Peter Byrne, Head of Business, Real Estate, at Appara shares his insights about one of Appara’s latest solutions. Peter says it best when he says, “Law firms deserve the power of an integrated platform that allows them to seamlessly complete all areas of their practice, rather than waste time and risk errors by switching from product to product.
As I was building out Appara Real Estate, I spoke to John, a real estate lawyer in the city with a very busy practice. John compared his profession to a custom handmade shoemaker in the age of Skechers. A custom shoemaker’s value is in creating individualized, long-lasting shoes that are adapted to each of the client’s particular needs. The issue is that this is so costly and time-consuming that they struggle to remain relevant or competitive in the age of mass-produced shoes. While these shoes are not adapted to the client’s particular needs, they are cheaper and immediately available. Just as custom shoemakers are challenged to remain competitive in a world of mass-produced shoes, real estate legal professionals face the challenge of creating a personalized legal solution that best addresses their clients’ particular property in a world where clients expect low legal fees and increasingly tight deadlines. They cannot rely on automation alone, but they also cannot ignore it if they want to remain competitive.
Real estate transactions are inherently fascinating and diverse, even in the context of two condo units whose floor plans are identical. The sale of one may be extremely straight forward and standard, while the other runs into several headaches because the seller’s tenant’s dog decided the night before closing was the best time to destroy some walls and huge repairs are suddenly needed. Like how the custom shoemaker tailors every new shoe to the customer’s unique foot, the legal professional must tailor each document to every new problem that arises from one transaction to the next.
However, existing software solutions are not flexible enough to reflect these changing dynamics of a real estate transaction. Documents must often be edited offline to simply change a date or add in a clause in a way that ignores that future global changes may be needed. Even a customized document approach is not enough since any custom document may need to be further modified to meet the needs of a particular transaction.
The reality is that conveyancing practices face increasing economic pressures that prevent an individualized approach to every transaction. To remain profitable, firms need to complete many deals within tight deadlines, leaving little room for manual document review and editing by a practitioner; creating risk and patchwork solutions. If they were making shoes, their customers would be yelling that they do not have time for a custom shoe, since they are going for a hike tomorrow.
Yet, it is not that technology and automation are inherently wrong; it is just that the current solutions do not meet the specific needs of real estate legal professionals. So why should you embrace legal technology and automation?
Firstly, your clients expect it. They want documents delivered via email and changes made quickly without exorbitant fees or lengthy delays. By adopting efficient technological solutions, you can focus more on your clients’ actual issues and goals.
Secondly, automation software can handle simple tasks flawlessly. Say goodbye to embarrassing typos or manual data entry errors. With automated imports and document updates, you can minimize the risk of mistakes. When you combine this with custom online editing functionality without losing the ability to make global changes swiftly, you can stay ahead of the curve and adapt easily to evolving transactions. All this while maintaining your value to create a fast, custom solution for your clients’ particular needs.
Lastly, automation software streamlines your entire practice, not just individual files, boosting productivity across the board. No more redundant data entry or training costs for manual processes. By using software that improves efficiency and profitability across your firm, you can offer cost-savings to your clients and scale your business effectively.
Real estate conveyancing, like custom shoemaking, requires automation technology but is also limited by it. The practice demands the ability to manually adapt documents and transactions to changing circumstances that only expertise and document-by-document editing can achieve. However, do not dismiss technology; choosing the right software can ensure that you not only meet your clients’ expectations, but empowers you to handle simple and complex tasks efficiently while utilizing your expertise to adapt documents manually. Leverage technology to save time, reduce risk, grow your business, and focus on value-added work.
Appara Real Estate could be the answer you have been searching for. Our corporate, estate planning and real estate platform ensures efficient document creation through a client questionnaire, legal tools, and shared records to save time across your practice. With industry-leading online editing functionality, you can make changes in the cloud without losing any previous edits or needing to download it to Word every time you want to make a change. Our software strikes the perfect balance between efficiency and customizability, embracing the flexibility needed to ensure your documents are perfect for every transaction.
Experience the perfect software solution in an industry where technology both helps and limits. And who knows, with all the time you save, maybe you can treat yourself to a pair of custom-made shoes.
See Appara Real Estate in action today with a complimentary demo!
Peter Byrne is the Head of Business, Real Estate, at Appara and a former lawyer whose practice area primarily consisted of commercial real estate. Peter graduated with a J.D. from Western University and obtained his BCom (Real Estate) at the Sauder School of Business at UBC.
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