I’ve actually been part of Marshalls for longer than eight years, and in the Conveyancing game even longer still. But for the last eight years it has been mine, my baby.
And what a ride it has been! When I think about the journey (as you always seem to do when you are in a stage of transition), it is only natural to reflect on the past. And sometimes your mind makes the memory seem better than the reality of how it actually was when you were going through it…
When I bought Marshalls on September 1, 2009 there was only myself and a full time Admin / Conveyancing Clerk. We were pretty happy if we were settling 20 files per month but, with a marketing plan and a strategy of delivering outstanding service, we quickly got busier. Before too long, our team grew to accommodate a part-time receptionist. The number of settlements grew, and so did my skill set, having worked at Marshalls since 2006, I was fortunate enough to be exposed to and mentored in a varying range of Conveyancing transactions– freeholding, water licensing, complex divisions – and I loved it all.
In 2009 we had just upgraded to a new Conveyancing system. We shunned the excel spreadsheet reconciliations (that took up a lot of time, and doubled up!) and embraced the latest technology and remote servers (thanks to our friends at Murray Computers). At this time, eConveyancing was just something people were talking about, but none of us ever thought it would come! And back then we certainly weren’t required to ID our clients.
By 2010 we consistently met our file targets (we could set them now we had a fancy computer system!) and we just continued to grow. I spent every moment building relationships, delivering work in record time, and the work just kept coming. My full-time Conveyancing Clerk was now studying to become a conveyancer, and the admin role grew as quickly as the work load did. 2010 was also the year that my son was born, and juggling became a new thing!
Technology evolved so quickly during this time, and we had to keep up – we looked for ways to innovate, streamline and create efficiencies.
By 2014, we knew that eConveyancing was definitely coming, and the implementation of VOI (Verification of Identity) was the beginning. It meant we now had to capture our clients’ sensitive information, and again we looked for ways to capture this data seamlessly – we embraced an App and used it to collect and safely store the data we didn’t want to hold in the office (no more requests to photocopy your driver’s licence!).
Fast forward to 2016, and PEXA (the eConveyancing platform) was in full swing, and proudly we were early adopters. The benefits of this platform are endless (settlements anytime during the day, instant money transfer and no more hustle at 101 Grenfell St) and the day that everyone thought would never come was here. And whilst it has changed things, it has been so gradual and so easy to transition through I hardly realised it, until I looked back. After a year in this space, I’m proud to say that we have consistently been in the top 10 eConveyancing transactors.
Our Team had also grown – we now needed more space – so I completely renovated our offices at 23-25 Seventh St to cater for our ever expanding team. We now had 5 team members, each as crucial as the other. Our original target of 20 files had also grown to “we will be happy if we settle 40 files every month”.
Realising our market was changing, we wanted to deliver a first – and we did this in the form of the first online personalised quoting system in South Australia. This has been a game changer and has meant our clients (from all over SA) can get personalised quotes and information any time of the day (or night) within 10 minutes of completing their information. This initiative has meant we are ahead of the curve and we are giving our clients what they want….
In the past year, more has changed in our industry than the last eight years combined (new Commonwealth Reporting system, LTO Privatisation, PEXA rolling out more changes to encompass a larger scope etc.), but what is most important is that the traditional values of our business haven’t changed – outstanding service and professional expertise.
And here we are today, some 4800 files settled in eight years, office reno’s, weddings, babies, tears, celebrations, hard work and a lot of fun. So, I encourage you to take a look back through your industry and career to see how much has evolved, and take a moment to reflect on your achievements – because you’ve earned it.