You may be venturing into the world of conveyancing software for the first time, or you might already be using software but finding that it does not meet your needs. Whatever the reason for your search, you will find the internet is full of advice about which is the best choice. However, each conveyancing firm is different and what works for one could be completely unsuitable for another. You should consider several options before making a decision, and not let yourself be rushed into a decision.
Here are 5 steps to follow on the journey to using software in your conveyancing firm.
1. Think about objectives – not fancy features
It may be impressive to see a long list of features and complex technology, but your focus should be on finding a software solution which meets your business objectives. Why are you investing in conveyancing case management software? Different businesses will have different goals and will be at different stages in their development. Start by making a list of key features which your software must have, followed by some features which would be useful but not essential.
2. Make sure the software is future-proof
Investing in software for your business is a big decision as ideally it should last at least 5-10 years, assuming it is updated regularly for security and functionality. Therefore, you need to consider not just what your business needs now, but also what is likely to be important in the future. You are looking for software which will grow alongside your business and enable you to expand, so take some time to look at the current trends in legal software to ensure your technology, and potential software providers, are looking to the future. It is also important to choose a software solution which will provide adequate security both now and in the future.
3. Be wary of law firm technology consultants
You may come across law firm technology consultants during your search, and while they can be a helpful resource, it is important to understand their motivation. Some may give free advice but will receive a commission from a software company for recommending a particular product, while others charge you a consultancy fee. The best consultants will work with you to identify the best solution for your business and will be upfront about how they make their living.
4. Create a shortlist
When you have identified your objectives, you can start narrowing down software options based on which could fit your criteria. Your requirements may differ from those of another legal business, but key considerations should be:
- Security e.g. encryption, audits
- Mobile access via smartphones or tablets
- Usability and design of interface
- Company’s track record for/commitment to innovation
- Ongoing customer service reviews/capacity
- Costs, e.g. setup, training, adding users or features
5. Ask lots of questions and test software
When you have narrowed it down to a few options, it is time to approach the software companies and ask questions. If you have concerns about functionality, usability, compatibility, price, or anything else, ask the question and do not accept anything but a full and transparent answer. You should be able to test software via a free (or refundable) trial period so you can get a true sense of how suitable it is for your business.