3 Things You Must Consider If You Want To Add Real Estate Transactions To Your Practice
Real estate transactions can seem like a profitable area of practice. However, real estate attorneys must complete a range of complex calculations and fill out detailed CD and HUD forms for each closing. What makes this job even tougher is the fact that, to be profitable, real estate attorneys must process closings at scale - only a high volume of closings will generate revenue sufficient to run a profitable real estate law practice.
Here are three essential points to consider before you add real estate transactions to your practice.
1. Understand your local market
Do your research to diagnose the health of your local real estate market. After all, your success as a real estate attorney will depend on how many homes are being bought and sold every month. This is an economic factor external to your business and skillset, so it’s a good starting point if you’re considering getting into real estate law.
Start with a search of recent property listings. How many were listed? How much were they listed for? Is there an upward, steady or downward trend in terms of volume and price? Sites like Zillow and local realtor sites can assist with this research.
Next, consider your competition. How many real estate attorneys operate within your local area? Given the number of real estate attorneys to property listings, do you think there is room in the market, or is it already saturated?
2. Do you have the right staff with the right training?
It may be worth speaking to legal recruiters about the staff you may need, such as a Associate Attorneys or Paralegals with strong real estate experience. Are these staff in ready supply, or are they rare? How much are these staff being paid? Do people tend to stay in these roles? If not, what is causing them to leave?
You may find that a reason for leaving this field may be the repetitive nature of the work. Implementing good real estate software could resolve this issue, as it would automate many of the dull and complex calculations that can make real estate transactions so cumbersome. It could also allow attorneys to work more flexibly, and avoid working after hours. Happy attorneys are productive attorneys, and this could be your point of difference to attract talent.
3. Do you have the best technology to accurately close a high volume of real estate transactions?
Select real estate software that fixes the pressure points for real estate attorneys. Easysoft Legal Software, for example, automates many of the complex calculations necessary to complete a closing. This includes TRID compliant HUD and CD forms, or the ability to automatically file the 1099-S to the IRS. If you’re unfamiliar with the needs of real estate attorneys - and specifically what makes their days difficult - ask a real estate attorney or recruiter. Find out why real estate attorneys leave jobs. Often, the pressure of keeping up to date with documents or filing accurate government forms or 1099s can be significant. This is doubly so if real estate attorneys are required to process a high volume of real estate transactions manually, or using sub-standard software.
Where possible, look for software that addresses these pain points. Assess it with the help of experienced real estate attorneys. Implement what works best for your practice.