our clients and contacts.
Perfect Portal – not perfect but, perhaps, perfect for you.