How we had a record-breaking year while the market was “on fire”
‘BRITAIN’S HOUSING MARKET is “on fire” thanks to the extension of government tax breaks for homebuyers and increased demand from richer households with more savings following coronavirus lockdowns.’
No, this is not hyperbole from an overexcited estate agent.
It’s the view of Andy Haldane, the Bank of England’s chief economist, as reported in the Guardian last month.
The stamp duty holiday, which saw an estimated 1.3 million buyers pay no tax on the first £500,000 of their property price, came to an end on June 30.
In the months leading up to the stamp duty deadline, conveyancing solicitors have been under relentless pressure. They have experienced non-stop phone calls, hundreds of emails per day and late night finishes. Setfords conveyancing solicitor Sarah Edwards said….“As a property lawyer, the last 6 months have been the busiest of my career. Working most weekends and super late evenings, I am exhausted.”
Emma jones receives flowers from another grateful client
At Setfords, we do not pretend to have any more control over the property market than any other law firm. But we do everything we can to help ensure transactions run smoothly and are completed as planned.
Because of the measures we put in place, our conveyancing team had a record year, processing a little over 2500 property transactions in the five days to 30 June, when the stamp duty holiday ended. That translates to a value of over £1 billion.
What we mean by having the right measures in place is having the right infrastructure, the right business model and a hugely supportive team.
We have invested heavily in infrastructure that includes robust IT systems. We were not naïve enough to try to install great systems a matter of weeks ago. We foresaw their need long ago and have continued to invest in them since we began in 2006. We have also developed a team of experts to help ensure our systems work like a watch made in Switzerland.
Our business model is also key to our success. It allows our solicitors to work the hours they want from where they want. We eschew a one-size-fits-all structure because we respect the individuality of each member of our team. Put simply, we know that happy lawyers mean happy clients.
Hugely supportive team
Setfords is all about support. We don’t just mean the 100 plus team of experts that help our consultant solicitors focus on clients. We also mean having a team of lawyers who support one another. And every one of them is backed up by supportive directors. For example, our Operations Director slept on the office floor during our record-breaking conveyancing period. Our CEOs put our admin team up in hotels and helped out with finance in the office. In essence, we all mucked in together to ensure completions were made before the deadline.
Rather than say any more, let’s hear directly from those involved….
“Due to the significant workload, I would not have been able to maintain the usual level of service if wasn’t for the amazing support staff at Setfords,” says Sarah Edwards
“These past six months have been overwhelmingly difficult. There is absolutely no way I would have managed without the help, kindness, understanding and generosity of the whole team.
‘Thank you, thank you, thank you!
“There are simply no words to show my gratitude and how blessed I am to be a part of this wonderful Setfords family,” says Jodie Halkier.
“Thank you to the fab staff at Setfords Solicitors for making me so welcome and supporting me. #Lovingselfemployedlife,” Charlotte O’Driscoll adds.
“A humungous thank you to all the team at head office. I know they have all been working crazy hours!
“I love that Jacqui on reception makes us all laugh every time we speak to her and has the most amazing sense of humour and patience beyond anything I could ever show!
“The secretarial/admin team are quietly working away in the background, but they have been amazing too. Always supportive when you just need something different!
“The accounts team – they are very special people and assets to the business. They thoroughly deserve a massive thank you.
“And the sales team is fabulous!” says Claire Stone.
“I would like to thank the incredible management and accounts team at Setfords for the support given to allow me to deliver bespoke service to my clients. I could not do it without them.
“Also, a thank you to my conveyancing colleagues who are a phone call away to help solve any problems,” says Jeffery Gilbert.
“We have an amazing accounts team. They’ve done a brilliant job,” says Angie Dooling.
“Got to give a big shout out to the Setfords accounts- and back-office team,” says Antony Singh.
Antony Singh enjoys working remotely
The heat is on
Alas, Antony did not have time to write any more than this. He jumped on plane straight after the stamp duty land tax deadline on 30 June. Thanks for sending us photos of yourself working while travelling through Greece, Antony. It looks almost as hot as the UK’s property market!
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