How Real Estate Lawyers Can Provide Better Client Service
Real estate lawyers can grow healthy, even thriving, practices by providing better client service, beginning with intake, and continuing throughout the entire transaction and beyond. Clients who get excellent service make more referrals and offer other support that helps you grow your practice, such as online reviews and social media mentions.
- Client Intake – A recent study by the American Bar Association (ABA) reveals some abysmal statistics about client intake practices of law firms in general. Fewer than 10 percent of prospective clients who call a law firm end up speaking to a lawyer. In response to web inquiry forms and voice mail inquiries, 42 percent of law firms took three of more days to reply. And, finally, regarding inbound calls by prospects, three percent of callers hung up before the phone was even answered (because it took so long), and an additional 11 percent hung up after a connection time of 10 seconds or less because they were unable to reach a human. Make sure your phones are answered promptly by a human, even if they need to take a number and return the call. Return calls and reply to web inquiries the same day. Clients are looking first and foremost for an attorney they feel is responsive to their needs. If your phone is ringing and you’re getting web inquiries, you’re doing something right in terms of marketing. Now, turn those prospects into clients by offering them an upgraded experience.
- Understand Their Minds – Successful real estate attorneys are going to answer a lot of questions and allay a lot of fears. One key to doing this well is to understand the thoughts and concerns that lie beneath what a client says or asks. They may be floundering for the right questions because they feel out of their element, so if you can drill down to their real concerns and help them, you will not only set them at ease, but build trust because you’ve demonstrated that you’re really listening and you understand them.
- Communicate In Their Comfort Zone – Lawyers live in a world of jargon, and the more specialized the practice, the more this is true. You may spend your days investigating adverse possession, encumbrances, and lis pendens, or negotiating for littoral rights and liquidated damages, but your clients’ eyes will probably glaze over if you start slinging that terminology around. Take a page out of retail sales psychology: Use words they can understand to explain the concept, then tell them the jargon word for it. They’ll trust you more because you didn’t jargon at them, and they’ll go home feeling smarter for having learned what lis pendens.
Making Time For Excellent Client Service
Providing top-shelf client service is time consuming, but it’s the most directly profitable thing you can do with your work time. Delegate and automate things that really don’t need your skill as a real estate lawyer. Hire a human to answer your phone, answer frequently asked questions, manage the calls, and give you a prioritized list of call-backs and the same can be done with web inquiries.
Another way to reclaim a significant piece of your time is by using a software solution designed specifically to support real estate attorneys. Easy Soft Real Estate Closing Solutions features integrated modules for auto-fill TRID-compliant closing disclosure forms, HUD and VA loan forms, Amortization, and a Forms Library of more than 200 forms for state and federal requirements. You can also create custom forms that will auto-fill from the secure single-entry database all EasySoft modules share. If you request a form and the information is incomplete, you’ll get a notification, so you don’t have to worry about missing critical information. Try our Easy Soft Real Estate Closing Solutions free trial and see how much more time you’ll have for client service.